Where to Buy Anime in the UK (was Anime Online Retailers)

CDAdair

Completely Average High School Student
#1
Hello.
I have started this new topic to gather a database of online experiences dealing with buying anime online.
Please rate the firm you used out of 5 (5 being the best), and any details you feel would be beneficial to anyone looking to buy anime products online.
So as not to get our gracious forum hosts into trouble, do not mention any (to the best of your knowledge) means of acquiring illegally produced products, and please try to remain on topic.
Thank you.
Note: This Topic was created in responce to a rather heated conclusion to my `Vandread` topic, when forum members voiced their concern over the possible legal questionableness of region free products obtained from the middle east. If interested or wish to comment further, have a look.
Note, Note: If someones already made a topic like this, can you give me the topics name.
:p
 

sic vita est

Dandy Guy, in Space
#2
I'll go ahead and post a couple of decent links explaining how to spot bootlegs, especially as some of the bootleggers look like legitimate companies and their product listings occasionally creep onto sites such as eBay and Amazon as well:

This one has some helpful pictures.
This other FAQ has less pictures if you're on a slower connection.

Here's the tl;dr summary:

Region 0 / Region free = likely bootleg
Chinese and English on same DVD = bootleg

Edit: correcting tl;dr summary.
 

AnimeNut

Dandy Guy, in Space
#3
Not all region 0 / region free are fake. Central Park Media (RIP) releases were Region 0 but I do have to agree that 99.9% out there are fake.

I usually buy off www.rightstuf.com for my region 1 dvds. Shipping to the UK is $10 for the 1st item and $2 for each item after that. It usually takes upto 48 hours for in stock items to ship and then the usual 1-3 weeks to get here, I've normally recieved it after 10 days. They do not charge you until the items ship. They sell dvds, manga, cosplay etc

I would give them 5/5 from my experiences with them.

I've recently ordered from www.secondspin.com and they take upto 3 days to ship out the orders and take the funds once you place the order but do give you a few options incase something might be out of stock.

I think most of the items on this site are 2nd hand but look like they have been resurfaced. I have no problem with the playback on the dvds & have found some bargins on there. They recently had a spend over $40 get free international shipping (a really good offer) and I would say wait for that but if you can not shipping fees are pretty cheap at $5 for the 1st item and $2 for each item after.

I would rate this site at 4/5 after using it the once as my 2nd order has yet to arrive (think its in customs :( )

Hope this helps people buy safe & cheap.

On a final note I always check www.animenewsnetwork.com to see if the show, film, ova i am after has had a dvd release, if its not on there its a pretty good bet the one you are looking at is fake.
 
#4
AnimeNut said:
I usually buy off www.rightstuf.com for my region 1 dvds. Shipping to the UK is $10 for the 1st item and $2 for each item after that. It usually takes upto 48 hours for in stock items to ship and then the usual 1-3 weeks to get here, I've normally recieved it after 10 days. They do not charge you until the items ship. They sell dvds, manga, cosplay etc
Note that RightStuf's security measures are far stricter than most other sellers: one needs to scan them one's proof of identification before making one's first order.

I shall recommend AxelMusic. They ship from America via Denmark, thus avoiding Customs charges. Local stockist UP1 can sometimes charge prices similar to theirs however.

Amazon's UK marketplace is blessed with Moviemars and Supermart-usa. Whilst these stockists take a while to deliver, their sub-£18 deals are plentiful.

PlayUSA often charge below the limit as well, but their stock isn't as comprehensive as that of some of their competitors. Still, their shipping is free.
 

AnimeNut

Dandy Guy, in Space
#7
Zin5ki said:
AnimeNut said:
I usually buy off www.rightstuf.com for my region 1 dvds. Shipping to the UK is $10 for the 1st item and $2 for each item after that. It usually takes upto 48 hours for in stock items to ship and then the usual 1-3 weeks to get here, I've normally recieved it after 10 days. They do not charge you until the items ship. They sell dvds, manga, cosplay etc
Note that RightStuf's security measures are far stricter than most other sellers: one needs to scan them one's proof of identification before making one's first order.

I shall recommend AxelMusic. They ship from America via Denmark, thus avoiding Customs charges. Local stockist UP1 can sometimes charge prices similar to theirs however.

Amazon's UK marketplace is blessed with Moviemars and Supermart-usa. Whilst these stockists take a while to deliver, their sub-£18 deals are plentiful.

PlayUSA often charge below the limit as well, but their stock isn't as comprehensive as that of some of their competitors. Still, their shipping is free.
:oops: I forgot about the extra security bit with rightstuf but found it worth the hassle with their bargin bins & weekly offers.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
#8
Project-2501 said:
Just to note that there are some bootlegs on sale via Amazon Marketplace and PlayTrade.
This has been a steadily increasing problem lately.

If I see what I suspect are bootlegged DVDs on Amazon, I'll report the seller IMMEDIATELY. Amazon take issues like that pretty seriously.
 
#9
For region 1 I use the following,

Playusa, Axel Music & United Publications with the odd Archonia & Amazon.com order (got a first print run copy of the Akira blu-ray from them)


For region 2 I use the following,

HMV, Play.com, Blahdvd, Zavvi, & Amazon.co.uk with the odd order from Sendit & Anime-On-Line.
 

Kei-kun

Student Council President
#11
Zin5ki said:
AnimeNut said:
I usually buy off www.rightstuf.com for my region 1 dvds. Shipping to the UK is $10 for the 1st item and $2 for each item after that. It usually takes upto 48 hours for in stock items to ship and then the usual 1-3 weeks to get here, I've normally recieved it after 10 days. They do not charge you until the items ship. They sell dvds, manga, cosplay etc
Note that RightStuf's security measures are far stricter than most other sellers: one needs to scan them one's proof of identification before making one's first order.
That's a small price to pay, and you only have to do it once anyway. It takes no longer than 10 minutes to scan everything and send it to them (don't forget to delete a few numbers on your card [both sides, same numbers]). I found you can use a bank statement, and deleting all the numbers and leaving just the upper part with your name and stuff is accepted. Also, if you order their membership ($12) in your first order you can already get a 10% discount unless the items can't be discounted (they do say whenever it is on the item's page).
I won't really go into details, but they do some really kind stuff with your order, and their packing is excellent. I've in total ordered about 6 batches of anime from them, and none stopped at customs.
I recommend ordering around $150 at a time (£100).
In case you use them, you'll most likely have to ring your bank to authorise.

I've used UP1 before, but my order with them is still on hold or something. I haven't used/checked it since.

Base, HMV, Amazon, Zavvi, Tesco, ChoicesUK, Play, and MVM's anime-online are good places to buy at, but with Play you need to be careful because they list out of stock items as "delivered within 1-2 weeks). With MVM's shop I had a problem twice because they listed out of stock items as in stock, but they always update it really quick (a week or less) and send an apology.
Bad thing about Zavvi and Tesco is that they don't separate anime from others, and ChoicesUK hardly sells anime DVDs anymore.

To spot bootlegs at Amazon is really easy because the seller rarely provides enough details. Basically, lack of details at Amazon most likely means bootleg.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
#12
It may be a small price to pay, but it's just so obnoxious of them to still be asking for it in this day and age, I still can't bring myself to order from them.
 

Kei-kun

Student Council President
#13
That takes just 10 minutes of your time though... unless you don't own a scanner, it couldn't be that much of a hassle.
I'd hardly say it's for my own safety. This is more about them avoiding further trouble, since Internet fraud will give them trouble one way or another because they're interested in exporting to the rest of the world after all.
I wouldn't import as much as I do was it not for them. I simply love dealing with the currency, given that UK's money has always been this powerful I like to manipulate its influence. lols
 
#17
I recommend Play.com, DVD Pacific and United Publications, the only place I have ever recieved bootlegs was from CEX in London, but I think every otaku by now can easily tell the subtle differences in products between pirates and legal copies.

One good place to get manga is The Book Depository.

That said, I did download fansubs...maybe I'm a bit hypocritical...^^
 
#18
COuple of bootleg companies I've sadly been burned by:

KO Records and Miya Records (of the two Miya is the more obvious fakes, but KO are pretty dastardly and look pretty genuine)
 
#19
Miya sounds familiar... I think I have a few CDs with that name on. If the music is the same, and the packaging and other contents are the same, all bar the little logo in the corner/spine/wherever, then what is the problem?
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
#20
Mutsumi said:
Miya sounds familiar... I think I have a few CDs with that name on. If the music is the same, and the packaging and other contents are the same, all bar the little logo in the corner/spine/wherever, then what is the problem?
Because you could steal them yourself by downloading and make your own CDs, and the creators would get just as much money (none) from it, yet you wouldn't have paid a bootlegger for the privilege?

What's the point in buying things at all if you aren't going to support the actual creative staff?

(I appreciate in this case it's unintentional as some of those CD bootleggers try to look as authentic as possible but once you know...)

R
 
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