Saturday, March 4, 2017
Mint Mall Musings and why Japanese are "masters of efficiency"
Maybe I am biased having lived in Japan, but I swear by Japanese efficiency. I can get an Express Mail Service (EMS) package from Tokyo to southern Alabama faster that it takes for me to ship a package from Alabama to my home state of Wyoming via USPS. Take for example my latest shipment from Mint Mall. It left Mint Mall and processed through Narita early in the morning of 28 February Alabama time and was at my doorstep the morning of 2 March. Reading online posts, most everyone has the same experience. It seems that EMS skips some steps with customs which would explain the blazing speed. It is amazing the USPS postal system works that fast with EMS packages on this end when they have a hard time with their own internal packages sometimes. And my latest shipment of two 2016 BBM sumo boxes only cost around $20. Simply amazing!
Mint Mall, a sports collectibles chain store in Japan. There have been numerous blog posts about Team Mint from Dave over at Japanese Baseball Cards, and Ryan at This Card is Cool. Those two guys have actually been able to go to the stores in person. I haven't used their online service until now (actually I bought their stuff through eBay), but they have been making a big push in Beckett Magazine to the English-speaking market. I'm hoping to be able to visit a few of them when I head to Japan in a few weeks. Navigating their website does take a bit to get used to and you have to keep in mind that you are browsing different stores inventory as well as their web inventory. They do have overseas shipping information here. It does look like if you want cards from 3 or more different stores, there will be a $5 fee handling fee. Here is their latest flyer that has the numerous stores throughout Japan list listed....take a look at Mint Shibuya....they have actually installed a bar so "you can enjoy some alcohol while breaking card boxes." Whoop, I know where I am going to go first.
I walked away with nothing too fancy...just a few boxes of 2016 BBM Sumo that filled in a hole in my unopened collection. I might open one of them for a box break review at some point.
They are pretty much on par with Rakuten as far as selection (although much more of the singles cards at Mint Mall) and they have a lot more of the American stuff for expats living abroad. I am excited about picking up some stuff in person and I'll hopefully have some fun stuff to share when I get back.