How to buy Neko Atsume plush toys, accessories and other merchandise if you live in the UK.
Neko Atsume fans will know that there’s a wealth of game toys and merchandise available to buy online, but irritatingly a lot of it is sold overseas. And anyone who has either sent stuff abroad or tried to import Japanese merch will know that it’s a tricky (and often horrendously expensive) endeavour.
If you try importing Neko Atsume toys, plushies and other accessories into the UK, in most cases you’ll have to pay VAT, clearance fees, shipping charges and insurance. Depending on who you bank with, there may be a small handling fee to boot. Exchange rates can also see you paying more than you probably should, especially if all you’re after is a plush toy cat.
So how can you get your
hands paws on some Neko Atsume merchandise in the UK? Here’s our guide to stocking up on Neko Atsume plushies, and check out our in-depth Neko Atsume tips and tricks guide.
Buy from Something Kawaii
Something Kawaii is a UK-based online store that’s been selling official Japanese merchandise since 2002. Last month, Something Kawaii announced that it had snapped up exclusive rights to sell official Neko Atsume merch made by Morimoto Sangyo here in the UK.
Based in Harrow, director Raj Kumar has been running the site since 2002 and told Recombu that Something Kawaii strives to get prices down as close to the original Japanese RRP as possible.
“Importing goods to the UK from Japan is expensive,” said Kumar. “If you’re buying just one toy which weighs a couple of hundred grams, then you’ll have to pay a small fortune in shipping fees and taxes. For small orders, it’s just not worth it.
“What we try to do is buy items in larger quantity directly from the manufacturer and bypass the middle man, so we can pass the savings directly to the customer.”
Right now Something Kawaii has a handful of Neko Atsume items on sale, including a Peaches/Cream-san keychain toy, branded Washi tape and an A6 notepad with everyone’s favourite fat cat Tubbs on the cover.
Something Kawaii’s line up of Neko Atsume products is small but growing; but Kumar says that it’s early days and more official merch will be hitting the shelves soon.
Buy Neko Atsume toys from third party sellers on Amazon and eBay
If you don’t want to go down the official or import routes, then there’s a slew of other Neko Atsume stuff available to buy from third party sellers. Most of the sellers you’ll find on Amazon and eBay are based in Japan, but some can also be found in China and Taiwan.
While the prices of the items themselves typically aren’t very high, postage fees and international rates can apply in the case of sellers based outside the UK like this one and this one.
On occasion, you may find that some sellers choose to waive postage and packaging fees; in other cases you’ll see that the fees are actually a little higher. Delivery times also vary with some sellers offering waiting times of up to eight weeks; if you want to pay for express delivery then be prepared to dig deep.
This Neko Atsume melamine cup for example costs £8.32 on its own, with a standard delivery charge of £2.48, for a total of £10.80. This would see you getting the cup by July 14 at the very latest, according to Amazon.co.uk.
If you want that a little sooner, then Express Delivery, which will get you the cup by no later than June 18, will cost you £38.91, for a whopping total of £47.23.
Other things to consider when importing from abroad is VAT and Customs duty.
That said, you should note that items sent from non-EU territories worth more than £15 are liable for VAT (20 per cent of the item’s value).
Customs duty isn’t applied to anything under £135, so if you’re only buying a few Neko Atsume toys from overseas, then you should be fine. Anything between £135-£630 is typically subject to an extra 2.5 per cent charge.
Special rates apply beyond the £630 mark, but let’s be honest; if you’re prepared to spend over £630 on Neko Astume toys you should probably take a long hard look at yourself.