Tenso Forwarding Service: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever wished to purchase item/s from Japan from Japanese online shops but they don't cater international shipping? Or worrying about expensive shipping fees which is double (or even triple) the price from the actual item you are about to buy? Well, worry no more! I have experience buying a photo book from Japan using Tenso Forwarding Service.

It's actually easy to make your account at Tenso. But still, I decided to make this step-by-step guide to give you some tips, notes and reminders for using Tenso. I won't make my intro very long. Let's start by introducing what Tenso is.

Tenso Inc. is a Japanese Forwarding Service connecting overseas customers to Japanese online stores. They are the one responsible for giving you a Japanese address, which you can use to buy items from Japanese online stores which doesn't cater international shipping. Through Tenso, buying items will be easier: (1) buy your item/s; (2) ship to your domestic address (the address which Tenso will provide for you); and (3) Tenso will be responsible for delivering your address on your country.

*Register for an Account*

※Access Tenso's English website at www.tenso.com/en/. Before signing up, you may want to know more about Tenso here. Look for the "Sign Up" button at the upper right corner of the site.

※Enter your active and correct e-mail address at the box below. It is important that the e-mail you'll provide is active because all your transactions at Tenso will be sent from here.

※Once done, check your e-mail to view your registration link. Click the link provided. After that, it will direct you to the registration page.

※Register your complete information. Complete means your full name (including middle name), complete address, birthday, and other information needed. TIP: Be sure that your name, address and birthday are the same as your proof of identity (government/company IDs, billing address, etc.). Will explain more below. But for now be sure to use the complete and correct info from you.

※Check the check boxes below and click "Agree and Continue."

※Once done, check again your e-mail and you will be getting your own Japanese Address which you can now use to shop online.

※Log-in to www.tenso.com/en/login/. You will be directed to your Tenso Page.

※Edit your other information such as complete address, company name (if any), phone number, etc. at the "Review and edit shipping address" at the lower part of your page.

*Identity Verification*

At the lower part of your page, you will be seeing a button with "Submit Proof of Identity." You have to send images (at least 2) of your government-issued identification. It doesn't need to be scanned. As long as the information is cleared and not edited, it's good to go. But why Tenso needs these identification infos from their customers?

From 1st April 2013 Japanese law has changed to require all forwarding companies such as Tenso.com to obtain proof of identity from their users. The legislation detailing these changes is known as the 'Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds'. More details are available on the National Police Agency website. http://www.npa.go.jp/sosikihanzai/jafic/index_e.htm
In order to continue to use forwarding services such as Tenso.com, you must submit a form of personal identification which shows your [ Name ], [ Date of Birth ] and [ Current Address ]. Please submit a copy of your government-issued identification, such as a Passport, Driver's License, National ID Card (etc.)

※In my case, I submitted my Voter's ID and my Internet provider's monthly bill (which also have the same full name and address as my voter's ID). Once you submitted yours, you'll received an e-mail from Tenso that they got your identification info.

※Once the info you input at your Tenso account is same from the identification you submitted, you'll receive an e-mail (within 24 hours, but mine was processed for about 20 minutes only) that you are good to go shopping. This is where the importance of filling out your complete info falls - to avoid the hassle of your file getting rejected. You can still edit your information you provided at your Tenso page but will take another one (1) business day to let your identification verified.

*Time to shop!*

There are a lot of Japanese online shops like Amazon Japan, Rakuten, Yahoo Japan, Shibuya 109 and more. You can visit Tenso's recommended shopping sites here. As for the photo book I purchased, it is available at Amazon Japan and thru Studiowarp. It is hard to transact at Studiowarp since you really need to deposit your payment to their Japanese Bank account (for Japanese citizens, its convenient though).

※Once you are done with your shopping, for example at Amazon Japan, you are required to make an account to make your payment. Here's where your Japanese address will be used. Tenso provided guide on how to put your Japanese address here.

※Here's an example on how to put your Japanese address at Amazon Japan's registration:

※When done, you have to track your package from Amazon Japan. They will notify you once they delivered your item/s to your Japanese address. At the same time, Tenso will inform you thru e-mail that your item has arrive on their warehouse.

*Payment Methods*

※Edit your payment info located at the lower part of your profile.

※You have 2 options for paying at Tenso. One is thru credit card, (they accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and JBC) and second is thru PayPal.

※When you connect your credit card, Tenso will deduct Php 0.40 cents. So if you happened to use a prepaid credit card (such as PayMaya), be sure you have at least more than Php 10.00 (just to be safe).

※When you connect thru PayPal, you will be directed to PayPal login page. I don't know what are the processes using PayPal because I used my PayMaya Card instead.

*Settling your Payment*

※Look for "Package and Payment Information" at the lower part of your profile. Click the "International Shipments" to see your item/s.

※If it happened that there's no price indicated for your item, edit the information and input the price of your item. Now click for the "Details and Payment" and you will be directed to a page to let you confirm your shipping address.

※You will be directed to a page where you'll choose which shipping method you prefer. For me, I always choose EMS. My item always arrive from 1-2 days after my payment was processed.

※When done, you'll be given a total amount which is you need to pay thru the payment methods I mentioned above.

※When you're done paying, you'll receive an e-mail from Tenso about receiving your payment. They will process your item/s within 24 hours.

※Once done processing, they will send you another e-mail with the tracking number of your parcel.

Now all you have to do is to wait for your package to arrive. My experience for this international shipping, our local postal office in our area will send a text message that a package have arrive with my name in it. They will be asking me to bring 1 valid I.D for verification and amount of Php 112.00 for PTCC (Presentation to Customs Charge) fee for this item. (The PTCC fee may vary depending on the weight of your package).

Just to let you know how many days it took me (from the ordering) until the arrival of the item, it took me 8 days. Here are the process plus the number of days:
  • Ordering and payment for the item (1 business day)
  • Getting the item from the online seller via Amazon Japan courier (1 business day)
  • Sending the item from the online seller to Tenso warehouse (2 business days)
  • Payment and processing of the item from Tenso (1 business day)
  • Shipping of the item from Tenso to Philippines (2 days)
  • From Philippines Postal Office main branch delivering to the local post office (1 business day)
If you are willing to wait for more than a week to process your order and to save money, I highly recommend using Tenso Forwarding Service. My package arrived safely from Japan to the Philippines!

Now it's time to enjoy browsing this photo book! I'll be making a separate post about the price comparison for using Amazon Japan alone and Amazon Japan - Tenso Forwarding Service. Catch it out soon!

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