A!Smart is BABYMETAL’s main store, based in Japan. In this guide I describe the differences between delivery services and website types, step-by-step process of how to buy a product, and some tips to using it.
I would recommend reading everything, especially the notes at the bottom, to be sure you understand all the options before proceeding.
2 Websites To Choose From
There are 2 A!Smart websites: the Japanese one, and the International one. Why would you use the Japanese one? The benefits are:
- Cheaper shipping inside Japan (in case you use Tenso to ship overseas). If it’s not heavy (say, just THE ONE tee), it could cost less than via DHL.
- You can create an account, and it lets you earn points to be used on future purchases.
- Some merchandise is only sold on the Japanese website.
The drawbacks are:
- No native translation (you can use Google Chrome’s built in translation, though, it’s the same).
- Can’t pay with Paypal.
- Can’t deliver directly with DHL, you must use Tenso. Furthermore, you must fill out the form (its pre-filled in the international website for Tenso).
Japanese Website Guide
If you happen to be interested on using the Japanese website, /u/ein_myria has made a guide on using it. Remember you must have a Tenso account to ship overseas. Here is a machine translator to write your name.
If you have an account, you can enter weekly lotteries for bonus points on your orders. Likewise, they will give you 500 bonus points to use on the month of your birthday. 1 bonus point = ¥1.
International Website Guide
Step 1: Go to A!Smart and choose your language (any other than Japanese).
If you plan to order regularly, I would advise creating an account, so that shipping, payment, and your THE ONE info, is saved for future purchases.
Step 2: Adding items to your cart
Note: If you are not a THE ONE member, there are quite a few things you cannot order. If want to become a THE ONE member, follow this guide.
Some items can be ordered without being a THE ONE member (CD’s and magazines, for example). Try adding items to your cart, and if it does not ask for a THE ONE sign in, it’s ok to buy.
Step 2.3: Once it loads, it may give an “ATTENTION” pop-up, dismiss it. Check that you have the correct amount of item in the cart, and then click on “Proceed to Check Out”.
Note: if any of the items you order is not available right now (or is a pre-order), all items will ship once that item is ready.
Step 3: Ordering
Step 3.1: Now, you have 2 choices for delivery: DHL or Tenso. The differences are explained below.
Step 3.2: Add in all your Payment and Address information.
- If you ordered through DHL, you can skip the next step. You are done, unless you have to take action for it to pass your local customs, which depends on your country.
- If you use Tenso, add (manually, don’t copy and paste) your Tenso number. Check that everything is ok, and complete the order.
You will get an email with a purchase summary, and then one later as soon as the items ship.
Step 3.3 (only if you use Tenso): Once it arrives at Tenso, they will send you an email. Sign in to the website. It should take you to “My Page”, and if you scroll down, you should find the “International Shipments” Pane, with a number on it, click it. If you have multiple orders, wait for all of them to arrive, and consolidate them. Then go to the shipment pane, check that the information is correct, choose a delivery type, and pay. They will send you an email summary, and then another once it ships.
Differences Between DHL And Tenso
Benefits of DHL:
- Straightforward (easier)
- Less likely for there to be issues
Benefits of Tenso:
- Possibly cheaper (generally when the weight is low)
- Ability to consolidate several orders, including from different websites, which lowers shipping costs.
DHL charges a minimum of ¥4000~ (around $35 US Dollars), as it sends any item as weighing a minimum of 3.5kg. While Tenso’s minimum delivery charge is of ¥2,500 (around $20 US Dollars). Actual prices vary depending on region and weight, check here for DHL prices, and here for Tenso prices.
If you decided you want to use Tenso, first check that it delivers to your country, the list is found here. If it does, great!
Create an account here (its free). They will provide you with a Tenso number (and address and phone number) to use on all your orders. Tenso do require you to provide proof of Identification and proof of address, accepted forms of proof can be found here. You have to send the pictures, and they will verify it in a few hours/days. Also, here are some guides on using Tenso/International Delivery.
- Sometimes the website is slow, wait for it to load (or refresh if takes over a minute).
- For clothing it’s recommend to buy one size larger than normal, as Japanese sizes are a little smaller than EU/USA sizes (if you use L, order an XL).
- If you wish to track the shipment, the shipping email should include a code (depending on what shipping method you chose). Remember that it may change carriers once it enters your country.
- There may be import fees/taxes depending on where you live, and they can be quite high, so don’t forget to factor that into the cost.