Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Bikes: Marin Muirwoods 29er, Pacific Carryme, Yuba Mundo, Dahon Boardwalk D7
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Rakuten is like an online shopping mall. You still would have to go through the individual shop offering the bike you are interested in - so it might be hit or miss regarding the quality of English service and whether or not they will actually ship outside Japan. However, since they are on the Rakuten site and Rakuten has been really trying to expand globally, requiring ALL employees to learn English, trying to become a competitor of Amazon, etc, I`d think if you run into any difficulty going through the individual shopsellers(THEY might not speak English), Rakuten might intercede to help complete the transaction. Rakuten lists a shipping charge of about $170 USD for 11kg. Not bad if you really really want a KHS folder or that 2011 Curve SL that`s not available in the states anymore.
If anyone tries it, I`d like to know about there experiences. If anyone has any questions about any of the bikes let me know. Almost all are pretty common on the streets around here. Some of the cheap ones are crappy to be sure, but others like the Renault folders, the Mini-Coopers and the Bridgestone`s especially are halfway decent I think.