Tips for Purchasing J-pop CDs Online: HMV, CD Japan, and Yes Asia



Let’s face it, Manila isn’t a great place to be if you’re a J-pop fan. Unlike Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, and even Bangkok — where CD stores regularly supply J-pop CDs to local fans, collectors in Manila have no choice but to go online for their JE or HAIKARA fix.

We all have our favorite online CD stores, but my quest to fill in gaps in my collection has led me to narrow the field down to three excellent sources: HMV, CD JAPAN, and YES ASIA. In order to help you pick and purchase from the retailer that suits your needs best, I’ve selected three bases of criteria and will rank each store on their performance in each field.


While all stores maintain a comparative price level (just USD 1 or 2 above or below each others prices), I think the store with the best deals for the lowly Philippine Peso is HMV. HMV quotes their prices in JPY and not in USD, giving you a slight edge over the generally nasty conversion rates credit card companies impose on the US dollar. It will also help you when you have your parcel taxed by customs, since their JPY conversion is likewise low compare to the US dollar.


Of the three stores, CD Japan has the most extensive selection of J-pop CDs and DVDs. While some might contend that YES ASIA has a bigger inventory, some of these merchandise are actually Chinese or Korean. HMV on the other hand does not have a large selection of older CDs and DVDs, so it’s not a good place to look for items that are not more recently released.


Of the three stores, YES ASIA is the only one to offer free shipping, and this is a great deal in more ways than one. Sure, both HMV and CD JAPAN offer safe and secure EMS and courier shipping, but sometimes SAL can be good too, especially if you’re trying to save money or if you’re attempting to dodge the tax man 😀 I’ve never lost a parcel via free shipping, and when a friend got hers lost in the mail, YES ASIA replaced the item within four to six weeks.

Some Words on Safe Credit Card Use

All three stores accept payment via credit card. When ordering from them, never do it in a public terminal like an Internet rental shop or a free-access Wi-Fi connection. You do not know if keyloggers have been installed in the computer, or if someone is monitoring the Wi-Fi signal, in order to steal your credit card number.

If the service asks for you to scan the card front and back for confirmation, always remember to block out the security pin (which is usually three numbers located somewhere on the back of your card). This is so it cannot be used by other people in case they manage to break into your e-mail account.

Last but not least, always check if the address bar displays the correct URL and not a fake redirect, and that the payment screen is secured by HTTPS. It’s always better to be safe, than sorry. Good luck and have fun shopping online!

95 Comments Add yours

  1. Camille says:

    Hi! Question lang..I’m planning to buy sa cdjapan ng manga, books, and maybe some cds..kapag ba EMS ang ginamit ko straight na idedeliver sa bahay? And how many days does it take bago ko makuha and meron bang tracking number? Yung pagtax din ba ng customs, pag 50usd+ lang ang total na binili mo? I’m from Pampanga btw.


    1. Camille says:

      I’m considering SAL na rin (EMS is too expensive ><)..diretso ba 'to sa bahay or need pang kunin sa local post office? If ever sa post office, will I be notified? Or need ko pa pumunta dun to check? Thanks 🙂


  2. Freen ewuser says:

    I am PLANNING to buy US$45 worth CD(shipping included) from CDJapan. I don’t have any ideas since it will be my first time. I’ve got questions…
    How does the different types of shipping works and how long does each one of them take and what is the type of shipping that will be delivered to my doorstep? What credit cards does CDJapan or HVM accept?
    I need answers to those questions please 😦
    Thanks 😀


  3. fen says:

    Hi po. Meron akong psbank debit mastercard. Working ung card s YESASIA pero sa CDJAPAN “authorization failed”. Ittry ko sna s hmv. Tanung ko lng po kung sino dito nakatry na s HMV with the same card.



    1. A debit card is not a credit card, even if they it bears the Visa or Mastercard logo, so the payment system is rejecting the transaction.


      1. fen says:

        nag baka sakali ako magplace order sa HMV. the release of my ordered cd is today. and good news is, looks like it worked perfectly and ready for shipping. Waiii.. :v /


        1. That’s pretty awesome — congratulations!!! 😀


  4. Kate says:

    Hi there! I am expecting a document via EMS from Japan tomorrow. However, I need to submit it na today. Is is possible to get it from the Inward office of exchange today? (pero, saan po ba ito? hehe)


  5. Kristine says:

    Hi, when you bought something from CDJapan, kailangan iclaim sa post office kahit EMS? Kasi sa YesAsia, pinadala thru LBC kahit ordinary shipping lang. 🙂

    At yung EMS ba, kapag sinabing 3-5 days, meaning, 3-5days nasa bansa na? Or nakarating na mismo sayo yung package? Pag dumaan kasi sa post office parang lalong natagal 😦


    1. ooioo says:

      Kung EMS siya it will reach the Philippines in at least 2-3 business days from the time it is posted in the EMS webpage if there are no hitches. Your local post will be the one delivering it within the 2nd-3rd business day if you live in Metro Manila (or if your Post Office is the industrious type.) Otherwise, you will have to go all the way to the customs office.


  6. Steff says:

    I was trying to use HMV to ship to the Philippines, but i can’t seem to get past the Delivery section. It’s giving me this message:
    “To the customers of countries which use Chinese characters:
    Please enter your address in Roman alphabet, not in Chinese characters.”

    By any chance do you know what the problem could be?

    Thanks! 🙂


    1. abc says:

      Same problem here. I can’t proceed with my check out. Please, help. What should I do? Thanks!


      1. Hey guys! Just type in your addresses as usual — these instructions are only applicable to buyers who use Chinese characters in their names 🙂


        1. abc says:

          That’s what I did. But same message was prompted 😦


          1. Hmm that’s really strange — have you tried messaging HMV support directly?


          2. abc says:

            No, I haven’t tried messaging them.
            Do you have their email address so I can send them a message? Thanks!


          3. All their contact info is listed on the site:


          4. abc says:

            Thanks for the link 🙂
            Already ordered my items.
            I think the reason for that message was because the items I wanted to purchase are not allowed to be shipped overseas. I tried other items and I was able to place my order.

            Placed my order with Yeasia, the status is Credit Card Verification but the amount to be paid was already credited in my account right away yesterday but the status remains the same as of this time.
            I also placed my order with HMV, the status of my order in progress but not the whole amount to be was deducted from my account. I used my debit card in purchasing.
            Is that normal in purchasing from there regarding payments and status? (First time online buyer using my card)


          5. Yes, there is usually a three-day delay to process payments (especially with Japanese sites — other sites like Amazon Japan however follow the American model and process payments immediately). If it goes beyond that however, contact the site immediately to get a follow-up on the pending payments.


          6. abc says:

            Thanks for the information. It’s very helpful. More power!


          7. abc says:

            Hi, I just wanted to ask if you have idea what is happening with my order at HMV.
            My order indicates, order in progress. All items are ready, for the last 4 days, the items were in transit. I was wondering cause the amount to be paid is not yet credited from my account (the authorization amount was credited). Today, as I checked my orders, the in transit is now ready. What does it mean? I already send 2 messages to them but there’s no reply as of the moment. It’s my first time purchasing there, so I really don’t have any idea on how it works. Thank you!


  7. ajang says:

    Hi abc…any update on your order? I think I have the same problem. My total order is 5800 pesos but they only deducted 2600 pesos from my card. I’m using prepaid credit card. I don;t know if that 2600 pesos will be deducted to the total cost of my order or do I need to pay another 5800.


  8. abc says:

    Hi Ajang, I just let my order cancelled. They’ve given a date as to when I must complete my payment or they will automatically cancel my order. I used prepaid card as well. Only the authorization fee was deduction from my account. I tried paying it like three times and every time I try, another authorization fee was deducted. I never try placing my order again.

    I have no idea about your case. Just try to monitor so you will not be double charge.


  9. Joyce says:

    Hello po :)) Gusto ko po sana mag order sa CDJapan. Mga gano po ba ktagal ang shipping from JP to PH pag Air Mail or SAL pipiliing shipping method ? Tsaka mga mgkano po ba usually chinacharge ng post office sa mga package gling cdj :))

    Thanks in advance po, first time ko lng po ksi oorder outside ph =D


  10. ooioo says:

    I’d like to add to this post since you made mention to it nearly 7 years ago. While some things never change, like being taxed by customs, there had been a lot of changes and a lot of choices these days.

    Personally, out of the three you have pointed at in your post, CDJapan is probably the best if you have limited to no understanding of Japanese and I had since stayed away from Yesasia just because their pricing is supremely atrocious. I haven’t tried HMV yet though, and with a lot of record stores in Japan, I never did.

    Some changes when buying CDs now are:

    1 – If you want your favorite Japanese artist to chart, you have to buy it domestically. Oricon has already changed their policy. Trust me, the difference of some shops can be pretty astounding. I once pre-ordered a Superfly album which is 1,000 yen off its sale price!

    2 – There are a lot of Japanese forwarders these days that can pretty much accept “Japan-only” orders, and with the inexpensive nature of shipping from Japan to the Philippines, EMS can be a blessing, though some have a wide variety of shipping choices to choose from. Also, most online shopping sites offer free shipping as well.

    3 – The customs office has been inflexible in the past with regard to their customs duties transactions but last year, some major changes had been implemented and while it can still burn a hole in your wallet, it is more reasonable. Unfortunately, their inefficiency still pretty much sucks. I have to wait for a full 2 hours before they found my package, which was just delivered a day before I visited the facility!

    With a little bit of perseverence and at least a working knowledge of Japanese, there are a lot of great finds waiting out there.


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