Thanks for the heads up ASD. I hate it when everyone else gets the free delivery, as if the antipodes is a big black hole on the map.
Well, once in June 2018 (as far as I know, since I didn't start looking at Rakuten until shortly before that), a similar free shipping promotion campaign included Australia. On that occasion, Nagasawa Stationery Center gave me very good customer service, even though it was ultimately disappointing because they couldn't fulfil my order for a Nakaya with a sandblasted briar pen body; they ended up shipping the remainder of the order, which was just three 15ml bottles of Pilot Iroshizuku ink, to me at their cost even though the revised order did not meet the free shipping promotion's minimum spend threshold.
Then the Australian GST on low-value imports thing came in.
When I ordered from Nagasawa the next time, they charged me the 8% domestic consumption tax (unlike AT-N Nagasaka and Komamono-Honpo, which will exclude it from the revised total when they review the accepted orders)
as 'a handling charge for international orders' and then added 10% GST on top. That cancelled out all the goodwill I have for them due the previous order. I take that back. I just went back through an entire folder of emails to do with tens of Rakuten orders, and I have no evidence in writing that Nagasawa changed 10% Australian GST even as recently as November 2018, well after the low-value imports thing kicked in, even though they did charge me the 8% domestic consumption tax for a direct export to Australia. Maybe I made a mistake, and if so, I apologise to all of you who have been reading this thread and may have been misled by me, as well as to Nagasawa Stationery Center.
As far as I'm aware, Pen Gallery Hogado does the same. (Yes, I do have evidence that Hogado charged the 8% on top of the base product pricing, then another 10% GST over the whole lot.) Also, neither of those shops seem to offer any great discounts, including on pretty common pen models that I can get cheaper from others, so I'm disinclined to buy from either of them.
AT-N will charge 10% GST when it revises the total on an accepted order (confirmed), effectively changing the applicable tax rate from 8% to 10%. The 2% difference is no big deal.
Komamono-Honpo doesn't include either tax on Australian orders. However, the range of products they are prepared to sell and ship overseas directly is very limited, compared to what they list on Rakuten Ichiba. They also don't participate in RGM's free international shipping promotional campaigns, as far as I'm aware.
Edited by A Smug Dill, 14 March 2019 - 14:19.
I'm a fountain pen enthusiast, but not your consultant (as a fellow consumer) to advise on getting better value-for-money from your discretionary spending or protecting your investment in the hobby. I like to share the particularly meritorious or disappointing traits of products I've used, through product reviews and replies to others' posts, but please don't expect (or ask) me to frame things specifically in terms of how it would apply to your choice of pens, inks and paper products, or satisfy your preferences for shading, sheen, wet, broad, cheap, et cetera.