Finding Manga: Akadot Retail

If you’re a fan of yaoi, I’m sure that you are already well aware of Digital Manga Publishing. But did you know about its affiliate Akadot Retail? For the longest time I didn’t, but now it’s my go to place when I’m looking to buy a title published by Digital Manga.

Of course, Akadot Retail actually sells much more than just manga from Digital Manga, including merchandise directly from Japan, art supplies, artwork, and more. Poke around the site a little and you’ll see what I mean. A lot of what they sell is outside of my personal areas of expertise, and so I’ll just be talking about finding and buying manga here. More specifically, I’ll be covering the manga available in English. Akadot Retail carries and imports plenty of Japanese manga, but my Japanese isn’t good enough yet to take advantage of that.

While many people hear “Digital Manga” and automatically think “yaoi manga,” the company actually publishes plenty of non-yaoi material, and non-manga material for that matter. This is also available to purchase through Akadot Retail. For example, I picked up quite a few volumes of Berserk (which Digital Manga co-publishes with Dark Horse Comics) from Akadot Retail. Akadot Retail also stocks a limited amount of manga in English from other publishers; oftentimes these titles are out of print or otherwise hard to find.

The prices Akadot Retail are some of the best that I’ve seen. This is especially true for the Digital Manga titles, which is understandable, but it is not limited to those. The discounts can be tremendous—there are plenty of books available for only $4 and hundreds that are 50% or more off their cover price. And this isn’t just the backlist I’m talking about here—even the newer titles are available at a significant discounts. Often, the newest books from Digital Manga are available at Akadot Retail before they’re available at other retailers, sometime even months in advance. Akadot Retail also puts together some nice bundles. One of the best ways to stay up to date with current sales and newly available items is to sign up for Akadot Retail‘s weekly newsletter.

For some reason, the search function at the Akadot Retail website does not work nearly as well as I want it to. I don’t really trust the searches at this point—I’ve done too many for books that I know are in the catalog that aren’t returned in the results. Fortunately, the catalog is small enough, and organized well enough, that it’s not too much trouble to simply browse. Unfortunately, you’re not able to browse the entire catalog all at once, but must start in a specific category. I don’t believe it is possible to search by creator on Akadot Retail (except for a couple of select creators who have earned their own categories in the catalog), but titles, product names, and ISBNs all seem to be indexed. I also appreciate being able to sort by Name, Discount, Price, or Newest.

One trick that I’ve discovered to finding things on Akadot Retail is to actually use the Digital Manga website since they are integrated to a small extent. Any book that is available to order from Akadot Retail has a link included towards the bottom of its description page. Additionally, it’s possible to search by creator on the Digital Manga website. Of course, this trick only works for books published by Digital Manga. You won’t be able to find titles from other publishers available at Akadot Retail using this method.

Free shipping is available for orders placed in the United States that reach a specified dollar amount. However, the target price changes on an irregular basis (today it’s $40, but I’ve seen less). Because of this, when I’m thinking of placing an order at Akadot Retail, I always make sure to check the amount that currently qualifies for free shipping on the FAQ page. Free shipping is only available in the United States, but Akadot Retail also ships internationally. Depending which country you live in, you may be limited in your payment options, but PayPal is always valid.

Quick Tips for Finding Manga at Akadot Retail
1) Remember, Akadot Retail sells more than yaoi, manga, and Digital Manga
2) The best place to get Digital Manga titles for the best price, and soonest
3) Sign up for the weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest deals and inventory
4) Browsing the catalog is often more effective than searching it
5) Check to see what the current target price for free shipping is

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  1. I like to check their bookoff section for Japanese artbooks—I’ve seen some interesting things pop up there (what usually catches my eye are 90s shoujo manga artbooks, but there’s lots besides that).

    Another thing to make sure of when aiming for free shipping is that the “free shipping” option actually shows up on the page when you’re ordering. I made an order through the site a couple weeks ago when they were running a deal for free shipping on $35 orders. I placed my qualifying order on the first day of the sale, but the checkout page apparently hadn’t been set up for it yet, because it didn’t show the free shipping option and still charged me for shipping. When I inquired about it, customer service told me the sale started at 9:00a Pacific time that day, and my order (at 8:30a Eastern) was placed too early, so apparently didn’t qualify (not that it said anything of the sort anywhere on the website). They never offered me a refund, and I’m still annoyed. So… be cautious, that’s my warning.

    (my other warning is that if you are interested in Japanese magazines and one says “for special order only,” they probably won’t be able to get it for you. You can always try, but don’t get your hopes up. Order those as soon as you can (they’re usually listed ~2weeks after the publication date in Japan), because they go fast!)

  2. Thanks for the additional comments and information, lys! It’s very useful and helpful.

    I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience with customer service; the few times I’ve had to contact them have been positive for me.

    Thanks again for stopping by and taking time to comment!

  3. I tried to comment earlier in the week but it doesn’t seem to have gone through…

    I like Akadot; during the Yoshinaga MMF I found Antique Bakery 1-3 for 6 bucks and Flower of Life 1-3 for 10 bucks! I also like (for your first order anyway) there’s a handwritten thank you note.

    Enjoying your blog!

  4. Hmmm…Other people have had trouble posting in the past, too. Thank you for trying again. If ever you have trouble again, feel free to send me an e-mail at phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll make sure your message gets posted. Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comment!

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