I am always trying to introduce people to manga and know it can be a bit confusing or overwhelming when first wanting to start a manga collection. Where are the best deals? Where can I find older, more rare manga? Which websites are safe and easy to buy from online? Well I am here to answer these questions for you! This is my experience collecting manga for a year and a half and my personal preferences on where to shop!
This is the most obvious answer for buying manga. As manga is becoming more popular in the general public many big bookstores have a manga selection. This includes Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Half priced books, and more! These stores are usually always up to date on new releases and have large stocks of books. Sometimes you can also find some older or rare copies but it is definitely more for new releases.
Pros: Easily accessible, usually good quality, up to date releases, many manga to choose from
Cons: Almost always have to pay full price, not many old or rare manga.
2. Trade centers/Comic shops/Thrift stores
This could very easily depend where you live but I find these to be some of the more fun ways to shop for manga. They tend to have a much smaller selection than the big stores previously mentioned however you can find any type of new or old manga when going to one of these stores. It is like a hunt to find a rare or really cool manga which is really fun. Trade centers especially can have really cool series. I have found series at my local trade center like prince of tennis and the original shaman king singles. I also always see series I have not even heard of which is pretty rare. Because most of these manga are used or old they are usually priced way below retail even if they are rare. I have even found Japanese copies of manga for $1 at thrift stores! So search up trade centers or comic shops in your area and explore!
Pros: Great deals, rare finds, fun search
Cons: Might not find anything you are interested in, the quality is hit or miss
Rightstuf is an online anime/manga/figure retail store. It is my go to whenever it comes to buying manga. The volumes, even new releases, are always marked below retail which is very nice. The website itself is really easy and convenient to navigate and find exactly what you need. It is pretty rare that I will search for a series and rightstuf does not have it. The shipping and packaging has always been good when I have ordered and it is just a safe and easy way to buy manga. I also use it to see when manga will be released.
Pros: Has most series, good shipping and packaging, great prices and deals, easy to use, new and old series
Cons: Items go out of stock fairly quickly
4. Mercari/Facebook Marketplace
I put these two together because they are both apps and websites where people post their own manga they want to sell. It is made to sell anything but I will be talking about the manga obviously.
Mercari- My personal favorite place to buy used manga. I also sell manga on there and it works well for that too. You can easily message sellers or place an offer on a manga. I tend to see people be pretty fair with their manga prices on this app but of course you get some people who overprice the manga way too much for no reason. My advice would be to see how much the manga is selling for other places before buying.
The app makes the users say the condition of the manga and you can always ask for more pictures. the sellers also have ratings which I personally look at when buying. I have yet to have a bad experience but it can happen so remember to be cautious and beware of scams or volumes that may be in bad condition.
One thing that makes me love Mercari so much is that you can use a tool called “save search”. This basically means you can search some like “Akira manga” in the searchbar and click “save search”. This will make a shortcut for “Akira manga” and also update whenever someone posts a new upload selling Akira manga so you can beat others to the punch. As you can see from my personal saved search column down below I use this a lot and it helps me organize what I am looking for.
As for facebook market place it is basically the same with good and bad prices and possible scams. You can pick it up at peoples houses which is sometimes nice and I have seen people get great deals off of there.
Pros: Find great deals, saved search shortcut, lots of old and rare manga, easy way to contact sellers
Cons: Possible scams, people overcharging for manga, shipping prices can be a lot (mercari allows seller to pay for shipping as well)
This should be another obvious one. I personally do not look to these when buying manga but many people do. Amazon seems a pretty reliable place to get new releases as well as some old. Ebay seems to be more expensive but has things that can be found nowhere else.
Pros: new and old manga, good prices, easily compare prices
Cons: Scams are possible, sometimes bad quality and packaging, a little harder to find and search through than mercari or rightstuf.
There we have it, my top 5 places to buy manga! I hope this was helpful to you and have fun on your manga collecting journey! Subscribe for more 🙂