I make frequent trips to Japan to search out top blades for customers, and it's possible to present me with a shopping list, and I will hunt down and review potential purchases for you.
I do advertise swords for sale on behalf of other collectors, if you have an item you wish to sell, feel free to contact me. The sword can be sent inside the USA and will be photographed, for some pieces this may incur a 3% advance on the commission which is not refundable, as it is a time consuming exercise to produce these photos. You will be entitled to keep a copy of the high resolution photos for any use, including reselling in the future on someone else's website.
The sword can at this time be returned to you, or held in the USA by my partner until a buyer is found.
Generally I charge a 15% commission, with discounts to repeat customers.
I no longer accept trades of items coming from other dealers or out of the woodwork. There is a lot of overhead in negotiating and bad feelings possible when trying to set values realistically in order to allow me to retail them after taking them on trade. As a result I encourage collectors to arrange the sale of their items before purchasing a new item. This will separate obtaining maximum sales value for items already owned from the purchasing negotiation for a new item, and is simpler and easier emotionally for everyone.
Taking trades also doubles and triples the work involved for the same result as a simple sale, and when collectors always desire max value on a trade in (understandably!) it leaves very little room to price things based on business necessities.
It is still possible to offer to me items to buy separate from offering to buy items I am selling. I will consider these on a case by case basis if the price represents a price I can realistically invest capital, do research, work up photographs and then handle dozens of queries and negotiate a sale with a new potential owner successfully with minimal risk. These are the realities of selling to a dealer, similar to selling your car to an auto dealer, it may be possible to get a better price by finding a buyer on your own. The convenience factor, reduction in work, and improvement in privacy when selling to a known dealer though is supposed to be worth something though.
Prices can and do fluctuate based on: economic conditions in Japan, the USA, and the rest of the world; the current disaster of choice in the world (economic, political, or natural); the state of relative values of the Yen, US dollar and your perceived value based on when you bought and in what currency you paid whomever you bought it from; and how many items may be competing by the same smith or school in the marketplace at any one time. These are all potential factors in what price you can get when selling an item. So a level head and ability to accept market realities is required when discussing the sale of any item to any dealer.
Trade ins are always accepted for items that I have sold previously from my inventory (not consignments or brokered items where I've been asked to buy from another collector or dealer on your behalf), based on a 70% trade value if going to a higher item. Consignments can usually be traded back on similar terms but it is a case by case basis. Cash buy-backs may be possible based on having cash available but are not guaranteed.
All prices stated on this website, and discussed in email with me, are in US dollars unless otherwise specified explicitly.
All guarantees and terms of sale are made in direct agreement between buyer and seller if a blade is consigned or I have been asked to buy a blade from someone else on your behalf. I am limited to the role of an advertising agent on consigned pieces, and possibly an escrow agent, unless the item for sale is one of the items from my personal collection.
In the case of my own items and consignment items, basically anything published on this website, I offer inspection periods after which the sale is final. An exception for this policy is noted for items bought on payment plans. The item may be returned on a no questions asked basis for a full refund, less the cost of two way shipping if the return is initiated within 7 days of receipt of the item. After 7 days, or if I am notified that the item is accepted, no return for full refund is possible. The item needs to be returned in the same condition in which it left, and complete with all items that accompanied it on the way out. Failure to do so waives the return policy.
Payment plans are possible on a case by case basis and are made by written agreement. Payment plans made over long terms (more than three months) take an item off of the market, cause lost opportunities for alternative sales, and prevent access to working capital while the item is locked up. As a result, inspection must take place before engaging in the payment plan rather than as a 7 day post-sale inspection period. This can be arranged in many different ways, but is the responsibility of the buyer to ask for pre-inspection or else waive inspection as post-delivery inspection is not available for payment plans. The intention of this policy is to avoid the abuse of the inspection period to force a return after taking an item off the market for a long time.
All items bought from me or returned to me will be covered by insurance on my end. There is no need for you to purchase additional insurance, but this insurance ends the moment that someone signs for the item on the receiving end. If you have arranged a third party to sign on your behalf, and that third party causes damage to the item, loses it, or steals it, the results or any loss is the recipient's responsibility.
I do my best to determine that a particular item is authentic if it is on my site. If an item is noted to be accompanied by authentication papers issued by a particular individual or organization, I am considering it to represent an opinion by experts who are of higher ability than myself, and the issuer should be considered by you to be the responsible party for their written opinion and its accuracy. The reputation of certain papers, individuals and organizations varies depending on who you ask; you are responsible to make your own decision about how reliable the issuer of any particular document may be. I am glad to give my opinion on the merits of various papers in private, and I do not put items on my site that I believe have questionable backgrounds or judgments within the limits of my ability and knowledge. This means generally that items I sell have post-1980 NBTHK papers or else Juyo or Tokubetsu Juyo NBTHK papers from any era as in my opinion these are all the safest and most reliable papers to have. My own judgment and decisions are open to error as I am human and it is foolish to proclaim oneself as the world's topmost expert in any field, so please carefully conduct your own research into any particular authentication papers and issuing organization or individual and feel free to disagree with any experts. Your own faith in the decisions rendered by experts of any age or era, including Honami judges and up to the most modern written decisions, is the final arbiter and may vary from item to item, and be different between collectors. This is normal and natural in fields that require education, appraisal and judgment when assessing legitimacy.
In the case of items with no authentication papers, I will give my opinion as to the authenticity of the item. This is not a guarantee that can be claimed against in any way, shape or form past the seven day inspection period. It is provided as my own opinion and is subject to error and is subject to change as I like many others am constantly studying and advancing my knowledge and experience in this difficult field.
I prefer Fedex economy shipping, though your input is appreciated if you have a particular method that you believe to be necessary. There are usually customs delays in sending over borders, and I feel that the additional cost of Fedex priority is not worth it because of this. Shipping will ultimately be a decision made jointly by buyer and seller. On higher value items I generally will absorb the shipping charges, where on lower priced items it will be passed along to the buyer.
I do not provide sword importation or exportation services for Canada. I do not provide any fee based services to Canadian collectors. I can direct you to other sources for your needs and of course I am happy to offer whatever free advice I can or discuss swords with Canadian collectors. Canadian collectors are responsible for correct declarations at the border for GST and/or HST assessment on items they purchase, and I am happy to provide correct and complete documentation to assist in this regard. Fedex does provide customs brokerage services as part of the shipping charges and can clear items into Canada quickly. Fedex will collect the GST and/or HST charges from you via telephone and credit card payment as part of the importation process.
You and only you are responsible for importing items over the border of your own country. This is not my opinion, this is law in every country I am aware of. Regardless of who makes and signs an export declaration and what it says, the recipient is ultimately responsible for its accuracy and completeness. All exportation documents and declarations provided for your purchase will be done as accurately and honestly as possible. They are made to clearly state the contents of shipped packages and the value of these packages. This reduces chances of the item being carelessly inspected simply to discover what the contents are and thus avoids the risk of damage. Accurate paperwork is also necessary of course for compliance with export and import laws in all countries. As well, it is important to have a clear paper trail for insurance in case an item is lost or stolen or damaged. The buyer is responsible for paying any and all applicable taxes for his locale or country as appropriate. Generally antique items are duty free worldwide but if your location differs from this convention you will need to know this in advance of shipping so you will know the costs assessed by your government if the item is shipping to you internationally. I am not a lawyer nor am I capable of tracking the importation requirements, laws and taxes of dozens of countries or hundreds of regions, so while I can often provide good advice it is up to you to make sure you are familiar with your rights and responsibilities to the government where you live. Some countries prohibit importation of any edged weapon, and others make exceptions for antique or art items, and others have no restrictions. You can always find out your responsibilities by picking up the phone and calling your local customs office or tax bureau and asking questions. This is an important obligation you accept when you ask me to send an item to you.
I do make mistakes out of either simply not knowing something, or sometimes I have translated something wrong, or simply screwed up in a "human error" kind of way.
I get a lot of email asking for general help, or asking about the pieces that are for sale on these pages, so I am working in the middle of a stream of constant Nihonto conversation. As a result, errors or misstatements may pop up in email conversations.
In any cases of typos or brainos I may make about the items I have for sale that form discrepancies with what is listed here on the website, the website will be taken by me, and should be taken by you as the authoritative and canonical statement. I take responsibility for incorrect descriptions regarding the condition of the sword, and historical information listed on the site and in what I may send in email, provided it is not one of these discrepancies with the website and not a subject open to multiple points of view and substantiated by expert opinion. For example, if I say, the price is $1,000 in an email I wrote at 2am, and the website says it is $10,000, do not expect to hold me to the $1,000 erroneous price. If I write in email that a sword I am selling is flawless, and it arrives with you and you discover a flaw, then this is the kind of error that I accept full responsibility for. In a case like that, you would be expected to be able to return the sword for a full refund within your inspection period, plus I would cover the shipping both ways because I gave you an erroneous description of the sword. Similarly, if I claim that a smith belongs to the Ichimonji school for instance, and there is no historical record or opinion of him being in this school, this would be a historical error and I would be liable again to cover the costs of return of the blade within the seven day inspection period.
I do my best to research and cross-reference whatever I can, but keeping in mind that not all authors of our reference works agree on most matters, one can determine that contradicting any statement in Nihonto can often be an easy task. You should always research and verify statements made by people on the sales side so that you are satisfied about accuracy and support of the theories put forth, and the seven day inspection period is meant to give you enough time so that you can re-visit a sword you have received in person and make sure that it is consistent with the description you have read that generated your interest in buying.
Collecting should be educational, fun and fulfilling. I love this subject matter and I hope it shows in the time that I take to write up pieces that I have for sale. I want anything you receive to give you the same joy that it gave the previous owner. It is no longer pleasurable for me if someone is not happy with what they receive, so please give me a chance to right any wrongs should anything unforeseen occur. Should an unfortunate incident occur outside of the inspection period, feel free to ask for my assistance and depending on the circumstances and at my discretion, I will see what I can do to help you or solve the problem. I am repeating myself, but for the sake of legality and absolute clarity, please understand I am under no obligations past the seven day acceptance period.