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Forum Terms & Rules

Please take a moment to review these rules detailed below. If you agree with them and wish to proceed with the registration, simply click the "Register" button below. To cancel this registration, simply continue using this website.

Please remember that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message.

The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this forum. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary.

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this bulletin board to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.

You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this forum.

General Terms

We strive to make each and every transaction a smooth and most satisfactory experience for our customers. In order to do this we are happy to answer all and every question to the very best of our ability in advance of any sales agreement being concluded. Numerous additional images of each and every item of stock are available upon request. Please see our about Toraba page and or our fine eBay feedback link for a better appreciate of our business approach and ethics. Also please be sure to read the below sections in regards to the specifics of our sale, and post sale policies.


Delivery information

Delivery Service:

All products are shipped by EMS, Express Mail Service. We do not utilize FED/EX, UPS, Purolator or others. We do not ship by SAL, surface and or other discounted methods of delivery due to the lack of shipping, tracking and or receipt of merchandise documentation, as well as the considerably increased danger of damage, lose et cetera that can occur with items sent by methods of delivery that are of prolonged duration.

Rates:

The shipping rates for each item are provided on the individual item pages. The rates quoted are for all regions except Zone Three countries which comprise those within the African continent, South America and a few other isolated and or particular distant mailing zones near these major continental zones. 

Customers that reside in these regions should note that an additional shipping surcharge of 40% on top of the quoted rate will be required for delivery to a Zone Three address. This surcharge reflects the actual shipping cost difference incurred to ship to these specific regions.

To check if your mailing address is considered a Zone Three destination please refer to the Japan Post homepage list at this address. http://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/ems/country/all_en.html

Customers living in a Zone Three zone country are responsible to notify Toraba of their actual mailing address before conclusion of a sale agreement. Failure to do so will result in the purchased item being withheld until appropriate post fees are paid in accordance with standard EMS rates, plus mandatory insurance and any necessary handling fees. Equally Toraba reserves the right to cancel pending deals if a customer in a Zone Three areas refuse to honour the above shipping rates terms. 

Tracking:

All items shipped by EMS have a tracking number, which can be followed online via the Japan Postal Service homepage; http://www.post.japanpost.jp/english/index.html

Shipping Schedule:

We can often ship the same day as payment is received, but due to are ever increasing work load and various related business commitments ( which those of you how know me well know are considerable ) we unfortunately can no longer guarantee same day service. We ask for your patience and understanding in this regard. Presently at worst we will make one reserve on day for packing and shipping per week  

With the privatization of Japan Post, many former services have been discontinued and in my local area there is no weekend or 24 hour window service available. This means we can ship only between Monday to Friday. Again due to the very rural nature of the area we reside and our present work load we may soon reduce shipments to every Friday only, though presently we still hope to ship items as fast as we can. Waits of one week or more are highly uncommon, but again due to frequent number of business trips I am require to take to source my stock, the possibility of a number of days in delay between receipt of payment and shipping should be taken into consideration. Again in short we will do are best to ship in a timely manner. Should Friday shipments become standard operating procedure we will notify our clientele here and through email news updates.

We will provide the tracking number/s of purchased items generally within hours of the item being shipped by email.

Shipped item tracking numbers are usually available online within minutes of being posted, though as with all things in the real world delays of  several hours are not uncommon. Status updates are fairly regular and reliable, but again delays are not common.

Toraba of course has no way to influence these factors, which are purely the duty of the post office/handling stations and other companies involved with delivery, thus if you cannot find certain specific details about the status of your package online, please don't ask us, as we will only have the same information as you. In most cases a short wait of a few hours will yield the information desired as postal information is updated.

Delivery is usually fairly rapid, with five day service to most destinations, though certain countries seems to suffer regular delays, particularly France, Belgium and especially Italy. We recommend customers track their packages carefully, as often your item will site in a local post office for days and weeks without notification being provided that the package is in country and local. One phone to your local post office can usually motivate them to do their job!   


How to pay

We accept the following payment methods.

  • Bank wire transfers ( with restrictions ).
  • International post office issue money orders ( with restrictions ).
  • Cash by registered mail ( with restrictions ).
  • PayPal ( with restrictions ).

Please see below for further details regarding the above payment methods and any related restrictions.

Bank Wire
This is our preferred method of payment. Quite simply the safest and most reliable method still available. The following restrictions apply:

  • The customer pays the service charge incurred by your banking institution and pays the amount due in full.
  • Wires are to be in Japanese YEN funds only.

International Post Office Money Orders
Post office issue money orders are a convenient and reliable method of payment which we are always happy to accept. The following restrictions apply:

  • Post office issue money orders only are accepted.
  • Money orders must be international issue.
  • The customer pays the service charge incurred by your post office for the money order and pays the amount due in full.
  • Money orders are to be in Japanese yen or in US funds only.

Cash by Registered Mail
Though not a recommended way to make payment, some people do prefer to do so. The following restrictions apply:

  • Money absolutely must be sent by registered post.
  • We accept no responsibility for the safety of these funds in transit.
  • US dollars and or Japanese yen only accepted.
  • All bank notes must be checked at your local bank before being posted to scan for problem currency.
  • Notes that do not clear will be returned by post at the buyers expense, with the remaining money held until full payment is received and clears.

PayPal Payments - Limited Acceptance
Maximum limit of the 50000 YEN per single transaction.
Sur-charge of 5% applies to all PayPal transactions.
Though a convenient method of making payment for buyers, and thus a service we would like to offer our clientele, PayPal has proved to be much less considerate and or accommodating of the small business man of whom account for the vast majority of their transactional activity. Besides the high service fees and other additional charges to be incurred by overseas business such as ourselves, including a near scandalous exchange rate on the yen, we have found PayPal to be a less than satisfactory institution to entrust our business funds to. As such t he following restrictions apply:

  • We will only accept payments for items totalling less than 50000 YEN via PayPal.
  • PayPal transactions will be subject to a 5% surcharge to compensate for the approximate 7% fees incurred by us, which includes standard seller rates plus a very poor international exchange rate which is also charged when sending money to Japan.
  • Payment accepted in US funds only.

We strongly recommend people familiarize themselves with the shameful business practices conducted by PayPal in order to protect your own interests. Further information in this regard can be found by clicking here.


Insurance

To ensure that you the customer and your important purchase is protected from lose and or damage insurance is factored automatically into the shipping quotes provided on the individual item pages. The rates quoted cover all zones except for customers residing in Africa and or South America. In such case an additional shipping surcharge of 40% on top of the quoted rate will be required. This surcharge reflects the actual shipping cost difference incurred to ship to these specific regions.

Insurance is charged at the actual rate of approximately $0.50 US * for each $200.00 US value block of coverage required to insure the purchase item for its full, actual and agreed sale price.

The first $200.00 value block is automatically covered on all purchases.
  • Items will only be insured for the amount of their sale/purchase price
  • Insurance is mandatory and will not be waved, or discounted
  • Insured values will not be altered for any reason
  • Insurance claims may result in monetary and or restorative reimbursement
  • Items are insured for their full sale value at the time of shipping, and may be subject to international monetary fund fluctuations in some circumstances.
  • Insurance coverage cannot be acquired in blocks of lesser or great denomination, but will be charged per $200.00 unit as required to cover the full value of an item.

* The present rate of $0.50 US per $200.00 block of coverage may be subject to change due to international currency fluctuations.

Insurance Claims
Though we have seldom had to make an insurance claim for an item of merchandise damaged during shipping, and never yet one for a lost item posted using EMS, amongst the many thousands of items we have posted internationally, we stand by our commitment to our customers to see you satisfied with every transaction, even in the unfortunate situation where a claim may need to be filed. In order to successfully make and process a claim we request that you familiarize yourselves with the below requirements and regulations. We will endeavour to assist the customer to the best of our ability in reaching a successful and satisfactory conclusion to any claim, though this is not a issue which we can or do determine directly, but one that is handled through the offices of the various involved shipping authorities. Thus please be sure to note the following:

  • Insurance claims are to be made through the appropriate shipping authorities, and are not the responsibility of the seller

  • In the event of an insurance claim, the customer must notify their local post office and or delivery company immediately, and file an official letter or form of notification that damages having occurred to the received merchandise

  • To ensure a smooth and easy claim, customers are requested to photograph any damaged areas immediately. Such material evidence may prove critical in receiving full value coverage .

  • The customer must in no way alter and or attempt repair on a damaged item. In such an event, all rights to an insurance claim may be forfeited

  • The customer may be required to prepare and file documents locally in regards to a claim. Failure to do so, may forfeit possibility of compensation

  • Insurance claims are settled at the discretion of the postal service, and are not the responsibility of the seller and or in anyway influenced by the seller

  • Claims may be settled with either monetary and or restorative compensation, if they have been recognized as having occurred during shipping

  • A choice between monetary and or restorative compensation is decide at the sole discretion of the responsible delivery service 

  • Insurance claims will be dealt with and completed at the discretion and under the supervision of the appropriate postal authorities, and are in no way control by the seller

  • The seller guarantees to provide customer with support and guidance through the claim process, until it has been officially settled by the appropriate authorities, but in no way bears direct or indirect responsibility for the organizing and or arranging of the settlement of a claim

  • Claims and responsibility for the handling and processing of them will be determined by the various involved shipping authorities, and as such may be handled within Japan in some cases.


Sellers' Policy

We guarantee to accurately and honestly describe all of our sales merchandise to the very best of our ability, while providing fast, friendly and reliable service and delivery.

  • We guarantee to own and stock all of the items we list, with the exception of certain products which must be specifically order made for individual customers
  • We reserve the right to refuse sale to any party upon our discretion
  • The seller reserves the right to make future use of all images of items previously owned and sold items of merchandise at our discretion
  • The buyer may not re-use our images and or text in any public form without our express written approval
  • Breach of copyright laws of text and or image rights will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law

WE WILL PURSUE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. This is not an idle threat. WE have before, and we will again if required, so scam artists be warned. We have a lot of customers out there, and they are our eyes and ears, copied text and images will be brought to our attention.


Buyer Responsibilities

  • All antique items are sold as art or historical objects, and are not intended for wear or use
  • The buyer bears all responsibility for the proper, usage, application and or mounting of any purchase item
  • The buyer also bears all responsibility for any import or custom duties as may be incurred
  • The customer further bears responsibility to ascertain and obey all local, regional and international laws in regards to taxes, duties, and the legal ownership of the items they agree to purchase from this seller
  • Buyers must be 18 years of age. Agreement to purchase represents that the purchaser has read and agrees to adhere to the above policy rules. This further indicates that the buyer is of legal age, and intends to use all purchased products in a lawful manner
  • Buyers who falsify and or alter information in regards to making a purchase and or the importing of an item/s, will be reported to the appropriate authorities


How secure is the Toraba website?

Security is the main consideration for online purchasing which is why we take security very seriously at Toraba.

Whenever your personal information is sent to or from us we ensure that the information is sent securely using the latest SSL encryption (Secure Socket Layers). This means that the information cannot be intercepted and decrypted by anyone else - for tech-heads, we use a variable SSL encryption at 128 to 40 bit dependant on the browser capabilities. All of your orders and details are kept in a secure database on our webserver and can only be accessed by key members of the Toraba staff and are not shared with anyone else.

But don't take our word for it!
Whenever you login / register / order you will see this in the top right hand corner of the screen:

This is an unofficial reminder to you that you are in a secure area of the website, but the official confirmation can be found by looking for the locked padlock icon This is a secure zone - look for the padlock icon in the bottom of your browser window on the bottom right (Internet Explorer) or bottom left (Netscape Navigator) of your browser window. This shows that you are using secure encryption. If you double click on the padlock it will bring up more details about our security certificate including the encryption level and the fact that the certificate is in our name!

You can also tell you are in a secure area by looking at the url of the page (in the address bar of your browser). This will always start with " https:// " instead of plain old http://

If you have any other questions about our security, please feel free to contact the webmaster


Customer Support and Service

Many times one phone call is all it takes to help one fell comfortable about proceeding with a first time sale with a company they have never dealt with before, and or to resolve simple misunderstandings and or problems. I know this is true for myself, and thus being avail to answer your questions, whatever they are is important to me as part of the service we offer here at Toraba.

Thus telephone enquiries can be made of use between 9am-8pm (GMT + 9hrs.).  We do ask that you consult an international time zone directory before calling though. Calls received between 12-6 am are not particularly well received. Again we have business hours which are quite generous in duration, please contact us during that time frame.

This is a standard rate line, so calls will not cost more than your normal telephone company and or international rates. Our offices are open from Monday to Saturday, and quite often we are also available on holidays, so don't hesitate to drop us a line if you feel the need to talk directly.

Or you can contact us by email of course at  info@toraba.com and we will respond as quickly as possible, which is usually within 24 hrs, though often much quicker, and sometimes within minutes. In short, we will do our best to stay in communicate with you by whatever media in a prompt and timely manner. 

Contact number, fax and phone: 81-(0)11-378-7337


Our Privacy Policy

We are committed to protecting your privacy. We will only use the information that we collect about you lawfully (in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998) and according to the Which? Web Trader Code of Practice.

We collect information about you to process your order successfully and to provide you with the best possible service. How? By keeping your details in our secure database it means that you can return to Toraba at any time and place more orders without having to enter the information again, or you can login to your account and check on any of the orders you have placed with us or edit your details at any time. The only information we collect is the information that you enter when you register or place an order with us - we never collect any other data about you without your knowledge, Information is collected lawfully and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998

Your details are held by Toraba and are never shared with other organisations. The personal information which we hold will be held securely in accordance with our internal security policy, the law and the Which? Web Trader Code.

Whilst we may e-mail you using your supplied e-mail address for queries about your orders or for order confirmation, we will not e-mail you in the future unless you have given us your consent. When you register there is an option to choose to not receive any marketing e-mails from us, and if you change your mind at any point you can change your preference either way simply by logging in to your account and editing your details or you can e-mail or telephone us on and we can change it for you.

You can check and edit the information that we hold about you by logging in to your customer account online at any time.

If we intend to transfer your information outside the EEA (European Economic Area) we will always obtain your consent first.

We use technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site, but this is done completely anonymously and without the use of "cookies".

The only time we use cookies is if you choose to save your shopping cart (so that you can return to the site with the contents of your cart still intact) or if you tick the "remember me" box when you login which will allow you to use the "quick login" function. Cookies are saved on your computer and allow us to recognise you when you return to the site

If you have any questions/comments about privacy, you should email us at info@toraba.com and we shall respond as soon as possible


Returning Goods

We want our customers to feel confident with each and every purchase made from us here at Toraba.Com, and as such offer a 100% no-questions asked return policy, with minor realistic guidelines of course.

To understand our return & refund policy there is a very important fact about the world of Japanese armour one must first be aware of, which is that there are no qualified experts on this subject. Blunt and as hard to believe as it may sound, that is the hard truth of the matter. By this I mean, there is no university course, school, or special train available anywhere in the world were one can go to, to become a so-called "qualified specialist" on Japanese armour.

What about those who have published books? Or curators of famous museum collections housing Japanese armour you may ask? Well for one, most of those who have books in publication now or previously on Japanese armour were all originally private collectors, and all largely self taught. Many of these highly knowledgeable individuals have after years in various non-related fields of employment have rightly found themselves recognized as the leading regional authority on Japanese armour in their own countries, which has often been more than enough justification to qualify them for a curator position. But the fact remains, all of them, without expectation, were again fundamentally self taught. Now this is not to say these person are not often highly educated, which they often are, but that their considerable knowledge on this very vague subject has always been almost entirely the result of their own considerable personal efforts over many years, and often many decades to educate themselves to the fullest on the subject of Japanese armour. A fact which even holds true for single most universally recognized and leading authority in the world has seen on the subject in the last half century, Dr. Sasama.

I can say this with confidence as I myself privately studied under Dr. Sasama when I first became serious about better understanding Japanese armour. And again this also rings true for virtually all of the other most recognized and respect names on this subject, most of whom I have had the pleasure to meet with directly and in most cases become friends and acquaintances of over the years, including a number of highly respected collectors, curators, and authors alike. All self taught.

So what is the point. Well, the point is, for all of its long history, fame and considerable number of existing original period pieces, Japanese armour as a whole is still generally not a very well understood, documented and or accurately recorded subject. Due to thsi lack of concrete, well defined and historically backed information, and an international level of knowledge and training, considerable room for serious disagreement abounds and often surfaces. For example, the renowned armour maker Myochin Nobuiye, who is considered to have been one of the most influence and key historical figures in development of the modern tosei style of Japanese helmets and armour design, is considered by one of the UK's most senior and leading authorities on the subject, to at best be a sort of factious historical figure, and to have never existed! Another example which I am personally aware of was an item that came with documents personally prepared by the president of the Japanese armour society guaranteeing the historical integrity of a certain piece, which was later rejected by a major European museum as being a fake! That or armours sets which do not match, but rather suspiciously quality for the very highest jyuyo grading. Or even many well known and internationally famous pieces which are in fact composite sets and or in some cases little more than very well made early post-Edo period fakes. The list goes on and on. 

So where does one stand? Well the truth of the matter is outside of the more common everyday pieces, but not excluding them, the more unique and as such undocumented a piece is, the greater the room for disagreement and debate will be. And so, the potential for trouble is high.

I believe the best way to judge the knowledge and expertise of a dealer in this filed is to view the range, volume and quality of the merchandise that they offer, because this will mean that such a dealer has a substantial clientele base. And with so many varied and often drastically opposed view points between collectors out there, to have a business that can cater to and please the general population of collectors is probably the single most definitive example of where to lay your trust. 

We  are confident and proud of our widely recognized and highly respected stance as sellers of quality Japanese antiques, and for our reputation for accurately described and historically correct appraisals, as is attested to by our large clientele base, which includes most of the worlds leading authorities on Japanese armour, including private and professional collectors, authors and students alike, many of home have kindly endorsed us over the years.    

So what is our policy is this. Well it is only exactly what you would expect from any true professional:

Return Policy:

We stand 100% behind every sale and guarantee the items authenticity with a 14 day inspection period.  If you are not satisfied you can return any purchase regardless of the reason. It is that simpleAnd of course, if you are concerned about the integrity of your purchase you can alwasy have it vetted on our collectors forum. Don't take our word for it. Ask our community of unbaised experts.

Restriction:

  • Requests for a return and refunds on claims exceeding the 14 days inspection period will not be honoured. By committing to a purchase with Toraba.Com you a enter into a contractual agreement which means you, the buyer are obligated to understand and have agreed to our return and refund policy rules. 
  • Items damaged in transit do not qualify for a refund, but will be repaired or restored by the insurance coverage provide with each sale purchase.

Please note that an item, if unfortunately and very rarely I might add, is damaged during shipping that such damage is covered by the insurance we acquire for all time prior to posting them. If your concern is a damaged item then please contact us as such cases can be resolved and may not constitute you needing to return the item, but can be settled by other means, and usually at no cost to the buyer.

 
Return Procedure:
 
Naturally if you have a item that you do wish to return then there are some basic guidelines to be followed. Please be sure to review these before finalizing your purchase with us of any product:
 
1. Contact us to notify us of your intent to return your purchase. We may be able to organize another buyer locally and save you money on return postage fees.
 
2. Several clear digital images of the condition of the item must be sent to us confirming the state of the item prior to the item being shipped. An email confirming that the images are unedited and taken prior to shipping which includes the buyers full name and address must also be sent to us at that time. Without these we reserve the right to refuse a refund.
 
3. The item must be post office or courier receipt dated as having been initiated its returned journey within 14 days of having been received. This means the out going package to us must be shipped from the buyers location no later than the 14th day of having been received. 
 
4. The item must be returned by registered airmail with a tracking number and with full insurance coverage. Return shipping will paid for by the buyer and will not be refunded.
 
5. The package must clearly be labelled on the exterior of the box and on the shipping label as merchandise being returned. Additonal a letter indicating what the item is, the value and that it is merchandise for return must be attached to the exterior of the box next to the shipping label in a secure manner for possible customs inspection. All customs fees resulting from a failure to mark and provide the aforementioned information on returned merchandise will be deducted from the refund total.
 
6. The item must be in the same condition as it was at the time of purchase to qualify for a refund. Damaged items will no be excepted for retuned if damaged during transit. Carefully and proper packaging is the responsibility of the buyer. Re-using the original packaging materials does not constitute careful packaging. Toraba.Com retains its right to refuse a refund on a return request if the returned merchandise is judged to have been damaged and or altered in any way. Damaged or altered items will be returned to the buyer and all claims will be the buyer personal responsibility to settle. No further refund will be considered for such pieces. 
 
7. A 10% non-refundable re-stocking fee will be deducted from the agreed final sale price of any item that is returned. 
 
8. A refund will be issued by bank wire or PayPal for 90% of the purchase price, at the sellers discretion, in order to provide proof of receipt.  

Refunds on Returned Merchandise:

A customer who qualifies for a refund on a return can choose between a voucher towards alternative purchases, and or a cash refund.

  • Cash refunds will be offered at  minus 10%  of the sale value/purchasing price of the returned merchandise, plus shipping and insurance costs if paid by Toraba.Com.
  • Credit vouchers towards alternative item purchase will be offered at minus 5% of the final sale value/purchasing price of the returned merchandise, plus shipping and insurance costs if paid by Toraba.Com.
  • Credit vouchers must be used within 6 months of being granted on a returned merchandise article. Voucher not used within 6 months of issuance will be devalued at 5% monthly for the next 6 months, and become void after 1 year.

A fairly liberial and forgiving policy I believe and as we are all adults here, one that can function fairly. When you decide to buy from Toraba we will provide you with as many images of an item as you request. We will answer all and every question to the best of our ability, so that before any money changes hands, you are comfortable and confident that the piece you are buying will fully meet with your expectations. As there is no pressure and or obligation to buy, purchasing is a personal decision and commitment. We will do all we can to assure you that what you see, is what you will get, in both the items physical context, but also in regards to a correct and reasonably acceptable historically appraisal.


Our Complaints Procedure

If you have any complaints about Toraba, regarding orders, products or anything else please contact us on or send an email to info@toraba.com. We take complaints and problems seriously and promise to:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 48 hours or less in most cases.
  • keep you informed throughout the complaints procedure
  • and we will endeavour to resolve all complaints in timely manner


 
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