Anime Jungle – Buyback Review

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I love supporting local stores, and with my move to LA, I’ve begun searching out anime and manga shops to get my fix for merchandise in between conventions, and where better to start than in Little Tokyo? 

Located at the heart of Little Tokyo is Anime Jungle, a pretty awesome store that’s broken up into four different rentals on the bottom floor of a mall/parking structure, filled to the brim with your anime/manga wants! They’ve got cosplay, plushies, keychains, stationery too–in addition to games, figurines, posters, DVDs, CDs, and more. It’s basically like walking through a condensed version of the exhibit hall at AX but as an all in one shop having several set-ups separated by the mall’s hallway.

As I was exploring the shop with one of my friends who grew up in the area, he told me about their buyback program and how great it was–something I became really interested in. Before moving, I had (still have) a used bookstore I regularly visited. They too have a trade-in program, and even though I’d probably make more money selling the books on eBay, I accept the “30% off on your next purchase” coupon they pass out each time you bring in 3 or more books. That’s a win-win in my eyes because it’s these types of donations that help keep the store running even though it may give me a bit of a financial hit on what I could earn back selling elsewhere or online. 

Anyway, while I was at Anime Jungle, I asked an employee if they had a conversion chart for item worth–they don’t, by the way (and if they do, it seems to be an employee-only sort of thing)–so I decided to trade in some of the merchandise I’ve bought over the years to see what it would be worth. 

For all of the items, I brought with me to trade-in–each in either excellent to new condition–I received about $10. I typed up what I received for each item (and what the item was) in this excel sheet, LINK. (To see pictures of most of the items that were traded in, check us out at @theanimeview on Instagram)

I was told that the price one receives for each piece tends to depend on the condition of said item. For example, a blind box item would regularly only get exchanged for a few cents, however since mine still had all of its pieces, was still wrapped, and had the cards + original box with it, I was able to get $3.50 back. 

They only accept licensed items (so no artist alley productions from conventions can be traded-in), and no fabrics of any kind (no posters, bags, wallets, etc.) will be accepted. 

I felt like the prices for some items were very reasonable. For example, the Blind Box item that I traded-in provided me with nearly $4 back when I was expecting $2 or less. The postcard too was sold to AJ for 20¢, which I expect that they’ll sell for a few dollars. However, some left me feeling a little disappointed. For example, the Tactics notepad was worth about $9, and with the expense of paper pads as a whole, I would expect to get at least $1.50 in a buyback for such an item. 

With the amount I got back in total earning me about $10, I can’t say that I’ll be likely to do a mass trade-in anytime soon. I think I would have been happier with a store credit marked up to $15-$20 than the cash payment I received. Still, I can’t say I’m upset with the amount I earned back through this trade-in. It’s significantly less than what I would have made re-selling the items online, and even a bit less than I thought the items would be worth in a buyback, but I knew that going into the process. I hope that it helps the store in some way since I’m probably going to become a regular visitor post-completion of my move.

With that, I hope you have a great Saturday morning!

LINK to excel sheet.

LINK to Anime Jungle’s webpage about the Buyback Program.

Follow us on Instagram @theanimeview​ for pictures of what was traded in and updates on what’s coming next! LINK

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