November 5, 2007

Paranda's guide to joining m.m.m. for American fans

For those interested in joining Momoi's official fan club m.m.m., there's some good news from Right Gauge: membership is open to all countries, as long as you can find a way to send them the payment! After several clarification emails and weeks of nail-biting, I have at last managed to completely test out the enrollment process from the US. Hopefully, this guide can help you secure your membership in m.m.m. as well with as little hassle as possible.

In case you don't remember what the fan club perks are, feel free to review this post from last year. There are also members from other countries who are testing out their own methods of joining, which you can read about on the unofficial International Halko Momoi Fanboard. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Right Gauge in any way; I am not responsible for your money. Send at your own risk!

  1. (IMPORTANT). If you have read similar instructions to use a bank wire transfer and swift codes and whatever, this is no longer recommended unless you want to pay triple the membership amount thanks to banks taking their cut in various fees. See Mr. Trainspotting horror story.

  2. Draft up an email to "info@right-gauge.jp" with the subject: "桃井はるこファンクラブ送金完了" Make sure that the subject is exact. If you just see a bunch of squares or question marks, then your computer needs to have Japanese fonts installed.

    Put the following in the body and fill in the info as requested. Omit the parentheses. It is a good idea to include "USA" in your address to reduce possible confusion as I know a lot of people (including myself) never use it when sending domestic mail.

    お名前:(your name here)
    郵便番号: (Your zip code here)
    住所:(Your address here)
    連絡先メールアドレス:(your e-mail address here)

    Save it in your drafts folder for now, but DO NOT SEND IT. Also print out a copy.

  3. Bring the paper copy of your email and an envelope with you to your local USPS office (Not FedEx, UPS, or other mail services).

  4. Buy an international direct money order to Japan for 6500 yen. This covers both the initiation and annual fees, but it is slightly higher due to international processing and what not. Note that USPS only accepts money orders to Japan in USD so you will have to convert to dollars. Right Gauge says that their asking amount is $55.40. However, this is only based on the spot exchange rate they quoted at the time of my inquiry. Personally, I suggest paying $60 (or more, if the dollar plummets) so they have a little headroom and don't get screwed by changing FX rates. If you still aren't sure, email them and ask how much they would like in dollars. Right Gauge is one of the few small offices that is even willing to take that kind of exposure and deal with foreigner fan club membership at all so please don't leave a bad impression and ruin it for the people after you who might want to join. You will have to pay an additional $3.85 money order fee so the total cost should be $63.85

    Fill in the following address for your money order:

    1-38-7-306, Akatsutsumi,
    Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
    ZIP code:156-0044
    Right Gauge Co.,Ltd.

    Make sure you also fill in your own address in the "From" field so they know who you are. Obviously, make sure the address and name you fill in match the ones you have in your email. Money orders are protected from loss/theft if you fill in the "To" and "From" fields and don't do something dumb like pay to Cash.

  5. Put your money order in the envelope with the paper copy of your email and send it to the above address via First Class International Mail for 90 cents (allow 2 - 8 weeks delivery. Mine was processed after 18 days). Make sure you also buy "delivery confirmation" just so you can track your mail online (tracking the money order itself is much harder since you must do it in person at the post office, fill in a form 6401, and also pay $3 each time). If you don't want to wait and have some spare money, you can also send it using one of the recommended express mail services which offer tracking. Priority airmail for a 1 ounce letter is something like 11 bucks.

  6. Wait a few weeks (or days if you used express mail) and check on your letter status occasionally. Once it has been delivered, now you can send the email that you saved in your draft in step 2. Right Gauge might also contact you first since you included your contact info with your money order. If Right Gauge replies and has no idea what you are talking about, wait a few days in case they haven't got around to cashing your money order and send the email again.

  7. After about another week, you will receive your membership number via email along with the expiration date. There will be an undetermined amount of time to wait for the card itself. However, during this waiting period you can verify that your name is spelled correctly, or elect to change it.

  8. If everything goes smoothly, you will receive your membership card in the post after a while. Congratulations you are an offical m.m.m member! Now just remember to send 3000 yen every year before expiration to keep your membership status active.

  9. Share this info with any of your friends who also want to join!

Posted by Paranda at November 5, 2007 10:19 AM

Comments

Can't believe you didn't show off a photo of your card :D But is it written in english? Or katakana?

Posted by: Mandichan at November 5, 2007 4:34 PM


English

Posted by: Paranda at November 18, 2007 12:59 PM


I wanna join so bad, but I'm scared of sending mail!! T-T

Posted by: Small at January 15, 2008 12:43 PM


Thanks for the guide! Will try this weekend if it works from France too...

Posted by: kuma.san.mk at February 5, 2009 10:32 AM


I received my membercard a few days ago. Thanks again for the guide. I wrote a french version (which finally turned to be different in some points) on my blog.

Posted by: kuma.san.mk at March 9, 2009 7:33 AM


Glad to hear it worked. Welcome to the fan club!

Posted by: paranda at March 18, 2009 12:37 AM


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