You can set up an account with one of the two distributers in Japan. You can't order directly from Gotoh. I have the contact info of one of the distributors somewhere if you want it after I tell you the minimum order is around 350,000 Yen or a bit over $3000 US. You have to do a bunch of customs import rigamarole as well. The prices are about half what you will pay from JA parts. You can mix and match any Gotoh products. I was going to do it but I would have to sell about half an order and decided I didn't want the grief. Having said that if there are a bunch of builders who want to go in on and order I'd be interested.
I buy direct from one of the distributors in Japan. It was a fair bit of work to set up, and it's direct deposit to their bank in Japan in Japanese Yen. And you have to wait for them to be built by Gotoh. That can be as little as a couple of weeks up to a couple of months depending on what you are ordering and I suppose the demand on the factory.
I get them in bulk packing to save a heap on shipping as that can get really quite expensive otherwise.
They ship in the post as registered mail to Australia and there isn't any other Customs or duty that I have to deal with. Just show up on my door step.
Savings are definitely worth it, but you do need to put a lot into stock. Certainly not really an option unless you build a lot of instruments.
Right. Order exactly what you want from the factory. I bought one set from them, when no one else had them. They were more expensive and took about two months to arrive. If you explain that you want to buy in bulk for making ukes, they might give you a discount.
There are so many different combinations of colors that it can be almost impossible to get what you want. I usually have to get my second or third choice.