My digital buying now couldn't be more different than it was fifteen years ago. I used to just buy buy buy. Mostly used CDs. I lived down the street from a great record store and three times I week I'd be in there just buying things to try out. Now that I can try out by streaming, a lot of things that I would've purchased back then, doesn't get purchased. Instead I'm trying to think of what I want in a really special release, a collectible recording, or simply the best mastering. So I bought Forever Changes on SACD, seen above, even though I have it on vinyl and some sort of double-CD release. It's one of my favorite albums. I'm also buying some DCC and MOFI gold discs, because sometimes they show up as 'the ones to get' for their mastering. The Doors first album was the last physical digital disc I bought, for that reason: the Hoffman mastered DCC disc.I finally worked it out with CDJapan, their shipping calculator is showing the order total including the price of the discs, not just a shipping charge. So the $100 or so I was mistaking for the shipping charge is the estimated order total.
That said, shipping is still sky high with the lack of flights and COVID issues causing fewer employees to be more adequately spaced, apparently everything about it is more expensive right now for CDJapan, so it's not just the shipping that has been increased, but the handling as well.
They've also had on and off access to my favored method, which is EMS. Right now it's off again, so my only real choice at a similar cost to EMS was DHL. $25 to NY for the two Santana 7" mini LP sleeve SACDs culled from the quad tapes, plus two Blu-spec CD2 titles riding along (not pictured).
I went for it, not so much out of curiosity about the sound, I already have various good sounding versions of these albums including the MoFi SACDs, but more so for the limited collectible release aspect, and a slight bit of curiosity about those "BSCD2" discs too:
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This way of buying isn't new to a lot of audiophiles but its kind of a new thing to me. I was in a "buy everything I want to hear more stuff!" mood for almost 20 years, now I don't really want to hear more, I just want something special.