In Japan, it is a bit challenging to find ways to buy things from others. Unlike other countries, such as the U.S., where people buy and sell things from others as well as promote job opportunities, in Japan many citizens do not explore this option often. Japanese people tend to buy things directly from stores they like, stores that have a great point system, or stores where they can check the good quality of certain items. Furthermore, they also choose stores with a solid warranty just in case they need to replace it. Since it’s new, they use it until it needs to be replaced.
That is also the reason why there are really no second-hand stores or donation sites in Japan. People do not donate used personal items to a store (like Goodwill or Value Village in the United States) to resell to others and help with educational or service training programs. So, you often have to pay full price at a department store or specialty store such as an electric shop.
Items in Japan can be rather expensive especially compared to your home country. This is costly for expats who are trying to set up their lives in another country as well as maximize their savings. When I moved to Japan, I spent a lot of money in first few months buying items for my apartment and life from various stores. Many of the same items I could have bought in a slightly used condition in the U.S. with no problem.
With the end of the fiscal year this month (March) and the start of a new one in April, people are moving in and out. Therefore, as a foreigner myself who moved at this time to/from Japan, it is a good time to find some deals from other foreigners who are relocating. If you are new to Japan, you don’t have the option of hearing from “word of mouth” that someone is moving and selling their items. Also, websites come and go with lack of use. So, I wanted to highlight two websites that I know are frequently used by foreigners.
These two websites can come in handy for you to find some items for your new residence (e.g. appliances and furniture), look for a roommate, seek a job, and many more, without losing your chance on buying new items from a person. Although that is an option, if you know you are only going to be living in Japan for a specific period of time, this might allow you to buy items that you can use during your time. Then, in turn, later resell them to someone else. The sites can also help you find a roommate if you are still looking for suitable long-term housing or moving to another area of Japan to live.
The three websites are as follows:
SayonaraSales.com is one of the most widely-used Classified Ad Websites in Japan. You can both post the items which you want to sell for free, or look for other people’s second-hand items. The information is being updated quite frequently, so just keep an eye on the latest ad listings, perhaps you may find a perfect item which fits your requirements! Since you have to contact the seller through the in-site message, we recommend you to start with signing up on this website!
Craigslist Japan is in Japanese. However, you can click on subject areas where you will find some people writing in English. There are pictures of the items they are selling too. It will help you to find out if you are interested in contacting the individual. If you don’t know Japanese yet, just browse the main site and try out some options. Maybe you will find something you like!
Another good option is to pull up the English version of Craigslist in your area. The sections are similar, so you will have an idea what each section relates to after you have clicked on it.
I hope these two websites will help you find some good deals on personal items, suitable housing and/or job. The information is constantly updated, so if you can’t find something today, check next day! You never know, you might be using one of those websites yourself to post items in the future. Have a great new fiscal year and/or start to your life in Japan!
GajinPot is completely in English, so it is easy to navigate for expats and international students. Many people use this site to find jobs in Japan after they arrive. There are several sections that you can browse: jobs, study, travel, classifieds, and blog. Below is the main website and the classifieds section for you below to check out.
Peggy / United States