From Seven-Eleven, Lawson, to Family Mart, convenience stores are everywhere in Japan. But do you think they are only such places to buy food and living goods? Check out these services of convenience stores that you have been missing out on!
Sending / receiving parcels
This service is extremely useful if you tend to be out all day and always come home to find a missed delivery notice. When you order something online, you can choose an option which select one of the convenience stores to receive the goods for you. When your parcel is ready for collection, you will receive an email with the reference number / barcode. You can bring this to the convenience store to get your parcel from the cashier. This way, you can collect the goods when it is most convenient for you, and save you the hassle from re-delivery.
Similarly, you can bring your own parcels to the convenience store to be delivered. Notify the cashier, and they will bring you a form with the details of the recipient. The parcels will be weighed and you can pay on the spot, or ask the recipient to pay when it is delivered to he/she.
Paying for Bills
When you receive bills, they can be taken to the convenience store to get paid. Make sure that the bill has a barcode on it that can be read by the cashier. This is useful for one-time payments, though they can be used for electricity and gas bills as well. Also, you can gain points in certain convenience stores by using the specified point cards for your payment (such as nanaco for seven eleven).
Tickets for various events, museums, concerts, and parks can be purchased through convenience stores. You can reserve them online and pick it up with the reference number, or you can choose directly in the machine located in the stores. This way, you get to skip the ticket purchasing queue on the day as you already have the tickets with you.
Printing / FAX
The giant printing machines in the convenience stores are quite obvious, but actually there are quite a few functions of the printing machines. In addition to the regular printing and copying, the machines can also print photos on photo paper. They can be sent from your smartphone via wifi, or through a USB stick.
Convenience stores are life savers for those of us living a busy life. Be sure to utilize their services to get the most out of them!