4 ways to buy Japanese products

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Shop Japanese products
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1. 4 ways to purchase Japanese products
2. Good point and bad point of each way
3. Recommended way ①
4. Recommended way ②

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4 ways to purchase Japanese products

Shop Japanese products
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You might be wondering what is the best way to purchase Japanese products. In particular, we need to make the most of online shopping now as we cannot travel around the world due to COVID-19. Actually, I’m using foreign countries’ online shops as well as Japanese shops more than ever.

I believe there are many people around the world who value Japanese products, and I don’t want them to give up obtaining what they want in this (COVID-19) situation.

Possible ways to get a Japanese product are as follows:

  1. Purchase it at your country’s local store (if available)
  2. Use a proxy shopping services
  3. Find an online shop which ships internationally
  4. Purchase it on a Japanese online shop (or e-commerce site) by yourself and use a forwarding service

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Good point and bad point of each way

Shop Japanese products
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All of the ways have good points and bad points. Find the most suitable way for you by considering both pros and cons.

Pros Cons
1. Purchase it at your country’s local store (if available)
  • The easiest way
  • You cannot purchase it if there is no store dealing in Japanese products in your hometown
  • The price tends to be high as additional fees such as the store’s profits and service charges are added to the selling price
2. Use a proxy shopping services
  • Very convenient way as you can leave it to the proxy company
  • You have to pay service fee per product in addition to shipping fee
3. Find an online shop which ships internationally
  • Useful way as you can shop as you shop on your country’s shopping site
  • Shipping fee might be high depending on the shop (Shipping fees charged by shops which cannot get a volume discount by their shipping company tend to be high.)
  • Options (& shops dealing in Japanese products) are limited
4. Purchase it on a Japanese online shop (or e-commerce site) by yourself and use a forwarding service
  • The cheapest way as you can purchase Japanese products at the price set for people in Japan
  • You can get whatever you want as Japanese e-commerce websites has everything
  • Translation services are necessary if you are not familiar with Japanese
  • You need to arrange delivery from Japan to your home

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Recommended way ①

shop Japanese productsPhoto credit: Sale photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

I don’t like to pay extra charges and I do what I can do by myself, I prefer the ways #3 (Find an online shop which ships internationally) and #4. 

As for #3, ebay is one of the best choices since lots of popular Japanese products are put on sale. Home appliances, household beauty appliances, cosmetics, and skincare products are available on ebay. Please see this page for popular Japanese products on ebay.

If you are looking for a specific product, it would be a good way to purchase it directly from the manufacturer, but not every manufacturer ships internationally. 

For this reason, e-commerce websites or auction websites are more practical.

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Recommended way ②

Shop Japanese products Rakuten IchibaPhoto credit: Sale vector created by redgreystock – www.freepik.com

Since I put a high priority on the price when I purchase something, I like the way #4 (Purchase it on a Japanese online shop (or e-commerce site) by yourself and use a forwarding service) which enables us to shop at the price set for local people. Please see this page (“International Package Forwarding Services”) for how forwarding services work.

As for #4, Rakuten Ichiba would be a good choice. Translation services are required if you are not familiar with Japanese, but this would be the cheapest and most enjoyable way of shopping Japanese products. You can enjoy shopping as if you do it on online shops in your country once you get used to it. 

The reason that I recommend Rakuten Ichiba among other Japanese e-commerce services is that Rakuten has a forwarding service (“Rakuten Global Express”) which forwards packages bought on Rakuten Ichiba or other online shopping sites to people living outside of Japan. Furthermore, Rakuten Ichiba automatically transfers your purchase information to Rakuten Global Express once you set it, so you can easily arrange the delivery.

Also, I would like everyone to know that shopping on Rakuten Ichiba is not difficult since the ordering pages are translated into English though product detail pages remain in Japanese.

Popular Japanese products are introduced on this website, and most of the pages have links to the product detail pages on Rakuten Ichiba like the picture below so that you can save the trouble of finding the products on Rakuten Ichiba by yourself.

How to buy Japanese products

 

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