Photo credit: Sale vector created by redgreystock – www.freepik.com
You might have heard about Rakuten Group as it is the main global partner of FC Barcelona. In Japan, however, it is known as a large e-commerce website as well. I would like to introduce Rakuten Ichiba since it can be used from outside of Japan and it will enrich your shopping your experience:)
—-Table of contents—-
- What’s Rakuten Ichiba?
- What kind of products are available?
- Why Rakuten Ichiba?
- Reasons you should shop directly on Rakuten Ichiba
- How to use Rakuten Ichiba from outside of Japan
Rakuten Ichiba is one of the biggest e-commerce websites in Japan. Amazon Japan and Rakuten Ichiba are the two largest online shopping mall in Japan, and both have approximately 50 million users as of 2020. (The third largest e-commerce site “Yahoo Japan” has 25 million users.)
The rough estimates for Rakuten Ichiba’s key items are as follows:
Rakuten Ichiba is a Japanese e-commerce website, but you can use it even if you live outside of Japan.
In addition, since Rakuten Group has an international shipping service “Rakuten Global Express” (you need to sign up for the services in addition to Rakuten Ichiba), you can enjoy shopping from your house with ease. Please see this page on how to sign up for Rakuten Global Express, and exploit this amazing service.
Rakuten Ichiba has everything! In other words, your favorite Japanese products which you were purchasing when you visited Japan would be found on Rakuten Ichiba. Or you can find popular products in Japan on this page (“Rakuten Room”) where I listed them.
Main product categories for women on Rakuten Ichiba are as follows:
- Home appliances
- Cosmetics & skincare products
- Medical products
- Kitchenware & tableware
- Feeding & Nursing goods
- Daily necessities
In addition, there are brands’ or product manufacturers’ official online shops on Rakuten Ichiba due to the large number of users. Once you create an account on Rakuten Ichiba, you don’t need to open an account on other shops.
Half of the Japanese people use Rakuten Ichiba, and I guess everyone knows Rakuten Ichiba and recognizes it as a very convenient service.
I believe Rakuten Ichiba is popular because of the following 4 reasons.
When you search a product, you will see several results as there are many shops on Rakuten Ichiba. Furthermore, it might be possible to get a product at a price under the regular price if you could find a conscientious shop.
For example, you’ll see the results like the picture below when you search LUNASOL’s eyeshadow “Skin Modeling Eyes” (01 Beige beige), one of the most popular eyeshadows in Japan. The product on the far lest is the product put for sale by LUNASOL’s official shop on Rakuten Ichiba, but the other results are cheaper than the product from official shop.
Photo credit: https://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/
This is the reason I choose Rakuten Ichiba rather than Amazon Japan. Rakuten Ichiba often holds events where the reward rate is raised up to 10%. Please see this page (“《Rakuten Ichiba》Tips on Earning Rakuten Points”) for the events and how to earn reward points. You will earn points on both your credit card and on Rakuten Ichiba.
Rakuten Ichiba often has a sale. For example, Rakuten super sale where products are discounted up to 50 % was held 4 times in the last year. Also, Black Friday sale is held in November like the other countries.
You can see the overview of the sales in the following page: 《Rakuten Ichiba》Tips on Earning Rakuten Points
Lastly, popular products have gotten lots of customer reviews. I often check reviews when I cannot decide which one to buy, for example, the one from Panasonic or the one from TOSHIBA. I check reviews on Rakuten Ichiba even when I shop at a physical store. The reviews will help you to choose what to buy.
All the reviews are written in Japanese, but you can use Google translate to read it in your native language, or check at least the star ratings which are circled in the picture below.
There are 4 options for those who live outside of Japan to get a Japanese product:
- Purchase it at your country’s local store (if available)
This is the easiest way, but there might not be a shop dealing in Japanese products in your hometown. Though there is a shop, charges and profits of the store are added to the price, and accordingly the price tends to be high..
- Use a proxy shopping services
This is the convenient way, too, but you will be charged service fee per product as well as shipping fee. Since you have to pay the service charge, the total amount tends to be high.
- Find an online shop which ships internationally
This way would be useful, but the shipping fee might be expensive depending on the shop if the shop does not deal with dozens of packages. (If the shop handles plenty of international packages, the shop can get volume discounts, and the shipping fee would be cheaper.) eBay is also another option.
- Purchase it on a Japanese online shop (or e-commerce site) by yourself and use a delivery agency
I would like you to figure out the way you can get it at the cheapest price first, but I would like to recommend you to the way #4. If you use a delivery agency, you can purchase Japanese products at the price set for people in Japan.
The reason why I recommend Rakuten Ichiba among other online shops is that arrangement for internal shipping will be very easy if you allow Rakuten Ichiba to share your purchase information with Rakuten Global Express.
- Purchase it at your country’s local store (if available)
Please refer to the pages linked below for the steps you should take to start shopping.
Photo credit: Sale vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com
Rakuten Ichiba is a fun place for shopping, and I want people around the world to know that there are many useful, stylish and fascinating products in Japan.
You might be hesitating to shop on Japanese e-commerce websites, but you will be obsessed to it once you get used to it. Make the most of translation services such as Goggle translate and Deepl, and enjoy shopping:)