The Smart Buyer’s Guide to Acquiring Appliances and Furniture in Japan

Buying them brand new isn't your only option.

Photo Pixabay

What if we told you that you can actually get furniture and appliances in Japan for free? Don’t worry, there’s no catch! Just the pure joy of receiving pre-loved furniture and appliances that still work. In this article, we introduce smart ways of acquiring them without breaking the bank.

Although the concept of pre-loved or second-hand items might seem strange for some, in Japan, it’s a very common practice, especially for foreign residents. Since the foreigners here come and go, they often have to deal with disposing of items they no longer need or can’t bring when they leave. Instead of throwing them away, most of them resort to giving these items away or selling them for a lower price. That is why it’s no wonder that it’s quite easy to find free or cheap furniture in Japan. On a side note: Take things with a grain of salt and be sure to communicate with the dealers properly. With the right amount of caution, you can avoid getting scammed.

Without further ado, here are all the smart ways to help you get what you need.

Community board websites

There are many community board websites available online such as
Craigslist, Jimoty, and Metropolitan Classified. You'll find most of the people here either shopping or selling on these sites. However, they also have sections where furniture and appliances are offered for free. 

The whole process goes something like this: dealers will post items on the website, you can choose the ones you like, then you proceed with contacting the dealer. Communication is usually done through email. You may negotiate the price, ask questions about the items, or inquire how the items will be delivered to you. 

Communities on Facebook

Facebook has many groups specifically dedicated to giving out unwanted furniture or appliances. If you want to know what your options are, all you have to do is to go to the buy and sell category of the group section of Facebook. You can find several groups that sell different kinds of items that you might need. Take note, though, that some groups are private and you will need approval before you can access it.

Once you find an item, you may proceed to communicate with the dealer. Unlike community board websites, Facebook communities require you to have a Facebook account. Messaging dealers also usually happen through Facebook Messenger. Make sure you ask the dealer how the items will be delivered to you. 


Get them from friends leaving Japan

As mentioned earlier, a lot of people come and go in Japan. Whether it's at the workplace or school, you might be able to find people who need to throw away their things. If you're lucky enough to find someone with the items you need, you can deal with them in person. All you have to do is ask. 

Buy from second-hand stores

Many second-hand stores in Japan sell clothes, music, DVDs, furniture, and appliances. If you're unable to find the furniture or appliance that suits your needs, you should try visiting second-hand stores before considering buying a brand new one. Try searching online for second-hand stores that are close to your area. Some stores offer delivery services for their items, so make sure to ask them when you're there!

Starting a new life in Japan, whether it's for work or studies, requires one to move into new living quarters. Although it would be fun to be able to decorate your place, having to buy furniture and appliances can be very costly. Buying these brand new would also require you to consider how long you'll actually be keeping them, especially if you don't plan on living in Japan permanently.

 (10 December 2019)

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