You have endless options if you can speak Japanese in Japan. The opposite of this statement is also true. In order to use most of the super convenient services in Japan being able to read Japanese is a must. If you can actually speak the language and you understand what the locals are saying around you it’s even better. In this short article, I’m going to show you a very useful application for those who are looking to buy second hand articles in Japan from local sellers.
A useful platform to buy used items in Japan
Those who are just starting their new life in Japan buying furniture, electric appliances and other items necessary for our everyday life can be a troublesome issue to deal with. The majority of the expats have to find a quick solution for this problem, because in most cases the apartments are rented out without furniture. If you are not prepared enough they will hand you the keys and you can spend your first night on the floor.
There are a few options available for you if you want to buy cheap second hand furniture or used clothes in Japan. Without knowing your neighborhood, finding second hand stores nearby is a difficult quest for beginners. Another option is to join groups on Facebook and find someone who is advertising exactly the same items you are looking for and if you’re lucky enough you contact the user in time and fix a rendezvous to exchange your money for their items. You feel that the probability of you and the other foreigner meeting in the Facebook group is not too high. The other problem is that locals don’t really know about these groups, so you won’t find many Japanese people advertising their used stuff on Facebook.
The importance of understanding written Japanese cannot be emphasised enough. Many of the applications you download from the Japanese App Store have no English versions and the users you will potentially communicate on these local social platforms don’t understand a single word of English. Therefore, you will have to recall some Japanese phrases and do your best to convey your message in Japanese, without using machine translation.
ジモティー (or transliterated as Jimoty into English script) is among the mobile applications I discovered not too long ago and I found it a worthwhile invention to be introduced to my readers.
The company developing and operating the ジモティー platform called 株式会社ジモティー and it was incorporated in Japan in 16th February, 2011.
They are recruiting Ruby, Android iOS engineers so if you have excellent Japanese and IT skills give ジモティー a try!
ジモティー makes it possible for those who live in Japan, are in possession of a smartphone and a Japanese phone number to list their items they don’t need anymore. The application is free to use, however you will have to pay for the platform by watching the incessantly appearing ads that hardly make any sense.
If you open the website of ジモティー, you will find the active ads in there database sorted into categories. Currently there are 9.774.081 items (売ります・あげます) listed by those who live in Japan. What an impressive number! Japanese second hand cars (中古車) fall into a separate category. There are 657.611 second hand cars listed in the ジモティー database. In addition to these, you can also find part time jobs (アルバイト) and other educational services (教室・スクール).
You will find a large number of items on ジモティー for 0 yen. This means that if you can successfully fix a date and a place with the seller you can get certain items for free. Isn’t this cool? If you browse through these pages you will not have to spend a fortune in Japan to take possession of the things you were about to buy brand new.
The reason behind this is that getting rid of things in Japan is not easy. Especially if the thing is non-burnable. Let’s say you have a microwave oven and you want to throw it away. There is no such place in Japan as a waste dump for microwave ovens. If it can still be operated you have the option to take it to a second hand electricity appliance shop, however the sly shopkeepers will not give you it’s market price and in some cases they will tell you to pay them, because they will have to pay as well when they want to get rid of your microwave. If you don’t want to get into the greedy hands of these shopkeepers use ジモティー!
You can register an account in a few minutes and you can start listing your items after verification. The categories are pretty straightforward, but make sure that you list your items in the right category otherwise no one will find them. The description should be in Japanese and you should reply to the inquiries in Japanese, otherwise you will frighten the client outright.
When I created my ads, I included the location in the item’s description and I tried to seem as flexible as possible. So for example I lived between two main train stations and as I had a scooter I offered the buyer to take the item to either station, whichever was closer to him/her.
In many cases I had to haggle over the price, but I guess this is normal if you’re using such a platform.
It is also expedient to use ジモティー if you want to buy second hand stuff in Japan. You can use the same account, because there is no difference between seller and buyer modes. Search for the stuff you want to buy, message the seller and try to fix a place and a time after you have agreed on the price. The conversation should be in Japanese, otherwise you will have hard times finding the seller when you get to the meeting point and you will face other difficult issues.
A good advice would be the following. Once you agree on a place and a time, make sure you actually go there, because it’s not too nice to make someone go to a place and wait for you without you even going there. People will get angry and you will get an unsavory reputation on the platform.
We have used ジモティー for a few months and we bought a great number of things on it. From bicycles to air purifiers and books. When I had to get rid of my furniture, I listed them on ジモティー and sold them very quickly. You start receiving a large number of inquiries if you set a low price on your item and the item itself is appealing.
If you want to buy or sell large-sized furniture on the platform you have to think about the way to transport the items. Unless you have a big car, it’s not easy to carry furniture around Japan. For those who have a Japanese driving license renting a car is always an option. Rent a car for a few hours and you can bring the furniture you bought on ジモティー from the seller to your house, but be sure to keep the car’s inner state intact, because if you damage the interior of the car the car rental company will not rent you their cars again. You can also ask a friend who has a car, and in some cases you can talk to the seller and let him/her bring the item to your place for some compensation. The same applies for when you are a seller on the platform. If you have a car and you’re selling bulky items you can offer the buyer your transportation service and if the buyer exhibits some kind of flexibility you can take the item to his/her place and charge some money for your efforts.