Recycle shops – Bargain Hunting in Japan
Recycle shops have you covered if you need furniture, new clothes, or items for your house and are looking for a bargain in Japan! Japan’s second-hand shops come in all types and sizes, from large, multistory buildings to small corner stores.
With items ranging from books, clothing, action figures, to shelves, fridges, and wardrobes, there has to be a recycle shop out there for every need.
The range of products and floor space of recycle shops really depend on the shop you visit. Some shops sell everything from furniture to small items, while others may focus only on electrical appliances, etc.
Shops usually have a high turnover rate, so checking in regularly can increase your chances of finding that perfect item or a great bargain.
To find close-by recycle shops just search in Google Maps or another service of your choice. You might be surprised what pops up. Search results don’t always give away what kind of recycle shop it is, so try looking them up online, or just drop by when you are in the area.
Search for ➟ (総合)リサイクルショップザック (general recycle shop)
Large chain stores are great if you want a lot too choose from or are planning to get multiple items. They offer a great variety and have a high turnover – best conditions to find what you are looking for. They also provide transportation services, so unless your friend has a car, check their fees before arranging your own transportation when buying large items.
Tip: Most big recycle stores can be found at the outskirts of town, so make it a day-trip and see if there are other stores close-by.
Your friendly neighborhood store
Small shops, dotted around the city, selling whatever they just got in. You never know what you might find. These local recycle shops can usually fall into one of three categories.
- General shops: selling everything, home items, clothes, small furniture, etc.
- Electric device shops: fridges, washing machines, other big appliances
- Clothing shops: clothes, purses, shoes, etc.
The OFF-chain is by far the most prominent when it comes to second-hand stores in Japan. Especially, BookOFF, their second-hand book stores, are practically everywhere and hard to miss. But the company does more than books and games. They have a variety of specialized shops to cater to customer needs.
- BookOFF: books, manga, CDs, DVDs, games, consoles, etc.
- HobbyOFF: figurines, merchandise, musical instruments, electronic parts, etc.
- OFFHouse: home appliances, kitchen items, toys, towels, purses, etc.
- ModeOFF: clothing, shoes, purses, etc.
- GarageOFF: lawn appliances, small furniture, etc.
Second-hand clothing shops
Shimokitazawa is second-hand heaven in Tokyo, especially for vintage-lovers. In other parts of town, Ragtag is there to fulfill your need for second-hand clothes.
If you are looking for cheaper options, try recycle shops as they often also have a clothes section or search online for second-hand clothing stores.
Search for ➟ 古着屋 (ふるぎや)
Buying second-hand in Japan
Recycle shops are all about being in the right place at the right time. But what exactly is a great deal for Japan? This list will give you an idea.
- ¥100~ books, T-shirts, towels, etc.
- ¥500~ small shelves, DVD’s, etc.
- ¥1,000~ desk lamps, rice cookers, etc.
- ¥5,000~ fridges, wardrobes, etc.
As anywhere else, prices are open to the top, but you should be able to get any item you need for less than ¥10,000. If you get tired of the shops, mix it up and stroll over one of Japan’s flea markets for some change of scenery.
Selling second-hand in Japan
Most recycle and second-hand shops in Japan don’t only sell but also take your used items in exchange for a few yen. Shops usually ask to see the items before buying them from you, so give them a call in advance or drop by the shop to inquire about details.
Larger chains will often have a separate counter where they accept items. Just bring what you want to sell and they will check your goods and make you an offer for them. Plan a little time when you go, as the whole process can take some time.
If you want to make more money with your items, or just want to make sure that your belongings will end up in good hands, you can also sell or give away your items on online platforms. Sayonara sale is a popular English platform for selling online among foreigners. Especially for smaller items flea market apps like mercari are also a great option if you know a little Japanese.
Do you know any good recycle or second-hand stores in and around Tokyo? If you do, please share them in the comments.