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    Get Cheap Stuff At The Recycle Shop

    By thomas | April 13, 2008

    Recycle shop リサイクルショップDo you like Japanese stuff? Do you like to get it for cheap? If so, you are in luck! Ryan Coffey of writes in with a great tip about how to get used (and not-so-used) stuff for very cheap: Recycle Shops. Here’s the scoop:

    I like your site. You is be way kewl.

    I’m surprised though that you haven’t put a post up yet of the best hack of all. (That I know of anyway.) And that would be the “recycle shop” or in usual English the 2nd hand stores. I mean, in Japan, no one is really interested in buying stuff that isn’t new. So the whities who know this hack can get their stuff super super cheap if they know where a good 2nd hand shop is there and they have an eye for quality. I used to buy my omiyage there for my friends back home. But that was just the beginning of it. My home was filled with furniture, dishes, kitchen goods, appliances and so on that I got for stupidly cheap at the 2nd hand store, most of which was almost like new or at least worked fine. Even now that I live back in Canada, I still do much of my shopping in those stores and bring the stuff back to Canada. I just had sukiyaki tonight in a nice iron sukiyaki nabe that I bought in January. The thing had never been used and my guess is that if I bought it new at a regular store it would have been at least 6000 en, but I only paid 800 since it had sat in a box for 20 years or so. Not like it matters. It’s great quality and mint condition. I had to peel stickers off of it to use it even.

    The caveat is that you can’t sell the stuff back to them in the end though when you leave Japan. They actually charge you to give them the stuff so they can sell it. And as it’s still cheaper than throwing the stuff out/getting it recycled, it remains the best option. This is one of those things you can only understand if you’ve lived in Japan for quite a few years. It’s also something that, if it doesn’t make you really angry, you’ve been there WAY too long and it’s time to go home!

    Great tip! You’ve convinced me to seek out second-hand stores where I live (Himeji). For anyone else wanting to do the same, a google search for リサイクルショップ plus your city name would be a good place to start.

    Thanks Ryan!

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    Topics: Japan Hacks | 10 Comments »Trackback

    10 Responses to “Get Cheap Stuff At The Recycle Shop”

    1. Says:
      April 13th, 2008 at 11:06 am

      Get Cheap Stuff At The Recycle Shop |…

      Second-hand stores, called “Recycle Shops” in Japanese are a great place to get good stuff for very cheap. Very cheap. And some of the stuff you’ll find isn’t even used (factory stickers in tact). Check it out….

    2. Jon Says:
      April 14th, 2008 at 12:41 am

      Wow! That is pretty awesome. Sounds kind of like a thrift store of types? :) *bookmarks*

    3. claytonian Says:
      April 14th, 2008 at 8:52 am

      not sure if it counts but Hardoff is a pretty good chain for cheap stuff…

    4. billywest Says:
      April 14th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

      I usually just keep my eyes open when I’m at a Japanese friend’s house; If I see something that doesn’t look like it’s getting used like it should be, and I need or would like to have that something, I just casually work my need for such a device into whatever conversation we’re having. They know I don’t make much at my current job, so they’re more than happy to lay it into my hands. Plus, it saves them the trouble of having to dispose of it, which can be troublesome in Japan.

    5. Mike Says:
      April 15th, 2008 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks for tips bra! I’m gonna check it out next time I’m in Japan. Which is next week!

    6. Josh Says:
      April 16th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

      I thought the Hard Off store in Nagasaki wasn’t all that cheap. Besides, did you know that you can haggle with the sales reps at big electronic store chains? I remember (way back in ’02) haggling down a TV, VCR, and stand. I don’t remember the exact amount of money I saved but it was significant.

    7. Alex Case Says:
      May 1st, 2008 at 11:21 am

      I think most “recycle shops” are a rip off- barely cheaper than a new thing if you search around, badly bashed up and then you have to put up with the smell in the shop. Last week we did find one run by the local council that was a lot cheaper and better quality, but we still did find almost the same thing new at Seiyu for the same price.

      Great idea of a blog, btw, I thought all Japan topics had been done, but no!

    8. debbie Says:
      September 14th, 2008 at 3:47 am

      I love second hand stuff.
      If you live iin Osaka, there is a big second hand store in Kuromon Market near Den Den town.

      Here’s the link,135.511723&spn=0.036423,0.074329&z=14
      ** note Kuromon Market is at B point on this map not A.

    9. Katya Says:
      November 24th, 2008 at 4:21 am

      Whoever said that recycle shops are a ripoff must not have a good one in the area.

      I got a beautiful cherry wood armoire at the Off House in my neighborhood for about 6,000 yen. The only thing wrong with it was a superficial scratch (about 3 cm long) on the side, which I promptly put up against the wall. I also put a charcoal air freshener inside of it for three days to take care of the faint musty smell that furniture gets when it sits and goes unused.

      Guess it offended some nihonjin’s sense of perfection. His loss! Similar furniture of inferior construction and wood quality go for 80,000 yen at the F-Depot a few blocks down the street.

    10. 2010年03月03日 A Microwave is News « urbanbrat on wordpress Says:
      March 3rd, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      […] time! I was holding out to get a used microwave via Craigslist or from one of the sayonara sales or recycle shops, but no luck. Lucky for me Nojima was having a sale and I managed to pick one up for 6000 yen. The […]