Oct 26, 2018

Hot to get cheap merchandise in Japan

I am big anime and video game fan and also like to collect merchandise of my favorite franchises. However I do not like to spend a lot of money on it. Luckily with a bit of searching and bit of luck you can find items for pretty cheap.

When thinking of anime and game merchandise the first thing that comes to mind is probably Akihabara or Nakano Broadway. These places are great when it comes to variety but no so great when it comes to prices. Usually when I go shopping there I compare all prices with online stores or flee market sites and in most cases they are a lot cheaper. Therefore I hardly ever buy anything in Akihabara or Nakano.

Hot to get cheap merchandise in Japan photo

So, if you are looking for a specific item the first place you can look are large online shopping sites like Yodobashi or amazon. They tend to have low prices most of the time. For amazon it is also good to consider the market place option where private sellers can sell items. You can find nice bargains there, however you do not get to see any pictures and have to rely on the description of the condition of item.

If your Japanese is good enough to use flee market sites like mercari, you should check these as well. You can find pretty cheap offers there a lot of the time, however cheap items tend to sell fast so you do not really have time to ponder.  Other issues are that there is no guarantee and most sellers do not accept returns. Also, mercari does not offer buyer protection so in the case you receive an item that is not as described you will have to resolve it with the seller on your own. Therefore I would be very careful with expensive items.

Another option is checking your local hobby stores. In general hobby stores in remote places in Japan tend to have good bargains. If you are in Tokyo, you should try stores that are located in western Tokyo, outside of the 23 districts. You will not a have as good a selection as in Akihabara or Nakano, so if you are looking for something specific it might be difficult to find, but I have seen prices a lot cheaper than on amazon in such stores.

If you live close to a store and can check it regularly you might also want to check sale items. My local book store has a small anime merchandise corner and sometimes when they have to get rid of older stock to make room for new items they sell them at incredibly cheap prices.

I recently found these Full Metal Alchemist key chains for 100 Yen each which have regular price of over 700 yen each.

Hot to get cheap merchandise in Japan photo 

Where do you like to go for your merchandise shopping?



Hi, I’m Eli. I’m from Germany and moved to Japan a few years ago. I am a typical nerd and like collecting Pokémon merchandise.Follow me on twitter (@hannari_eri) for the latest nerd News from Tokyo. I also write a blog in German over here. https://lifeinjapanisstrange.wordpress.com/