Jul 29, 2018

Pros and Cons of selling your stuff via Japan based swap pages

In my constant quest to try and minimize possessions and be more aware of using what we have, I've tried to sell bits and pieces that we don't use anymore. Whether it's kids clothes that are still new with tags that never got worn, or household appliances that no longer have a use in our small Japanese kitchen, there's something quite freeing about letting go of stuff.

One way that I've managed to get rid of some stuff is via some Japanese based Facebook swap pages. There are a number of pros and a number of cons of selling stuff via this method, so if you're considering selling your stuff via Facebook swap pages here are my thoughts!

Pros and Cons of selling your stuff via Japan based swap pages photo


Super easy to sell stuff from home

There's something nice about being able to snap a few pictures and list stuff from the comfort of your own home. You don't need to go anywhere to get stuff valued, you can just estimate what it's worth yourself, put a price on it, and pop it online. If you don't get any interest immediately, you can always reassess if you're happy to drop the price and then amend your listing.

You're generally going to get more cash than you would by taking it to a Hard Off/Book Off/Hobby Off etc

If you've sold stuff to a Hard Off/Book Off/Hobby Off before, you'll know that they give you a miniscule fraction of what an item is worth, because naturally, they're a business and they're trying to turn a profit too. By selling it yourself, you're removing the middleman, and you're likely to get more cash for whatever you're selling. 

No fees associated with selling

Unlike some selling sites online (eBay for instance) there are no fees associated with selling your stuff on a Facebook page. That means more profit for you!

Easy to specify the payment method you'd prefer

This is something really convenient. On the Facebook swap pages you're able to specify the kind of payment method you want - the only stipulation is that there needs to be at least one "Japan based" payment method. For instance, I can put that I accept PayPal, but I can't only accept PayPal since it's not seen as being based in Japan. You can request to be paid into a Japanese bank account or via Amazon Japan Gift Cards, for example.


People will still flake on you 

This is one part where I find that it's sometimes easier to just take stuff you're trying to get rid of to a Hard Off store (or similar). Sometimes people will say they want the item you're selling, they'll string you along for a week, and then say that for whatever reason they can't pay/no longer want the item/they've bought it somewhere else. If you want to minimize the chances of that happening, it might just be easier to either give your stuff away or take it to a store like Hard Off and get it appraised. Money wise you might not make as much, but stress/drama wise you won't have to worry!

You've got to head to the post office (or other shipping service) to send it off yourself

Instead of just taking your stuff somewhere, getting some cash and having them resell your items, you've got to do all the shipping yourself. There's the estimation of shipping costs, getting boxes/padded envelopes/bubble wrap etc to ensure the item(s) get there in perfect condition, and so forth. Sometimes the effort to do all this might be prohibitive, especially if you're not particularly close to a post office or other shipping service location.

The added cost of packing materials, envelopes, etc

Unless you factor this into the cost of the item you're selling, you might be out of pocket for this too. 

Have you tried selling stuff on Facebook swap pages (or other online sources) here in Japan? How have you found your experiences?

Facebook Links:

Japan Garage Sale: All Things Kids

Japan Garage Sale: Everything Else



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!