What is Japanese eBay
What is the Japanese equivalent of eBay?
As a proxy buying service, White Rabbit Express is very knowledgeable about Japanese ecommerce sites. After all, we buy and ship hundreds of items every day that are normally only available in Japan, all for our customers abroad. We therefore regularly use e-commerce sites that work like eBay but are purely Japanese platforms.
In this article, we are going to introduce you to some alternatives to eBay in Japan. We hope this will help you in your search for Japanese products. We also encourage you to take a look at our proxy buying service if you are having trouble purchasing any of these items.
# eBay was in Japan
eBay has actually tried to break into the Japanese market in the past. In fact, the Japanese version of this market-leading sales platform went live in 2001. However, the attempt to gain a foothold in one of the largest Asian markets came to a flop. As a result, the auctions were discontinued in 2002 and the site closed in 2004.
Like many other Western forms before, eBay did not understand the customs of Japanese culture well enough, although understanding it is crucial for success in this country. The American company believed that the mere name would attract enough customers without having to spend a lot of time making adjustments or advertising.
Its failure met with a great response, but has since enabled many Japanese sites to gain a foothold in a growth market.
# Alternatives to eBay in Japan
There are five popular alternatives to eBay in Japan. In this part we are going to explain in detail how these Japanese ecommerce sites work and what makes them different from each other.
# Yahoo Auction, the leading Japanese auction house
After eBay's precipitous withdrawal, Yahoo found itself alone in the Japanese market.Today, Yahoo Auctions is Japan's number one online auction platform, even though it is (ironically) no longer available in the United States, its country of origin, because it was unsuccessful there. Over 30 million auctions take place on this website every day. Yahoo does not stop there, however, as it also offers the possibility for private individuals to offer second-hand items at fixed prices. All of these options make Yahoo.co.jp the second most visited website on the Japanese internet.
It's not easy to article on Yahoo Auctions Japan to buy if you don't live in the land of the rising sun. Fortunately, we've put together a guide to help you understand how this site works. Just take a look at it!
More under:How to Buy Items on Yahoo Auctions Japan
Despite its long hegemony in the auction space, Yahoo is no longer the largest e-commerce site in Japan. Rakuten takes first place here.
# Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant
Rakuten is undoubtedly Yahoo Auctions' most serious competitor in Japan. This Tokyo-based website is Japan's largest e-commerce site and one of the largest internet companies in the world.
Rakuten's company doesn't stop at the Japanese borders as its main sales platform is available in over twenty countries. In addition, the Japanese market leader is also buying up larger overseas e-commerce sites in order to acquire market share outside of Japan faster.
More under:How to buy items on Rakuten Japan
# The Japanese Amazon
Rakuten is often referred to as "Japanese Amazon", even though Amazon actually has a very popular Japanese version. The way the site works is very similar to the US e-commerce market leader, and eBay. Outside sellers can sell your products in virtual stores maintained by Rakuten. This function is very convenient for small business people who do not necessarily have the necessary technical skills to build a really functional web presence. Many Japanese craftsmen and sellers of second-hand items can be found on this platform.
However, Rakuten has no hegemony over online sales. Many platforms that specialize in C2C sales have shot up like mushrooms with the advent of the mobile internet.
# Japanese C2C sales platforms
Three Japanese C2C aoos have become a must in online shopping in recent years. Mercari, Rakuma (previously Fril) (on Android and iOS) are three serious alternatives to eBay in the land of the rising sun.
# The three market-leading apps
Mercari is a pioneer in this new trend in e-commerce. This Japanese sales platform opened in 2013. In just a few years, it became Japan's most popular private sales app in Japan. Over 10 billion yen change hands on this app every month.
Rakuten does not want to let small startups displace its market position. That's why they launched their own sales app for private individuals:Rakuma. This platform hasn't yet managed to topple Mercari from his first place, but it takes an honorable second place ahead of Otamart.
Otamart differs a little from these two main competitors in that it is aimed at fans of Japanese pop culture, not least otaku. You can find many articles from anime series and popular manga in Japan there.
# The perfect apps for the mobile shopping spree!
With their different modes of operation, these platforms are completely adapted to Japanese cultural customs. For example, Mercari offers the option of sending your articles via a Kombini, which makes sales between private individuals much easier. In addition, buyers and sellers do not even need to know the name and address of their counterpart, which offers users additional data protection and security. The e-commerce offering in Japan is accordingly much more advanced than what eBay has to offer in the rest of the world.
# Platforms for Japanese only?
Unfortunately, it is impossible for people outside of Japan to shop on these platforms without a proxy buying service like White Rabbit Express. In addition, most middlemen do not work with these platforms as they require more work on their part than conventional sites.
We at White Rabbit Express accept all orders, including Mercari, Otamart or Rakuma. We have written various guides on how we can help you buy used items in Japan. More under: How to shop on Mercari Japan
# How to buy from abroad on these platforms
As we explained to you above, it is not exactly easy to shop on these sites as they are mostly reserved for Japanese customers. That's why we created White Rabbit Express, a proxy buying service that has been shopping on Japanese sites for overseas customers since 2005.
# Will eBay make a comeback in Japan?
It is entirely possible that eBay will try again in some Asian countries, including Japan. In 2018, Qoo10, a Japanese sales platform, was bought by the American group for over $ 500 million. Qoo10 is by no means a small site, as it had sold items to over two million customers by then.
We could very well hear something new from eBay in the Land of the Rising Sun. Meanwhile, Mercari, Rakuten (and its Rakuma app), Yahoo Auctions, and Otamart are the safest sources to buy Japanese products.
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