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Choosing the Best Online Platform for Furniture Disposal in Japan: Jimoty or Facebook?

Furniture and household item disposal can be... a pain in the ass. This is the case also in Japan, as proper avenues and quick disposal often means you need to pay to get someone to pick up your things. You need to register for the pick up, then purchase a sticker (or many, depending on how many items you have) from the convenience store. Each piece of furniture you dispose is likely to need a sticker, with prices ranging from 200 yen to 1000 yen.



This is good if you're strapped for time and need to get rid of things FAST. But you'll still run into other problems.


One being, you cannot dispose of refrigerator nor washing machines this way. At least in Osaka, you cannot put these two items outside and they need to be collected from the home or resold. (rules may vary in different prefectures so please check it yourself)


So you may still need to try other avenues of disposing furniture. Which I'll talk about today!



Facebook Groups & Marketplace

This is a very common way amongst the foreign community to get rid of furniture whilst trying to recoup back some of the cost (or none at all if you decide to give it for free).


Each big city or area in Japan should have their own "Buy & Sell" facebook groups that you can join. They're exactly as the title entails... you can either buy from others trying to get rid of something, or you can also sell your things.


Another is the "Mottainai" groups, which are strictly for people willing to give away things for FREE. So if you still intend to recoup some costs, this isn't the group for you. However, this is also a decently quick way to get rid of things you on't want to throw out and don't care to get any cash value back.


The biggest downside to this is that...


...foreigners are SO FLAKY.


Sorry. Clearly, this isn't everyone. But a majority of people are. There are especially some who would agree to meet, and decide on the day of it's not worth it and just completely ghost you. Imagine if you are still working full time, you make time for this person in your schedule just for this person not to show up! And imagine that with multiple items, not just one!


People also often completely ignore your instructions or selling prices, despite you writing very clearly that you are only selling X item for 10000 yen and no less. Or that your pick up location is at XYZ only, and people will still ask if you're willing to meet at a location you didn't specify despite saying you will only meet at this station or nothing.


One person sobbed about how my 1000yen appliance plus transport to my station (it was 10 minutes from Namba station in Osaka, btw) was too much and she couldn't afford to come to my station, asking me to go to hers (it was 230yen one way). No ma'am, I'm moving out, busy packing and I don't have time for this shit.


Another person kept asking if I could meet them on Wednesday when we told her countless times that we would be out of town. And she still begged to get the items on Wednesday no matter how many times we told her we wouldn't be there. Like every day was a brand new reset day for her and she'd ask almost every day like I'd suddenly not be busy on Wednesday? I was extremely tempted to tell her that yes we'd be there just so she'd shut up, have her turn up and not have anyone there.


A few people kept asking for things we didn't even post about. For example, we'd post about a kettle, some pots and maybe an iron... and then we'd get people ask if we have a microwave and whether he could reserve it. No, no you may not. One dude even asked if we had an oven to give to him for free or something. Yeah we'd like one too! Look, I get that it doesn't hurt to ask... but we specified in the post that these were the only items we were selling, and people just... don't read. Or don't care to read.


I absolutely hate these facebook groups. Sigh.


Good news though, there is a better platform!



Jimoty


This site is sort of Japan's kijiji, but specifically for household items only. It is a Japanese-only site, but nothing a little Google Translate and ChatGPT cannot help solve.



Signing up is quite easy, but you do need to verify your identity with two types of ID. The second verification is to allow you to sell items over 10000 yen. So if you just want to give things away for free, you don't need this. The steps are quite simple and fast at every step of the way, and you can list an item almost immediately after the first level of verification. If your item is of high value, you can list it, but you will not be able to respond to any interested buyers until you verify to the second level.


The listing process is straightforward and its categorization system is very useful for you and the buyers too. It gets quite specific so you can check to see what others are posting and their prices before you post yours.


Even though it's a nationwide system, they can sort very easily by location. Each user also needs to state their own location, so you can easily check to see if your buyer made a mistake messaging you or not. We had a buyer out from Nagoya for our TV and we thought he had made a mistake, so I confirmed with him and found out he drove to Osaka often. He did actually come! I mean, it was a nice TV for a bargain so I think the 2 hour plus drive was still worth it. Haha.


At first, I was actually quite nervous using Jimoty because while my Japanese is ok, writing in Japanese and communicating in Japanese can still be very daunting. But we mostly used ChatGPT to translate everything. It was no problem at all!


We sold a total of 5 big items on Jimoty and everyone who initially messaged us all came.


One lady was late, but it was kind of understandable. She still made sure to message us in advance her ETA and communicated during her trip as much as she could. Not just her, but most of the buyers were quite good to update us and communciated quickly. Which is almost not a thing on facebook. A few on facebook were quite good at telling me they were running late, but some just straight up said they were going to late like... 30 minutes after the meeting time. I really did like my experience on Jimoty.


The great thing about Jimoty is that the buyers are mostly locals, which meant that most if not all had cars of their own to purchase big items and carry them. I still put "bring your own car, we don't deliver" as a disclaimer anyway, because... as expected, some folks despite the disclaimer still asked me if they could have me deliver it because they didn't have a car.


And not to discriminate, but these Jimoty users are very often... foreigners.


Why is it so hard read? And to be polite and just text someone you're running late?


I don't get it...


Another really great thing on Jimoty is that there are a lot of private scalpers -- the people who own second-hand household item resell stores or storage facilities, who try to scour Jimoty or other sites to pick up free items so they can profit. Now, you may be wondering what's so good about them if they're trying to profit off your free shit? Remember that washing machine I wasn't allowed to put outside? Well, these guys literally saved my behind since my washing machine is just too old to sell. Not only that, but they were willing to pick up other items of furniture we couldn't sell or throw - all for free (which would otherwise cost us)!


All in all, I do recommend Jimoty if you can get yourself set up to use it.


Everyone we communicated with was polite, mostly on time and were really good with responding and updating you of changes.


The downsides to this is that if there are a lot of posts of the same categories of items in the same location, and your item is being lowballed by others, your listing can be buried very easily. You have an option to bring your item back to the top once after a day or so without making any changes, but if the pricing isn't optimal, you may not get any messages at all.


On the flip side, you may get a lot of messages for the item. At which point you can unlist it to stop the messages from flowing in, chat with everyone interested to see what their deal is and if they meet your pick up requirements, then you "designate pick up" of one buyer. There is a button for this and it's a great function because the buyer also gets notified that you've picked them for pick up. You can change the designted pick up person at any time without penalty, so you aren't locked into someone if they seem sus after all or is flaky.


Once the transaction is finished, you each leave a review for each other and that's it!



Final Thoughts

I've heard that a city in Osaka have their own sort of mottainai programs, where you may be allowed to leave items you don't want outside your house or your apartment complex for a few days before you need to purchase a sodai gomi sticker for pick up. I think that's a great way to encourage people not to throw away items, and a good way to save money.


And although rare, I have seen a garage sale before in a neighbourhood I used to live in. It seems like some neighbours all kind of just band together at one conveniently located house to sell things they don't want.


Alternatively you can also drop your things off at a Book Off or any other second hand store in the area, though you will probably not recoup much at all... and you need to take the item there yourself. Great if it's close by, but not so great if it is far.


So Jimoty and even Facebook can be additional tools for those that have the time.


If you're moving out, make sure you figure out what items you need to sell early on and plan if it's something you want to recoup decent money from. Plan at least 2 months in advance and start listing things that are low priority. Not only does it decrease the amount of stuff you have, it also gives you a rough idea of how long it takes to make a sale and what kinds of people you're dealing with. And whether it's worth the effort to post something online just for flaky people to not show up.


I hope this helps someone moving out!


Anyway, have you tried to sell on facebook or Jimoty before? Share with us your horror stories in the comments or twitter me @kansaibeyond!

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