If you’ve lived in Japan for any length of time there’s a good chance you’ve managed to accumulate a selection of used electronics. Some items will have value, others may be broken or just too old to be of much use. Everything takes up space though so when it’s time to make room here are some options to consider.
SELLING USED ELECTRONICS
If you have used electronics that still have some life in them you can try your luck selling them. Japan’s largest used goods site is Yahoo Auctions and it is where you will generally get the best prices for your items. The drawbacks of Yahoo Auctions are that they charge fees (typically 8.64% of the selling price), you must accept returns, and the entire site is in Japanese. Being able to communicate in Japanese is actually one of the requirements to open an account so for some people Yahoo Auctions isn’t a viable option.
An increasingly common way to sell unneeded items (electronic or otherwise) is on Facebook Buy & Sell groups. Here in Osaka we have the Osaka Sayonara Sales group and there are similar groups in most mid-size or larger Japanese cities. Unlike with Yahoo there are no fees to sell on Facebook but there are some other drawbacks. It can be frustrating to deal with the influx of messages and difficult to sort out who is serious and who isn’t. There’s no auction option so you must set a price and you will receive a lot of low-ball offers. Some people even think it’s acceptable continue negotiating the price when they come to pick up your item! There are also issues with people backing out of deals or just not showing up at all. Still, it’s free and some groups exceed 10,000 members so there is plenty of exposure.
Another option is to take your items to a used electronics reseller like HARD OFF. These companies will buy anything they feel they can resell, but they will pay you nearly nothing. While you may not earn much from the sale you also won’t need to deal with any of the issues of Yahoo or Facebook. Sometimes getting a small amount of money for a no-hassle sale is a good trade-off.
RECYCLING USED ELECTRONICS
If your items are no longer working, have very little value, or you just want them gone there are recycling options available.
Most of the big electronics shops (Yodobashi, BIC, Joshin, etc) have in-store recycling services. Each chain has it’s own rules and policies but none of them provide completely free recycling for all electronics.
If you don’t mind packaging your items up into boxes and shipping them off then パソコン処分本舗 does provide free recycling for most electronics, they even cover the cost of shipping. Understandably they do not accept fridges, washing machines, or other really large items. LCD TVs, desktop & notebook computers, tablets, phones, cameras, and most other electronics are all okay, working or not. You can ship to them from anywhere in Japan using either Sagawa or Japan Post.
This author is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned, though he is an admin of the mentioned Facebook group.
If you have other suggestions for selling or recycling used electronics, leave a comment below!