We’ve been reading up on the fashion resale market. Why were we doing that, and not watching anime, or collecting gacha prize keychains, or whatever? Because we noticed more people coming to us for pre-owned Japanese clothes, bags, and accessories. And we want to really get what they’re looking for.
It’s been said, more than once, that Japan’s got the biggest second-hand designer goods market in the world. Apps like Fril and Mercari (y’know, the ones your friends are talking about) are made for selling your unwanted stuff – or buying someone else’s.
Online second-hand fashion shops are, ironically, kinda new. Not so long ago, the only way to buy from Japanese outlets was to go to Japan. As more of them make websites and online stores, it’s getting simpler.
Note up front: buying used and vintage doesn’t mean everything’s dirt cheap. But you can – and will – find decent prices that make the original RRPs look silly. And you can do it from anywhere.
Why buy second-hand from Japan?
We can’t talk used designer goods without talking modern fashion, and this is where the J-brands stand out. BAPE, visvim, and Supreme are the type of labels people start fights over. And instead of new items arriving each season, there’s a drop every week.
You’d think more regular item releases would make more supply. Until you remember what queues are like for drops… and how many people get turned away. It’s a nicer experience to stay home hitting up resellers and proxy services for those HGs.
Then it’s time to accessorise. Weirdly, some of the best second-hand bag bargains aren’t on the Japanese brands. Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Hermes, and Fendi are big, popular names here.
Appearance is everything – what’s on your arm is more important that what’s in your bank account.
If the ‘used’ bag you find looks brand new, don’t get too suspicious. Chances are, it really is. The second-hand market is brimming with near-perfect condition bags. And, as you’ll see below, you can get more evidence before hitting ‘buy it now’.
A whole other world of vintage fashions
The demand for vintage fashion in Japan’s kept high by people who want unique outfits. Tokyo’s got hundreds of vintage shops. And that’s just Tokyo. Other Japanese cities have their own, boutique-style vintage resellers.
Fashions come and go in cycles, and those cycles are getting shorter. ‘Vintage’ now means anything that’s at least 10 years old. So… the 90s are now a classic decade. Feel old yet?
Vintage clothes span loads of fashions, because shops cover both Japanese vintage and international vintage. Picking out items in enduring styles is the key. Some trends disappear for good reasons!
Too legit to quit
Yet another reason to focus on Japan is that you’re way more likely to find the real deal. Counterfeiting is punished harshly here, and shops take pride in offering you the genuine article. Sellers with a track record for offering fakes get shut down pretty quick.
The place to start your hunt for designer goods is on Yahoo! Auctions Japan. Shops and private resellers alike have auction accounts, and list everything they’ve got.
Searching auctions is like browsing a vintage clothes shop. It takes time, and a careful eye, but you could find something amazing. The average bargain hunter spends longer shopping for second-hand clothes online than they do on Facebook. Put in the effort, and reap the savings.
We know it can be tough to tell the quality and condition from the pics. There are ways to check if the item’s legit before you buy. Take a good look at the stitching, material, zips and buttons, and the packaging. Look up normal price ranges for the brands and bags you’re interested in.
If you’re unsure, ask! Decent sellers will be happy to answer any questions you’ve got. For auctions you’ve seen on our website, send your q’s to us. We’ll pass the message on, and send you an answer back in English.
Designer goods from Japan online, with DEJAPAN
Our proxy shopping service is a great way to find Japanese second-hand fashion. You can check Yahoo! Auctions and other Japanese online shops in English. And we handle the global shipping, with no service fee and no commission.
Read some of our other posts on Japanese fashion and Yahoo! Auctions: