When we say you can find and bid on almost anything on Yahoo! Auctions Japan, we mean it. We’ve seen things. The list of stuff you’re not allowed to sell is long, but maybe not long enough.
Time to bring out the worst in ourselves… by showing you some of the worst used items we’ve seen people trying to get cash for on Y!A.
For this, we’re not talking about typical ‘second-hand’ (中古品) and pre-owned used goods. Most of this stuff’s literally got ‘this item has been used before’ (使用済み) written in the title or description somewhere. Like used and expired Tokyo Disneyland tickets.
Most people who sell their old socks are sensible enough to wash them first. Buyers want to receive fresh, clean and sweet-smelling socks, of course!
Uh, turns out some of them don’t. That old story about ‘fetishists paying good money for worn schoolgirl socks’ isn’t a myth. Hell, we’ve seen the vending machine in Nakano Broadway.
Yahoo! Auctions cracked down on this already, though – new and used school uniforms, school swimsuits and underwear all made it to the ‘banned’ list. So did anything described as ‘stinky’ or ‘sweaty’.
We think most of the sock sellers moved to other resale sites, like Mercari or Fril. (Some are sneaking around listing underwear and tights under ‘finished cleaning my house’ instead, but we’re sure those’ll get banned soon too.)
School test print-outs
Looking forward to your next study time with some printed exam papers from Japan? Sorry to disappoint you – they’ve already been filled in and scored. And… it looks like you need to pull an all-nighter to pass…
When we checked this out, we found people selling a suspicious number of pre-answered, pre-graded Kumon maths tests. “They’ve been used by kids for roughly 2 years, and are a bit dirty.” is not a line we wanted to read on an auction listing.
Those sellers say it’s for anyone who needs ‘teaching materials’. Way to teach kids they should skip math class and just copy the right answers off some other kid.
Milk cartons (and other empty containers)
“I’ve cleaned them!” Yeah, we hope so, dude.
Some containers start out empty. It’s the ones that used to have things in them you’ve gotta watch out for. They don’t show up that often.
Designer brand bottles, jars, and paper bags
Next up, ‘paying for the brand name’ taken to a weird level.
Or even if it’s just the bag that the item came in. Same deal with empty perfume bottles, and jars that once held makeup or skin cream. Somehow, we have no idea how, those are all still worth something.
It’s the total opposite of figures instantly losing half their value ’cause someone accidentally looked inside the box. ‘Already opened’ is a whole other auctions category.
Search results for ‘used stamps’ on Y!A Japan run for pages and pages. Maybe you’re looking for the last few rare stamps to complete your collection. Or an 8kg box of them. Either way, you’ve got options.
What’s so bad about 8kg of stamps, if the one you need’s in there somewhere? That’s 8kg of pre-licked stamps. Some sellers don’t even bother taking them off the envelopes, so you’ve gotta peel them too.
The codes don’t work any more, obvs – so they’re like postcards, but less bendy. Selling these cards off is making money out of things that literally have zero value on them.
Prepaid cards also come with the types of special and limited-edition designs that postcards do, making them collector’s items even after the credit’s spent. Nature, railways, and Japanese culture are all common.
The used tickets for shows and museum exhibits can take you to places you’ve never been – and have no chance in hell of ever going to, anyway.
Trash or treasure? You decide
Searching the latest item listings on Yahoo! Auctions Japan’s always an adventure. What are you gonna find this time? What’s next to get banned?
To bid on Yahoo! Auctions listings from outside Japan, you can use DEJAPAN’s handy proxy shopping service in English. We don’t take a service fee or commission on bids.