So, most of us here clearly buy mostly pencils from Yahoo, Mercari, etc. And naturally, other writing instruments as well like ballpoints, rollerballs, fountain pens, etc.
But what other things have you bought? What have you found to be pretty good deals relative to what’s available in the marketplace of your respective country?
Probably the most I’ve bought thus far is sunglasses. In particular, by Nikon. This brand is most popular for cameras, binoculars, and lenses, but they also make eyewear. For about a decade they sold sunglasses to the USA market, then pulled out by the end of the 1990’s. They still sell overseas, though. Mostly to the EU and Japan (and possibly China). I’ve found that on eBay, markups tend to be about 50% or more over what you’d pay from Yahoo Japan. I also managed to snag a really nice pair of Oliver Peoples sunglasses, which would’ve cost me about 50% more from eBay.
For the most part, it’s hard to buy large or heavy items, because shipping can balloon way up, making it painful. In Japan, they have some really beautiful speakers, particularly vintage JBL and Victor. But… you can’t get them shipped through proxies–way too big and heavy. Same for vintage stereo equipment.
I have also bought a few ceramic mugs. Japanese craftsmanship is excellent. And getting something handmade can be really great, compared to mass production. Sometimes the prices can be very cheap, if not signed… but if heavy the value can be offset rather painfully by higher shipping costs.
I used to buy vintage CASIO G-Shock digital watches, particularly screwback types. Managed to grab quite a few hard to find models over the years. More modern models tend to be about the same or higher vs. prices in the USA market, although sometimes you can get some decent deals. But unfortunately there was a balloon in collector interest and now examples are going for double and triple what they used to just 5+ years ago.
So, what non-writing instrument items have you bought from Japan?