If you’re a jawnz enthusiast, you’re no doubt experienced with eBay, Grailed, StockX, Poshmark, and countless other resale sites where you can find your precious garms. But there’s likely one site you’ve never used or even heard of: Yahoo! Auctions. The Japanese alternative to eBay, also known as Yafuoku, is rife with clothing from your favorite Japanese brands. Not only can you find some killer deals you won’t see stateside, but also some extremely rare items. Because the site only does transactions and ships within Japan, there’s a slight barrier of entry. But don’t be daunted: this guide will take you through the process so you’ll be killing the Japanese resale market in no time.
Why It’s Worth It
As you likely know, imports from Japan are subject to tariffs, which means you’ll pay higher prices here than you would in Japan. Using Yahoo! Auctions is a way to bypass the markup on new items, not to mention the great deals you’ll find on used goods. You can find used Visvim sneakers, for example, for less than $100 in great condition. It’s also great for brands that never make it stateside, like The North Face Purple Label (prior to this year) or Comfy Outdoor Garments, the latter of which is a cult brand and one of my personal favorites. You’re also much more likely to find archival pieces here from the likes of Undercover, Neighborhood, and WTAPS.
Navigating the Website
If you’re using Google Chrome, it’s super easy to go on Yahoo! Auctions directly and translate the page. When searching for items, you can type in the brand names in English characters, but using the product’s English name won’t always turn up what you’re looking for. Don’t be dismayed, though, you’ll just have to do a little more digging by scouring everything from the brand.
Once you’re looking at a listing, the translated product description may be a little wonky but still clear enough for you to understand. If you see the term “prompt decision price,” that’s the equivalent of eBay’s “buy it now.”
For some proxies, which we’ll get into more details on soon, you’ll need to do the above navigation on your own and then plug the link into their site. There are also others, such as Zen Market and Buyee, that let you search Yahoo! Auctions directly on their own site and then purchase from there.
Securing a Proxy
Proxies are essentially the middlemen between you and your prized items. They do the actual bidding and pay the seller on your behalf, receive shipping on the item, and then ship it out to you, wherever you are in the world. So how do you choose which proxy to use? Here’s a breakdown of the different proxies’ fees, excluding shipping:
- White Rabbit Express: $4 per item + 9.9 percent of item total (or $8 if total isn’t higher)
- Stylistics Japan: 10 percent or $19 (whichever is higher)
- Zen Market: $3 per item
- Buyee Japan: $2 + 5 percent of item fee
That’s not all you should keep in mind, though. Beyond different fees, you should decide if you want to make a deposit before you win an item. Zen Market and Stylistics Japan require a deposit equal to your highest bidding price or the item’s total for prompt decision price. White Rabbit Express will charge you for the item price and fee upon bidding and will refund your money if you don’t win. Buyee will never charge you until you win an item.
With this in mind, go for Buyee if you’re bidding on an item so you don’t get charged until you win. If you’re going straight for the prompt decision price, or if you don’t mind making a deposit, Zen Market is the move because you’ll pay the lowest fee.
Stylistic Japan is one of the more expensive proxies, but the husband and wife duo behind it is known for being much more responsive than the other proxies run by larger organizations.
Now, all you need to do is get searching and get copping. A new world of jawnz awaits.