Boom In Japan’s Second-Hand Goods Market During The Pandemic

People in Japan were urged to reorganize their homes in to pass out time when the government of the country had announced a state of emergency there because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrity household organizer Marie Kondo had even been convinced by Tokyo’s governor to create and appear in promotional videos to encourage people to stay back home and reorganize homes so that they could spend quality time inside homes.

It appears that the message urging the people to reorganize their homes have been seriously considered by many Japanese resulting in a sudden and large boom in the market for second hand luxury goods.

Even the elderly have found new ways to enjoy while staying back at home and prevent being infected by Covids-19. Many of the elders who used to spend a lot of time at the gym before the pandemic, now have got themselves busy in chores such as more frequent cleaning of their closets since they have been forced to stay back home because of the pandemic. Some have even let go of their kimonos that had been lying with them for years

Elders have been quoted in media report saying that there were many articles that elders found were not of any use for them but could be useful for people from younger generations and make them happy as well.

And one of the biggest beneficiaries of this tidying up and de-cluttering of Chinese homes have been companies like Buysell Technologies Co Ltd which is in the business of collecting such old and used products from households in the country and then reselling them as used products through online stores and old style in-person auctions.

The company said that in October, the number of visits to people’s homes increased by 31 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, and added that more than 75 per cent of the customers of the company were people who were in their 50s or older and the products that they sold included kimonos, luxury handbags and jewellery.

Similarly, a 52 per cent year on year growth in sales during the July-September quarter was reported by another similar company Mercari Inc, which operates a popular flea market app.

According to BuySell Chief Executive Kyohei Iwata, people were also prompted to sell rings and necklaces that had just been sitting around in their homes with a n increase in the value of gold this year with investors looking out for and investing in safe haven assets such as gold.

“There’s a term in Japanese, “danshari”, which means minimise your life. People’s mindsets have changed that way,” he said.

(Adapted from

Categories: Economy & Finance, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Sustainability

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