How to Obtain Furniture and Appliances for your New Life in Japan
Housing in Japan
Starting a new life in a new place is usually full of worries and expectations. One of the things you need to consider is where to get the furniture and appliances you need for your new home. If you’re a foreigner living in Japan, this may not always be a straightforward and easy task.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can obtain furniture and appliances in Japan. We hope it serves as a useful reference for foreigners starting a new life in Japan, and maybe even offer helpful hints for those who have already been living here for some time.
Buying from large retail stores
The most common way to get furniture and appliances is to buy them from large retail stores such as Bic Camera, Yamada Denki, and Nitori. Buying from retail stores usually has the following benefits.
・You can negotiate the price and earn points
In electronics retail stores such as Bic Camera, Yamada Denki, and Edion, making a purchase lets you earn points that you can use to get discounts on future purchases. You can even negotiate the price of an item (though your success rate will likely vary from branch to branch). Besides negotiating the price, you can also negotiate for higher point earnings or a longer warranty period for your purchase. Visiting an electronics retail store also allows you to consult with an expert who can explain the products and make recommendations.
Note that when you buy from a large retail store, delivery and installation fees are usually separate from the item price. Make sure to take this into account when you are budgeting for your furniture and appliances.
・You can buy items in a set and get discounts
Many retail stores offer various items of furniture or appliances as a single set. Nitori offers a set of furniture and appliances for those living alone for the first time, and Iris Ohyama also sells an appliance set for people starting a new life. These sets let you acquire several items for a bargain. However, items included in sets may be older or of lower quality or durability than regular items. You should check the condition of each item included before choosing to purchase a set.
Purchasing through the Internet
Furniture and appliances can also be bought through the Internet, and you can browse various products from the comfort of your home. Buying online is sometimes cheaper than buying from a physical store, and is more convenient for those who prefer to avoid talking with salespeople. Using the Internet also allows you to easily compare several products at once, something that might be troublesome to do in a physical store.
On the other hand, buying online doesn’t allow you to physically check or try the actual product before making a purchase. If you do a lot of online shopping, you’ve probably had an experience where an item you bought is not exactly what you expected it to be. Furthermore, when you buy appliances from a physical store, it usually comes with free warranty, but for most online purchases, warranty is either unavailable or requires an additional fee.
Using a rental service
In recent years, rental furniture and appliances have increased in popularity. This service allows you to rent and use furniture and appliances for several months to several years, then return the items at the end of the set period. The biggest advantage of renting is saving on expenses. Purchasing even just the bare necessities of furniture and appliances will cost you around 200,000 yen, but with a rental service, you pay just several hundred yen a month for each item. Discounts are also sometimes available for long-term rentals. On the other hand, since the items are on loan, you have to be extra careful when using them.
There are many companies offering rental furniture and appliances, and some of them offer convenient services such as letting you apply through a smartphone or having free delivery. Others also do not charge extra for repairing wear and tear or malfunctioning items. If you choose to make use of a rental service, it is advisable to check not only the fees but also the rental periods and support services available, then choose the plan that is most suitable for you.
In this article, we explained how you can acquire the essential furniture and appliances for your new home and new life in Japan. Whether you’re buying from a retail store or purchasing online or making use of a rental service, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. You should identify and understand the characteristics of each method then choose the one that is most suitable for you.