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- •How to buy from Otamart
How to buy from Otamart
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Otamart is a dream world for Otaku collectors. It’s kind of a Mercari influenced by the Akihabara subcultures. The name "Otamart" comes from the combination of the words "Otaku" and "Market". It's one of the references in Japan to buy rare items related to Japanese pop culture.
In addition to its peer-to-peer marketplace, Otamart also has an otaku online store where you can (pre-)order new items related to anime and manga. Unfortunately for people not living in Japan, it's tough to buy items on this platform when you don't have an address in Japan, a Japanese phone number, or a payment method. That's why we've created Japan Rabbit, a proxy purchase service that lets you buy on any Japanese website from abroad.
What to buy on Otamart?
- Figures: You'll find figurines of all sizes and from all Japanese video games and anime genres.
- Plushies: Just like figures, you can find many stuffed toys inspired by the Otaku culture on Otamart.
- Keychains: These small (often cute) items are trendy in Japan. They will allow you to personalize your phone or your keychain in a colorful and Japanese way.
- Pins: This is just one of many other goodies from anime or video games.
- Bromides: You'll quickly find photos of your favorite J-Pop singers, Japanese athletes, or celebrities.
How to order on Otamart?
We'll only use the Otamart website in this tutorial. Indeed, the mobile applications of this virtual flea market are difficult to download when you aren't in Japan. While the site is accessible from anywhere in the world and adapts perfectly to mobile screens.
Step 1: Go to Otamart’s website
Otamart’s website is at the following address: otamart.com. You'll automatically be redirected to the English version of the site if your browser language isn't Japanese. The English homepage is organized differently from the original version. There, you'll find:
- A search bar on which you can filter by product category.
- A drop-down menu including all product categories of the site.
- Hot Titles: A selection of anime series and popular Japanese video games.
- Categories: The most voguish product categories on the site.
- New Arrivals: New products are published on the site.
- Newly Arrived Figures: Latest figurines published on Otamart.
Step 2: Browse in categories or search results
The two main ways you can use to find exciting goods on Otamart are the search bar and product categories menu. We'll discuss these two techniques in this part.
Here, you can write the keywords that will allow you to find the products you are looking for in the search bar. Ideally, use the terms in Japanese. If you don't master this language, a good online translation tool, such as Google Translate, can do the job for you. You can filter your search by category before clicking "Enter" to reduce the number of results you will get.
To access product categories, you can use the drop-down menu under the Otamart logo. The items are listed in very specific subcategories. For example, if you look at the "Figures & Models" section, you'll find subcategories by media such as "Anime, Comics & Game goods", "Idol goods" or "Voice actor goods". Whether you click on a sub-category or search for keywords in the search bar, you'll come to a results page with a sidebar on which you can search with the following criteria:
- Keywords: You will be able to insert keywords that will allow you to reduce the number of results. These keywords can be license names, goodies types, or specific features of the product you are looking for. Ideally, use Japanese terms to find more results.
- Negative Keywords: This field has the opposite effect of the "Keywords" field. Any terms you enter here will not appear in the results.
- Category: Here, you'll be able to change the category and subcategory of products you are looking for.
- Tag: Select the labels that could be on the items that interest you.
- Condition: You can find brand new products as damaged second-hand items on Otamart. With this field, you'll be able to indicate which condition you are ready to accept.
- Price: You can enter a price range using the "Minimum Price" and "Maximum Price" fields.
Step 3: Check product features
The product pages offer a wealth of information that can help you better understand the product's condition. This page is very useful because most items sold on Otamart are second-hand goods. The seller can publish up to 10 images of a product. You can click on these photos to zoom in and see more details about the item. The seller's name is also displayed at the top of the page. If you click on it, you'll land on their profile, where their description, average rating, and comments left by previous buyers are. You can find the price and various badges that will let you know if you can negotiate the value of the item and be able to pay on delivery or not under the name of the product. The part that describes the product gives more information on the features of the item. Some sellers make a single ad including several items; they usually put the individual price of each product in this field. If you come across this kind of offer, don't forget to tell Japan Rabbit which item(s) you want to buy from all those listed on the page. If you scroll down, you'll find more information about the seller and the shipping method they plan to use. Please note that the delivery time indicated on Otamart's page is the duration necessary for Japan Rabbit to pick up your parcel. You'll need to add the international delivery delay to this period to know when you'll receive the product at your place. Below you'll find other products sold by the same person. This section is interesting if you are a collector, as many sellers are breaking off from an entire part of their collection. Under this product selection, you'll find other goodies from the same series.
Step 4: Use Japan Rabbit
Once you have finished finding all the products you want to buy on Otamart, go to the Japan Rabbit app to add all those goodies to your cart. To do this, you will need to copy the URLs and write the prices of each item you want to buy. One of our buyers will take care of your order after you have validated your request. We will contact the sellers of all the products you have selected on Otamart or other Japanese websites. This process can take several days, as sellers are often individuals, so we’ll have to find an agreement with each of them. It also means that we do not guarantee that we can get all the items you have chosen. If we are unable to acquire one or more items, we will send you a message as to whether you wish to cancel part or all of your order. We will send you a notification when we receive your package at our offices in Tokyo. You can then select a shipping method to ship your package to your address abroad. Once this is done, you will only have to wait for your postman to deliver your package.
How to install the Otamart app when abroad?
The Otamart mobile app is only available for download in Japan from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. You'll not be able to download it from abroad unless you have a Google or Apple account registered in Japan. In any case, we recommend that you don't download APKs or executable files from third-party app markets. Because these files can pose a risk to your phone security.
How to set up an Otamart account?
It's not possible to create an account using Otamart's English version. This shouldn't be a problem if you use a proxy purchase service, such as Japan Rabbit. If you absolutely want to create an account on this site, you'll have to go to the footer and change the language to Japanese. Once done, you'll find a button on the right side of the yellow header that will bring you to the registration page. This page gives you three ways to create an account: Twitter, Google, and your email address. In any case, you'll need a Japanese phone number to validate your registration. In short, it's easier to use Japan Rabbit if you don't live in Japan.
How to contact sellers on Otamart?
Every user with an account on Otamart can leave a comment on a product. The seller will be notified and will be able to answer this message. Most interactions are public on Otamart. This situation greatly facilitates vendors’ work since they don't have to answer the same questions ten times in private conversations.
Is Otamart reliable?
Otamart is a recognized site in Japan. Several thousand orders take place on this site every week. Transactions are based on the sellers' reputation. Indeed, each buyer must rate the seller. It's therefore straightforward to see who is serious before buying a product. Plus, you don't have to worry about transaction security or vendor reputation if you use a proxy purchase service like Japan Rabbit. Indeed, we are acquainted with this website, since we regularly buy products there for our customers. We know how to identify a suspicious seller or products whose delivery abroad could cause you problems. In short, by using Japan Rabbit you can rest easy because a team of experts is here to advise you and avoid bad experiences.