Posted in Culture, Hobbies, Shopping, Travel

Merchandise shopping the smart way – the art of Kaitori!

Shopping is without a doubt, one of the best, and important things to do when one is in Japan.

Souvenirs for colleagues, food and snacks for your mum – whatever swag one can grab.

The sacred act of shopping is doubly important for individuals who are video game & toy collectors, such as myself. For us crazed collectors, Japan is a mecca for our beloved merchandise – and that is when proper budgeting becomes one’s no. 1 priority.

Lucky for us, there is a concept that many shops in Japan follow – Kaitori (買い取り).

528393_526440754068253_605365706_nBook-Off – a store that sells 2nd hand CDs, DVDs, Manga and Video games

524715_526440790734916_422978087_nOld 2nd hand manga ‘kaitori-ed’ back – and sold at just 105yen each!!

Literally meaning ‘buy backs’, it’s pretty much what it sounds like – several stores actively buy back 2nd-hand goods from customers, touch them up a tad, and then sell them back.

599429_524364130942582_248808976_nLashinbang in Ikebukuro – a major anime merchandise and game kaitori chain.

channel-ucc-11 channel-ucc-12 channel-ucc-10Shelves of rare figures!

This results in a win-win situation; customers get to make some money back from products that they no longer want, and collectors get another chance at obtaining a game or figure that might have been long sold out at retail.

1795176_835901523091698_1777232285_oSuper Potato – a great store that sells vintage games and consoles!!1780658_835862173095633_1799667930_n 1962859_835989589749558_132379867_n

While a majority of the products sold back to kaitori stores tend to be pre-owned, nearly all of them are still in absolutely pristine condition.

1743711_835989776416206_1383155999_nAn old game I managed to snag for myself!

What’s even better is that kaitori stores have a high chance of obtaining super-rare products that have long disappeared off store shelves. Such products often don’t come cheap – so get your wallets ready!

544580_526440810734914_540435210_nMandarake – one of the ULTIMATE kaitori stores for toys, games and merchandise!

1476125_778213388860512_2141533648_n 529191_609052065776646_514819306_nSome rare & expensive Kamen Rider merchandise I managed to find

Merchandise shopping is almost always a wallet-draining exercise – but it need not be an inefficient one! Look out for the 買い取り sign the next time you’re in Japan – and happy browsing!


An individual of questionable sanity who obsesses over Japanese pop-culture, toys, and other shiny things.

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