Japan’s market for second-hand goods booms

Buysell Technologies collects goods from people’s homes and resells them via online stores and at old-style in-person auctions. It is one of the biggest beneficiaries of pandemic-induced tidying up in Japan as people were urged to declutter their homes to pass the time during lockdowns.

Visits to people’s homes surged 31 percent October from a year ago, the company said. Three quarters of its customers are in their 50s or older, selling kimonos, luxury handbags and jewelry.

Mercari, which operates a flea market app, saw a 52% jump in sales for its July to September quarter compared with the same period a year ago.

A surge in the value of gold this year as the pandemic spurred demand for safe-haven assets has also prompted people to sell rings and necklaces that had just been sitting around, adds BuySell CEO Kyohei Iwata.

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

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