May 22, 2013

Where to Buy and Sell on Okinawa

The Best Places to Buy and Sell Stuff on Okinawa and Tips for Flea Markets

Looking for a venue to buy and sell in Okinawa? Here are a few easy-to-use must-know venues for finding that new piece of furniture or equipment, selling those books you don't want to carry back to the States, or swapping out your wardrobe!
With a constant flow of military service members coming to Okinawa or leave, there is plenty of items that get sold at the flee markets or online classifieds. You can even find plenty of things in the base newspapers.

On Okinawa, things like furniture, cars, snorkeling or scuba gear and other items can often be found at a good price from a variety of sources listed below. Often someone is leaving Okinawa and just can't take everything with them that they would want, or they don't plan to use it again.

So check out the options listed below before you go our and spend big bucks on a new item.

Okinawa Yard Sales - Website

This website is very much the "Craigslist" of Okinawa! Here residents on Okinawa can post items for sale and make contact with individuals interested in the offered products. Similar rules to "Craigslist" and posting on public internet forums apply: do not post personal information; beware of scams; use common sense and caution when posting, meeting, and purchasing materials.
Japan Update Classified Ads - Newspaper Classified Ads

Often along with local news, Japan Update newspaper contains a section for classified ads ranging through clothing, cars, technology, books, furniture, equipment, services, pets, and others items. The paper comes out weekly-biweekly.
buying and selling in okinawa chibana flea market
Chibana Flea Market - Source JensensInJapan

Chibana Flea Market - Flea Market

For an exciting adventure of treasure hunting and great-priced discoveries, Chibana Flea Market offers buyers a varying array of products being sold by owners, often at great prices!
Sellers interested in clearing out closets before military moves or just spring cleaning can purchase a spot for $15 for the first and third weekends of the month through Kadena AB Outdoor Rec Center ( and follow instructions for times and setup. This venue is great particularly because of the opportunity to the local community who covet American clothing, beauty products, supplies, jewelry, and misc. materials.

A Few Essential Tips for Sellers:

- Seller slots are set up to park your car and sell out of your trunk, arrive early for a good spot and time to set up. Best spots are those that are close to entrances.
- Bring change in both American and Japanese currency - think breaking $10-$20 and Y500-Y1000.
- Only "USED" items may be sold at Flea Market. Resale of base commissary or exchange products is strictly prohibited.
- A card table, tarp and boxes help display or sort your products for easy purchase.
- Plastic bags are a courtesy to offer buyers something to put purchases into.
- Know that the first rush of people through the gate is a little wild. (Hand gestures and knowing a few Japanese phrases can make your day easier! "Do-zo" - Please (come/look); "Hi-ya-ku-en" - Y100 (one dollar); "Go-hi-ya-ku-en" - Y500 (five dollars); "A-ri-ga-to" - Thank you)
- Bartering is KEY! Be ready to bargain, bundle, or haggle with buyers so you both walk away happy.
- Bring water/snacks for yourself and anyone helping you. Okinawa summer sales can get hot.
- Avoid being asked to "hold" items for people, whether pre- or post-purchase! It is very hard to remember who asked you to hold what for them with so many people coming through. Put a name down on large items if you hold them until the end of the sale or for later arranged pickup.
- Don't put out anything you don't want to be offered a price for, and keep an eye on products - unfortunately items occasionally walk off.
Okinawa travel guide book
Okinawa Travel Guide
- Take small bills - $1, $5, $10's as they are easier for sellers to break than $20's.
- Take water! Okinawa summer sales are hot!
- Know that you will need to carry your purchases to your car. Arrange with sellers how to collect large items during or after the sale.
- SOFA personnel has first pick of items by a half hour. After that, all locals (military and non) have the equal opportunity to products.
- Enjoy the adventure!
Looking for more things to do? Check out our Top 10 Things to do in Okinawa!

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