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Rakuten and eBay to trial demand for used Japanese fashion in US



E-commerce marketplace eBay has teamed up with Japanese technology company the Rakuten Group to test the US market’s demand for used Japanese fashion goods

The strategic partnership began on 8 May 2024 with seven vendors from Rakuten’s second-hand goods unit, Rakuma. 

The partners aim to exploit the continuing depreciation of the Japanese yen, which has dropped to its lowest level in 34 years against the US dollar. This has stimulated cross-border trade between the Asian country and overseas. 

The collaboration allows eBay to list selected goods from Rakuma on its platform, with a Rakuten-contracted vendor managing shipping and US customer service.  

Users of eBay’s US site will be able to purchase some products listed on the Rakuma official shop. The focus is initially on used fashion and accessories.

Reuters quoted Rakuma general manager Kenichiro Hasegawa: “Because of the use of cases and covers … these second-hand goods are in quite good shape. To say something is ‘used in Japan’ gives some immediate value.” 

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Rakuten Rakuma believes that listing on eBay will enable it to expand its sales channels and promote overseas sales for store operators. 

Rakuten has yet to set a sales target for the venture, but success with the initial vendors could lead to an expansion to include all Rakuma shops and users on eBay.

According to eBay Japan category management head Naoki Kitamura, the company aims to broaden the availability of Rakuma’s offerings to Canada, Australia, the UK and Germany. 

eBay reports that used and refurbished items constitute approximately 40% of its gross merchandise volume.  

It recently launched a new “resell on eBay” feature designed to simplify the process of listing clothing for resale.   

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