5 Reasons NOT to sell on Amazon Japan [with 5 Counter-Arguments]


As discussed in the article ‘Start Selling on Amazon Japan Today [2 easy steps]’ setting up an Amazon Seller account and listing a product is pretty much the same as on any other Amazon marketplace. So this leads on to the question…

Why have you not listed your products on Amazon Japan?

Reasons NOT to sell on Amazon Japan:

REASON #1: Everything will be in Japanese so I will not be able to understand what to do.
REALITY: You get English versions of the Amazon Japan Seller Central. So not worries there.

REASON #2: There are probably complicated tax laws that are impossible to understand.
REALITY: Amazon automatically takes the necessary fees when they take payments from customers and then pay it out to you. So you do not need to worry about this side of things. If you post orders yourself to customers in Japan from countries outside of Japan (i.e. where you live) then again there is nothing to worry about as long as the value of the shipment is less than 10,000 Japanese Yen (about £70).

If the shipment is worth more than £70 then the recipient will be contacted by customs and asked to pay a customs fee.

If you are shipping products in bulk to Japan so that you can store them in Amazon Japan warehouses then there are two unavoidable taxes. There is a flat rate 8% consumption tax that you pay on the value of your goods, and there is an import duty. This duty depends on your product type and can be between 3% and 20%. Your shipping company can take care of this for you so just ask them to do this and it is a simple process.

One big positive (if taxes can ever be viewed as a positive) is that everyone pays these taxes, which makes it a level playing field. Compare this to the UK for example where some companies may be VAT registered and pay an extra 20% on sales, while others are not VAT registered and thus have potentially higher profit margins.

REASON #3: The listings need to be in Japanese and I don’t speak Japanese.
REALITY: Yes, they do need to be in Japanese. However, you can start with Google Translate to create a quick listing, and then you can move to a professional translation service later once you are up and running. However, you will need to translate individual words rather than full sentences because the way sentences are constructed can be complex.

REASON #4: You will need a Japanese bank account and it will be a hassle getting money paid into your bank account.
REALITY: This used to be the case back in 2015, however you can now use your normal bank account within Amazon Japan Seller Central and all payments are automatically converted into your currency and paid directly into your account. Easy!

REASON #5: If I don’t sell anything I will be wasting money on Amazon Japan fees.
REALITY: You can choose to sell as an Individual and there are no monthly fees. You literally only pay when you make a sale. The Professional account has a 5880 Yen (approx. £40) monthly fee but you don’t need this if you are willing to post your orders yourself. Read about how to do Fulfillment by Merchant here.

SUMMARY – Why not to sell on Amazon Japan

So, as you can see there is nothing too difficult here. You should set up an Amazon Japan Sellers account today and list your products. Create an Individual account and choose Fulfillment by Merchant in the first instance so that you have no fees, but if you start making a few sales per month you can update your settings so that you can offer next day delivery and have lower selling fees per order.

Any more concerns? Drop me a message or better still Join Our Facebook Group and post on there.

Neil Curtis


We wrote this guide to help you better understand selling on Amazon Japan. With this information, you can make an informed, intelligent decision as to whether selling on Amazon Japan might be a good fit for you.

Whether you've got 1 or 1,000 products, this guide will help you understand more about selling on Amazon Japan.

Even if you’re not ready to start yet, this is an unmissable reference.

In the Seller Guide you’ll learn...

  • Why selling on Amazon Japan is a fantastic opportunity.
  • 5 Misconceptions about Selling on Amazon Japan.
  • How to avoid translation mistakes.

The 16 Step Launch Plan includes...

  • 16 sequenced emails with direct actionable tips;
  • How to carry out research;
  • Advice on creating your strategy for success in Japan;
  • How to set-up your account and listings right;
  • Guidance on getting Brand Registered.
Complete Guide and Seller Analysis Report for Amazon Japan
Complete Guide and Seller Analysis Report for Amazon Japan

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We wrote this guide to help you better understand selling on Amazon Japan.  With this information, you can make an informed, intelligent decision as to whether selling on Amazon Japan might be a good fit for you too.

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