[traveling] How to get the best deal when you buy electronics in Japan?

Japanese household electronics are still popular among many Asian tourists, and to satisfy the enormous oversea demand, many Japanese electronic brands have now introduce dual voltage small appliances, including hair dryers and other cosmetic used electronic goods like facial steamer and cleansing brush.

In my trip to Japan this time, I was hoping there would be more small kitchen appliances that comes in dual voltage but I figure most appliances with heating features often requires larger watts to operate and thus usually don’t come in the dual voltage design.  And to many tourists, kitchen appliances are often too big to pack in their suitcases anyway.

Recently more compact appliances for esthetic purposes have become more popular, and here I bought a dual voltage Panasonic nanoe hair dryer this time.  Don Quijote or Donki have always been my favourite store to visit in Japan, they often offer super good deals with tax return right a way, but this time I found another major competitor that actually offers much better deal and conveniences to tourists!

When you shop for electronics in Japan, there are 3 places you need to make note of:  Don Quijote, Bic Camera and Yodobashi.  The first one is like Walmart while the latter two are like Best Buy.  If you have something specific in mind that you want to buy, definitely go to the website of Bic Camera and Yodobashi to check out the prices first.  Bic Camera wins out of the three for conveniences because it offers English info on their website!

One thing to remind everyone who plans to purchase any electronics in Japan, make sure to select products offer you dual voltage!  Despite Japan uses 100V while it’s only 10V difference to Canada’s 110V, I have had an experience destroying my Japanese appliance when I just plug right into the wall with the only 10 voltage difference!

To make this short, here’s to sum up my electronic hunt in Japan with the experience of the 3 chains above:

Don Quijote-
1. They offer very competitive prices but only carries a limited varieties of electronics.
2. Tourist will have to pay for the full amount with tax included at first and then proceed to tax return counter to process tax refund.

1. Carries varieties of electronics online and in store
2. Website only provides Japanese info on each product

Bic Camera-
1. Carries varieties of electronics online and in store
2. Website provides English info of the products
3. Prices and locations are better than Don Quijote and Yodobashi
4. Tourist can purchase at tax free price at the special tax free counter, and by using selected credit cards including UnionPay, Visa would offer extra 5% off.

At the end one of the staff told me if I go to their facebook page I was able to obtain a 7% off coupon there!


So my conclusion is, shop smart and shop around in Japan and definitely pay with credit card for more discounts!  Another tip is, UnionPay is growing BIG in Asian, so if you carry one definitely bring it with you when you visit Japan and Korea, most stores would offer more discount to UnionPay than other credit cards.



在日本選購電器已經成為不少中國、台灣、香港遊客的指定行程。本來今次去日本打算看看有沒有新款雙電壓廚房電器,不過卻發現大部分會發熱的電器都需要用較大watt數,所以一般來說都不會有雙電壓的設計啊 >.<



在驚安之殿堂都要先連稅購買然後到退稅櫃面辦理退稅手續,不過今次就發現原來另外兩間大型電器連鎖Bic CameraYodobashi就位遊客提供更全面更方便的服務。


1. 只有提供限量電器,其次大部分為生活雜貨
2. 遊客要先連稅付款然後到退稅櫃面退稅,手續較為繁複

1. 網上提供最update價錢,不過只限日文
2. 本身為大型電器連鎖,所以提供更多種類電器

Bic Camera:
1. 本身為大型電器連鎖,所以提供更多種類電器而且更有其他雜貨如伴手禮售賣
2. 網上提供最update價錢,除了日文之外還提供中文和英文資訊
3. 是次購買吹風機,價格和店鋪分店位置比起以上兩家更好
4. 遊客付款可以到免稅專櫃,立即以免稅價格購買。如果使用指定信用卡例如銀聯或者Visa等還有額外5%優惠。

如果留意Bic Camera的臉書專頁有時還有限定優惠,例如額外7%折扣呢!

結論: 在日本選購電器最好貨比三家,充分利用網上資訊查看有關最新優惠和價格,其次就是利用信用卡付款。如果手持銀聯的話,到日本或者韓國大部分的百貨公司都有比起用其他信用卡更多的優惠!


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