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Buying a used washing machine in Japan?

Are you a new student in Japan or going to arrive in Japan soon, to study? As a foreign student in Japan, setting up a comfortable living space can be challenging due to budget constraints and limited apartment sizes. In this blog post, we will focus on one essential appliance for students: a washing machine. While buying a new one can be expensive, opting for a second-hand washing machine is a cost-effective solution. However, there are important factors to consider before making a purchase. Here, we will discuss key points to consider when buying a second-hand washing machine as a foreign student in Japan.

Size and Capacity:
Before buying a washing machine, consider the available space in your accommodation. Japanese apartments are often compact, so measure the area where you plan to place the machine. Additionally, consider the capacity of the washing machine based on your laundry needs. Smaller machines usually have a capacity of around 5-7 kilograms, which is sufficient for single person use.

Energy Efficiency:
Japan emphasizes energy conservation, so it's important to choose an energy-efficient washing machine. Look for models with high energy ratings (preferably A++ or higher) to ensure lower electricity consumption. An energy-efficient machine not only saves money in the long run but also aligns with environmental sustainability.

Water Usage:
In Japan, water is a valuable resource, so it's important to choose a washing machine that conserves water. Look for models with water-saving features or those with adjustable water levels. Front-loading machines generally use less water compared to top-loading ones. Be mindful of water consumption to adhere to local norms and reduce utility bills.

Functions and Features:
Consider the features and functions you require in a washing machine. Basic models offer standard programs such as normal, delicate, and quick wash. However, if you have specific requirements such as a dedicated wool or hand wash cycle, choose a machine that offers those options. Additional features like a timer, delay start, or child lock can also be beneficial, depending on your needs.

Brand and Reliability:
When buying a second-hand washing machine, consider opting for well-known and reliable brands. Popular brands often have a better track record in terms of reliability, availability of spare parts, and after-sales support. It's advisable to research and read customer reviews to gauge the brand's reputation and customer satisfaction. You don't want your machine break and flood your neighbor, which can cost you a lot.

Price and Warranty:
Set a budget for your washing machine purchase and explore various options within that range. Second-hand washing machines are generally more affordable, but prices may vary based on age, condition, and brand. Ensure that the seller provides a warranty or at least a reasonable return policy to protect yourself from any unforeseen issues.

Condition and Maintenance:
Inspect the machine thoroughly before finalizing the purchase. Check for any visible damage, leaks, or excessive wear and tear. Test the machine if possible, running a cycle to ensure it functions properly. Ask the seller about the machine's maintenance history, including past repairs and servicing. Consider purchasing from reputable sources like certified appliance stores or reliable online platforms.

Choosing a second-hand washing machine as a foreign student in Japan can be a practical and budget-friendly option. By considering important factors like size, energy efficiency, functions, water usage, brand reliability, price, and warranty, you can make an informed decision. Take your time to research and compare different options before making a purchase, ensuring that the washing machine meets your requirements and fits well within your budget and living space.