What is Otsukai？
Named after the Japanese word for 'errand', Otsukai is a service that helps you get hold of Japan-exclusive items! Instead of browsing through a catalog of items and buying what is available, you instead upload a description of the item you would like to buy. We simply call these Requests. Our Japanese users (who we call Friends) can browse Requests and start searching for items online or in brick-and-mortar stores. If a Friend finds the item from your Request or something else they think you may like, they will calculate all the costs including shipping and make you an offer. The price you see is the price you pay. All you have to do is choose the offer which works best for you to send the Japanese user on an Errand!
How Does Otsukai Work?
Please note that this guide has been written with the app in mind. If you are using the browser version of otsukai.com, please check out our guide on the website here.
When you place a Request for the items you want to buy, a Friend living in Japan will search for it. If they can find it, they will make you an offer to buy it on your behalf.
STEP 1: Place a Request
Let Otsukai Friends know what items you want. Just sign up, log in and click on 'Request an item'! Fill in the details of what you are looking for and your Request will be published on Otsukai. You can be very specific or quite open, depending on your needs!
STEP 2: Wait for a Friend in Japan to make an offer
After placing a Request you just need to wait for a Friend living in Japan to make an offer. Pop over to the browser version of Otsukai if you would like to communicate with the Friend via Comments. You can read more about how Offers work here: Managing Your Requests and Offers
STEP 3: Accept the best offer
If you are satisfied with a particular offer, you can accept it by clicking on Choose this offer. You will then proceed to the PayPal checkout. Once the payment has been processed, your Request will be marked with the word Fulfilled and an Errand page will be created for your order. Otsukai will safely keep hold of your money until the Errand is complete.
Read more about payment and the fees included in your order here: Payment Methods and Fees
STEP 4: Receive your item
After making payment, the next step is to wait patiently for a shipping notification. Once the item has been shipped you will receive an email with the tracking number enclosed. You can also go to the Errand page for your order to check its status. Read more about shipping here: About Shipping
STEP 5: Mark your item as arrived and rate the Friend
Let us know when your item has arrived safely by logging into Otsukai and marking the Friend as either 'good' or 'bad'. You can also leave a comment and/or some photos of your goodies for your Friend to see. Your Errand will officially be complete once you have rated the Friend and they have rated you back. Otsukai will then pass on the money (excluding service charges) to the Friend. Read more at After Receiving Your Item.
Before You Start
Please make sure you familiarize yourself with the following points before you use Otsukai.
Requests must be written in English or Japanese.
Please avoid machine-translated Japanese.
We only currently accept payment via PayPal. All payments are calculated in United States Dollars. After confirming the Friend’s offer you will be redirected to the PayPal page, where you can confirm the price of the payment in your local currency.
You, the user, make payment to Otsukai when you accept the offer. We keep this money safe until after your item has arrived. Then we will send it to the Friend who sent you the items minus service charges.
The Friend will input a price in Japanese yen. This price includes shipping and the Friend's tip.
A 10% Otsukai service charge and 8% PayPal fee will be automatically added, and the price converted to US Dollars.
The price you see is the price you pay.
Regarding Customs Charges
It is possible that your items may be held back by customs in your country for inspection. Depending on your location, you may have to pay duty on your items. Please understand that neither Otsukai nor the Friend can be held responsible for any extra charges.
Regarding Restricted Items
Some items may be prohibited. You can see a list of such items here: List of Items Restricted or Prohibited to Export
Please also be aware that there may be additional restrictions depending on your country. Otsukai takes no responsibility if you order something that cannot be imported into your country.
Regarding Cancellations and Returns
Orders cannot be canceled once you have made payment. Please check the details of your Request and offer very carefully before you make any payments.
Items cannot be returned except in certain circumstances.
- Please check the FAQ if you have any problems. You can find the FAQ button at the bottom of the Otsukai page or at the following link: FAQs
- Is your question not listed? Please create a ticket over at the Otsukai support center and we will get back to you as soon as possible: Contact Otsukai Support
- Please be very careful to make sure you enter a valid email address when you create a ticket, or we may not be able to get back to you.
- Although you are free to send us a ticket at any time, Otsukai can only respond during office hours, which are 09:00 - 18:00 (JST) Mon-Fri (excluding national holidays).
- Please understand that Otsukai is not responsible for products that are defected, in bad condition, are missing parts, did not arrive, are part of a scam, damaged in transit, etc.
- No returns, exchanges, refunds, or cancellations can be made after payment, except in certain circumstances.
- Otsukai can not be held responsible for items that are confiscated or disposed of after customs inspections.
- We do not provide any information, guarantee / warranty or support for items purchased via Otsukai.