Over the years that I have been in this industry, I noticed that many dropshippers make a fundamental mistake: they think that consumers are the same. No, they are not. Japan, for one, has a different attitude toward online shipping.
In this article, I will show you the following:
- The best dropship suppliers in Japan
- What the Japanese market wants
- An alternative to dropship supplier databases
In the end, I hope you can choose a dropship supplier in Japan or learn what they want. This way, you can make an informed decision on how to go about your dropshipping store in Japan.
Top 9 Dropshipping Suppliers in Japan
Here is a quick list of the best dropship suppliers in Spain:
- AliExpress – best overall for dropshipping in Japan
- Printful – best for personalized products
- CJDropshipping – best alternative to AliExpress
- Spocket – best for dropshippers looking for specific sellers
- eWorldTrade – best for high-quality and rare products
- Niche Dropshipping – best for white-label dropshipping
- HyperSKU – best for scaling a dropshipping business
- Dropified – best for furniture dropshippers.
- AppScenic – best for “imported product type” dropshippers
Should you dropship in Japan?
Yes, you should dropship in Japan because of two reasons:
- The country has excellent proximity to China and Australia
- Japan is a developed country, and its citizens have
Because of these two things, Japan, along with other countries in Asia like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, is excellent for the eCommerce dropshipping business.
Today, there are more than 400,000 manufacturers in China . As such, you will not experience any shortage of suppliers. China is the most significant dropshipping source today and will stay that way for a long while.
Some might say that Japan is not an ideal market for dropshipping. They say this because Japanese consumer behavior is not the same as Westerners. The Japanese prefer to shop physically.
Although that is true, do not forget that there is always an opportunity on the road less traveled. Statistically, Japanese women in their 50s are more likely to buy online .
On the other hand, women in their 20s are not likely to buy. Having said this, we can conclude that the demographic you want to target is between 35 and 65 years old.
What is the eCommerce outlook of Japan?
Japan is the world’s third-largest eCommerce market . Its eCommerce revenue was at $188 billion in 2021. Experts agree that this market is growing at an annual rate of 13%.
At that rate, experts have a projection that Japan will become a powerhouse in dropshipping. The projected growth of Japan’s eCommerce by 2025 is above 10%
Because of these details, we can say that Japan is an ideal marketplace for Shopify dropshipping. The only challenge is that it must be in Japanese when you build your dropshipping store.
Unlike Filipinos, the Japanese are not essentially multi-lingual people. Given that they trust brick-and-mortar stores more than online ones, your primary target when you sell in Japan is to develop credibility.
Best Dropship Suppliers in Japan
1. AliExpress – best overall for dropshipping in Japan
Aliexpress is one of the best dropship suppliers in Japan because of its proximity to the country. AliExpress is not precisely a supplier but an online retail marketplace like Amazon.
Despite being a marketplace, the site is chockful of manufacturers and wholesalers who understand the dropshipping business.
- Buyer protection – as a buyer, AliExpress provides you with protection from seller fraud; you will get a refund if you qualify for it
- Customization – many sellers on the site offer customization, which means you can add tags and stickers to your products.
- Multiple destinations – all AliExpress sellers ship internationally; there is no issue with delivery, provided that the item you send is well within the boundaries of the recipient country’s law.
- There are more than 100 million products available on AliExpress
- China is close to Japan, so the shipment is fast
- There is flexibility in how you want to customize your goods
- Slim profit margins; the products are so cheap, and a lot of dropshippers are selling them at a low price
Take note that most of the products and sellers in AliExpress are physically in China. As such, shipping is quite fast.
2. Printful – best for personalized products
Printful is a print-on-demand company, which means they will print your design on a blank item. After the printing, they will ship the item to your customer.
Printful is an excellent dropship supplier in Japan because you can keep up with the trends. As the trend changes, you can also change the print on your goods.
- Design module – there is a software program where you can upload your design and put it in the appropriate area in the product
- Supplier choice – Printful outsources its raw and blank materials from several suppliers
- Integration – you can integrate the Printful application with your eCommerce platform
- Lots of blank items to choose from
- Easy integration with only a few clicks
- They use several printing techniques, including embroidery
- Shipping can be costly
To be clear, you must first choose blank items that you want to sell. The next step is to create a design and then upload that design to your Printful account.
From here, you can position the design on one part of the product, like on the front or back of a shirt. The system will give you a mock-up version, which you can post on your store.
Even if you can print anything on the shirts and mugs, be careful not to print copyrighted material. If you do this, your counterfeit item may not go through customs.
3. CJDropshipping – best alternative to AliExpress
CJDropshipping is a dropship supplier database. Most of the suppliers are also in China, making it an excellent partner for Japan dropshipping.
You must sign up and integrate the application with your store to use it. From the CJDropshipping dashboard, you can add a product to your store.
- Global warehouses – although the sellers here are Chinese manufacturers, they have warehouses spread out throughout the world
- Customization – the sellers here understand that they are dropship suppliers; you can ask them to customize the packaging for you
- Agent support – once you are a member, there is an agent in charge of you; you can speak to this agent whenever you need help
- The suppliers here are trustworthy
- More than 400,000 products are on the website and up for grabs
- Multiple shipping options
- It is free to use the application
- Some sellers charge warehouse fees
Use CJDropshipping if you want to source from AliExpress. The difference is that you can integrate your store with an app. It is much easier to do it this way than going direct to AliExpress.
4. Spocket – best for dropshippers looking for specific sellers
Spocket is one of the biggest and most successful dropship supplier databases. Now that Oberlo is bankrupt, Socket is the new leader in this niche.
- Filter options – you can filter your search based on where the supplier is or which counties the supplier would ship to
- Integrations – Spocket is compatible with many eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, Big Commerce, etc.
- Product analysis – the tool shows you the cost of each product plus its current market value; it is easy to see how much margin you can earn
- Lots of integration options
- There is a free-forever account
- Customer support is 24/7
- You can search the database with an image, not keywords
- You must upgrade to get better features
Use Spocket if you want a streamlined dropshipping app for Japan. It is ideal for dropshippers in Japan who want to choose specific Japanese suppliers.
The thing with Spocket is that you can only add a few products to your store. If you want to add more, you must upgrade your plan.
5. eWorldTrade – best for high-quality and rare products
eWorldTrade is a renowned B2B platform where buyers and sellers meet. Although it is not strictly a dropshipping supplier company, I recommend it to dropshippers in Japan.
The reason behind this line of thinking is the quality of the products you will find here. It is a directory of producers and manufacturers for all sorts of things. Indeed, you will find a supplier here for a product you want to sell to the Japanese market.
- Sorting – if you already have a company in mind, you can use the search box and sort them by name.
- Product search – there are so many products here that you will not find on typical dropship supplier websites. For example, it is here where you can find things like air cylinders, acrylic polymer coating, air core transformers, and many other industrial items.
- Buy offers – as a buyer, you can post what you are looking for. For example, some buyers post inquiries about zinc sulfate, hoodies, inflatable furniture, etc.
- You can work with international manufacturers
- It is free to join
- Price quotes from sellers are free
- All sellers and buyers go through a verification process
- Products are expensive
After joining, you will work with an account manager who will care for your needs. You can communicate with the account manager what you want. It is the account manager who will provide you with clarity on how the dropshipping business model will work for you.
6. Niche Dropshipping – best for white-label dropshipping
Niche dropshipping is a company that operates similarly to Spocket. However, this company focuses on Chinese products, white labels, and branding.
Niche Dropshipping is an excellent partner to dropship to Japan because they offer free sourcing. With this company, you will operate a high-level dropshipping business, not a simple home-based store.
- Dropshipping agent – the company has a group of people who will look for dropship suppliers on your behalf.
- Bulk purchase – if you want, you can purchase products in bulk for a better price. They will warehouse the item for you and then ship it to your customer if there is an order.
- Branded products – they specialize in custom packaging and branding; you can make your products appear non-generic.
- You can expect one on one support from their experts
- You can brand your products
- All products go through quality inspection
- You can integrate the system with Shopify
- There is no transparency in pricing for the service or app
I recommend Niche Dropshipping if you want a white-label product. It is an excellent partner for dropshipping because you can brand your products and create a name for yourself.
7. HyperSKU – best for scaling a dropshipping business
HyperSKU is a platform I recommend for Japan dropshipping because of its support. They will help you grow your business in Japan.
What does that mean? HyperSKU does not charge a subscription fee. As such, you do not have to worry about additional costs to your overhead. They only charge a commission for each sale.
On top of that, HyperSKU offers systematic after-sales support. They hold suppliers responsible for errors, such as wrong products sent or defective products.
- Integration – you can integrate the system with either Shopify or WooCommerce
- Warehouse – they have global warehouses, not just in Asia.
- Private Label – you can customize your products and your labels
- They will order a product sample for you
- Expect after-sales support; get a refund if the supplier makes a mistake
- The team will help you find suppliers for products you want to sell
- You will not know who the supplier is; you cannot control where they source the products
My take on HyperSKU is that you must use it if you look forward to scaling your business. They do not have limitations on your order count or product count. In addition, there is no minimum order requirement.
8. Dropified – best for furniture dropshippers
I recommend Dropified for dropshippers in Japan looking for expensive high-margin products and food supplements.
Dropified is where you can source quality furniture, which the Japanese market wants and needs. It is also where you can white-label food supplements that you can brand as your own.
- Automation – the prices in your store will automatically change if the supplier also changes the price
- ePacket – the suppliers here mainly use ePacket, an affordable shipping option if the products are from China
- Analysis – the system has a statistical tool that will tell you if your store is profitable or losing money.
- Automated pricing for your goods
- You can source products from eBay, not just AliExpress
- You can post your products on the Facebook marketplace
- There is a system for tracking and managing orders
- There is a subscription cost to the platform
Dropified is free to use for typical dropshipping for a limited time. However, there is a monthly subscription for private-label food supplements.
Use Dropified to source products from AliExpress, Alibaba, and eBay. I suggest using it if your primary marketing plan for Japan is through Facebook.
9. AppScenic – best for “imported product type” dropshippers
AppScenic is like HyperSKU and Niche Dropshipping. It has automation tools that you can integrate with your dropshipping store. The big difference is that this company focuses on Western and European manufacturers.
For dropshippers in Japan, I recommend it if you want to target Japanese consumers who love western products.
- Integration – you can integrate the dropshipping platform with Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and eBay.
- Automation – the system will sync its product elements with your store; if there is a price change, your store will reflect it. You do not need to adjust it yourself.
- Order automation – you do not have to place the order with the supplier. Once a customer orders from your store, the supplier will get a notification and ship the item. The system will also pay the supplier as long as the customer has already paid.
- They have a free-forever account type
- You can dropship products from the US, UK, or Europe, not just China
- Automation makes it easier to operate a dropshipping business
- You get more value if you pay for an upgraded account
Use AppScenic if you are looking for non-Chinese products. In addition, I also recommend it if you want a sophisticated automation system.
Can You Advertise Online in Japan?
Yes, you can advertise online in Japan. In addition, dropshippers like us are in luck because Facebook exists in the country. However, the Facebook page in Japan uses the Japanese language, not English.
However, please do not limit yourself to Facebook, as it is not the only social media company that operates in the country. There is one social media app that surpasses Facebook: LINE.
LINE is not exclusively for the Japanese, as it has users in Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand. LINE has around 165 million users. On the other hand, Japan only has about 15 million users of Facebook.
It would be best if you learn how to advertise in Japanese or understand how to use LINE. If this is a lot of work, you can always get the services of a third-party company to promote products for you.
An excellent example of this is DMFA, an online advertising company for the Asian market. They will create and launch ads for you, ensuring that your message fits the mindset of your target buyers.
What Payment Gateways Do the Japanese Use?
There are several payment companies that you can use for your Japan dropshipping store. I will not spend much time in this section, as payment gateways function similarly.
Here are the most common payment processors you can use in Japan:
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
There are many other payment methods out there. However, I must point out that Rakuten Pay is Japan’s biggest and most used payment system.
I can say that Rakuten Pay is the de facto or default card and e-Wallet of Japanese consumers. Since it is a card, consumers can load it with cash and convert it into Rakuten Points.
It is the Rakuten Points that they use to make purchases online. However, they can also use Rakuten Cash.
As a merchant, you must treat Rakuten the way you treat Mastercard and VISA. The Rakuten cards operate on these two card platforms.
It means that you only need a payment processor that accepts VISA and Mastercard, and you should be able to get payments from a Rakuten Card.
What do Japanese customers want?
What should you sell as a dropshipper in Japan? Well, let us take a look at the chart below. This chart shows the top eCommerce products in Japan, according to Statista .
As we can see here, the top three items to sell are:
- Beauty, health, and household care
Among these three, you would do well if you sell fashion and furniture. The beauty space has a high saturation point by now. Besides, the Japanese are not as crazy about beauty as Koreans are.
Make no mistake—there are IKEA stores in Japan. The last time I checked, there were nine IKEA franchises in the country.
Do not let this intimidate you. IKEA sells furniture made in China, as China is a major manufacturer of IKEA’s products.
What does that mean for you? You can find furniture suppliers from my list at a cheaper rate. As such, you can compete with IKEA’s prices in Japan.
Original Japanese furniture is expensive. I would recommend this niche if you wanted to dropship in Japan because the market is looking for cheap furniture. If you want to analyze how furniture sells, use our product database analysis tool, Dropship.IO.
Take a look at the screenshot below:
What I did here was this: I searched the product database for “table.” I got the result above. Now, if I click on the top-most product, which is a foldable laptop table, I see this:
The website that we see here is the seller’s website. We can see that the original price is $77, yet the item is on sale. It is now selling at $49.99. Indeed, the sale price still gives the seller a profit, right?
Now, if I go to Competitor Research and use the Foldable Laptop Table Bed Table” as a keyword, I will see this:
From here, I can see several suppliers for this product. They are also sellers, and they sell on Amazon, AliExpress, and other sites.
What I can do now is browse these sellers. And you know what I found out? I saw an affordable laptop table. Take a look at the screenshot below.
As you can see, there is a seller whose laptop table is only $9.59. Now, if I drop ship that item for $49.99, my gross profit is $40.4!
Dropship.IO is the tool you need to do the following things:
- Track online stores
- Track the sales performance of products
- Analyze competition
I suggest you use Dropship.IO first to determine your potential profit margins. You can cross-check with your preferred dropship supplier in Japan if the product is available.
If you do your Japan dropshipping this way, you do it purposefully. You are not taking a shot in the dark. Instead, each decision you make has surgical precision. Overall, I recommend you use Dropship.IO and one of the dropship suppliers on my list.
Japan Dropshipping Frequently Asked Questions
Is Japan good for dropshipping?
Yes, Japan is an ideal marketplace for a drop shipper. The country has excellent internet infrastructure, willing customers, and buying power.
Which company is best for Japan dropshipping?
The best company that I recommend for Japan dropshipping is AliExpress. It is an online retail marketplace and the largest one at that. I recommend it because it is a Chinese company, and China is close to Japan.
What is the most profitable item to dropship?
There is no single answer to this. Profit depends on your capital, expenses, and margins. If you want to find the best product to sell, I recommend you test Dropship.IO. It is a highly sophisticated product database tool that extensively analyzes a product’s profitability and sales performance.
How do I find a reputable dropshipping supplier?
To find a reputable supplier, you must take the time to work with several of them. We have a detailed explanation of what you need to consider when choosing a dropship supplier.
The best dropship supplier in Japan is AliExpress. Below are my justifications:
- Millions of products to find
- The proximity of suppliers to Japan; most of them are in China
- Affordable products
- Most sellers here are manufacturers themselves
Since you will deal with the manufacturer, you can get a lower price and sell at a higher margin. In addition, you can also enjoy some extra services like branding.
Check AliExpress now and see what the website has to offer. Order a sample if there is anything you like. But before that, I strongly recommend that you give Dropshp.IO a try. We offer our services for free for seven days!