FW-61 -- Why Buy When You Could Rent?

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
* * * * * * * * F R U G A L W A T C H * * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of how to be frugal in the world's most
expensive country to live (unless you read this!), written
and compiled by Wendy J. Imura.

Regular edition, June 20, 2005 Issue No. 61

- What's New (Why Buy When You Could Rent?)
- Frugal Friends: (Preemie Clothing)
- Frugal Tips (Frugal Baby Tips)
- Credits

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Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar

Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 12 start-up companies in Japan
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q&A on starting
up a company in Japan. This is an ideal opportunity to find
out what is involved, and to ask specific questions that are
not normally answered in business books. All materials is
For more details: http://japaninc.com/handbook_seminar3/

+++ WHAT'S NEW (Why Buy When You Could Rent?)

Dear Frugal Readers,

Equipping an apartment or house with furnishings can be
challenging enough in a new country, especially when you
don't speak the language well. But what if you're only going
to be in Japan for a finite amount of time? Suppose you
are studying at a year-long language program, are coming as a
short-term teacher, artist, or model, or just simply don't
want to commit to buying too much? Well, new rental options
abound that can make outfitting your abode quite easy.

Take home electronics, for example. Even if your apartment
is provided by your employer or school, you still might have
to fill it with the basic necessities for life in Japan, such as
a refrigerator, washer, television set, and microwave oven.
Purchasing all of these items new, even at a discount retailer,
can sometimes run over 120,000-150,000 yen, even if you buy
the absolute cheapest brands you can find. Then, you have to
worry about selling/getting rid of the goods when you leave!
Buying secondhand can be cheaper, but finding recycle shops
in rural locations can be a challenge, and buying from other
foreigners makes shipping your new purchases across Tokyo
or Japan another consideration. What's a confused gaijin to do?

Well, one very smart plan is to take a look at Toshiba's Techno
Network 'kaden rental service' - which offers a four-piece
'set' - TV, fridge, washer, and microwave - from 38,000 yen a
year for a three-year contract. A one-year monthly contract starts
at 7,665 yen per month (all maintenance included). All the
products are brand new Toshiba goods, and shipping/collection
at the end of the contract is also free. Call 03-5818-7875
for details, or check out the following website:
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/tcn/pack/index_j.htm (Japanese only).
An English description can be found here (watch out for the
price error!):

Are you expecting a new baby while in Japan? Well, many Japanese
people make use of rental services for baby goods, particularly
expensive ones used for only a few months (such as cribs/cots,
baby carriages, car seats, and other items). A number of services
exist for this around Japan, and the best place to get
catalogs/information is at your local maternity clinic or hospital.
Alternatively, check out www.ibaby.co.jp (click on the magazine
cover, Japanese only) to see Aiiku Baby's lineup of rental goods.
This company does free delivery/retreival within Kanto, and
will also replace a broken/damaged item for free during your contract.
A basic baby cot/crib, for example, can be had for as little as 7,900
yen for an entire year, and a Combi reclining stroller for 10,080 yen
for six months. This is a great service if you lack storage space,
want to save money, or plan on being in Japan for only a short while
(2-3 years).

Finally, you can rent just about anything else in Japan, too.
Nihon My Rental (0120-750-081) rents travel goods, outdoor
products, and baby goods nationwide (including camping gear and
large suitcases). If you're thinking about trying out a new
instrument but don't want to commit to a purchase yet, give
Music Lease (0120-381-808) a call - you can choose between
new and used instruments for rent, and can also purchase the
instrument midway through the contract. An alto-saxaphone,
for example, runs about 4,300 yen/month. Finally, look at Duskin's
website for renting just about everything, or call 0120-100-100.
They maintain a network of retail locations, and you can reserve
items over the Internet for rental periods as short as
24 hours. See their website at http://www.kasite.net/
(Japanese only).

If you know where to look, you can find surprisingly good deals
on a whole range of rental products in Japan - a solution that
can both fit your budget, time frame, and storage needs.

Frugally yours,
Wendy J. Imura

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+++ FRUGAL FRIENDS (Preemie Clothing) ++++

Welcome to a new section on Frugal Watch: Frugal Friends! In this
corner, we introduce foriegn-owned or foreigner-friendly businesses
and services around Japan. If you know of a Frugal Friend-worthy
business, or would like to introduce your own business to our nearly
1,000 readers, email Wendy J. Imura (frugalwatch@japaninc.com)!

Today's Frugal Friend introduction is a new website/online commerce
site called PreemieLove! As introduced by the site's owner, J. Tamura,
"We just opened our website business and I wanted to invite anyone
with interest to check it out.

"Our Japanese site specializes in selling clothing and diapers for preemie and small newborn babies. Our goal is perfect fit clothing
for preemies and small infants."

This well-designed site, while in Japanese only, fills a definite need
in the marketplace for clothing for preemie or small-size baby clothing.
Please spread the word on this new undertaking from a Frugal Friend!

=== Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo - July 5th Seminar ===

This coming July, EA-Tokyo is lucky to have well-known
entrepreneur, Fujiyo Ishiguro, President and CEO of Netyear
Group Corporation. For more information please visit the
EA-Tokyo website listed below.

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 5th 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room
(Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language: English
Website: http://www.ea-tokyo.com
Email: info@ea-tokyo.com
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+++ FRUGAL TIPS (Frugal Baby Tips)
In keeping with our (semi) baby theme in this issue, I thought I'd
remind readers of our online Frugal Encyclopedia article written by
Heather F. in Nagano. Filled with great advice on how to have, and
raise, a baby frugally in Japan, this article is a must-read for any
new parents. Enjoy!


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Written by: Wendy J. Imura (frugalwatch@japaninc.com)
Edited by: JI

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