Almost every JET buys stuff from their predecessor. Your predecessor might give you a flat rate just to take it all, or they might give you a line-by-line price tag on each item, or they might realize that the used couch that they paid 1000 yen for isn’t worth haggling over, and just give you their stuff. In most cases, JETs are honest about what they have and what condition it’s in. Still, every now and then there’s a new JET who gets to their new apartment only to discover that their predecessor ripped them off. This rarely happens, but unfortunately if it does, you won’t really have any recourse but to vow not to do the same to your successor.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you are thinking of buying, and don’t worry about saying that you don’t want to buy something. If your predecessor is offering it all for a flat rate, it might not be worth it to refuse certain things to bring the price down, but if you have no need for a $2000 video camera (even at the amazing price of $800), then feel free to say no. Here are some questions you might want to ask:
- Who owns it or who paid for it? If your predecessor bought it, how much did they pay for it?
- How old is it?
- How much do they want to sell it for? You can hopefully come to an agreement that you are both happy with when it comes to price. When you do set a price that you both accept, stick to it. Be fair.
- Is it something you will definitely need? You might have an in-built air-con/heater and the one they are offering you is a spare.
- For bigger purchases, don’t hesitate to ask for a picture.
Be explicit. If there is something you know you don’t want to buy, then give your predecessor enough warning so that they can get rid of anything they can`t take home if no one will buy it.