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How to Sell on Rakuten in 2021? (Complete Guide)

To start a very profiting business in Japan, Rakuten is undoubtedly a very promising platform. In Japan, it is quite a common scenario to see people checking out Rakuten to buy goods, even more than Amazon.  To give your business a new vista in 2021, Rakuten is undoubtedly a very reliable platform as it represents 27% of the e-commerce market share in Japan. This largest online marketplace of Japan is undoubtedly a very nice choice if you are looking for an effective way to boost up your multi-channel strategy in Japan and on a global scale. Becoming a Rakuten seller in 2021 is thus very profitable to shape the success of your merchandise. So how do you sell on Rakuten? Here is a complete guide for you:

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten or the “Amazon of Japan” works as a B2B2C platform. With its name Rakuten Ichiba, it started the journey in 1997 with the hands of Hiroshi Mikitani. Currently, it has 1.3 million global members on the site, which makes selling easier for any of the Rakuten Sellers. The site holds its leading position in Japan, which inspires a large number of merchants every year to tie-up with the platform.

It performs as the Largest Marketplace in Japan that offers eCommerce fin-tech, communication service, digital content to its multitudes of active users. It gives opportunities to 44000 sellers to sell on Rakuten across 30+ countries and a variety of regions on a global scale.

Rakuten started to expand its market in 2005 to a global scale through its joint ventures and acquisitions. Rakuten has acquired Viber, Viki, Overdrive, eBates, and many more, which makes it a leading business giant on the global platform. Another aspect that makes Rakuten more reliable is its huge network system.

Rakuten in the U.S. is known as Rakuten U.S., which makes it have a significant place in the market in the United States. Currently, it has a burgeoning ecosystem in countries like France, U.S. which is making it more reliable and profitable as an eCommerce marketplace for the new merchants.

Selling Goods using Rakuten marketplace in Japan

Selling on Rakuten in Japan comes with its own benefits and various prospects. The Japanese Version of Rakuten opens up new areas and better opportunities to enhance your sales in the marketplace.

Why selling in Japan is advantageous comes with a good answer, i.e., it is comparatively a richer country that engages a lot of population to indulge in buying products from e-commerce. The online sales figure here is undoubtedly above average. Since the platform boasts all kinds of essential items, there is a huge opportunity to attract Japanese sellers to buy more things.

However, there are difficulties, like you are going to need a bank account and Japanese business entity. Also, the registration process is long enough as Rakuten goes through a thorough verification to examine the authenticity of the brand. It takes at least 4 weeks to start selling.

The Rakuten seller account comes with the shipping charge if you are having a stock warehouse in some other country. You may also need native speakers who can help you with the language to manage your store in the marketplace and to deal with the customer service portal.

If you are thinking of making Japan your target market, then it is better to use the proper business tools that can streamline the process of multi-language catalogs to prevent content errors while you distribute your products on several platforms in this country.

To make your selling on Rakuten more effective, make sure you have the proper stock, clear descriptions, and images for your catalogs. Preferring customization for the Japanese market can help you to have a very smooth business. You need to send your product content and SKU to allow the automation of the connection between your company and Rakuten for a stable and effective business in Japan.

How to Sell on Rakuten in the USA?

If Japan is not at all your preference for selling goods through Rakuten, then you can simply opt for the global marketplace of Rakuten.  The marketplace also extends its opportunities to 29 other countries. You can pick any other market which is focused on selling to national customers. Also, the selling process on a global scale is much easier than in the marketplace of Japan.

If you are thinking of expanding your sales in the USA, then the procedure is quite simple. Here is how you can step into the Rakuten U.S.-

  • Create a Rakuten marketplace seller account for the U.S.
  • You have to fill the places with your company’s details, that includes I.D., telephone number and credit card details.
  • The merchants need to have a W9 form while applying to become a Rakuten seller.
  • com also accepts W8 for merchants that come without the United States tax.
  • Now you need to wait for the confirmation of Rakuten. It usually takes 3-10 days. After that, you can easily add your product details and start selling.
  • You need to ensure fast and reliable shipping time for your U.S. customers.

How to Sell on Rakuten on a Global Scale?

If you are not a seller who is based in Japan or the USA, then you can also opt for selling on Rakuten using other marketplaces. You can avail the help of the third-party partners who come with the approval of Rakuten.

To ensure the selling with Rakuten, you are going to need a signed contract with any service provider, which is going to manage all your setups, administrations, and the organizing of your stores. In such matters, Rakuten seller support helps you in the right way.

Rakuten opted to acquire PriceMinister in 2010, which is a leading online e-commerce platform in France, which gives you a huge opportunity to start selling your goods in France. The Rakuten rance boasts accounts of more than 22 million members with 10 million active users. The opportunity also grows up to selling in Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Why is It Advantageous to Start Selling with Rakuten?

If you are thinking of giving your business a very fast and effective growth from the very beginning, then you need to check on a marketplace that serves you in the best way to target a huge marketplace. Rakuten is ideal for such platforms, which is the first choice of a large number of brands.  Here are the benefits that it offers to you:

Better Opportunity

Rakuten works with a very diverse and huge network and marketplace with includes a large number of e-commerce companies, marketing firms, loyalty bonus programs, logistics, and many more, which makes it a great area to check on.

Customized Storefront

Rakuten understands the needs of its sellers. It comes with the personalization option for the brands to identify the customization of the storefronts, which gets paired with their own policies.

Reaching Out to Customers

Reaching out to more and more customers is much easier and effective with Rakuten. It comes with a large number of users who effectively browse the Rakuten platform, which enhances your reach towards them for a better sales rate.

What do You Need to Sell on Rakuten?

Selling on Rakuten is comparatively easier than any other platform. Here is what you are going to get while selling on Rakuten:

  • Rakuten seller account on the Rakuten seller portal
  • Your products teamed with one of the barcodes from UPC, JAN, EAN, ISBN.
  • Your own brand name
  • A unique manufacturer I.D. is essential.
  • Post the screening and confirmation; you need to list your products through F.T. feeds, RMS web tool. You can also use third-party integration or open API.

What are the Major Product Categories to Sell on Rakuten?

When it comes to providing the category, Rakuten keeps it quite simple. It permits you a large list of items to sell on the platform. You can sell from tech gadgets to trendy fashion items. Also, there are baby essentials and other essential supplies. Here is what Rakuten offers you for selling:

  • Home and outdoor
  • Electronics
  • Pet supplies
  • Bags and luggage
  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Shoes
  • Beauty and personal care
  • Sports and fitness
  • Health care
  • Media
  • Toys
  • Toddler and baby items
  • Office supplies
  • Automotive and parts
  • Other essentials

What are the Prerequisites to Start Selling on Rakuten Marketplace?

Rakuten is currently leading the world market while beating Amazon by 27% in Japan for the eCommerce market share. In the U.S., Rakuten is pairing with “Ebates” with near about 40% cashback on the purchase in a variety of ways to get the bonus points. It helps the sellers to earn in an effective way from the repeated buyers.  It takes nearly one or two months to ensure your Rakuten seller portal is live on the site.

What are the Seller Fees for Selling on Rakuten?

Rakuten fees come with three types of structure for the seller. Here is how the Rakuten pricing comes:

  • Individual listing fee at 99 cents for each of the listing
  • Monthly account fee at the rate of $39 per month
  • Category-based commission rate. For items like apparel and accessories, health and beauty, home and outdoor supplies, Media, jewelry and watches come with a 15% commission rate. Automotive and Powersports, musical instruments, office supplies come with a 12% commission. Products like video games and software come at a 10% rate.

Merchants get paid on a weekly basis for the orders. All the orders that get completed at 0:00 AM on Tuesday to the next Monday at 11:59 PM are going to be paid for the next day.

How do You Increase Sales on Rakuten?

While Rakuten is a very effective place for boosting up your sales in 2021, it comes with a variety of areas on which you can focus to increase your sales. Here is how do you do it:

Maximum of Shipping Options

Most of the customers prefer free shipping. It is always beneficial to boost up your sales. It lets you add 20 shipping options.

Optimization of the Listing

Rakuten’s products searching and the variety of recommendations wants a keyword in the product description and at the title, area to boost the sale.

Customized product pages: It is also beneficial to create customized product pages to make your offerings more appealing.  You can add demo videos, keyword base titles, and descriptions to make your products more effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Fee Structure for Starting Selling at Rakuten?

Selling at Rakuten comes with a variety of plans for the sellers. In case you are selling from overseas, you need to choose a basic package which is designed for international merchants. This includes the registration and monthly account fees, affiliate fees, payment processing fees, and commission rates.

Is It Necessary to Speak Japanese to Sell with Rakuten?

The seller information page of Rakuten comes with stating that the merchants must be skilled in Japanese to handle the customer support, order and return, marketing campaigns, page maintenance, and to operate the shop interface. Hence it is necessary!

What makes Rakuten Better than Amazon?

Rakuten comes with the proper control and personalization for its brands, which Amazon lacks. It gives a more personalized shopping experience which makes it better than Amazon in many aspects.

Can Anyone Sell on Rakuten?

Rakuten works as an only e-commerce marketplace. The merchants need to get approval before starting to sell with Rakuten.


Whether it is targeting the market of Japan or tie-up with third-party registered sellers, it sells globally. Rakuten is undoubtedly a great choice for your e-commerce business career. The new market of 2021 is more focused on buying goods online than buying from a physical store, which makes Rakuten the best place to give your more opportunities this year. Hence if you are thinking of trying your hands in e-commerce marketing for a better return and more profit, then Rakuten is the best place to start selling to create a significant place in the market.

Alf Alferez

Author: Alf Alferez

Dedicated writer with a strong track record of developing customer loyalty and managing general office operations. Enjoy being a part of a company where my skills and creative ideas will benefit the overall productivity of the organization. I have a strong desire to work in helping make the world a better place. Please reach out to me on [email protected]

Alf Alferez
Dedicated writer with a strong track record of developing customer loyalty and managing general office operations. Enjoy being a part of a company where my skills and creative ideas will benefit the overall productivity of the organization. I have a strong desire to work in helping make the world a better place. Please reach out to me on [email protected]

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