In 2021, the scenario of expanding business will change. The marketplace is trying new strategies, different platforms, and other options to reach customers and generate more sales.

Lots of e-commerce are taking their business to the next step by adding multichannel strategy and business expansion. And when you are considering the expansion where your business can grow, you will look for a marketplace that targets the region. 

Rakuten is one of the promising platforms where you get millions of visitors per month. To start the business there, you might need a guide, and here is what will help you. 

What Is Rakuten And What’s The Reasons To Choose?

There are more than 150 markets that make it difficult to choose and it’s challenging to pick the right one. 

However choosing Rakuten has its own reasons that you need to understand, so the rest makes sense to you. 

But first, what is Rakuten? Well, this platform is not just the marketplace but it includes a group of different companies where more than 1.3 billion members work.

Rakuten is also known as the ‘ Amazon of Japan’. The platform was established by Hiroshi Mikitani in 1997, focusing on B2B and B2C operations in Japan.

Image source: AMZadvisers

Well, Rakuten did the global expansion in 2005 with Viber, Viki, Overdrive, eBates, etc. In 2019, the marketplace was ranked 4th place in the world’s top online marketplace. 

Well, as for the seller, it’s important to know the reasons before you commit. Knowing the benefits will make it easier to know if it’s profitable for you or not.

benefits of rakuten for sellers

Here are some major reasons why Rakuten is a good choice for sellers : 

Customer Support 

Customer support of Rakuten is considered helpful and unlike other platforms. Here sellers are not left alone to deal with their own problems. 

Rakuten customer support backed up in every step, ready to address and solve the issues along with giving useful advice. 

Personalizing The Storefront 

For those sellers who have complaints that their storefront is not personalized enough, this platform will be helpful. 

When you choose Rakuten, you are getting the options to create the personalizing storefront as you want. 

You can use this for building your brand image consistency and take it across the sales channels.

Extensive Opportunities 

Well, you get the diverse network as Rakuten includes different e-commerce companies, marketing firms, logistics, and loyalty bonus programs. 

For example, they have Rauten Viki, Rakuten Super Logistics , Rakuten Viber, Rakuten Marketing etc.

Rich Features 

Rakuten is one of the prominent tech platforms where you get the additional tools to boost the brand visuality, Also you can use their tools and features to reach more customers. 

You get the R-email which is an email marketing tool and one of the tools. With this, you can reach your old customers and offer your new products, share the information, do promotions as well as discounts. 

This also helps in getting in touch with them to remind them about your store. However, you might not find the tool at starting, for this you need to contact seller support. 

Complete Fair In Competition 

Rakuten is not just famous for being the tech and seller supporting platform, here you get the competition with all fairness. 

You list the products and compete with other sellers, not with Rakuten. Here you don’t find the platform selling anything on its own.

Save More Money 

Rakuten offers ample options when it comes to saving. They have the Rakuten super points that are an exceptional cashback. 

With this, you can gain more customer loyalty when they do repetitive purchases. With super points, customers gain 1% of cashback on their next purchase, and this motivates them to do more purchases. 

Image source: BQ

As a seller, you get the money-saving option as you don’t have to target the customers again and again. Also, you get the base here where you are getting purchased on repeat. 

Fast Payments 

Here you get the payments every week, so you are not waiting for a long time to get your payments done. 

Rakuten keeps the process hassle-free so you can sell and earn money without any hassle. 

What You Will Need To Start WIth Rakuten Marketplace?

Rakuten is no doubt beating Amazon which is known as the world champion when it comes to e-commerce platforms. And it’s not a small thing and not something you should ignore.

With Rakuten, you can develop your new base of customers, also it can help you in bringing more repetitive buyers which saves investment and resources. 

Well to sell on Rakuten, you are going to need few things such as :

  • Your account on Rakuten Seller Portal. 
  • Your own brand name, here you can use your name if you want.
  • Your products have one barcode ( EAN, UPC, JAN, ISBN).
  • Your unique manufacturing id for ensuring that you own the business.
  • Once your screen is confirmed, you can list the products in 4 different ways such as FTP feeds, RMS web tool, open APL, or Third-party integration. 

If your business is based in Rakuten USA, or your business is outside of the country, there are few criteria you need to meet first. 

  • Fast shipping time for customers in the US.
  • Have cred card account and US bank,
  • You need to have a W9 form for applying to Rakuten marketplace merchants.
  • If NOT W9, you can have W8 but without the US tax status.
  • Customer services email address is mandatory and it should be answered when the US business hours are going on.
  • Well, it’s optional, but you also need to have a customer service phone number in the US.

What If Your Business Is Not In Japan Or US?

To those sellers who do not belong to either of countries like Japan and US. well, there is no worry as you can still sell your products on Rakuten. 

However, for that, you will need third-party partners and it should be approved by Rakuten first. 

Here you will need the contract signed with the service providers which will handle your setup, operation, administration, etc.

Now you get in touch with their support center if you need more solutions. 

What To Consider Before You Start Selling On Rakuten?

Rakuten is no doubt a profitable marketplace for sellers to start. Also, you are getting a huge crowd along with tons of tools to help you in selling your products.

Well before you start selling, there are few points that you need to consider. These points will also help you in deciding whether Rakuten is good for your business or not. 

things consider before selling on rakuten

Only Exclusive Branded Items 

Rakuten has a strict policy when it comes to what you can sell. They only let you sell if your items are branded products

Without the approval of Rakuten, you can’t sell the products. This should be exclusively the band to start the selling on the platform. 

Registration Of Business

Rakuten is Japan-based, and that is why you need to have the registration for your business in Japan. Without this, you can’t start the business and sell on Rakuten. 

Make sure you complete the registration before you consider selling using the platform.

Valid UPCs On Products 

To make sure that you are eligible to sell on Rakuten, your product needs to have a UPC code. Well, these codes are known as Universal Product Codes and they are assigned uniquely for every product that is sold online.

This is important to have when you decide to use Rakuten for selling your items. yOur product should include UPCs for that.

Japanese Bank Account 

You are going to need a bank account in Japan. This Japanese account will be used for Rakuten and to process all of your payments via it.

The platform has strict guidelines and they check the credentials to make sure that the sellers are verified before they start selling the products. 

Language Issue 

Since Rakuten is Japanese based marketplace, the language will be a barrier for most of the sellers. 

Image source: webretailer

This is why you either need to have an understanding of the Japanese language or you should have staff who can handle this for you. 

Shipment Handle

When you are dealing with Rakuten, it’s you who will handle the shipment. They monitor their sellers and their new orders. 

The shipment requires processing on the decided time and listing onset time otherwise it can get canceled. 

Same Price 

You need to set your product prices the same that you have on your multiple channels. With this, all channels get equal chances to receive sales and it helps in creating business on Rakuten too. 

What You Can And Cannot Sell On Rakuten?

Now when you have a clear idea if you want to start the business or not, the next step is to understand what are the items you are eligible to sell on Rakuten. 

Here is the list of things that you can sell : 

  • Accessories
  • Shoes
  • Clothing 
  • Health & Beauty Products 
  • Electronics
  • Handbags 
  • Watches
  • Office supplies
  • Pet Supplies
  • Home Supplies
  • Jewelry 
  • Automotive Supplies
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Baby & Kids Gears 
  • Food & Drink 
  • Gifts 
  • Books & Media
  • Gardening Supplies 
  • Flowers & Occasions Top of Form

product category on rakuten sellers

Well, these are items that are allowed for the sellers to sell on Rakuten, but there are some which are not allowed and should be avoided. 

The platform works to protect trademarks, patents, and brands. 

Here is the list of items that you should sell as it’s banned on Rakuten 

  • Luxury Fashion Brands
  • Testers & Samples
  • Counterfeit Goods
  • Trademark Infringement
  • Animal Products
  • Explosive & Firearms 
  • Stolen Goods
  • Subscriptions
  • Offensive Material 
  • Drugs
  • Monetary 
  • Alcohol.

How Much Rakuten Will Cost For Sellers?

One of the things which makes you wonder before choosing any kind of platform is the overall cost and fees that you need to pay to start. 

Well, the Majority of eCommerce platforms also charge certain fees and registration costs which you need to consider. 

To understand better here is what you need to know : 

Listing Fees

Rakuten didn’t charge any kind of fee for listing your products and putting them up for sale. 

Monthly Fee

 Well you need to pay for the monthly charges that Rauketn needs, it costs $39.00 which is for the basic professional packages. 

You can get the professional plus which charges $199. This one is expensive and you get more than 50,000 products. 


 Rakuten charges 0.99 commission on each product that is sold from the sellers. 

Variable Percentage On Product

 There is a certain percentage that will be charged on the overall product. It is based on what type of product you are selling as the percentage changes according to that. 

  • Health & Beauty Care charges 15%
  • Personal care and supplement charges 15%
  • Electronic & Computer Hardware charges 8%
  • Movie, books & music charges 15%
  • Video games and software charges 10%
  • Office supplies charge 12%
  • Jewelry, fashion, clothing, bags, and accessories are 15%
  • Musical instruments charge 12%
  • Other items charge 15%

Steps To Start Selling On Rakuten For Sellers 

Once you are sure that you are ready to start selling on Rakuten there are a few basic steps that you need to follow and you will be all set to start your telling. 

Well for the starting, here are the steps for you to follow : 

Step 1: Register Yourself

Image source: ecommerceguru

The first step you need is to register yourself as a seller on Rakuten. Open your official Rakuten website and start the process for registration. 

Step 2: Click On Selling 

Click on the selling, here you will get the form where you need to register yourself and it will open the seller options for you. 

Step 3: Fill The Information 

This one is an important step that you need to make sure you are filling in completely. Here you will be asked the questions that you need to answer accurately. 

Image source: publisherhelpcenter

This information will be verified and once all processes get done, you are eligible to proceed. The criteria you need to meet are: 

  • You need to have a valid credit card 
  • You should have a tax ID
  • Your account information. 

Step 4: Read All The Terms and Conditions 

It’s not something most of the sellers actually pay attention but make sure you are reading the terms and conditions. 

When you are selling on Rakuten, be sure you have read all the conditions before you start.

This will help you in becoming a reputable seller as you will know what things you should not violate when you are using the Rakuten platform.

Once you are done, click on create your account option to proceed. 

Step 5: Fill Your Store Details 

After following the step 3 and 4 steps, you will get your account. Here you will get the store requirements to fill, give the store name and description. 

Image source: medium

Add the information about your business, address, and contact details to proceed. 

Step 6: Wait For Verification 

As mentioned earlier, Rakuten is strict when it comes to verification so this might take some time to get the account done. 

This will take around 3 to 10 days, and once you get the verification, you can start the next step. 

Step 7: Start Your Shop and Selling 

After you get the approval from Rakuten, you will get access to start as an official seller on Rakuten. Now you need to list your products. However this can be a bit complicated for new sellers, that’s why you get the seller support that will in guiding you. 

Here you can do the listing in two ways i.e. Manually or Bulk, This product listing depends on what you require and how you want to sell.

Manual product listing might take some time as you have to do everything manually including adding the information. 

With the bulk product listing, you can do this by direct uploading your excel sheet or CVS file. This will get approval from Rakuten, the list will be uploaded.


Step 8: Shipping Your Orders 

You will start getting the orders, and the next step here will be a shipment of your orders. 

Rakuten offers two active delivery models from which you can select, depending on what you prefer. The one you get here is in-house delivery, with this, you can manage your shipment on your own. You get control of the supply chain operations. 

The next you get here is the Third-party delivery option. This enables you to choose the shipping companies to deliver your orders to the customers without any hassle. 

How To Sell More On Rakuten?

When you start your business on Rakuten, it’s natural that you want to earn more profits and for that, you are going to need sales. 

To make sure you get that, here are few points for you to follow: 

tips boost more sales on rakuten

Custom Your Product Pages 

Not all of your products are going to get skyrocket sales, there will be some which are getting much better response as compared to others. 

This is important for the revenue, and to make sure you are selling more of those items, you can custom page your product. 

Highlight the products by showcasing them in detail and make them better for catching the attention of the audience. 

You can also add the demo videos, in-depth content, additional images, etc to help the buyers to know why they should purchase it and help in deciding it better. 

Creating Your Storefront 

With Rakuten, you get the best features when it comes to designing your storefront. This is not just good for the store but also makes more audiences curious to visit the store. 

You can personalize your storefront as much you can, so it can create the brand and get more people to visit your store. 

Make sure your storefront mimics your website and the same as other channels. Your branding should be the same to make it more familiar. 

More Shipping Options 

You can offer free shipping if you can manage, if you can’t then you can ignore this. However, Rakuten offers you more options and you can add more than 20 options in shipping. 

The more options you have, the better the customer experience you are providing to your customers. 

Take Help From Consultants 

Well, you get the eCommerce consultant on Rakuten to make your experience better and sell more. Rakuten offers this option to their sellers to keep their work more hassle-free. 

Image source: slideshare 

You can take advantage from this and get your consultant to review your product pages. Also, you can get their recommendations on how you can improve the listing and boost your sales. 

You can take advantage from this and get your consultant to review your product pages. Also, you can get their recommendations on how you can improve the listing and boost your sales. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it important to speak in Japanese on Rakuten?

Yes, it’s necessary as the seller information page you will get on Rakuten mentions that sellers should have skills in Japanese to communicate better with the customer support, campaigns, a page maintained, and other important work. 

How Rakuten is better than Amazon ?

Rakuten offers personalization and complete control for the brands, and this where amazon lacks. To sellers and buyers, this one focuses on personalized experiences which makes Rakuten better than Amazon. 

Which free structure is better for starting on Rakuten?

There are a variety of selling plans that you get on Rakuten. This is better to choose the basic package which is specially designed for interaction sellers. Here you also need to pay monthly. payment processing fee, affiliate fee. commission fee and regulation. 

Can Anyone Become Seller On Rakuten?

Rakuten is strict and has its own invitation-only e-commerce marketplace. That means you can sell on Rakuten only when you get the approval to sell on their platform. 

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