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Japanese avoid getting money 2017/3/19 16:07
Hi,

I wonder how are the things... if I ask Japanese to buy some books, tickets etc for me, and I will pay for them to him/her afterwards when gets the credit card bill, they usually are not willing to tell about it. So I have to ask about it for several times, and maybe then he will reveal the sum. Or he will say that he forgot it. is it like they don't want to get money back for the purchases?

by Kirinpa (guest)  

Re: Japanese avoid getting money 2017/3/20 10:28
Bringing up the topic of getting money back can be cumbersome for some, it may be somewhat embarrassing to some people, as if asking suggests they are greedy for money (even when they are asking to have their money back). Is there any way you can ask and pay immediately when you receive the merchandise from them, receive whatever it is only in exchange for the money, or pay them the approximate amount in advance?
by .... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese avoid getting money 2017/3/20 12:11
Word of advice: don't quibble about getting the precise sum from them, either look it up yourself or if you can't do that conservatively estimate, and then round up and give that to them. Furthermore (if possible,) give it to them in an envelope so that it's not obvious how much you're giving them. They may initially refuse it, but absolutely insist, and they will eventually accept. This may all seem needlessly roundabout to you, but that would be the proper etiquette.
by gfoulk rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese avoid getting money 2017/3/20 12:31
This can be tricky. It can seem rude/greedy to ask for money, especially such small sums as books or tickets. Many people would prefer to forgo the money than risk appearing small and money-grubby.

I find the best solution is to neither expect the person owed to ask for money nor the person owing to ask for the price. What you should do is confirm the price beforehand or independently. Prepare the money, put it in an envelope, and hand it over (ideal timing would be when you receive the goods, but if that's not possible than the earlier the better). If you're unable to get the exact price, get a rough estimate and err on the side of overpaying them (it will be much easier for them to give you the overage back than to ask you for what you are short).

Basically you want to create a situation where you both appear unconcerned about keeping careful track of money being exchanged between friends. The person being owed acts as if they couldn't care less about ever seeing their money again, and the person owing acts as if they want to shower the loaner with extra cash as a favor for having advanced them money in the first place. The goal is always to create good feelings all around.

by Harimogura rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese avoid getting money 2017/3/20 17:06
They don't want to cause you to lose face by indicating you do not remember your obligation. In the future note what the debt is and then pay your friend with the yen in a nice envelope. It's your obligation to remember.
by PsyGuy rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese avoid getting money 2017/3/20 20:36
Surely you know the price for the goods you are buying, right?
If your friends bought books/tickets online because maybe you don't have permanent positing address or don't have credit card, then like others say, put money in envelope to give it to your friends.
If they still don't accept, maybe have lunch/dinner together and pay for them?
Or bring drink/cake sort of gift about the same price as the goods you asked them to buy on behalf?
Maybe that is more comfortable for Japanese to receive small gift, rather than money.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

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