I discovered this via @zonjineko on Twitter…
Flutterscape is a Japanese take on social networking and online purchasing. I haven’t used it, but it looks interesting.
Japan can be pretty insular. While you can find masses of stuff available via online shopping web sites, they almost always are only in Japanese and usually won’t ship outside Japan. Flutterscape is an attempt to bring together people in Japan who offer things for sale, or are willing to track things down, so that people overseas can get hold of them.
You can browse the 3000 or so goods that people have posted on the web site or, if you can’t find what you want, make a request for what you’re looking for and see if someone will find it for you. Once you’ve decided to purchase something through Flutterscape, the person in Japan pops it down to their local post office and sends it to Flutterscape in Japan who look after all the payments, delivery and logistics.
What makes it interesting is that they don’t just see this as an e-commerce site. Maybe I’m a bit naive but this doesn’t seem to be just like eBay, a way for sellers to make money, but also about a way to connect with people who have similar interests.
“Unlike traditional marketplaces, FlutterScape brings sellers and buyers together in a fun, casual and collaborative way that allow sellers to share a real narrative of their product discoveries and buyers to expose to an adventure and obtain unique products from abroad.” More here.
ps: the pic is of a toy that turns the kanji for an animal (犬 = dog) into the animal. Cool!