The average Japanese person started using the internet towards the end of the 1990's. I figured I would use the internet to enjoy talking to people from abroad.
On the internet, there are places known as "forums", where people from all over the world with the same interests can exchange information in English.
One of those such forums was a place to talk about Japanese wristwatches, or the "Japanese Watch Forum. (It no longer exists).
There were few participants on the "Japanese Watch Forum" at the time, but they were all kind to me even with my limited English.
Since I live in Japan and was able to read Japanese information, I had more information on "Japanese wristwatches# than the other participants.
When I distributed that information in English, it made the participants from abroad very happy.
At that particular time, Japanese wristwatch makers didn't distribute much information in English, so my information had value.
Because of that, I started selling Japanese wristwatches on the American auction site, eBay.
The same model as the SEIKO watch that I sold on ebay.com first.
Not many Japanese people used the American eBay site at the time, and since I was in the minority that did, I made a lot of friends. Those people introduced their friends to me, which expanded my network.
Since PayPal wasn't around at the time, whenever I sold a wristwatch on the American eBay site, I took US$ Bank money order as payment. It took more than a month, and cost $50 USD in fees in order to exchange them
For more than 10 years, I was able to export Japanese watches like that, but the one that stands out the clearest in my memory is Seiko's 4S15 Military product.
They were already out of production when I started handling them, so they were difficult to get a hold of.
However, it was an extremely popular wristwatch overseas.
I was an engineer in an IT related field, but I went to several private shops and pawnshops all over the city on my way home from work and on Sundays, in order to get my hands on new 4S15 Military watches. It made my overseas contacts really happy when I sold them the watches.
Seiko SUS automatic 4S15 Movement (28800)
One of them asked me, ""Why don't you open an online shop?" So I figured "Why not?", and went for it.
This net shop job kept me really busy, so I stopped working in the IT field.
And this is where I am at now.