Since the onset of the Coronavirus in Japan, face masks have become scarce and increasingly expensive in stores nationwide. The internet has been awash with stories of avaricious mask merchants exploiting needy consumers by selling masks at extortionate prices. Low supply and exorbitant prices have pushed consumers to fashion their own masks out of whatever house hold goods they have lying around, including bras. While this proves you needn’t go bust buying masks, it’s less convenient than purchasing ready made health care protection. Fortunately, there are many companies working hard to provide masks to those of us in need without resorting to exploitation.

Trinity Co., Ltd., an import trading company of electronics and electronics accessories is one such organization. Trinity announced at the end of April it would begin selling masks for 0 profit. A box of Trinity’s masks costs a very reasonable ¥2,176 (including tax) or $20, which works out at just ¥43 or $0.40 per mask, with tax. The retail price of a box of masks covers the cost of production, shipping and vending, leaving 0 profits for the company and the majority of the benefit for the consumer.

Why is Trinity selling masks for 0 profit?

According to their website, they hope to deliver masks to customers at reasonable prices when they need them most. Trinity recognizes that now is the time when we have to pull together and support each other. With so many poor quality masks currently being resold and foisted on to needy consumers, Trinity wants to provide a quality product, at a reasonable price that can really help people.

How are Trinity selling masks for 0 profit?

Trinity ordinarily outsources production of mobile phone accessories to China. One of the manufacturers they work with is currently using their cleanroom to manufacture masks. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Trinity requested their partner to cooperate and help them sell masks to the Japanese market at no profit.

The back of each box of Trinity masks shows the price at ¥2,176, breaking it down into the costs to the company to receive and sell it:

  • Stocking price: ¥1,469
  • Shipping charges: ¥150
  • Tariffs:¥69
  • Warehousing:¥200
  • Credit card handling fee:¥70
  • Consumption tax:¥218
  • Total: ¥2,176

Preventing reselling of their masks

Trinity specifically acknowledges the problem of reselling masks in Japan and their box design is one of the measures they have taken to deal with it. By showing the price and cost breakdown, they hope that people will not be able to resell their boxes of masks for a higher price. Additionally, they are limiting orders to 4 boxes of masks per individual consumer. For public services facilities and medical institutions they will sell up to 20 boxes of masks but with a shipping fee of ¥858.

Although Trinity recognizes that they cannot police whether their masks will be resold, it’s great to see they’re taking measures to address the issue with a clever box design and sales tactics.

It’s during times like these when our health is a risk and we are separated from each other that we need to communicate and collaborate more than ever. Trinity shows the importance of thinking creatively to overcome the barriers society currently faces. Trinity branched out from its normal line of business by taking advantage of its manufacturing connections to help Japanese society. These kinds of selfless business activities send a positive message about the role that businesses can play to help support communities in difficult times.

Keep checking grape Japan for more stories of the people and organizations in Japan that are shining rays of hope during the Coronavirus pandemic!

Trinity Details


By - Toby M.