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Auction VIP Tips

Japanese Used Cars Auction Participation VIP Tips

Japanese used car auction business cannot be described with every single details even with several books. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that is like a living body is constantly evolving and is comprised of numerous elements. It is safe to say that Japanese used car auction industry is one of most complex parts of export business on the scale of the whole export industry in Japan.

However with all its complexity, it is not a rocket science if you team up with a reliable exporter. Preferably that exporter should have an extensive auction business experience, well developed transportation delivery routes, its own infrastructure to do container loading, dismantling and repairs before shipping.

We are happy to share below what we consider invaluable tips for auction participation. We have gotten this know how during numerous years of every day auction operations


  • Learn the market price of the used Japanese vehicle before you purchase it. Over 180,000 cars are auctioned every week that will give you a good understanding of what may be the average price. Generally auction data is kept for last 3 months of auction sales so it is recommended to use 3 months data to base your decision for good average price
  • Set your own budget for each vehicle based on manufacture year (first registration year), mileage, MT/AT mission, available options, accident history, color and general mechanical/interior/exterior condition (is often depicted by an auction grade)
  • Note the number of units available at the auction. Rare models would be sold at premium and you need to set the maximum budget from the beginning since you don’t have many chances to bid for them
  • Auction grades may vary from auction to auction so make sure you or your partner clearly understands regarding what condition of used car you need
  • Setting your maximum budget doesn’t mean that you are going to pay your maximum price, if the vehicle is purchased below your budget, only the purchasing price should be billed
  • Choose auctions nearby to your Japanese exporter since domestic delivery rate can differ from 6,000 to 50,000 yen ( 50 – 450 usd)
  • Sports used vehicles that have either lowered down suspension or spoiler kits can have delivery fees double compared to regular cars. Regular car carriers cannot safely load such cars without damages to the body parts that is why the delivery cost will be significantly higher
  • Purchasing damaged cars for dismantling or export can be a very expensive enterprise unless your Japanese auction agent has its own yard, at least 7 ton forklift and know how to deal with damaged cars. Delivery companies are quite reluctant to take orders for damage cars transportations. Make sure with your Japanese auction agent regarding their ability to deal with damage cars auction purchase and further logistics effectively
  • Sometimes inner cargo (old tires and parts) may be inside of the vehicle purchased from the auction. Most of the shipping lines do not accept inner cargo while shipping your car to your port. To avoid problems we recommend you remove inner cargo from purchased vehicle not to incur additional fees at the port ( in case of RORO shipping)
  • Generally cars sold at the auctions at either south or north of Japan will be cheaper since there are no major ports in these reasons therefore there are less buyers bidding for the auctioned cars


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