Buying from Yahoo!Japan Auctions?

[Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]

Yahoo!Japan Auctions, that’s the place where you can find a lot of nice items from Japan that don’t seem to be readily available elsewhere. The thing is, as long as you’re not living in Japan, you can’t pay for the auction, even if you own a credit card. This complicates the buying process, as you have to enlist the help of a deputy shopper.

I’ll briefly describe the main features of Yahoo!Japan Auctions, and then provide a list of deputy services in part 2. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

When you first enter the auction site, this is what you’ll see:

See where the red arrow is pointing to? Enter the search term there. You don’t have to change the selection on the dropdown list next to it – the default setting is to search though all the auctions.

After searching, you will get to this page:

The auctions are sorted by their ending times, with the auctions that are ending soon being displayed first. You can change the sorting order using the dropdown menu at the right side of the page.

When you click on any of the listings you will be brought to the item page:

即決価格: This is the “buy it now” option. If someone bids on the auction, the “buy it now” option will still remain there. Thus, even if you’re the highest bidder, someone else can immediately win the auction by using this option. If someone bids the same amount as the “buy it now” price, he immediately wins that auction.

残り時間: The exact amount of time remaining can be seen by clicking on 詳細な残り時間, which opens a new window that shows a timer.

入札者評価制限: Some sellers place restrictions on bidders based on their feedback counts, and this will be reflected on the item page. If you’re using a deputy service to bid, this shouldn’t be a problem.

早期終了: This shows you whether the seller can end the auction early. あり indicates yes, while なし indicates no.

自動延長: This feature in Yahoo!Japan Auctions causes the auction to be extended by 5 minutes if someone places a bid within the last 5 minutes of the auction. Most sellers enable this feature.

商品の状態: The condition of the item. 新品 means it’s new while 中古 means it’s used.

返品の可否: Most sellers don’t accept returns, and this is indicated as 返品不可. If returns are accepted, it will be written as 返品可. If you see 不良品の場合のみ, it means that you can return the item only if it’s defective.

Some other points to note:

  • Some auctions have a reserve price. If the reserve price is not met, no high bidder will be listed even though bids have been placed on that auction.
  • Most sellers will not ship internationally, even if you get someone in Japan to pay for you. This is indicated as 海外発送:対応しません near the bottom of the item page. If you use a deputy service, this isn’t a problem as they will have a shipping address in Japan.
  • Completed auctions cannot be viewed unless you have a Yahoo!Japan account.

If you need help in translating something, here are some useful sites:

Some deputy shopping sites also provide their own translators.

The above information should be sufficient for you to decide whether you want to bid on that auction. Happy bidding! 🙂

[Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]