How-To Import a Yahoo Japan Auction Vehicle

Yahoo Auctions in Japan are as popular as eBay.com or bringatrailer.com in the USA. Thousands of individuals, and dealers, list their vehicles for sale for buyers to bid on or purchase right away.

Prices and Costs

Just like eBay, sellers can opt to auction their vehicle with a reserve price, with no reserve or allow for a “buy it now” price.

Buy It Now

When you see a price on JDMbuysell.com for a Yahoo Auction vehicle it’s because the listing has a buy it now price available. We take the buy it now price in YEN and convert it to a USD estimated cost in order to make it easier for North American’s to get a sense of the cost.

Auction

If the listing on our site has no price it’s because the vehicle is setup for auction only and the price is constantly changing. Just like with eBay, the action really picks up towards the end of the auction as a flurry of bids come in at the last minute.

Additional Costs

With Yahoo Japan Auction listings, the price you see represents just the car cost. It does not the entire cost to transport, export, ship, and legalize the vehicle.

Typically, when looking at JDM Exporter prices and Japanese Auction House prices you are presented with FOB (Free on board) cost that includes everything needed prior to shipping the vehicle out of Japan. That isn’t the case with Yahoo Japan auctions; you need to get to that cost on your own.

To more accurately estimate your total cost you need to consider,

  • The auction price (the car cost)
  • Sales tax in Japan (8%)
  • Recycle Fee
  • Transport cost to get the vehicle from the sellers location to the appropriate shipping port

At that point, you’ll have a rough FOB cost that you can then plug into our JDM import cost calculator to get a better sense of the total cost.

Contacting the Seller

70-80% of people in Japan do not speak English. Because Yahoo Japan Auction vehicles are predominantly listed by individuals and not dealers, the chances are very low that you’re going to be able to communicate with the seller to the degree required to purchase and arrange export of the vehicle.

Imagine if you were trying to sell your car on eBay and someone from another country reached out to you, in a different language, trying to buy your car. Chances are high you would ignore the inquiry as the hassle is not worth it. The same thing happens in Japan.

A JDM importer or exporter can help,

  • Communicate in Japanese directly with the seller
  • Arrange for additional pictures and information (sometimes)
  • Arrange for a pre or post purchase inspection (sometimes)
  • Arrange the transport from the seller to the shipping facility
  • Handle the additional paperwork and fees
  • Arrange the shipping from Japan to the USA
  • Handle the brokerage and receive the vehicle at the USA port on your behalf
  • Arrange the final transportation from the US port to your city
  • Arrange the inspection & compliance services to get your vehicle registered

Not all JDM importers and exporters offer these services. Do your research carefully and find a reputable company that can be your partner through this exciting time of importing your dream car.

Buyer Beware

Due to the fact that Yahoo Japan Auction cars are predominantly being sold by individual private sellers, additional caution is required.

Unlike buying a vehicle directly from a JDM exporter or Japanese Auction House, the sellers long-term reputation is not on the line. There is little-to-no recourse if the vehicle is listed with inaccurate information, if you are mislead on the condition of the vehicle, or if you are out right scammed of your payment.

While it’s true that Japanese Shaken regulations help ensure vehicles are well maintained, it’s also the primary driver behind older cars being sold and exported. It’s simply no longer cost-effective to keep the car. That can work to your advantage but keep in mind the vehicle you are looking at could be overdue for significant maintenance.

Learn more about common JDM import myths:

There are ways to protect yourself however,

Involving a reputable JDM exporter or importer can allow to get your virtual “feet on the ground” to inspect the vehicles true condition prior to dropping your hard earned cash.

Additional Resources