Talking to dealers in various countries, I often hear a dealer boast “we bid live from our office”.  What he is saying is that he is using the auctions homepage’s log in to purchase cars for himself or his customer.

I probably is a good sales pitch for the customer, being able to sit there and see his car being purchased before his eyes, but believe you me: that is dangerous without fluency in Japanese nor the bidding experience to understand the subtleties of what is going on during that 20 seconds while a car is purchased.

The goal of experienced bidding staff is to purchase your vehicle within the budget, and hopefully way below the budget, that our clients give us.  This involves reading various colours of bidding lights that inform us of the number of bidders bidding on that car.  That in turn tells us whether we should stop bidding and go into negotiation to purchase the car at a cheaper price.  Further more, each auction has different styles of bidding computers.  Putting it plainly, it is a skill that takes months to conquer.

Dangers from bidding from your own country through someone who has access to the auctions homepages, first of all, delay.

The internet is fast but basically the closer you are to the auctions in Japan, the more likely your speed will reflect the actual bidding speed in the auction.  That is, if click your bid at 200,000yen in Japan, the auction will most probably receive that bid at the price of 200,000yen as the internet nodes in Japan are close.  If you bid from another country, however, when you click at 200,000yen, the auction may receive your bid when the price has actually gone up to 230,000yen, and that could be over your budget.  If you are the last bidder AND the car is “URIKIRI” (no reserve), you have no choice but to purchase the vehicle.