Each week in Japan there are a number of car auctions that we do NOT live bid on, even if we wanted to.

There ARE  auction sheets, but there is no start price, but rather an expensive looking “kibo (希望)” price or “hoped for” price.  This often turns people off.  Best to be slightly ignored!

When we started exporting cars over 20 years ago the tender auctions were where we purchased our cheapest cars.  Being based in Osaka, the best tender auction for us was the Nagoya Nissan Tender auction.  The best buys were the cars you “didn’t really want but if they were cheap we’ll take them”. These cars you put a very low bid on and if you purchased it you had a bargain.  The difficulty were for cars we “really wanted”.  As we didn’t know other peoples bids, so we couldn’t just click “one click” over the previous persons bid, but had to give our maximum price straight off.

So what is a Japanese car tender auction?

Many of the tender auctions are either Maker auctions (Nissan dealers for example) or x-rental dealers.

As in any tender auction, bidding is done by secretive tending.  You give a price, traditionally written on a piece of paper with the auction number and your bid price and your company name, now done by registering a bid on the auctions hompepage.

At a set time, the “cut-off” time, all bids are analysed and results are announced. This usually occurs in the evening.

If YOUR price is higher than any other company’s the seller will either accept your tender, IF it is high enough or above their reserve price or reject your tender being too far below their reserve price.  If you have a “tie” with another company, that is the tender price is the same, then priority goes to the first company to register their bid.

Advantages of a tender auction:

  1. You can buy cars very cheaply.
  2. There is no complicated manual bidding process and no “over-bidding”, something common in the computer bidding process where when you “click” your last bid it occurs at the same time 2 or more other companies also clicked, so rather than a 5000 yen raise in your last click, it may be a 15,000 yen last click, causing you to go over your final bid price. For us, we register the bid and forget about it until the results come out… easy!

Disadvantages of the tender auction:

  1. You can not go 1 bid or click over the competition to win your car, as you do not know the competitions’ bidding price.
  2.  For a car you really want to buy, there is no guarantee of buying it (one click over) compared to bidding in live car auctions.
  3.  For a car you really want to buy, you have to tender a reasonable or high price, there will be no bargain.
  4.  If you want to only buy one car, but want to bid on many just to get that one, bidding on a car in a tender auction cancels all other bids after the registered close of the tender auction.  As results do not come out till the evening, we can not bid on any other cars

Hints to a winning bid in a tender auction

  1. Don’t bid “round” numbers.  Our minds tend to go up in steps of 10.  100,000, 200,000 … With a tender auction you can bid as low as 1000 yen.  So 201,000 is better bid than 200,000.  322,000 is better than 320,000.
  2.  Use the tender auctions for “cheap” buys rather than “must” buys.  If you really need to buy a certain car, do it through the normal bidding auction rather than a tender.
  3.  Don’t be put off by the high “hoping” price.  You can bid way below that price and still win a car.  Most of the time cars sell below the “hoping” price.

List of the tender car auctions each week:

Monday … some cars sold in AUCNET are tender sold but these often have very expensive auction fees.  Best to avoid

Tuesday … AAA, AEP Tender, LUM Fukuoka Tender, LUM Nagoya Tender, NPS Fukuoka Tender, NPS Gifu Tender, NPS Osaka Tender, NPS Sendai Tender, NPS Tochigi Tender, NPS Tokyo Tender, NPS Tomakomai Tender, Orix Fukuoka Tender, Orix Kobe Tender, Orix Sendai Tender

Wednesday … Hero, IAA, Lum Tokyo Tender, Orix Atsugi Tender

Thursday … LUM Hokkaido Tender, LUM Kobe Tender, Orix Nagoya Tender, Zero Chubu Tender, Zero Osaka Tender, Zero Shonan Tender

Friday … Hino Hansya Tender, Hino Hidaka Tender, Hino Kobe Tender, Zero Chiba Tender, Zero Hakata Tender, Zero Hokkaido Tender, Zero Sendai Tender

Saturday … NAA Nagoya Tender

More details about the Japan used car auctions here