Car auctions in Japan are famous for offering great value on the vehicles available. People in other countries save a great deal by importing from Japan if the car is for their personal use, even after considering the shipping cost.
Some people even make extra money by importing and reselling popular models like Nissan Skylines and Mazda RX8. These savvy buyers know the inside tricks of buying at a Japanese car auction, giving them an edge in getting the best possible value in their picks. While there are many points to consider, the following are the most significant in determining price.
Volume. If you bid on a car that is popular, it’s likely that there are many listings for the same model on the same day, giving you a better chance at getting the one you want. If you pick a car that is up for sale hundreds of times per week, you have a good chance of being the only buyer in any given bid. This saves you from entering a bidding war with someone else that will drive up the price unreasonably.
Year. Buying a brand new car directly from Japan is generally a bad idea. They are going to be just as expensive, especially after you consider shipping. Buying an old car is also going to hurt your chances at profit; the only exception being classic cars. Cars newer than 10 years old and older than 5 years old are the best. This is the point where the value inside Japan has dropped much lower than the same model in other countries.
Mileage. Naturally, the higher prices are going to be on cars with a lower mileage. If you bid on a car that has slightly above average mileage, you are going to get a better price at auciton and still be able to resell the car for profit. If the car is over one hundred thousand kilometers, the value drops quickly. Their price will be low but their resale value will be as well.
Condition. The score given by the inspector is the single most significant factor in affecting price. The overall score on a car in most auction houses run from 1 to 5, five being the best and usually indicating brand new. Most buyers always aim for a car with a rating of four. However, the difference between a 3.5 and four is really very minor, yet buyers will always bid higher on a 4.
Color. Believe it or not, color is a significant factor in the auction price of a car. Some colors are simply more popular than others. For example, a black 2005 Mazda Atenza will sell for 100,000 Yen higher on average than a white version of exactly the same model.
Keeping in mind all of these factors will help you get the best possible deal on a car from an auction in Japan. The other critical piece is to find an auction agent in Japan that you like and trust. A good agent will give you all of this information and also make recommendations of their own to give you the best possible deal.