Japan Car Auctions
Many car exporters in Japan claim they have access to used car dealers' stock, they buy their cars direct from the end users etc. They make such claims to prove their car prices do not include the middle men costs. But the fact is that most often they source their vehicles from used car auctions. Auction house plays an important role as a whole-sale market for second hand cars. Used car auctions serve as a primary outlet for giant car companies to liquidate their large volume of off-lease returns, rental companies to sell their old cars after a certain age, large scale companies to dump their aging fleets, and car dealerships to sell of their trade-ins.
In Japan, almost all auctions are 'Closed Auctions'. This means they are only open to car dealers and exporters who are members of the auction house. They are not open to the public unless a person goes through someone who holds the used car auction membership. Once membership is obtained, cars can be bought or sold in these auctions. But certain auctions are Dealers' Auctions. Here all members can participate in buying vehicles but selling cars are not allowed unless a member is a Car Dealer belonging to same Dealers' Auction Group. For example, Honda Auto Auction is open to all its members who can purchase vehicles but one has to be a Honda Dealer to sell vehicles in Honda Auctions. Other such example is Mitsubishi Auto Auction where all cars come through Mitsubishi Dealers. Quantity of vehicles available in Dealers' Auctions is very limited but one can find relatively high quality vehicles through such auctions due to very strict car inspection policy.
Market prices of cars change everyday. There are many factors that will determine the price or value of a certain vehicle. Age, km, features, colour, transmission, and overall condition are very basic things that directly effect the price of a car. Other factors are appreciation or depreciation in the value of Yen Vs US$ and other currencies, world economic conditions, change in oil prices that will effect the shipping freight, overseas car import regulations etc., to name a few.
Cars are sent to auctions with the main purpose of selling the quickly and hassle free. But they don't sell for unreasonably low prices in used car auctions, which is a common belief in foreign countries. There is a price for everything. As a buyer, you may not be willing to buy anything too expensive. But the seller on the other hand will not sell anything too cheap. Everything sells at right price. Therefore, be prepared to offer the right price to be successful in your car bidding.
Pre-sale inspection by the bidders is allowed by almost all auctions but test drive is forbidden. Car condition can be examined by starting the engine, examining the car's interior and exterior but thorough examination is only possible until after the sale is completed. Therefore cars are examined by third party car professionals hired by auction authorities who give their comments with regards to car quality and grade the vehicles according to their condition. Such inspection sheet is available inside the vehicle. This helps buyers to make their buying decision.
If the frame damage or mechanical issues are detected in the post-sales inspections, a claim can be made within 3 days from the date of purchase. Depending on the auction house, it may allow a window of opportunity to the car buyer to back out of the purchase.