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The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

Talk about your experience, good and bad, here.
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AndroidIsAwesome
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The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#1

Post by AndroidIsAwesome » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:50 pm

Finally got around to making this mini guide so here it goes. Buckle up kids!

Since Rakuten global has shutdown I decided to move over to yahoo auctions for most of my purchases. I prefer buying from used shops in Japan since I primarily collect Seiko and other harder to find jdm models. Now when I first started using yahoo auctions it was pretty overwhelming but its really not as hard as it looks. If you were comfortable with Rakuten Global this won't be much worse.

Here is yahoo auctions site: https://auctions.yahoo.co.jp/

Here is a good way to find and buy something on there from my experience:

1) USE GOOGLE AUTO TRANSLATE

Its a Japanese site duh! You won't get anywhere before setting up auto translate through your browser.

2) Know what you're looking for! (But have an open mind)

Now I am guilty of not following this since I usually browse every listing and stumble across cool watches I had never heard of before. But you will have a much easier time if you go into it knowing every little detail about the watch you want such as price, market value, service costs, what the fakes look like etc.

Now this doesn't mean you will find the exact thing you want so I always browse with an "open mind" so I will settle on the watch condition, or maybe dial color, or movement accuracy etc. Beggars can't be choosers. Well at least I can't because I'm cheap :)

3) Buy the seller

Just like eBay, don't buy from brand new low rating accounts. It just never turns out well. Look at seller's ratings for anything 4 stars and up. When you click their profile, you will also see comments made by previous customers rating them.

4) Is it an auction or listing?

That’s right- not everything on yahoo auctions is an auction. You will see listings that say "prompt decision price" meaning that price is the buyout option similar to eBay’s "buy it now" feature. Most stuff is an auction so be careful. You can see the number of bids placed and questions asked on the product listing itself. Another key thing to look at for auctions is the number of people who have added the product to their wish list. If I see over 30 wish lists, I usually don't bother bidding.

That leads onto another point, bidding itself. It's not like eBay! Basically, you can place a bid up to your max amount and it will auto bid for you. BUT when the auction is about to end any further bids increase the duration by 15 minutes, so good luck trying to auction snipe! Everyone will get an email instantly that they were outbid and simply login to outbid you.

5) Use the right Proxy for you

There are a billion different proxies out there so I can't cover them all. Do your own research and decide which you think is best. A proxy is the "middleman" essentially. You buy the product, it gets sent to the proxy's warehouse, then they pack it and ship to you. Every proxy charges differently for their services.

I use https://zenmarket.jp/en/ as they have fair fees and are reliable. They let you copy and paste yahoo links to their site and auto translate. They also let you browse through their site athough I find it misses a lot of listings. They charge 300 jpy for each product in your order, plus the shipping cost, plus insurance fees. I like Zenmarket because they are the only proxy to let you change the declaration amount to whatever you want and still insure for full value. Now you are probably wondering "But AndroidIsAwesome, isn't that illegal?" YES PROBABLY so don't blame me if you do this and customs holds your parcel for declaring too low. Unless you're ordering Rolex, Gucci etc most border agents have 0 clue what watches are worth.

Anyways, there are a few more fees to keep in mind. When you buy the product, it will have a shipping fee to the proxy warehouse, usually no more than 1500 jpy in my experience. Plus, a lot will have Japanese sales tax which is 10%.

Other good proxies are buyee.jp (they charge as a % of sale though which I dislike), dejapan.com , fromjapan.co.jp etc.

Now proxies also will use their agents to buy things you request on Japanese sites too. So, don't feel limited to only yahoo auctions! Another thing to note is when bidding through proxies 99% of them force you to deposit funds into your balance before bidding. Which makes sense, why would they let you bid with their credit when they don't even know you? Zenmarket at least lets users withdraw money from their funds if you no longer need it on there. So be prepared for the 3% or whatever credit card exchange fee when depositing money.

6) Be patient!

Still with me? Good. So, you've gone ahead and found the watch you like and placed the order. Don't expect it to get to your house in a week. Even 2 weeks. Maybe even 3 weeks. Remember that it gets shipped to the proxy first, then the proxy inspects and packs it, then they quote your shipping fee, so you pay that and pick the shipping option, then they ship it out to you. I've had some take 2 weeks; others take 6 weeks.

Another tip- if you had a favorite seller on Rakuten Global such as Closer for example, most have yahoo profiles as well. Just google “yahoo auctions closer” and 90% of the time their store page comes up.
And lastly remember - ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Goodluck returning something that’s broken or not what you expected. It's basically impossible. If a product looks too good to be true it probably is.

Hopefully that gives you a good start on using the site. It can be very rewarding going through the hassle to save a ton of money or find that rare watch you've always wanted! Now you better not be buying stuff from my watchlist ;)
Last edited by AndroidIsAwesome on Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#2

Post by Boourns » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:41 pm

This is incredibly helpful. Thank you!

Do you find that there are actually deals to be had compared to buying from eBay, even with all the fees? If so, are there types/categories/bramds of watches that usually end up being better deals? Or is it more for finding stuff you can't get in the states?
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The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#3

Post by Zipties » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:44 pm

Awesome! I’ve used buyee.jp and always been charged a flat fee. Also they charge your PayPal after you win, no prior deposit required.

I’ve found many JDM models, used, older, or hard to find in the US. Not all are bargains, but many are.
Last edited by Zipties on Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#4

Post by AndroidIsAwesome » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:50 pm

Boourns wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:41 pm
This is incredibly helpful. Thank you!

Do you find that there are actually deals to be had compared to buying from eBay, even with all the fees? If so, are there types/categories/bramds of watches that usually end up being better deals? Or is it more for finding stuff you can't get in the states?
Absolutely. The fees might all sound like a lot in my guide but really it might end up being only like 2500 jpy including shipping. Might be more or less depending on if the listing offers free shipping or no tax or both.
I find it very affordable for countries like Canada where you would have to pay insane import fees when buying anything over $20 and the shipping fees from Japan to Canada are way cheaper than most ebay listings shipping from the US.

But the watches themselves are also priced much more competitively than ebay. For example I bought a mint Casio oceanus s100 in July dated to March 2019 so still under warranty, for under $200 USD. In fact if you are trying to find some JDM watch to test yahoo auctions out with I strongly recommend buying a casio oceanus. Plenty are listed in good shape for way under 300 all the time.

I find that Sinn is a good brand because its very popular in Japan so you'll find a bunch of affordable used ones. Same goes with Longines, Oris and Mido. The Rolex explorer 1's and 2's are also pretty good prices from what I've seen. And of course Seiko. Sometimes it's easier to search the movement for Seiko models.
Last edited by AndroidIsAwesome on Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Official

#5

Post by AndroidIsAwesome » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:51 pm

Zipties wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:44 pm
Awesome! I’ve used buyee.jp and always been chatted a flat fee. Also they charge your PayPal after you win, no prior deposit required.

I’ve found many JDM models, used, older, or hard to find in the US. Not all are bargains, but many are.
Good to know about buyee for bidding. I also forgot to mention, the more you order on zenmarket they will start giving you a "bid allowance" to use some of their credit on auctions. But I will give buyee a try
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Re: The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#6

Post by PetWatch » Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:36 pm

Great guide. I have used fromjapan for a few years without any issues. Most, all? of these proxy services will also let you shop on Rakuten Japan and some other Japanese sites. Look for promos, fromjapan recently had 8% off Rakuten Japan. Don't recall details.

Fromjapan will flag any listing that has crocodile on the description as not fit for export. You can contact them to see if they will allow, may also ask questions regarding listing, response varies.

Word of caution, a while back there where some sellers offering very low prices but outrageous shipping fee's, as happens on Ebay. I haven't seen it recently but I'm sure it happens. As mentioned, good practice and easy to verify on listing is whether tax, 10%, is included or not.

In general, a product rating of A is usually almost mint, B is minor blemish, but look at seller rating scale.



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Re: The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#7

Post by VCheng » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:44 am

AndroidIsAwesome wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:50 pm
Boourns wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:41 pm
This is incredibly helpful. Thank you!

Do you find that there are actually deals to be had compared to buying from eBay, even with all the fees? If so, are there types/categories/bramds of watches that usually end up being better deals? Or is it more for finding stuff you can't get in the states?
Absolutely. The fees might all sound like a lot in my guide but really it might end up being only like 25000 jpy including shipping. Might be more or less depending on if the listing offers free shipping or no tax or both.
I find it very affordable for countries like Canada where you would have to pay insane import fees when buying anything over $20 and the shipping fees from Japan to Canada are way cheaper than most ebay listings shipping from the US.

But the watches themselves are also priced much more competitively than ebay. For example I bought a mint Casio oceanus s100 in July dated to March 2019 so still under warranty, for under $200 USD. In fact if you are trying to find some JDM watch to test yahoo auctions out with I strongly recommend buying a casio oceanus. Plenty are listed in good shape for way under 300 all the time.

I find that Sinn is a good brand because its very popular in Japan so you'll find a bunch of affordable used ones. Same goes with Longines, Oris and Mido. The Rolex explorer 1's and 2's are also pretty good prices from what I've seen. And of course Seiko. Sometimes it's easier to search the movement for Seiko models.
Great guide. I used buyee for once a few years back. No issues. I am hunting for an oceanus for a while, so I guess I have to check it out. Thanks.
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Re: The Official

#8

Post by recapt » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:16 am

Thanks for posting this, [mention]AndroidisAwesome[/mention]... very helpful and much appreciated!
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Re: The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#9

Post by Zipties » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:33 pm

Ivory is another forbidden key word that is sometimes flagged, as in “ivory dial” on a watch.
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Re: The Official "Unofficial" Yahoo Auctions Purchasing Guide

#10

Post by AndroidIsAwesome » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:00 pm

Just to update this a little bit, but I have used zenmarket probably another 10 times since this post and everytime they showed up very well packaged (I never pay for the extra packing option), although it does take a bit longer for them to pack, buy and ship items compared to buyee. I use buyee for mercari items since zenmarket won't buy from there, but everytime buyee is extremely fast at shipping my items. I do find buyee quite a bit more expensive though with all their little fees unless you can buy using an international shipping coupon which they regularly have promos for. I have not tried other proxies yet
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