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Yahoo! Japan Auctions - Understanding Japanese TermsYahoo! Japan Auctions - Understanding Japanese Terms

Since there are good reviews and explanations of auction middleman services out there, I won't cover that information. Just know that you will likely have to find a middleman service in Japan; to either provide a ship-to location within Japan or payment method, or more probably both.

This guide assumes you already have a middleman bidding service arranged for use with Yahoo! Japan.

Yahoo! Japan Auctions is a great place to look for hard-to-find figures that just aren't popular with retailers selling to overseas customers. I typically use Yahoo! Japan auctions to obtain older trading figures and prize figures, as Japanese sellers will often have these up for bid at prices far cheaper than what I can find on eBay, even after middleman and shipping fees are paid.

In order to start browsing, enter in a search term. I'm searching for some Persona 4 prize goods.


The term in the drop-down box, すべてのカタゴリ, means 'all categories'. So, I'm not limiting this term to one category. You're best off searching for terms in Japanese, which I will provide at the end of this tutorial.


The results are split into 3 tabs (left to right): the first returns all results, the second returns items which are sold in online auction format, and the third tab contains items which are in a fixed-price 'buy it now' format. So, you're not really bidding on the items under the third tab: the 'auction' ends when you agree to buy.

I find the "gallery" view most helpful, especially since I've yet to understand Japanese fluently. The thumbnails are larger in this view.


Here's what you will see when you click on an item. I masked the seller's ID and auction ID. Uwa! It's expensive! This auction is in both "auction" and "fixed price" format. I could either enter in a bid and disable the fixed price feature (by clicking the 入札はこちら button), or agree to pay the fixed price and end the auction (by clicking the いますぐ落札 button).


Here's a translated legend of the information displayed. Whenever you see "なし" (nashi), assume it's a negative response. Whenever you see "あり" (ari), assume it's an affirmative response. In this example, the seller states there are bidding restrictions, a fixed price, and auction extensions in place. The auction listing states that there are no bidders participating.

Bidder restrictions tend to prevent bidders with negative reputation scores from bidding on an item. Auction extension is (I think, anyway) a measure to prevent sniping. So if I bid at the last moment, the auction will be extended by a set number of minutes (1 or 5).

You'll want to pay attention to the seller's rep (reputation) score, item location, and the shipping terms. The reputation score is a no-brainer. Your middleman service may have specific requirements for rep scores on Yahoo! Auctions, and may not allow you to bid from sellers who are new or have a negative score. If you click on "評価の詳細", you'll see a page with the following information:


Yahoo! Japan's reputation score is very similar to what it was for Yahoo! Auctions, before the company shut down its online auctioning service. Additional information can be found on the right-hand side of this page:


Yeah, whoops, I notice the typo there.

Item location should be an easy item to copy-paste into an online translation tool, as you're likely to get a response that is not mucked up by the nuances of machine translation. In the example, this item is located in Osaka.

The shipping info and regulations information will likely give you the most headaches, especially when the seller states that you (and your middleman) must pay shipping. It isn't easy to figure out most of the time, especially if the seller is not concise with his or her writing (which will only be in Japanese 99.9999% of the time).

Here's what you'll see if you click "送料、商品の受け取りについて" (shipping terms and information).


Lucky me, the seller (出品者) is paying for shipping within Japan. At 10,000 yen, they damn well better pay for shipping! The item's location will be listed again, and the last column will most likely state that the seller does not ship overseas (when you see the ending "しません", it's likely a statement which means "Does not..." or "Will not...").


Here's another example from a different listing which requires the buyer (落札者) to pay for shipping within Japan. In these auctions, you will likely see the following information within the item's listings:


This chart breaks down shipping prices by region, and gives example cities of that region. So it would be helpful to know the physical shipping location of your middleman service, so you'll have a better idea of what to expect the final price to total up at.

Here's a translation of the information above, however these prices will vary from seller to seller:

[Hokkaido] (Hokkaido)
[Northern Tohoku] (Aomori, Iwate, Akita)
[Southern Tohoku] (Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima)
[Kanto] (Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi)
[Shinetsu] (Niigata, Nagano)
[Chuubu (hou)] (Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Mie)
[Hokuriku] (Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui)
[Kansai] (Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama)
[Chuugoku (hou)] (Tottori, Okayama, Shimane, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi)
[Shikoku] (Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, Kochi)
[Kyushu] (Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima)
[Okinawa] (Okinawa)

It's also good to note that, while I see a whole lot less bootlegs on Yahoo! Japan auctions, it isn't impossible to end up with a bootleg. If you do end up with a bootleg, there's likely nothing your middleman company can do to remedy the situation. So use good judgement, and buy items located in Japan only.

Japanese -> English Glossary of Terms
あり - Affirmative statement
なし - Negative statement
出品者 - Seller
落札者 - Buyer
日 - Day(s)
時 - Hour(s)
分 - Minute(s)
入札はこちら - Place a bid
いますぐ落札 - Buy it now
未開封 - Unopened (condition adjective)
新品 - New (condition adjective)
中古 - Used/Secondhand (condition adjective)

English -> Japanese Glossary of Terms
Item type
Prize - くじ
Figure - フィギュア
[manga title] volume # - [manga title]#巻

Anime/Manga Series
Ao no Exorcist - 青の祓魔師
Persona 4 - ペルソナ4

I'll be more than happy to assist you with understanding Yahoo! Japan auction listings and terms, you may either ask me in comments or by PM. If you do so by PM, please don't wait until the auction is about to end. It's likely I will not see it.

I'll also post translations of terms by request. Just comment with a term in English, Japanese or romaji and I'll do my best to find out the translation. I'll also add it to this entry's glossary.
8,698 hits • 11 comments


nice tutorials.

Its make me understand how to buy in yahoo auction.

5 years ago
hatandsandalsThat, I wouldn't be able to answer well--I've always used a middleman service to deal with the payment.

It depends on the seller which payment methods and shipping methods they offer. Not everyone offers COD.
5 years ago
Thanks a lot for the translations! Just the other day I was wondering what the three tabs meant in English. I had a vague idea after clicking them, but knowing in English is best.

For the feedback page can you translate the two lines that mean "seller" and "buyer" feedback? I always forget which of the two lines is for selling feedback.
5 years ago
OtaqueenI've never bought from Yahoo! Japan auctions before. What about payment methods? I think they don't have daibiki (COD) within Japan... Is that true?

That, I wouldn't be able to answer well--I've always used a middleman service to deal with the payment.
5 years ago
"I could either enter in a bid and disable the fixed price feature"

Just a note that by placing a bid, it does not "disable" the fixed price. It's not like eBay. The fixed price will continue to be available so even if you are the high bidder, if someone else comes along and agrees to pay the fixed price, you'll lose the auction.

It would also be good to note that most sellers have the automatic extension turned on so sniping doesn't usually work on Yahoo! Japan Auctions. If you bid with x amount of time left in the auction (I think it's around 10 minutes?), the auction end time will be extended.
5 years ago
Amazing article!!!
5 years ago
great! thank you!
5 years ago
Wow thank you! This will be quite useful.
5 years ago
I could hug you for writing this! Thanks for the amazing walkthrough.
5 years ago
Muntoe Lover of cacti ♡꒰*・ω・人・ω・*꒱♡
This will be very handy for people who aren't familiar with Japanese but still want to try using a proxy to get an item, thanks for putting it up! Ironically I was just thinking about this the other day xDD
5 years ago
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Second hand waifus deserve a second chance at laifu!

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