Stock vs Auction

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Stock vs Auction

Yes, this is a vital question for anyone considering buying a car new or used ex-Japan. How bid is the differences and what are the pitfalls of each.

Within this page, we will answer some of the questions and explain the added value of each to you the automotive consumer. Buying cars is a very personal thing and much of it is either taught to us by our parents or governed by what is socially acceptable or the norm in your country.

Some countries love to buy cars directly from dealer stock as the car is there, and it’s touchable to some extent. It’s also close to what the car buyer wants. No, it may or may not be perfect but it’s darn close. Most of the time darn close is enough for many people.

Other countries love to buy from the auction as its an adrenalin rush or I love the challenge. The volume is huge and changes week by week with exciting cars popping up consistently. Auction buying comes with its challenges and so does buying cars from stock, neither is the perfect solution. We need to find the best for you.

Find out more now by getting a free consultation or keep on reading. Reading more is the best solution in reality.

Auction vs Stock

Honesty in the Car Trade

Once I read some absolute garbage that auctions were full of repossessed or stolen cars. If you read this and believe it go and jump into the trunk of your car and close it. This comment comes from some dealer based websites here in Japan dishing in on the auctions.

Look in reality the same can be said about buying cars from dealers. Does the average car dealer have the best reputation? No, many movies have been made about these guys and most of it based on fact.

There is much honesty and dishonesty in both corners if the truth is being told. We are picking the side of truth as its the best and most honest answer.

On the whole, both systems work and it’s up to you the buyer to do your due diligence now that we have the internet, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all the others. There is no reason not to research today as the information is there on your Ipad, Iphone, tablet or pc.


Buying Cars is Exciting

Yes, buying cars is an exciting adventure and it should be. I or we once heard many years ago that the 3 worst moments in a person life is the following,

  1. The bereavement of a spouse or other
  2. Buying a house
  3. Moving house
  4. Buying a used car

In reality, the buying of any second-hand car in today’s society is nothing more than pleasurable.  The choices we have are beyond our imagination and the options leave us breathless. Not only this as the more luxurious brands make more models that are financially within reach our pleasure has increased even more so.

In reality, it’s not the car dealer or the auction you need to fear its these guys.

  • Car Insurance companies
  • Extended warranty companies
  • The finance guy sitting in the car yard ( Yes I know him and he is a devil 👿 )
  • Any mechanical insurance company ( They will fight to the death 💀 before paying you anything unless you are 50 plus years old )
  • The pretty girl at reception ( she will take you to the finance guy 🦹‍♂️ )
  • Anyone who gives you advice when they are not educated enough to do so 👼
  • The guy next door trying to sell his cars on the front lawn
  • Your mom as normally she knows nothing about cars ( true 99% of the time )
  • Any blog or forum that has no substantial evidence to back up their claims of wrongdoing
  • Your real estate agent ( this guy is devious )
  • Yes we could go on

The reality is, trust your instincts and educate yourself well. It’s not asking for the moon as the song goes. Play safe and research even for 20 minutes. For goodness sake even recommend this post to someone.

Also, note that a car dealer is a car dealer and an auction is an auction. There are plenty of pluses and minuses to both but ultimately if you buy well you will get a nice car. As stated earlier if you have any uncertainty just get a free consultation on whatever you are concerned about.

So its time for some information on why we are here.


Buying From Car Dealer Stock

As you are very aware there is close to an unlimited supply of cars here in Japan and many are sitting around on dealers yards. So let’s try to buy something and why.

Here are the Pros

✅ You have access to the actual price and there is no guessing how much the dealer wants Japanese Car Dealer

✅ Some dealers will actually negotiate a little on price

✅ You get a chance to see the car in person if that’s what you want to do

✅ Shipping the car to you will be somewhat faster as the dealer has the paperwork and the car is ready to go

✅ If buying directly there will be no FOB fee

✅ You get to know the dealer to some extent. Nothing like personal service 💖

✅ No tax if the car is being exported to another country

✅  Dealers will often stand by the car after the sale for a period of time


Here are the Cons

❎ He is a car dealer so check him out on Google first

❎ Note that he really wants to sell you this car so don’t act too keen. He is, after all, a professional salesperson even if he`s Japanese

❎ You may not get the full picture and only hear what he wants to tell you. Good points only. Yes he will forget the bad ones

❎ Pictures and more pictures. Ask for more pictures. If he doesn’t comply walk away

❎ Normally they will not bust on price and the price will be fixed

❎ Don’t pay any more than the advertised price 💵

❎ No paperwork, no car. Walk away

❎ There is no independent grading on the car. You could be buying an accident grade RA or salvaged car

❎ You have no support with a dealer unless he offers it to you

❎ Dealer stock is more expensive than an auto auction. He has gone to the effort to buy this car/vehicle and condition it for sale. He is also in the business to turn a profit. You will pay more than auction

There are just about as many reasons not to buy from dealer stock as there is a reason too buy a car from dealer stock. We can’t stress enough to simply do your research first and get some answers. Once you have ticked all the boxes you will have a happy car and a great deal because its what you want. Contact Us If you need support.


Buying From A Car From Auctions

With constantly changing stock and over 130 auctions nationwide in Japan you are going to find a great car at a great price.

Here are the Pros

✅ All cars authenticity must be supplied by the auctionJapan Auto Auctions and Access

✅ Mileage is guaranteed unless specified otherwise on the auction sheet

✅ You have access to over 150,000 cars and trucks weekly at these auctions houses

✅ Cars are inspected and graded accordingly and you are shown everything about the car. S New, 6 New, 4.5 new New etc etc

✅ The prices at auction are good and you pay only the amount you need to want to pay. There are no additional fees

✅ Cars are always being replenished, so if you miss one there will be another soon after

✅ Auction is by far less expensive than dealer stock

✅ There is a monstrous amount of brands, makes and models from Japanese cars, American Cars, German Cars, English Cars, Italian Cars and more

✅ Classic Cars, JDM, Muscle cars and everything else in between are all there including trucks, vans, buses, and Kei cars, and yes some motorcycles

✅ You can see prices at auction or you can ask your auction agent the final price.

✅ Many of these cars have come directly from dealer yards so you may get a very well detailed car


Here are the Cons

❎ When buying internationally there is no guarantee on the car from the auction

❎ You will need an auction agent to help you buy a car from any auction in Japan

❎ Auction grades car be somewhat ambiguous from auction to auction

❎ Inspections are done in about 8 minutes and some faults may slip through the cracks

❎ There is no guarantee occasionally on how many previous owners or service history


Ok so now you have the information

So we have our pros and cons for each service and time to make up your own mind. Our judgment on both is unbiased and based purely on history proved during 20 plus years in the Japanese Automotive Industry. If you have any additional questions about this please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.


Graeme at Auto Trader Imports (Japan)

Skype: Autotraderimports

Whatsapp: 00819054006384

Email: [email protected]



Stock vs Auction


Auction Ease


Dealer Ease



  • Auction is cheap
  • Auction has volume
  • Dealer stock is static
  • Dealer price is guaranteed


  • Auction is blind but fun
  • Auction has risk as does life
  • Dealers are difficult and hate exporting
  • Dealers dont discount much so dont become excited
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