Japanese Car Auction Grading Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them

As we talked about on this page, the overall grade of the car in the auction in Japan is useful for one thing and one thing only – and that is to help you narrow down the field of candidates you may wish to bid on.

For example, let’s pick a model and see how this works. On the day I am writing this, there are 19,664 vehicles at auction in Japan (a moderate number, that will get quite a bit higher when we get into Spring).

Out of these, there are…

148 Toyota Alphards
57 Alphards that are Grade 4
19 Alphards that are Grade 4 and first registered in 2003 or 2004
12 Alphards that are Grade 4 and first registered in 2003 or 2004 with between 60,000KM to 100,000KM on the odometer

So, you can see how we can use the overall grade, the year and the mileage to drill down from a large number of vehicles to a smaller group that you would be interested in bidding for.

Now, does that mean that you should enter bids on all 12 of these vehicles and just go ahead blindly relying on the fact that they are graded 4?

At Integrity Exports the answer to that question is always no. Before you ever finalize any bid on a particular vehicle, you should always make sure you have read the details of the auction inspector’s report.

Don’t worry if you cannot read Japanese. We don’t expect you to. That is our job. Just ask us for a translation and we will translate the auction inspector’s comments into English for you.

Take a look at the video below. Here I talk you through two auction sheets translating them into English as I go to show you how these cars seem like they would be good buys, except for some major issues hidden in the auction inspector’s comments that you would never have found out about without a professional translation.

(Watch the video in full screen mode so that you can see the details of the auction sheets as we go through them together.)

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