Last-Minute Changes in Car Details (Teisei)

What are teisei?

The car auctions in Japan are usually pretty good at making sure the vehicles are inspected and all information about them is correctly noted on the auction inspector’s report the first time round. However, on occasion you will find that something comes to light after the auction sheet is written and has been made available online.

For example, a potential buyer may find an issue when he is physically inspecting the car at the auction location (kaijo) and then brings this to the attention of the auction staff.

In this case, the auction sheet is already complete and online, so it is too late to change to it. However, the auction has an obligation to bring this new information to the attention of other potential bidders.

The way they do this is by making a short oral announcement just prior to the start of bidding for that vehicle. This announcement is called teisei (pronounced “tay-say”), which is the Japanese word meaning “amendment”.

What happens if a car you are bidding on has a tesei?

Now, you are probably wondering what happens if you have entered a bid and then there is a teisei announcement.You have already reviewed the auction information, including the professional translation that we have supplied, and you have also entered your maximum bid on the basis of this.

Well, first of all, these teisei corrections are literally just before live bidding starts. And I mean literally a few seconds after the teisei is announce, the bidding begins, So there is no way that we as the bidder have any chance to contact you and find out what you want to do: The car would already have been sold before we had had time to even explain the situation to you on the phone. (And if you are not in a similar timezone to Japan, we would be calling you in the middle of the night – which I am sure you would rather we avoided.)

Essentially, we take a conservative approach to try to protect your interests as much as possible.

What will happen is this: Our skilled bidding staff will listen to the teisei announcement and make an on-the-spot judgment call about whether to proceed with the bid or not.

Often the amendment is something extremely trivial. If the teisei does not really make any significant changes to what you already know about the car from the auction sheet and its translation, then we will proceed with live bidding.

For example, the car may have been described in the auction sheet as being the color “pearl” and then there is a teisei amendment which changes this to “pearl white”. Well, “pearl” and “pearl white” are not really different – plus you should already be pretty clear about the color of the car anyway as you will have seen photos of it before you entered your bid. In this case, the person bidding with judge this teisei to be a trivial amendment and will proceed with your bid.

On the other hand, let’s imagine that the amended information is that the rear power windows are not working. Now, this is a more serious correction. After all, to repair these will require some expense. So in this case, the bidder will decide that the amendment is more serious and will not bid. He will then enter a comment into our online system explaining what the teisei amendment was which resulted in him not bidding so that you know what has happened.

But won’t that mean that I miss out on cars sometimes?

Of course, this can mean that very occasionally you may disagree with our judgment and be disappointed that you missed getting a car.

What I would say to that is to always remember that there are more cars to bid on every day. So it is better to be cautious and have to try again another day rather than for us to get one for you that turns out not to be what you really wanted.

Remember that in the way we handle these teisei amendments and in all our business dealings with you, our goal is always to make your experience of buying used cars from Japan stress-free and smooth.

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