Yahoo! Japan Auctions
March 6th, 2019

The Secret to Winning Auctions by TINY Amounts


Sometimes, just a couple of yen can make ALL the difference as to whether you win or lose an auction. Clearly, when it comes down to auction bidding, the small amounts DO matter.

These tiny differences in winning auctions are caused by the bid increment system used in almost ANY online auction website. If you’ve used eBay before, you’ll probably have come across them there, so may already know what they are and how they work. Yahoo! Japan Auctions uses bid increments in a similar way.

These bid increments are the secrets to winning your auctions. And, when you win, you can win with smaller, closer gaps– so you can feel great about winning AND save money on your bidding, too.

We highlight the secrets of these bid increments for Yahoo! Japan and show you how to use them a little more wisely to become a tougher bidder.

What are bid increments?

A bid increment is a minimum amount that an auction must be raised by. For example, if the current price is JPY 500, each bid may go up in JPY 10 (500, 510, 520, 530, etc.). These additions of JPY 10 each time are the bid increment for that auction.

If you’ve used eBay before, you’ll probably know how their increments work. Yahoo! Japan Auctions uses bid increments in a similar way, including the use of an automated proxy bidding system. This goes up in the minimum increments for you, until your set highest bid amount.

Current Price

Bid Increments

JPY 1 to 999

+ JPY 10

JPY 1,000 to 4,999

+ JPY 100

JPY 5,000 to 9,999

+ JPY 250

JPY 10,000 to 49,999

+ JPY 500

JPY 50,000 +

+ JPY 1,000

Only one bidder

one bidder only 1

If there is no other bidder, you can bid the starting price or any higher amount. If the auction ends and there are no other offers, you will only pay the starting price (no matter how much more you offer).


one bidder only 2

In this example, like the one above it, the closing price wouldn’t change from the starting price- even if Bidder A offered JPY 2,000. This is because there are no other competing bids.

Multiple bidders

two bidders 1

If there are other bidders, the minimum amount you can bid is the current price + bid increment. If you win, you will only have to pay one increment above the second-highest bid. (Again, no matter how much more you offer.) 

The winning bid will always pay one increment up from the second-highest bid.

two bidders 2


Avoid bidding just under full amounts (e.g., JPY 1,999). These are easy to beat, as most people are likely to offer a whole quantity (e.g., JPY 2,000). If you bid just below a whole amount, someone offering at the full figure will easily beat you.

bidding tip 1

Note! In the above image, Bidder B CAN place only JPY 2,000 as, at the time B was bidding, the current price was only JPY 1,000. This means B could bid JPY 1,100 or above. Remember, once the required increment has been added to the current price, even JPY 1 will be enough to beat other bidders.

bidding tip 2

But, if you bid just ABOVE the whole figure, you are more likely to beat your opponent (who will likely offer at the whole amount). So, adding a few extra yen to a whole figure (e.g., JPY 2,001 or JPY 2,011) could give you the winning bid.

***Confused? Don’t worry; you’re not the only one. If you ever have any questions about how bidding with increments works on Yahoo! Japan Auctions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section, below.

Lucky biddings!