USS no longer displaying sold prices?

Discussion in 'Importing Misc' started by dmnd, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. dmnd

    dmnd Tuna Sandwich

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    Is this something new? Just about every auction listing portal I try now it appears cars at USS houses no longer have statsistical data on how much the bidding closed at and whether they were sold.
     
  2. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    I noticed this as well. In particular USS Tokyo since there's usually stuff there I'm interested in watching. I noticed it started before the Christmas break.
     
  3. Murrdawg02

    Murrdawg02 Danger to the manifold

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    I inquired about a car at round the beginning of December, Mark mentioned that the auction site we look at failed to update, but he could still tell me the sold price. Since then I have noticed it is like that for most cars. I hope its just a glitch in updating that will be fixed. Previously sold prices are a very useful tool.
     
  4. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

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  5. Derek

    Derek Derek Weldon

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    Sorry, I have not been on the site for a number of weeks. I have been really busy and have not had the time to come and hang out.

    This problem is well known right now and is effecting a number of exporters. Though I can't say that anyone really has very accurate answers about it.

    Here is my understanding of the problem.
    Note that information about this is limited and so my sources might not be correct.

    Us exporters pay a monthly fee for use of the auction data and the system to browse the auctions.

    The companies that sell this service to us have to get the data through "back-door" means. Basically, they have to use the accounts of exporters in Japan against the wishes of the auctions and scrape the data secretly. This might be the reason why all the "auction tool" companies are all Russian.. so Japanese law doesn't effect them.

    The "auction tool" companies scrape most of the data from the systems ASnet and iAUC. These are auction aggregator systems for Japanese dealers, exporters, or garages to purchase vehicles. Both of these systems provide data about the vehicles up for auction including selling prices, and other things... But interestingly, USS decided to no longer allow result-statistics to ASnet or IAUC about 2 or 3 years ago. After that, these "auction tool" companies have needed official USS licenses to get that data. Of course, USS licenses are much harder to get and much more risky for exporters to provide to the "auction tool" companies.

    Back in November of 2014, the "auction tool" company that we (and many other exporters) use, lost their USS key and has been trying to find a company to provide it to them again. The same thing happened to a competing "auction tool" company about 1.5 years before and it was the reason we made a change to the current one that we use. For now, I am reluctant to change to a new provider because it is a real pain for everyone involved to switch their accounts and learn a new system.

    As the biggest auction, I think that USS have the ability to protect their data better. Why does USS not want their data to get out? I am not sure. Perhaps they see it as their competitive advantage. Whatever the case, I don't think that this problem will get better. Until USS allows third parties to access their data, there will be a fight to obtain it. For now, we wait and hope.
     
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  6. Megatol

    Megatol Mr. Toyota

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    I've just asked this question to Russian exporter who has auction site as well and the answer was: "this is temporary problem, should be fixed by the end of the month"
     
  7. Mark - Brave Auto

    Mark - Brave Auto JDM Auction Agent/Exporter

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    USS is now blocking the third party auction sites and I very much doubt the third party auction site providers will get around it this time.

    As I have USS membership I received a notification (when you log onto USS there are news notifications that popup) last year from USS that they will be blocking the sold results that are copied by third party sites.

    Soon, they will block all information, photos, auction sheets etc.

    The pressure will then be put on to other auction groups like JU, CAA, HAA etc to do the same.

    Many people may not realise is that it is illegal in Japan (always has been) to copy information (photos, sheets etc) from the USS main site which is partly why most of the third party auction sites are owned and hosted offshore.

    Finally, there have been a few changes with USS during last year and one of the big changes is something that most exporters have kept quiet about and are probably going to love me for making this public for two reasons.

    As you all know, the auctions have 2-6 photos of the vehicles on their sites, the reason I say 2-6 is because some auction houses only have two photos and some have up to six and we all get excited when they have six…..lol.

    Well, the cat out of the bag is - USS in fact has up to 20 (up to & around that number) of photos for certain auction houses and certain vehicles. The long story short, the seller can pay extra to have extra photos (ones he/she has taken) uploaded onto the USS main auction site.

    However, the third party auction sites cannot (as far as I know) access or copy beyond the normal number of photos so on the third party auction sites you can only see the standard photos.

    When you log directly into USS main auction site and look through the listings of vehicles coming up for auction, if a vehicle has more photos available it is indicated by a yellow highlight with C-PAS written.

    [​IMG]

    When you click on this vehicle to view it, it will display the normal auction photos along with the extra photos, see below example.

    [​IMG]

    So……….why have I brought this up and why would exporters prefer I had not.

    1) the only way to forward the extra photos onto a customer is by opening each photo and then using SNIP to copy it. A good few years ago USS use to have a "copy" button which made life easy when coping the normal auction photos and emailing them to customers. But to stop us and third party sites from coping the photos and auction sheets from the main site they blocked it although the third party auction sites found a way around this. I also found SNIP so although more time consuming than clicking on one button I could still copy each photo etc.

    I am fairly sure many exporters do not want to do this extra work (coping each photo) on the hope their customer will want to bid on the vehicle.

    Unfortunately, if you ask your exporter if there are any extra photos of a certain vehicle you will have to take their word for it "if" he says no. However, bare in mind, not all vehicles have extra photos but more and more sellers are going this way.

    2) many agents claim they go to all the auctions and personally inspect vehicles before buying and one of the ways to back this up is by taking some photos of the vehicles themselves and then emailing them to you.
    But the reality of it, many do not go to the auctions so do not be fooled into believing they do. However, do not get me wrong, some agents do go and some do not, more of the not these days, the auctions are getting like a ghost town.

    If your agent is going to go and personally check the vehicle for you, ask them to take a selfie in front of the car with the lot number shown in the back ground - http://forum.import-era.com/threads/interesting-cars-at-auction.56/page-41 - and you all though I was just trying to look good in the photo.

    Now, with the auction having extra photos it is very easy for the agent to claim he/she has been and personally checked the vehicle for you by simply waiting for a period of time and then emailing you the extra photos copied from the auction site.

    Below is a classic example of how a customer "could" be fooled.

    I had a customer in the UK last year interested in the following vehicle which I advised him I could not check the vehicle personally before buying it.

    [​IMG]

    Via my third party auction site he could view the standard six USS photos, auction sheet etc but could not view the extra photos, only I or any agent with USS membership could see this.

    When my customer originally emailed me about this vehicle I replied back to him the following day (day prior to the auction) where I translated the inspection sheet and copied and included all of the extra photos for him to view. In my error, I forgot to mention that I had copied the extra photos from the site, I just translated the sheet and attached the following photos.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My customer came back thanking me for going and personally checking the vehicle for him……….. can you see where I am going with this.

    I could of replied back "no problem" and got a brownie point and if I was one of the agents who charges for checking (which I am not) I could of cashed in here as well without having to even leave my desk or I could of replied back explaining where the extra photos had come from, I think you all know what my reply was.

    Finally, I did in fact buy the vehicle for my customer.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hope I did not bore you all.

    Cheers

    Mark.
     
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  8. Dah_Hunter

    Dah_Hunter Looking over your shoulder, so you dont have to.

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    Mark as usual you have taught us all some interesting stuff..

    Im very impressed by the Artistic way the other photos were taken (Of the Celsior)

    and i can see how suspect agents could use that system to be lazy.
     
  9. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Nice posts Derek and Mark. So much information that we wouldn't be able to get any other way :)
     
  10. Megatol

    Megatol Mr. Toyota

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    What is a point for the auction houses to block access to the information? More people will see, more will buy, so it means more sellers will come to this auction.
    In the modern world most business done in the Internet, so companies are happy to bring more traffic to their websites, more traffic - more clients who will spend some money.

    When we hear news like Facebook bought some startup for XX billions dollars and technically this startup doesn't make any money but has millions of users, so companies are ready to spend money for the userbase which potentially will generate some profit in the future.
     
  11. Dah_Hunter

    Dah_Hunter Looking over your shoulder, so you dont have to.

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    I guess the point is all about being a premium subscriber.

    so if you want to have full access you have to be a direct member, and not a member through a third party, makes sense really.
    Im sure the auction site knows that all the traffic on those third party sites doesnt mean more people are buying, infact most people just use it as a tool to verify for checking the average price of what cars sell for.

    its annoying though i will admit, cause i like to be able to see what cars have sold for.
     
  12. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Me too. I wonder which way (or if at all) not having the historical prices will affect sold prices?

    More than anything previous sold prices will let me know if it's even worth me considering bidding on cars. That way I don't have to bug Mark (or whoever the exporter is) with bidding on a car if I'm not even close to what they sell for. I don't like being a time waster...
     
  13. dmnd

    dmnd Tuna Sandwich

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    Historical data is how I get a good feel for the current market and am able to get good deals. I feel like this will definitely increase workload for exporters having to relay all this info to customers on a 1 on 1 basis. Really frustrating.
     
  14. dagleykd

    dagleykd Kei fan extraordinaire!

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    Unfortunate to see this isn't an option anymore - I liked being able to look up the sold prices for cars I am interested in so I had an idea how much I was going to have to pay for them down the road :(

    I understand why they did it, it's just irritating...
     
  15. Derek

    Derek Derek Weldon

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    And....

    USS selling prices are back online as of today.
    Thank goodness.

    That was really annoying for us exporters. In particular, with our system, it showed USS vehicles still being available so I had to explain the problem over and over again. I am glad that things are back to normal. Though the results from the last three months are not going to be updated because the auction tool company does not want to transfer all that data and possibly get USS's attention again. It is a small price to pay.
     
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  16. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Nice! Now I can resume bookmarking cars and wishing I had placed a bid :D
     
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  17. dagleykd

    dagleykd Kei fan extraordinaire!

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    Good to have it back! It would be nice being able to use the sold prices as benchmarks for how much certain cars are going for! :)
     
  18. Dah_Hunter

    Dah_Hunter Looking over your shoulder, so you dont have to.

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    With the price things are selling for these days i dont know if i want to see the an past history it would make me depressed.
     
  19. dagleykd

    dagleykd Kei fan extraordinaire!

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    Are the Japanese sale prices increasing by a lot Ben? I've not really noticed with the auction browsing I've done?
     
  20. Mark - Brave Auto

    Mark - Brave Auto JDM Auction Agent/Exporter

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    And.....

    They are blocking it again, not only the prices but they are blanking out the vin numbers and number plates this time around as well.

    Also, the third party auction sites have not been picking up all the normal auction photos either for weeks now, I am not referring to the CPAS photos (they are only available to USS members) just the normal auction photos.

    For agents/exporters "without" direct USS auction membership........ this will cause them headaches, for me it does not bother me as it is just another day at the office as I do not use the third party auction sites to look up vehicles.

    Any way, we will see how long it takes the Russians to get around it this time, as it is the Russians that copy the information from the main site since it is illegal to do within Japan.