PRESENTING, A GUIDE ON HOW TO USE SHOPPING MALL JAPAN (aka SMJ) TO BID ON ITEMS LISTED ON YAHOO JAPAN.
warning: this guide doesn't tell you how to FIND items on YJ, only how to use SMJ to bid on them. and as usual please be curtious to fellow community members... if you see the SMJ auction ID on something you want (it's something like chaosjapan) or even sunyshore's ID (mabo_is_nuts) be nice and back out or talk to the community about possibly trading. don't be a jerky mc. loserface and try to snipe things out from other people for kicks. THAT ISNT HOW WE ROLL, IS IT COMPADRES?
so without further ado...
SMJ is a deputy service that lets you bid on items listed on yahoo japan even if you don't have a yahoo japan ID, or if you can't speak Japanese, or if the seller won't ship international. SMJ acts as a go-between, doing all the work for you, and then sending your item to you wherever you may reside in the world. But let's start at the start.
First, you need to make an ID for SMJ use. Standard username password stuff. So, go to their main page and select the 'registration' option, an then 'register now' - this is totally free.
The sign-up page might be a bit daunting. Basicly you need to know only a few things.
ONE - you want a STANDARD account. automotive is for bidding on car/motorcycle parts.
TWO - you don't need a credit card to sign up, or even a paypal, but if you put one in it speeds your transactions. so if you haven't a paypal or a credit card, you can still use SMJ.
your password here is, essentially, useless. After you fill this out, you will recieve an e-mail from SMJ asking you to activate your account with a special password they give you.
that password can ONLY be used for account activation, not bidding yet. Follow the instructions in the email they send to activate your account.
Once your account is activated, you will recieve another email instructing you to make a deposit to SMJ. I think this may be what confuses people the most. Let me try to explain as best as I can.
Basicly, SMJ is doing you a favour by buying this stuff for you. However, you don't pay them until after the auction ends. That means that SMJ might get bamboozled by someone - they could bid ten billion dollars and win an auction but never pay SMJ. To protect themselves from this, SMJ asks you to make a sort of safety deposit. If you were to run off without paying, SMJ would at least have that deposited money to make up for the loss. It's a bit like insurance for them. The more money you deposit, the higher you can bid on YJ.
There is a nice table explaining the amount of money deposited related to the amount you can bid.
As you can see, it's fairly clear. Deposit 20$ with a credit card and you can bid as much as 20$ at a time on all auctions total on YJ. Deposit 20$ with paypal or a check/money order, however, and you can bid as high as 100$. I'm not sure why these are there rates, but they simply are. You can deposit more money at any time to raise your bidding limit. Say you start out small and deposit 30$ via paypal, but decide later on you want to be able to bid on more auctions/at higher prices - just follow the same steps to deposit money into your account as you recieved in your first email and deposit some more.
i should take this moment to point out - WHENEVER emailing SMJ, sending money or anything at all be sure to include your SMJ username. Your minimum deposit has to be at least 20$, sorry to say. Thanks for pointing that out to me guys |3
Once your deposit is recieved and clears, you will recieve another email with a new password. THIS is the password you can use to bid on things. Which is what we're all here to learn how to do, so let's get to it!
First of all, click ye olde BID option on ye olde SMJ front page main menu.
we'll use this main menu a lot, but SMJ's interface is a little wonky in that you can only really access it easily from the main page. So keep SMJ's front page bookmarked.
Okay, so you clicked that link. Next, you'll see two options to click on. You want the one on the left, the one that looks like this:
so click it.
A framed page will pop up. The top of the page is a lot of blathering that you can read once and then ignore for the rest of your life. What you want to find is at the bottom of the page. This:
NOW. Go find the auction you wanted to bid on on YJ. Some of your computers don't support Japanese text and some of you can't read any japanese at all so I'll circle what you need to know.
here, the AUCTION ID is circled. I shall break down the image a bit further for you.
the CURRENT HIGH BID or opening bid. That symbol at the right of the number means yen. MORE OR LESS, 100 yen = 1 american dollar.
the TIME TIL THE AUCTION ENDS. this one ends in 13 hours (those two characters beside the 13 mean hours). This character:
means days. So if you see like, 7 followed by that, you know it has 7 days til the auction ends.
THIS is the high bidder. If you see those two characters (the one that looks like a little slanty T with a loop followed by a backwards J) that means nobody's bid yet. Otherwise, it'll have a user's name. as I said, mabo_is_nuts is sunyshore and chaosjapan(number) is SMJ. So please be nice and don't bid on auctions you see others from the community bidding on!
THIS shows up rarely on some auctions. If it's highlighted in yellow, that means it's a buy it now. That's the buy it now price. So if you bid that price or higher on SMJ, you automatically buy it now.
okay, so, go copy the auction ID with your mouse. that's this one:
and go back to SMJ's website with the frames. This page:
Input your SMJ username, the password they gave you for bidding with, the auction ID and your high bid.
Now the frame at top will reload as the page of the auction. You'll look at it and go "HEY, WHAT GIVES, I THOUGHT I BID!" This is probably also where a lot of people get hung up because this is actually a confirmation page, but it's all hidden. What's changed is that now there's a table on the right which offers to translate your auction as well as asks you to input your password again.
if you don't fill in your password again, you won't have bid! So input your password to confirm the bid.
Once you've bid, SMJ will send you an email saying "alright, you totally bid!"
If you are outbid, SMJ will also email you telling you you were outbid. This is nice, cause YJ doesn't do that for you normally. If you're outbid, just go back and repeat the steps to bid on an item but just put in more money as your max bid. There's no special place to go to increase your bid. If you want to increase your bid, just bid again with a higher monetary amount.
So, okay, you've learned how to bid. But how do you check the items you've bid on?
Or heck, how do you change your password from the gobblydegook they gave you?
Follow me, young jedi. back to the front page!
This time, click "YOUR ITEMS". Much like the bidding page, it opens a framed window. The top has an auction key. The key is very handy so I'll just link straight to it. You can find it here.
Input your username and password here with the "show auction information" button selected to show your info:
OR, select change password and input a new password to change it.
When you click show auction info, the page is pretty plainly explained. It lists what auctions you've bid on, their status, the item status (if it's paid, unpaid, paid by SMJ, stored at SMJ or sent to you) when they end and your max bid. It also shows the money which remains allowing you to bid on other auctions. God uh what do you call it. REMAINING BALANCE yeah that's it.
okay, so. You found an auction, you bid, you won. But when do you pay for your item? Where do you pay? Ah, that is where you must wait.
SMJ ocassionally will send out emails listing a total for the past couple auctions you've won and request payment. These emails include information on how to paypal them payment, how to pay with your credit card on file (if you have one) or how to mail them cheques or money orders. As always, whenever responding to SMJ emails remember to put your username somewhere obvious. Okay, let's break down one of their invoice emails.
This is pretty self explanatory but it might shock you when you get it cause it looks like there's a lot of 'hidden' fees. The truth is, these aren't hidden. All but one are the same fees you'd be paying on YJ if you had an account yourself. So let's break it down.
AUCTION ID - obviously the auction ID on YJ.
Winning Bid - your...winning bid. duhhhhhh
yen rate - the current yen-to-US dollar rate. As you can see from this email, at the time I won these auctions, it was 110 yen to 1 USD.
Internal Ship - what the YJ seller charged SMJ to ship to their warehouse. As you can see a lot of the time (especially with big lots) the shipping is more than the item itself. One thing that you shouldn't worry about is that on YJ, people don't scalp shipping as much as they do on ebay. So if it's high, know it's genuinely high.
commission - SMJ's added price for bidding for you. This is where you actually pay them to use them. It's a flat rate, as you can see. 5$ per auction, no matter how high or low it is. Just remember this with all your auctions.
wire fee - this is another fee you would pay even if you had a YJ account. Paying in Japan isn't like the states - You kind of go to the bank and use their ATM and get charged a fee to do it and blah blah blah. It sounds stupid, but it's just how things work in Japan. So to accomodate for this, SMJ charges you a flat rate wire fee. Sometimes your wire fee might be more than 2.50, sometimes less. It all evens out in the end.
total item cost - do i even need to explain this?
right! So you won an auction, you paid for it, it's in the SMJ warehouse and you want it at YOUR house. How do you get it there?
VIDDY THE MAIN PAGE ONCE MORE MY DROOGS.
This time, click on SHIPPING.
What pops up next is a pretty cut and dry form. It sends all items in storage to you once you fill it out.
You can send items to any address anywhere you want. If you want to use a particular kind of shipping not listed (ie, i live in Japan so I ask them to send via yu-pack) just write that in their extra field. If you want one item shipped somewhere else, write that in the special instructions field as well. Despite the fact that this page looks very inflexable with its options, SMJ is run by very personally involved people and so your specific instructions WILL be heeded without any hassle at all.
If you don't understand their shipping rates, you can just leave it at the default and write in the special instructions something like 'please send it by the fastest/cheapest/most awesome/involves the most xwings form of shipping' and they'll take it from there :>
SO! now your items have been shipped. Soon you'll recieve another invoice asking you to pay your shipping fees, unless you picked a cash-at-the-door form of delivery.
So, you've made your account. You've deposited your money. You've made your first bid, won, paid for it and now it's been shipped. SOON YOU TOO WILL HAVE ITEMS THAT SMELL LIKE THE CLOSET OF SOME SMALL JAPANESE APARTMENT.
Congratulations! You've joined the ranks of those who bid on YJ!