Yahoo! Japan, eBay Link Online Auctions Across Borders

posted on by Egan Loo
Easier access to Japanese auctions for American bidders & vice-versa

Yahoo Japan Corp. and eBay Inc. announced on Tuesday that the two companies will link their online auction services, and thus give American bidders easier access to Japanese auctions, and vice-versa. Although eBay is the dominant online auction service in many countries including the United States and Canada, it fell so far behind Yahoo's Japanese auction service that eBay pulled out of the Japanese market in 2002.

Yahoo Auctions Japan is best known in the anime/manga community for its wide variety of manga, anime, and character goods. As of Tuesday afternoon, it lists 14,592 Gundam items, 6,927 Naruto items, 4,796 Sailor Moon items, and 6,824 anime cels. For non-Japanese speakers who want to buy items on Yahoo Auctions Japan, a cottage industry of proxy buyers have sprung up in the last eight years. For a fee, a proxy service would handle all the bidding, payments, and overseas shipping for people living outside Japan. If Yahoo Japan and eBay successfully execute their linkup plans, eBay will effectively become the proxy service for Yahoo Japan, and vice-versa.

In the first phase, the two companies have already launched a website which will translate international eBay auctions into Japanese and help Japanese speaker deal with payment and shipping.

In the second phase that is scheduled for March, Japanese speakers can directly bid on international eBay items from within the Yahoo Auctions Japan website.

In the third phase that is scheduled for the middle of 2008, the two companies will launch a site by which American eBay users can directly bid on Japanese Yahoo auctions.

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