Friday, April 11, 2014

[Rant] My first auction experience

I still want to build a mini-ITX rig. But for that to happen, I have to sell some of the stuff that I have in my PC which cannot go into a mini-ITX system. There are mainly two such parts: the PSU and the case. I can sell the motherboard and the RAM to a shop. Shops don't take PSUs and cases unfortunately. So I have to find someone to hook them up with.

I first posted stuff on Craigslist. But that took me nowhere.

Then I signed up with eBay to sell stuff. That also was too much hassle because I'll have to ship the items overseas.

Then I turned to local auctioning services. The biggest one in Japan is Yahoo Auctions. I'm sure it is possible to sell these items without much trouble over there but there is one catch. To sell stuff, you have to subscribe to Yahoo Premium service with ¥380  monthly subscription fee. On top of that, there is still a service charge when you make a sale. That's too much.

I didn't give up. I searched for auction services that didn’t require a monthly subscription service. And I found one. Guess who? Rakuten! Their service is called Rakuten Auctions. No surprise there. They don't ask for a subscription fee. Only charge is when you make a sale. That's about 6% of the selling price. Sometimes they give back half of it even. Campaigns, campaigns everywhere. Japan must be the country of campaigns.

So I registered in the auction. Since I have never had any experience in auctioning, I wanted to start with the stuff that I really didn't want. I had three such items.

  • Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B CPU cooler because I upgraded to the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme last year.
  • Leap Motion Controller because it was a big let down
  • Scythe Kaze Master Ace fan controller because I switched to the fan controller on the motherboard.

Basically what you do is you fill a form for a new exhibit where you write the name of the item, details about the item, starting bid, the auction period and specify the shipping methods, post it and let others bid for it. Once the bid is accepted either because of early termination, expected price was reached or the time period has ended, the bidder pays for the item. Rakuten keeps the money and asks us to ship the item. Once the user gets the item, he will post that he received the item. The bidder will first rate the seller and the seller will then rate the bidder and that ends the dealings with the bidder. After a few days the money will be deposited to the bank account we specify (read note1 below) in the account settings.

Seemed straight forward. So without further delay, I added the 3 items that I mentioned earlier to the list of my exhibits.

Following are the links to the exhibits. I'm glad to say that I've managed to sell all of them already. The money has already been deposited to the bank account.

So the first attempt was a success. Great. Now it is time to post the stuff that I really have to get rid of, to make that mini-ITX dream a reality.


If you have a Rakuten bank account, there is no service charge when crediting the money. This “service charge” is separate to the auction service charge. I only had a Mizuho bank account and they would charge JPY210 for each credit. A big no no! So I quickly applied for a Rakuten bank account and it took them about 10 days to send be the bank card and the necessary documents to get started.

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