In this blogpost, we’ll walk you through how to find beautiful koi, what to expect in our niigata koi auctions, bidding best practices, when to finalize payments, koi shipping details, and most importantly how to win!

Remember: all bids are final, and there is a 20% restocking fee if one changes his mind after winning an auction. So let’s bid strategically.

Whether you just signed up or have been bidding for a while, you’re bound to learn something new.  Let’s get started!


The hunt for your perfect Japanese koi often will start at an online auction where bidders compete to buy their favorite “living jewels”. You can buy koi from our retail stores, on a trip to Niigata, at fixed price and at auction online.

Good luck in your koi search and may you consider Japanese koi, works of art, with centuries of history tied to each of their unique lineage. Please enjoy the process of selection too.

Search our site for koi by the breeder, variety, size, price, and gender!

There are 2 main ways to buy our koi fish for sale from Kodama Koi Farm:

You can also call us at +1 (833) Koi Love (1-833-564-5683) for assistance ordering koi.

Unlike the consistent prices of fixed-price koi, auction koi prices vary depending on the bidding activity. Often you can get a very good price with the auction compared to our koi’s estimated value.

Other differences are that fixed-price koi are very high quality and are often larger than the auction koi. So for the cream-of-the-crop koi, do visit the fixed-price koi collections. You can also visit the high quality koi section of our site for the best we have to offer in auction and fixed.

If you enjoy the thrill of competing with other bidders to reel in a great koi at a great price, then the auctions are where it’s at for you and should be a lot of rewarding fun. Learn more bidding strategies and rules in this article.

Please also visit the FAQs page of our website to learn more beyond auction bidding.


How To Bid – Quick Video Walkthrough

This short 7-min video screen recording will demonstrate the basics of:

  • Filtering / Sorting
  • Adding to a Watchlist
  • Bidding on Koi



  • Hunting for koi
  • Individual product page vs. Catalog page view
  • How to bid
  • How proxy bidding works
  • Bidding best practices
  • Schedule of auctions
  • Paying for auctions
  • Shipping cost
  • Lost an auction?
  • Got questions or concerns?
  • Let’s start bidding!

Hunting for Your New Koi

First things first, hunting for koi. This is the most fun part! We have many ways you can search through our koi lists.

There are 3 main ways browse auction koi:

  • Live Koi page. Browse through both auction and fixed price koi.
  • Auction page. Shop only for auction koi.
  • Category pages. These can be split further into:
    • Breeder pages. Shop for koi by breeder
    • Variety pages for koi types. Shop by all the different koi varieties
    • Special sales pages for auction or fixed-price koi. Shop by special koi offers or promos

To look for specific auction koi, you can use the koi search filter tool which is easy to access on the Live Koi and the Auction pages. It will filter down through the category you are viewing.

If you’re looking for a specific koi, for example, a Shiro Utsuri from Breeder Omosako, you can go to the search filter tool and use the drop downs to get matching koi in both those categories.

NOTE: “Search all our available koi” filter means it will filter into the category you are viewing. Start at the Live Koi page to get the largest view of all koi we have available.

**We will be rolling out better filtering features in 2019 for available and sold and easier viewing of auctions ending soon**


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How To Filter / Search

Here’s a screenshot above (from with the filtered search terms for the type of koi farm, the type of variety, and for auction specific. Click on the “Filter” button once all your settings are where you want them to be.

Filtered Results


Awesome! Now we have Shiro Utsuri from Breeder Omosako to peruse like a catalog as shown above (

You can also use the search filter tool when browsing a category or promo page to show only the koi from that category or promo that fit what you’re searching for.

Individual Product Page vs. Catalog Page View

Using the above graphic of the Shiro Utsuri search results page as an example, this grid-like view is called the catalog view because it shows many koi at all at once and lets you quickly compare several koi. From this view, you can also place a bid easily by typing your bid in the gray box underneath the koi. You can also click into the breeders and the varieties type to see only koi in that category.

If you find a koi you really like, click on its image to see more details.

In the individual product page above you can see a larger picture of the koi (some koi have additional side pictures), more koi details, videos, and auction information like current bids, ending times, etc. ( Some koi also have special promotion info. Additional auction terms and info is organized into tabs at the bottom for “Koi Auction Policy”, “Auction History”, “Shipping Koi”, and “Shipping FAQs”.

How To Place a Bid

To place a bid, you must be logged in to your account: Login here

If you do not have account yet, you can register for one here to get started: Register for an account

You can place bids from the individual page or the catalog page. It will ask to confirm bid from both screens.

If you like a koi, but don’t want to place a bid yet; you can add it to a watchlist by clicking the “Add to watchlist!” link

Now let’s say you really want to get this koi in your pond. Great, it’s bidding time!


Clicking the Bid Button

Looking at an auction koi, you will see it’s starting price or the next incremental bid amount and often a “Buy Now” button.

Type in a bid in the gray input box (or use the plus or minus buttons to increment the bid amount).

Hit the Bid button and the “Ok” button that pops up on the screen to finalize your bid like this:

Remember: only bid with serious intention because all bids are final.

You’ll get an email notification confirming your bid; and if someone else outbids you, you’ll get a notification, too, so you can increase your bid if you so choose.

When the auction ends, you’ll get an email notification showing whether you’re the winner or not.

Here’s an example of an email notification of winning an auction. Woohoo!


View History of Auction

To view other people’s bids, scroll down and then click on the “Auction history” tab. Note: currently only people’s bids are shown; and the name of the auction winner is shown after the auction finishes.

How Proxy Bidding Works / Max Bid

Similar to eBay’s auctions, you can put in a bid in the koi auctions; and the website will:

  • bid on your behalf
  • automatically put the lowest bid possible (following the auction’s increment settings which is often $10 increments)
  • while ensuring you’re the highest bidder up to your original max bid

This is called proxy bidding, and it happens automatically on all bids. At anytime, you can increase your bid; and the website will adjust to bid up to your new higher bid.

If two bidders put in the same highest bids, the earliest bidder will be awarded the auction.

If your bid is higher than the next bid increment, but not the full bid increment, the price will increase to your bid if someone else bids to one increment below your max bid. (ex. you bid $145, someone else bids $140, the increment is $10 so it would go to your max bid of $145)

Other bidders cannot see your maximum bid.

Proxy bidding is an easy way to bid and win koi without having to constantly watch an auction.

How To Win – Bidding Best Practices & Methods

Now that you know how the bidding works, let’s dive into a few bidding strategies to learn the best practices. This will summarize some of the bidding strategies you may encounter and enhance your own bidding to be more efficient.

Proxy Bidding – (mentioned earlier) is the best way to bid on a koi with minimum hassle, and it’s what we recommend. You can put in your maximum bid that fits your budget best, and let the website take care of the rest.

Bid Nibbling – Another strategy called “bid nibbling” is when a person increases their bids by small amounts on a single koi. This can have the benefit of discouraging non-serious bidders from placing a bid which may save the winner money when the auction ends. A downside to this strategy is that it requires more time and attention to closely watch an auction.

Bid Sniping – is placing a bid in the last minute or few seconds before the auction ends. This is not recommended because a last-minute bid may not be processed in time if one’s internet connection is slow and there is no time to increase one’s bid later. Some bidders lost koi auctions because of this risky strategy; so please don’t wait ‘till the last minute. Bid sniping is not recommended.

An alternative to this is to set an alarm or reminder for 1 hour or 30 minutes before the auction’s end time to check the auction price and then put in your maximum bid then.

“Buy It Now” Button – Now let’s say you see a gorgeous koi that you absolutely must have or you want to receive the koi as soon as possible. If the koi has a “Buy It Now” button, you can forego the bidding altogether and buy it immediately. Note: the “Buy It Now” button will disappear after bids meet or exceed a koi’s “Buy It Now” price.

This strategy quickly removes a koi from other potential bidders with the added benefit that you can receive the koi sooner.

Bid on Multiple Koi – If you want to increase your odds of winning a great koi, you can bid on multiple koi at the same time. By bidding on several koi at once and using the previous strategies, you’re more likely to win one or more of the auctions; and if you lose the auction for your first-choice koi, you may win your second- or third-choice.

Tip: to avoid overbidding, create a “bid budget” first; and as you put in multiple bids reduce your “bid budget” appropriately.

General Schedule of our Auctions

Now that you have a solid foundation, you’re ready to bid!

We typically start new auctions every Sunday and Wednesday typically around 6 or 7 PM PST.

The weekend auctions end on Saturday and Sunday, while the weekday auction ends on Wednesday.

NEW – We now have auctions closing daily, but most auctions will close on Sunday and Wednesday (unless otherwise noted).

The auctions for a particular day usually end consecutively one minute after each other.

There are also special auctions through the year like for Independence Day or Black Friday, for example. We send out email notices about them and other great koi and koi supply offers; so if you haven’t already, sign up here for our newsletter to stay in the know.

Paying for Products – IMPORTANT

Please pay for your koi within 3 days of winning it. You can pay for it online (or over the phone) and schedule your koi shipment after your payment is completed.

If you have multiple koi, you can add each one to your online shopping cart and then pay for them all at once with a credit card or Paypal account. Click here for more payment details.

Be warned: if you make no payments within 30 business days or have $1,000 or more in unpaid auction koi, your user account will be suspended on a case-by-case basis.

Shipping Costs

Quick note on shipping fees: these are charged separately because the shipping fees vary (typically $105 and up) depending on the quantity and sizes of the koi you want to ship and your selected carrier.

When you checkout to pay for your koi, you can select a date to receive your koi; and you can send a note, too, during checkout. You can also reach us at +1 (833) Koi Love (1-833-564-5683) or email

IMPORTANT: All koi shipments need at least 2 business days (48 hours) notice prior to shipping in order to stop the feeding and prepare your koi for a safe journey.

Click here for more details about shipping.

Lost an auction? We have a few suggestions…

If another bidder wins a koi that your heart was set on, it can be frustrating at times. So we suggest:

  • using the Request a koi form to let us know what koi you’re looking for
  • or going to our fixed price koi page to see if there is a similar koi. Note: These are higher quality and typically larger than auction koi.
  • Contact us for similar koi through the contact form or request a koi

Lastly there are new koi coming each week, so you are bound to find another beautiful koi soon with a little patience.

Got questions or concerns? Contact us

If you notice an error or glitch with an auction, please let us know by emailing or calling +1 (833) Koi Love (1-833-564-5683). We want to hear from you to make our auction systems better. Thank you.


Let the Bidding Begin!

Alright, now that you have a solid foundation in how bidding works, it is time to dive into the auctions and make your own bids. Remember to use the tactics we mentioned and use filtering to find the koi of your dreams.

If you have not created an account yet, let’s get you started by creating an account here.

Or if you already have an account, you can sign in here.

May you find a beautiful koi that wows you, and put in a bid in our koi auction! It’s an enjoyable way to get stunning koi while competing with other bidders. Have fun and enjoy the koi!


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Happy Bidding!