Sales of the processed products and fish coming in large volume every morning are made by face to face negotiations (Aitai in Japanese) between authorized wholesalers and intermediate wholesalers or authorized buyers. Tuna, sea urchin and high grade fresh fish are sold by auctions.
The first auction starts at around 5 a.m. and lasts for 30 minutes. More than 800 intermediate wholesalers (jobbers) take the fish they have bought to their own shops in the market and lay them out for sale to retailers, caterers and others. Meanwhile, other fish bought at the auction goes to restaurants and supermarkets and for market distribution. The last fish auction of the day at Tsukiji is usually completed by 7 a.m.