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Thread: my import tips

  1. #1

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    i have imported 4 cars so far iam no expert by far, but here is a few tips that may or nothelpful be
    sorry if this has previously been disgusted
    i use mark at brave auto he has always been good to me and have had no real problems,i had previously used a calgary importer but that was just an added needless expence
    ok first tip
    1 use an exporter in japan not in your home country,they will just have to have a contact in japan which will end just up costing you more
    2 become very very familiar with auction sheet,this thing is everything,get translations,these list all faults of the car..
    3 try to get a car with as much shaken left on it as possible,this way its close to just being put through a rigorous test..
    4 stay away from anything but grade 4 or 4.5 cars if you cant afford one save a lil more,it costs the same to import a $500 car as it does a real nice $1200 car as some parts can be tricky to find outside japan buying the best quality car at first will save you big time down the road
    5 have your exporter insure the car to include shipping,duty tax etc if your car arrives destroyed you will only be reimbursed the policy max and will loose shipping moneys duty tax,broker etc etc..
    6 do your research know which model/options you want and how much mileage you will accept, research what those cars sell for..that way no surprises you know what you can and can not afford .this will save you asking the exporter a million unneeded questions
    7 shipping ro ro vs container,,ro ro to vancouver only sails from kawasaki,depending on destination you may only be able to use one or the other.. i like ro ro for this reason ,i do not like the idea of someone putting my car in big box then rattling it around ,this just seems to me to be more chance of damaging it(not the exporter but the idiots at Vancouver)...plus the cost of shipping by container can be quiet a bit higher
    the extra expenses come when it lands at docks(dreyage,unpacking etc)
    ro ro or container neither one erases the risk of damage..
    8 if at all possible pick the car up yourself at the port take your camera and know which damage is old and new take lots of pics.....

  2. #2

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    examples of doing your home work would be this
    ie i watched for a long time for a red gz supra.. till i read somewhere they did not make red gz supras atall lol

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the post, really good information. I laughed at the example of doing your home work

  4. #4

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    another tip is to try and watch for a car in the city your exporter lives in
    this way you might get lucky and the exporter will check the car in person before bidding.......

  5. #5

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    Good post and I have my own thoughts but hope you won't take offense if my viewpoint is a bit different.
    If you've used Mark from Brave Auto you're used to being spoiled and I say this because when I tell people about the amount of rusty EVO's I've seen they say "well I never had that (they used Mark so of course not lol)".



    Quote Originally Posted by alan johnson View Post
    another tip is to try and watch for a car in the city your exporter lives in
    this way you might get lucky and the exporter will check the car in person before bidding.......
    It can help but usually it shouldn't be necessary if they are good they should be able to have the car checked anywhere. What I mean is that anyone with actual auction membership (not a reseller though many pose as if they have membership) can have an agent at the house check the car. ....then again heck even a reseller may be able to do this but I recommend to avoid resellers for many reasons (eg. if they're not honest they can just blame their agent and run if you have issues).

    Quote Originally Posted by alan johnson View Post
    i have imported 4 cars so far iam no expert by far, but here is a few tips that may or nothelpful be
    sorry if this has previously been disgusted
    i use mark at brave auto he has always been good to me and have had no real problems,i had previously used a calgary importer but that was just an added needless expence
    ok first tip
    1 use an exporter in japan not in your home country,they will just have to have a contact in japan which will end just up costing you more
    2 become very very familiar with auction sheet,this thing is everything,get translations,these list all faults of the car..
    3 try to get a car with as much shaken left on it as possible,this way its close to just being put through a rigorous test..
    4 stay away from anything but grade 4 or 4.5 cars if you cant afford one save a lil more,it costs the same to import a $500 car as it does a real nice $1200 car as some parts can be tricky to find outside japan buying the best quality car at first will save you big time down the road
    5 have your exporter insure the car to include shipping,duty tax etc if your car arrives destroyed you will only be reimbursed the policy max and will loose shipping moneys duty tax,broker etc etc..
    6 do your research know which model/options you want and how much mileage you will accept, research what those cars sell for..that way no surprises you know what you can and can not afford .this will save you asking the exporter a million unneeded questions
    7 shipping ro ro vs container,,ro ro to vancouver only sails from kawasaki,depending on destination you may only be able to use one or the other.. i like ro ro for this reason ,i do not like the idea of someone putting my car in big box then rattling it around ,this just seems to me to be more chance of damaging it(not the exporter but the idiots at Vancouver)...plus the cost of shipping by container can be quiet a bit higher
    the extra expenses come when it lands at docks(dreyage,unpacking etc)
    ro ro or container neither one erases the risk of damage..
    8 if at all possible pick the car up yourself at the port take your camera and know which damage is old and new take lots of pics.....
    1.) IMHO it doesn't always cost you more, many examples I've seen end up being the same, sometimes less if comparing with an Exporter with high fees. Most out of country Importers will have a volume deal and pricing so they can compete price-wise.
    2.) I can't agree enough, understand them very well and don't just go by the grade. It also helps to have a competent and trustworthy Exporter who can read for hints of problems (eg. one Exporter will read "underbody sprayed black" on an EVO and say great and another smarter one will say "hell no they've hidden rust).
    3.) I've had cars with and without shakken, I wouldn't depend on this as a sign the car is good for sure.
    4.) I agree with the quality, buying low grade cars is a bigger gamble.
    5.) This I would like to know more about. I don't know how the transporters in Japan are insured or if something happens at port. The only real insurance I've heard of is with container shipping. Make a whole thread for this if you know how to get better insurance please!
    6.) +1
    7.) They both have their pros and cons. I've heard of damage on both but think damage on container may be a little more common........but RORO is hard to get compensated for AFAIK.
    8.) +1

  6. #6

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    1 container vs ro ro
    ok for a start one car in the container has to be hoisted up suspended on its back wheels(unless they are 3 minis)and
    riding all the way from japan bounceing on its back suspension ...lol nice this is how 2 of mine were shipped
    and container cost from japan will depend on vehicle size.....
    but suppose were talking about same size cars once it reaches vancouver the added charges start to incure
    simply because it can not just roll of the ro ro
    there is dreyage ,container inspection,unloading and if your container shows up close to a long weekend as mine did overtime for driver and an extra day storage at docks $500 altogether,substantially more than ro ro
    2 buying cars lower than grade 4 and 4.5..ok as others have said there are some good vehicles that apart from being modified probably have no business being rated that way
    ,also my exporter told me if a hood and fender have been adjusted the paint on the bolts will be chipped this may lead to the car being rated as R when infact its not repaired
    ...but as you are not there in person to inspect it ..and your exporter could not be expected to inspect R grade cars in an auction yard and give them the ok.i..so dont be tempted there are plenty of mint examples ..
    i did not mean exporters will go to peoples houses and check cars that's preposterous i meant the auction house in the exporters city

  7. #7

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    this is my celsior in its container
    and i personally would rather have the car with lots of shaken time left on it as apposed to one with none,
    anyone familiar with MOT back home will agree with this surely
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    Last edited by alan johnson; 10-15-2014 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan johnson View Post
    i have imported 4 cars so far iam no expert by far,
    stay away from anything but grade 4 or 4.5 cars
    this is not always correct
    i imported 25 cars and sometimes "R" can be in better shape than "4.5"
    i had "4" with panels replaced and re-painted or even the whole car had fresh paint.
    (nothing wrong with that as long as it's done right but it's not suppose to be grade "4")
    i had "4" with knocking engine (twice)
    and i had "4" with slipping clutch and noisy transmission
    "3.5" came with a small ding on trunk lid and that was it, the rest was "5" =o)
    and "4.5" Mercedes was as god as new in and out the only problem was engine noise.
    turned out to be a bad water pump. it literally fell apart when i took it out!
    and the car had only 35K!
    i had "R" which was the cleanest and the best overall of all the cars i've imported.
    well and having said that sometimes "R" can be just it - "R" but then i know what i'm getting into.
    and i'm not scared of "RA" condition at all
    so...
    Last edited by alexinvancouver; 10-29-2014 at 10:43 PM.
    2000 2,5RS stage rally car
    2011 Lexus CT200h - DD
    1990 GT-4 stage rally project

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan johnson View Post
    7 shipping ro ro vs container,,ro ro to vancouver only sails from kawasaki
    This is incorrect. We ship from both Kawasaki and Kobe for Vancouver.

    Steven Smith
    SASTRAD KK
    http://www.sastrad.com
    http://www.japancarexportsonline.net
    I'm a Canadian in Nagoya

  10. #10

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    i don't know how they charge for container storage
    but "shows up close to a long weekend... "
    or any weekend for that matter has nothing to do with ro-ro cars
    because port charges only for working days (starting on 11th day), weekends and holidays excluded.
    IMHO container shipping only makes sense if one buys rare or expensive car
    (which is the same lol)
    2000 2,5RS stage rally car
    2011 Lexus CT200h - DD
    1990 GT-4 stage rally project

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