When buying from Japan, most exporters know an awful lot more than the average customer. This makes it very easy for exporters to take advantage of customers without the customers knowing about it.
Below is a list of common tricks that exporters use to make more money off of you, and how Pacific Coast Auto can make you feel confident that it's not happening to you.
Be careful - these tricks are how several exporters make most of their money. This is also why Pacific Coast Auto's price looks more expensive than the competition, when in most cases, we cost less.
I personally hate tactics like this so I will never let them happen in my company.
This is an easy one to understand. If an exporter has a low service fee, they still need to get their profits from somewhere and so there's a good chance that they are participating in some form of back-door profits.
Below is a list of the most common ways to "secretly" make money.
If you think you might have been a victim, feel free to contact us and email a copy of your invoice. We will explain if everything adds up.
How it works -
You bid on a car, let's say 800,000 yen.
Your exporter comes back to you after the auction and says that you won the car for 750,000 yen.
Sounds nice right?
However, unknown to you, the winning price was 550,000 yen and your exporter is pocketing the 200,000 yen difference without telling you.
You have just paid an extra 200,000 yen over what you should have paid for that car.
This scam has become SUPER popular since the USS auctions have shut down third parties from showing their sale prices publicly.
How to fix it -
Pacific Coast Auto has a policy where we will show any customer the original invoice from the auction or dealer from which it was purchased upon request.
This is another popular one, but it's really easy to catch.
In Japan, we have 8% sales tax on items that you buy. This includes buying cars.
This is NOT to be charged on exported goods. All exporters get this tax refunded by the government. It is illegal to charge a tax for export goods, yet exporters commonly charge this amount.
Pacific Coast Auto will not charge you tax on vehicle purchases, mechanical work, or parts. We get this amount refunded and will never charge you.
Again, most customers don't know how the exporter's business works and doesn't know what costs are legitimate. Here is a list of fees that are commonly charged, even though they shouldn't be.
RECYCLE TICKET - This is a fee the exporters pay, but it refunded. It is usually 5,000 - 22,000 yen.
ROAD TAX - If the car has plates, the exporter must buy the remaining registration off of the previous owner. This money is refunded once you de-register the car. It is usually 5,000 - 70,000 yen.
DE-REGISTRATION - This is sometimes charged to customers. However, the actual cost to de-register a car is only about 350 yen - 1,500 yen and is usually included in the standard service fee. Pacific Coast Auto includes this in the standard fee.
DOCUMENT POST - This fee is usually included in the standard service fee but some exporters charge extra for it. The costs depend on the weight. It costs 1200 - 5,000 yen usually. Pacific Coast Auto includes this in the fee. Also note that some exporters will throw out the owner's manual, or vehicle records to lighten the package.
AUCTION FEE - The auction house needs profits so when you buy a car, they charge anywhere from 5,000 - 12,000 yen. Typically it's about 8,000 yen. Negotiation sales are extra (depending on the auction). Some exporters include this in their fee and some don't. Pacific Coast Auto includes this in our service fee.
OTHER FEES - Some exporters make up costs that don't mean anything and charge the customer. These fees can be several hundred dollars and are included for the express purpose of padding the wallets of the exporter.
Pacific Coast Auto will look at your past invoices and confirm which items are correct and which charges are hidden fees or sneaky charges.
At Pacific Coast Auto, we think that all fees charged to the customer for the standard export should not be marked up. However, other exporters don't agree with this and find secret places to make money off of you.
INLAND TRANSPORT - The vehicle needs to move from the auction to the port (or to your exporter in our case). Since exporters can buy from any auction across Japan, costs vary. For "direct to port" exporters, the fee should be around 5,000 - 50,000 yen. If you exporter brings the car to their lot, the cost is usually another 10,000 yen. It's common for exporters to add extra yen to every transport and bill that to you.
OCEAN FREIGHT - This is a big one. It's very common for exporters to charge an extra 10,000 - 80,000 yen or more on the ocean freight. Even some of the biggest exporters out there will do this. Pacific Coast Auto does not mark up the ocean freight for any vehicles. We also credit customers if the exchange rate fluctuates and the amount of overcharge is more than 5,000 yen. Furthermore, we will show you a copy of the shipping invoice if you would like to confirm.
SPECIAL NOTE - Shipping and transport costs have to be invoiced before these costs are known to the exporter. It's common for there to be incidental costs in both categories. As such, PCA needs to add a small buffer so that we don't have to surprise you with extra costs after the fact. This fee is based on the real average costs for incidental fees.