Pacific Coast Auto
Guide to new policies
Hi, it's Derek from Pacific Coast Auto.
We are rolling out some new policies for our customers. This page will explain the new changes and what our existing customers need to know.
When will the change start?
For new customers, it is immediate from now.
For existing individual customers, there is a grace period until May 31st.
For existing dealers (5 or more vehicle in the last 12 months) we will email you individually.
Main points of the change in service -
1 - The standard price of 100,000 yen will not change.
2 - The vehicle report will no longer be included in the 100,000 yen service fee. It will be an extra 20,000 yen and will be optional.
3 - The security deposit now has a 5,000 yen fee if refunded without making a purchase.
4 - Accounts will now be limited to 20 translations and 10 bids for free. Additional translations and bids can be bought for 5,000 (set of 10 translations and 5 bids).
5 - Mechanic work markup has risen from 10% to 15%. All discounts we get from the mechanics are still passed on and we still don't charge 10% sales tax.
6 - Camping vehicles now have a 5,000 yen extra fee
7 - Other minor adjustments can be read in the terms of service.
All existing individual customers must sign a new terms of service agreement before May 31st, 2020.
Dealer need to come to an agreement on terms by May 31st, 2020.
Buyers that purchase 5 or more vehicles in the last 12 months will be eligible for special dealer prices.
Questions and answers
Why increase the price?
Since starting the business in 2008, PCA has been underpriced compared to our competition. We took the regular business model of 100,000 yen, and added in a free vehicle report.. something no other exporter was doing. Over the 12 years we were in business, inflation has worn our profits down to an unsustainable amount. It had gotten to such an extreme that it has been affecting the service we could give. This meant that our staff have to work very hard. We hit a wall without enough money to pay for new staff to fix the problem. We have been a successful and busy exporter for a while, but not a profitable one.
Why are you charging for your vehicle report now?
We are the only exporter that does such a detailed vehicle report, and as such, we were spending a lot of time and resources in bringing this to you. We were charging the same amount as other exporters, but were nearly doubling the time spent on each sale. By having an option to pay extra for the report, we can allow customers to pick what level of service they want.
Will 10 bids be too little?
Currently our average is 5.8 bids per win. With dealer customers it is 5.3 bids per win. Nearly all customers currently win cars in fewer than 10 bids. A small section of bidders use a disproportionate amount of our time with low bids. I really don't like telling customers to raise their bids all the time.. especially when when sometimes low-bidding is an effective strategy. Now customers don't have to feel bad because there is a built in value for the bids. We can relax and allow some customers to experiment with bidding more.
Likewise, is 20 translations enough?
Compared to bids, we have tightened the translation requests a little more. This is on purpose because we were spending a lot of time translating sheets for customers that were not prescreening the vehicles very well. We would translate cars with major corrosion visible on the diagram only to be told that corrosion was a no-go. By limiting translations, this will encourage buyers to improve their prescreening.
How do your prices compare to other exporters now?
This is hard to tell because most exporters are not clear with their prices, or where they make their profits. 100,000 yen is a fairly standard price for other exporters, but it is common business practice to ween extra profits from marking up costs. We believe we are still the best value exporter, and possibly still one of the lowest priced ones once you add up any hidden fees. We are not changing our policy of supplying an auction invoice to prove that we are not marking up the auction fee. This has become a huge problem in the industry and a major source of profits due to the fact that it is impossible to prove.
Is this good for me in any way?
This will allow us to dedicate a proper amount of resources on our customers. We hope to tighten email response time, translation speed, and introduce new systems for keeping customers informed of the process. We also intend to invest in new services that will benefit both dealers and individual customers.
What's up with the camping car fee?
We found that camping cars are a popular type of vehicle... maybe about 20% of our sales. Camping cars have a whole bunch of small inconveniences that all add up to them being extremely small value for us. We have previously banned campers short term while we were busy and we don't want to have to do that.
Are you increasing prices because of COVID-19?
No, this is a decision that we started planning in 2018. We have been through several revisions on how we wanted to do this over the years and we have settled on a system that makes the most sense considering long-term market conditions.
Why charge for the deposit refund?
This is basically to recoup costs for customers that choose not the purchase. The big one is the 2,500 yen we have to pay to receive the security deposit. Sending it back also has a cost. We are still not charging for the translations and bids that the customer uses up, nor the time we spend with each customer through plenty of emails.
I have a question not answered here.
Please email us and we will gladly answer any email.