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My Experience trying to import a mini truck

Discussion in 'Mini Lounge' started by Ted Diehl, Jan 12, 2024.

  1. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    So I started my information gathering as 2023 came to a close. I started with BEFORWARD.jp. I opened an account and started watching the trucks in the auction. Along the way, I had a lot of questions that I kept trying to find answers to by searching Beforwards Website. None of their FAQ's answerd my questions so I started sending email. for the next 10 days I have gone back and forth with them trying to get answers to these questions:
    1: I'm looking for a Subaru Sambar made in 1999 with AC, 4WD, GRADE 4 or better no accident repairs or excessive rust. I can't import the car into the USA unless the Production Month and Year adds up to a 25 year old car. What happens if I buy a vehicle TODAY but it does not turn 25 yrs old until April 2024 does it sit in a yard waiting for transport to the USA?
    2. What is your policy for storing a vehicle in your yard per month while it is waiting to be shipped out (vehicle is 25 years old at time of purchase). You indicated it was about a 3 months wait for a ship to Port of Long Beach.

    The answer to the questions never came. All I got from Beforward were more sell sheets of cars available for purchase. About an hour ago, I sent an email the Beforward that I was moving on to another company (carfromjapan) to handle my purchase because your were unresponsive.
    I will update my experience often so any member of this board who might be thinking about buying a car will be able to read about my experiences.

    The story will continue........
     
  2. reggie98

    reggie98 Member

  3. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    The Saga continues: So today I communicated back and forth with a CARFROMJAPAN agent named AMI. I was very impressed with her. Answers came quickly and honestly. I told her of my concerns regarding a Sambar I was interested in that had a production date of April 1999 which means it is NOT legal to import into the United States until 4/2024. She said requests like I was asking are not unusual for people importing cars into the USA and that there will be no extra charges to store it while waiting for shipment and/or 25 year anniversary issues. She said Port of Long Beach does not have the shipping frequency that other ports have due the large amount of NEW cars brought in from Japanese Car Makers and they have priority. She estimates it will be at least 2 - 3 months waiting for transit. Waiting is not an issue for me. And that she would make sure it does not arrive "early". I then asked if I could have some repair work done on my 1999 Sambar because parts were sometimes hard to find and they were a bit on the expensive side with shipping them here. I wanted a new alternator, wheels bearings and new clutch, pressure plate and T/O bearing. She said they don't do that or have contracts with maintenance people to do that. The Bottom Line - I took the big step and requested the invoice. I need to sell some of my. investments to fund this so I will be paying with PayPal Credit and noticed they charge an extra $350 to use paypal or other wire services. Then by the middle of next week I can pay back PayPal. All and all, my experience with CARFROMJAPAN has been very good. Great communications and Agents seem very experienced. Which is the exact opposite of my experience with Beforward.jp. Questions remained unanswered or replys seems like we were talking in circles. They just seemed to be more interested in selling me a vehicle than responding to my questions. I do not recommend them for that reason. So I am waiting for my invoice and when that arrives, I will send them the money. The story will continue......
     
    Sue Esponte likes this.
  4. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    IMG_7472.jpg IMG_7471.jpg IMG_7472.jpg IMG_7472.jpg IMG_7471.jpg IMG_7470.jpg
     
  5. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    Update: I had unsubscribed from Befoward because they were not reponding to my questions but I kept getting emails from them with pictures of cars available. I finally sat down and wrote them a letter:
    Joe, I left Beforward because you were not responding to my questions . I think it is important for a Company like Beforward should make a pont of answering questions in a reasonable period of time. I had a lot of questions about storing the vehicle there while it was waiting for transit to the Port of Long Beach and TODAY you decide to respond. I unsubscribed Three days ago and signed up with carfromjapan. They answered all my questions in a reasonable amount of time. So I bought a 1999 Subaru Sambar from them; business your company would have earned from me had you responded to my questions.
    Beforward's Reply: Thank you very much for your inquiry. We do apologize for any inconvenience. Please let us know once you are ready to purchase a vehicle from out inventory .

    Folks, I do not recommend Beforward for any vehicle purchase because of their inability to respond to questions maybe after reading my email they will change their ways.....The story continues
     
    reggie98 likes this.
  6. Xlr8me

    Xlr8me New Member

    I did ok with beforward. They promptly answer my questions, but that was after I bought the truck.

    Their "cap" system is easy for the broker as all I did was send the broker a link and that is all he needed.

    One draw back was...It took 4.5 months to get the truck here in Vancouver BC.
     
  7. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    I wanted to mention my experience buying parts from Amayama. While waiting for my Sambar to arrive in late April, I have been reading posts and watching YouTube Videos about issues regarding the maintenance condition of the truck when it is picked up at the Port. So I decided to get in front of this issues by buying parts in advance. I purchased rear shocks, timing belt, water pump, disc rotors, brake pads and shoes and other parts thru Amayama. While buying parts is expensive from a middleman like Amayama, especially considering the cost of shipping, Amayama has been very good about getting parts that I wanted and packing the parts for shipment. I highly recommend Amayama and have had zero issues so far with them.
     
  8. Talk with Yoshi @ Japan Car Direct. He has imported many successful transactions. An honest and helpful man from an established company. Stop being a victim and get something done! Remember your gut - If it doesnt feel right, it isnt! get going!!
     
  9. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    Another positive comment about a Japan Car Auction Company. Thanks
     
  10. its a real challenge sending money with no guarantees.... I lost weight the 1st time I did it! JCD is credible and Yoshi is helpful to all.
     
  11. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    So here we are in May 2024 and I still don't have transit date for shipment of my 1999 Subaru Sambar. It has been sitting in an outdoor lot near Tokyo for nearly 5 months and still no date of transit. I'm told it is because of the backup at the Port of Long Beach. I'm about ready to give up and change ports which will increase my shipping charge and increase the cost to transport the vehicle to me in Goodyear, AZ
     
  12. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    So last week I get an email from Carfronjapan.com and they tell me my Sambar which has been sitting in an outdoor storage lot near Tokyo since January 18, 2024 will be loaded on a ship on 6/30/24 and should arrive the second or third week of July. After taking delivery of my Sambar I will inspect it and report on the condition of the truck. That's all for now
     
  13. Quick Strike

    Quick Strike New Member

    Ted, Do you have a broker? Your IFS or 10+2 should be completed 24 hours before it leaves port.
     
  14. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    Yes I have a customs broker and he has told me the same thing about the IFS. I'll contact carfromjapan.com and remind them - thanks
     
  15. Quick Strike

    Quick Strike New Member

    They just need to send you or your broker a copy of the BOL. The information needed is on that
     
  16. Quick Strike

    Quick Strike New Member

    I think your truck may be in better shape then you think. It doesn’t get that cold and plenty of vehicles are stored outside for years without great degradation.
     
  17. Sue Esponte

    Sue Esponte New Member

    I'm glad to hear about the positive experiences people have had with CarFromJapan.com and JapanCarDirect.com, both of which we just created accounts for recently. I'm completely in the dark on the entire process and it's good to know that one or both of these companies are supportive resources for importing these cars. I have to admit that I like the interface on the former site a bit better than the latter but I also like the auction sheets on the latter, which are missing from the former! lol

    Anyway, keep us posted on your saga, Ted. I'm excited to hear about your experience with pickup and happy to read about your progress. I hope it all goes well and that everything works out as planned!

    -Eric
     
  18. Ted Diehl

    Ted Diehl Member

    Thanks for your interest. I agree that the former had a better user interface especially when you can really focus in on some part on the truck. Are in the Phoenix area?
     
  19. Sue Esponte

    Sue Esponte New Member

    Other coast -- I'm in Connecticut -- and just starting to look around.
     

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