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Old 09-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default Considering starting a small JDM import business. Want advice, thoughts, and critique

Over the last few months I've become good friends with a Japanese citizen who comes to the US in the summer every year to compete in our Bass fishing tournaments, and then returns to Japan for the winter. He's done it the last 4 years in a row and is approved for his visa for next year. He is not a car guy, but his best friend in Japan owns a Nissan dealership. We have talked about how much certain JDM parts go for here in the US, and we have decided to try to start a small import/export business for supplementary income.

I've never been big on the whole JDM thing. The only JDM stuff I've ever bought is my one pieces and door sills for the legend. I know some of you are heavy into JDM stuff, so what cars and pieces are the most valued? Is there any interest in Japanese versions of the glovebox manual for the Legends?
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Shipping would be the biggest problem I see, unless you all can define it as a business transaction I wouldn't do it IMO. We are also to far from JDM import stores here in the US to get items you wouldn't have in stock. Are you thinking about stock pilling once a year or getting crates once a month? Engines, headlights, interior, electronics? It's not a bad idea at all, but the worst part is not being close to a shipping harbor.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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rebo,you need to start reading ALL the japanese car forums, and take special interest in the drifting forums, those guys seem to have the most money to spend, (well that and hellaflush poking whatever crap)

go on jdmcarboy.com to see what they carry, they have been doing it for a while so they have the most commonly sought after stuff.

remember civics and integras will NEVER die out of the scene, and anything K swap related is gold.

start looking up "special" models of cars that were japan(or asia) exclusive cars, example here being the alpha stuff. and with the tegs and civs, the type r crap.

people like making money on rare rims, but i think it is a bad plan, rims being such a specific person to person taste.

saying that, you will ALWAYS be able to sell WIDE LOWOFFSET wheels, especially in 4 lug. don't get yourself stuck looking for bbs's,
if you find desmonds, get them, they manufactured spoon wheels.

you could honestly run a business ONLY finding and selling fogs for the older hondas, example, fogs for my accord STILL commonly go for over $250 a set with intact harness, and that is in FAIR (need to be reconditioned) shape.

hope my rambling insight helps.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
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i would deff be intrested down the road for my integra, i'm going back and forth about doing the JDM front, JDM wheels. i love the look but it's not cheap.

and if you could get a motor over here for a decent price i would take it.

this is down the road, working on the legend first
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Shipping would be the biggest problem I see, unless you all can define it as a business transaction I wouldn't do it IMO. We are also to far from JDM import stores here in the US to get items you wouldn't have in stock. Are you thinking about stock pilling once a year or getting crates once a month? Engines, headlights, interior, electronics? It's not a bad idea at all, but the worst part is not being close to a shipping harbor.
We would be starting with mostly headlights, interior, electronics, parking poles, folding mirrors, and literature. Basically, stuff that you could fit several items into one box. Motors/Trans would be out of the question to begin with for the reasons that you mention, but since my friend does have to bring A TON of stuff to the US when he comes over for fishing tournaments (including his boat, I believe) it could be possible to stockpile several rare motors at once, but I would need capital for that, and it would definitely be way down the road.
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rebo,you need to start reading ALL the japanese car forums, and take special interest in the drifting forums, those guys seem to have the most money to spend, (well that and hellaflush poking whatever crap)

go on jdmcarboy.com to see what they carry, they have been doing it for a while so they have the most commonly sought after stuff.


remember civics and integras will NEVER die out of the scene, and anything K swap related is gold.

start looking up "special" models of cars that were japan(or asia) exclusive cars, example here being the alpha stuff. and with the tegs and civs, the type r crap.

people like making money on rare rims, but i think it is a bad plan, rims being such a specific person to person taste.

saying that, you will ALWAYS be able to sell WIDE LOWOFFSET wheels, especially in 4 lug. don't get yourself stuck looking for bbs's,
if you find desmonds, get them, they manufactured spoon wheels.

you could honestly run a business ONLY finding and selling fogs for the older hondas, example, fogs for my accord STILL commonly go for over $250 a set with intact harness, and that is in FAIR (need to be reconditioned) shape.

hope my rambling insight helps.
Emboldened parts are very helpful, thank you!

PS. can you define "older" hondas? I think we may have a different idea of what is "old" and I dont want to end up with 20 sets of lights for an 88 accord LX
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:23 PM   #7
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Cheapest way is to have the parts shipped from Japan to China then from China to the US.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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i have mulled this over for the past year or two and basically whats holding me back is $$$. I dont want to get raped on shipping for a couple thousand in parts...i think i would want to take whole front clips, interiors, and wheel sets...im thinkin like 15-20k ought to cover the first run (realistically)

Tommy thats an excellent starting point and good solid advice...rep'd
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #9
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You guys are already thinking too big. This would start out as just figuring out what parts have a HUGE return value vs my friends junkyard cost. He speaks English and we will be communicating through email and the phone. Its a small separate thing, so we sell a couple parts, make a couple hundred bucks, and use that to buy some stock, and work our way from there.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:23 PM   #10
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like i said i would deff be intrested down the road for the teg
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