By far our most common question is about our auction service. Whether is be about the car, cost, shipping, or anything else, we find ourselves giving the same answers. Our process is the same for everyone, and has been developed to provide the best client service available. This Newsletter explains our auction service in depth, and goes about answering all your questions.
1. We Get to Know You.
We're in business to make you, our client, happy. This business wasn't built on the desire for wealth, it was built on the desire to spread happiness. We just have a particular market.
Our first step in the process is to get to know you, and understand what you want. Make, model, color, parts, miles, body condition, we want to know exactly what you want. You can have a general idea, or a specific idea, it doesn't matter! We can work with any idea you have and provide you with some results to get the gears turning.
Any estimated prices we present to you are all inclusive: Car, shipping, taxes, fees, and transportation. The only thing we don't include in our estimates are registration costs (because they vary by state). We can, however, estimate any registration costs you'll incur.
2. We Update You.
Once we have some information on what you want, we continuously provide you with cars that fit (or loosely fit) your specifications. We know you won't leap at the first car we show you, and we don't want you to. This part of the process helps give you an idea of what's on the market, and how often they appear.
When we show you a car in an upcoming auction here is what we know: Make, model, submodel (if applicable), year, transmission, miles, color, body condition, and any important notes about the car. We communicate all relevant information to you, and we give you an idea of the body condition.
Each car in the auction is accompanied by an auction sheet, and an auction sheet accurately shows any damage, repair, or blemishes on the exterior of the vehicles. These sheets are the main reason we commit to buying vehicles from auctions in Japan, opposed to stock.
3. You Update Us.
About 99% of the time our clients will develop a better idea of what they want as we send them information on vehicles. This is normal, and it's a great thing. We support anything that helps you get the car of your dreams.
This step is just a revision of #1. You'll learn what you want over time, and we love to hear about it!
4. You Decide on Your Dream Car.
This is pretty simple. Once you're comfortable, and that perfect car comes along, you let us know. This can happen in one update, or one hundred updates. Regardless, you'll know when you get that feeling.
5. We Create Your Bid.
When we find your dream car, and you let us know what you're willing to pay for it (but we'll probably know what your budget is at this point). We back-calculate what your max bid can be, based on your budget, and communicate it to our agent in Japan.
Once we make a bid, everything is set. That's why we take so much time beforehand to make sure the car is right, and you don't make a mistake.
This is important: Before placing a bid, we have to receive a nonrefundable 10% deposit on the expected cost of the car.
It costs us money to go through this process, so we have to have a way to know you're dedicated. We also have to stay in business, and that can't happen if we import cars for clients and they all decide they don't want them.
So, if the car arrives and you decide against buying it, we'll keep your deposit. You'll have a chance to check the car our and test drive it, and if something isn't right you'll only be out a small amount of money (comparatively). However, if you don't change your mind, you'll only owe the remaining 90%. We'll have already paid all the costs affiliated with importing the car, so the remaining 90% will be paid to us.
6. We Win, or We Don't Win.
We don't believe in losing. If the car you love isn't within your budget, and we don't win the bid, then it just wasn't meant to be. 7-8 million cars run through the Japanese auctions every year, so we're confident another car will come along.
The auctions last anyway from 10 seconds to 1 minute. The actual bidding process is left to our agent in Japan (because, trust us, it's complicated), but it's very different from the auctions you're used to in America. It's all electronic and happens quick, but we promise to never go over your budget.
If we win the bid at any cost lower than your max bid, we will adapt our estimated price to reflect that. Again, we're not in this for the money, we're in it for you.
7. Your Dream is Shipped.
When we win a bid, the cost of the vehicle is transferred over to the seller. The seller has up to 14 days to get us the paperwork, so if they are slow, it can take longer. Usually, people are pretty quick. Most will ship in 10 days to 3 weeks. Some may take a little less time if they "get lucky", but we try to prepare our clients to wait 2-3 months for their vehicle to be stateside.
8. We Watch Over Everything.
We communicate with our agent in Japan and our broker in Savannah, Georgia to make sure everything runs smoothly. We can establish a broker in any large port, but Savannah is our closest port that brings in boats of this size.
This part of the process is totally on our side, but we want all our clients to know we handle this part very carefully. Our agent makes sure the car gets on the boat, and our broker makes sure the boat brings in the car legally.
9. You Own Your Dream.
This is the best part. Once we have the car pass customs, we'll contact you to let you know when/where the car will arrive. Since it has to be inspected to get registered, and it has to be registered to drive, we can't drive the car from the boat (though we wish we could). When the car arrives, you'll be notified and we can set a time to have you look over the car you've been so anxiously awaiting.
When you're confident that the car is your dream, we'll require the remaining 90% of the cost of the car before we transfer the title to you. Once the remaining balance is paid for the car, we hand those beautiful keys over to you.
You now own your dream.
10. We Stay Connected.
We want to be known as more than a company that sells imported cars. We love the car community, and we always love to hear about anyone's dream car. Because of this, we'll stay in contact with you. Your new dream car makes us happy, and we can never wait to hear about your build, or how your daily driver is doing.
On top of staying connected to you personally, we're going to be arranging car shows/events in the Wilmington, NC area as often as we can. Of course, anyone that drives a car imported by us will always have free admission (even though most of our first events will most likely be full free admission, but as we grow that may change), and we'd always love to see you there.
You're the reason we're in business, and we'll always strive to make sure you own your dream.