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Import / Export

Damicci

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So my girl is thinking about doing some importing and exporting goods here and in Japan. Her and her friend have thought about this but I am not sure what legal issues they may come across.

Basically Selling American Items on Yahoo auction Japan
and she would Japanese Japanese stuff on Ebay here. Namely Auto parts since I kinda have a know that JDM parts make a decent money here.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?☝

This would allow her to see me and stay in the us for extended time. Hopefully my friends dad decides to go through with his auto shop and he will hire her for importing parts from Japan.
 

nice gaijin

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Hmm, although I know of many business that import Japanese products to the states, I can't say I know of many companies that go the other way, other than a few grocers and general goods importers.

I would recommend looking into current import and export laws; tariffs and such. Also it would probably be a good idea to look into methods of shipping your products, as this can be a costly undertaking. I'm curious, are you talking about bringing Japanese parts to the states, vice-versa, or both?
 

Damicci

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kinda both, she knows that Us goods are popular in Japan. And after coming here she was shocked at how cheap stuff is here compared to japan. But there is the whole Yen conversion thing buy and selling so I think there will be alot of stuff she will need to work out. I think it would Order to purchase kinda thing. Stuff she thinks would sell she would buy and put on auction. Or if someone has a specific request she can purchase it then sell it with slight mark up. but I know there are laws and taxes and such when it come to this type of market. I am just not sure which direction she might need to go.
 

Mars Man

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I really, really wish I could help you two, but I have been away from those who have done and are doing any importing/exporting stuff, that I cannot tell you anything. Please do your best in rounding up all the information !! I wish you luck, and that's all I can do for now. Sorry bro !! MM
 

GaijinPunch

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I used to do this (games). I had a monopoly for a short while, and it got me out of debt (and a lame apartment).

Advice:
-Learn you market and your product. No sense in selling auto parts if you have no clue what they are.
-Figure in what your buyers are going to pay to have the items shipped
-Find out what currency you want the money in. Whoever changes the currency pays the price. FX is always cheaper in Japan, but not sure how it works with merchant accounts. Paypal FX fees suck, just like their other fees and their service, so save yourself the pain and get rid of them. Get a merchant account and accept credit cards.
-Get ready to deal with idiots. Just b/c people have a computer does not make them clever.

Hope that helped. :)
 

Damicci

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Awsome advice. Thank you we have been concerned about currency changes and they want to go through citi but citi seems to have a lerge exhange fee for changing currency and transferring from japan accts to us accounts. But thank you for the info.
 

GaijinPunch

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I am quite interested to hear about this as well. If I'm not mistaken, the actual cheapest way to send money (besides cash) is International Postal Money Orders, but I'm sure they've go a relatively low limit.

I would assume that the cheapest electrical method would be to have a Japanese merchant account, having that merchant account linked to a multi-currency account. Multi-currency accounts should have very low exchange fees (I would assume something like what you would find in a Japanese bank).

I can tell you know that Paypals are attrocious. 3.9% + whatever for the trasaction, and their exchange fees are roughly 3% on top. What a racket.
 

undrentide

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Damicci said:
kinda both, she knows that Us goods are popular in Japan. And after coming here she was shocked at how cheap stuff is here compared to japan.

The goods themselves can be cheap, but you have to think about the freight cost. If she intends to take some risk and purchase the goods in volume and send them by the cheapest way to have some goods in stock, it might work out. But if she just purchase the goods on behalf of the customers in Japan on request basis, there's possibility that the customer will have to pay more for freight than the goods... Then people will not buy goods at least not "because it is cheaper".
Parcel post might be the cheapest, but to secure the delivery something tracable would be recommended.

And do not forget about insurance when the goods are expensive.
Also warn customers about possible import duty, to avoid complaints from them after delivery.

Just my two cents. :)
 

Damicci

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Isn't the US duty free? Atleast I thought it was duty free between Japan and US. Also I was thinking she would have to buy several articles of clothing, shoes and what not and have them shipped to possibly her friend then he can send them to where ever. Still serveral months to iron out the details but I think It could work for her for a lil while.

@GaijinPunch:
Yeah we have been thinking about what method to use for her to obtain payment. Her in will still reside in Japan in which he will have an acct setup but for her to withdrawl money here was what we were trying to fgiure out and citi seemed to have the best option for that particular setup.
 
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undrentide

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Damicci said:
Isn't the US duty free? Atleast I thought it was duty free between Japan and US. Also I was thinking she would have to buy several articles of clothing, shoes and what not and have them shipped to possibly her friend then he can send them to where ever. Still serveral months to iron out the details but I think It could work for her for a lil while.

I'm not sure about the US, but when you import goods to Japan you have to pay 窶尿窶愿シツ湘≫?敕ッツ静? My job is export and I have only a little experience of import, but this is my understanding. Tax exemption is applied when the goods are to be used personally by the importer and the total amount of the goods is below JPY10,000. Leather shoes and knitted goods are taxable without exception.

If she is going to buy the goods and send them all together to Japan and sell them after that, then she does not have to worry much about the freight cost as all the costs are fixed so she can calculate and include them in the price she'll be offering. And the transportation cost customers have to think about is only for those within Japan.

Anyway, best wishes and lot of success for your project! 📣
 

GaijinPunch

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FYI:
The US isn't duty-free, but they rarely seem to charge. Guess it depends on how big it is and what it is. From US to Japan, it depends on the goods. You will most definitely get charged a duty on importing clothes to Japan from America (gift or not). Again... more research will help.
 

budd

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"I really, really wish I could help you two,"
really? i don't
not wasting any more of my life on original poster
but good luck to those who decide to. peace
 

undrentide

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Maybe he's complaining that there's no words of gratitude to his contribution in the other thread?
 

Damicci

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I did appreciate the help. And sent her the links budd posted.
I am finding more info about this import exporting thing and looks to be serious if you stand make alot of money. Biggest thing is it looks like you do have to pay duty for anything shipped to japan. I check UPS.com and no matter what I put in everything was dutiable. Didn't even ask for type of item. just value. But my work site's S&R told me recently they have started a prepaid duty system which sounds like a good idea. Anyway thanks for the info so far. ganbarimasu
 

GaijinPunch

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Ship USPS. You will have a much better chance of not getting dinged for duties if you send by good old fashioned US postal service. 3rd party carriers will voluntarily pay the duty for you, then charge you the duty plus a small fee for doing it (which is usually 500 yen). My mother is an American Airlines employee. As such, she gets 75% off FedEx shipments. She sent me a pair of snowboard boots from Texas to Japan for like $12 one time. Of course, even for small items, I had to pay some stupid duty, and they would bill me 500 yen each time on top.

On that note, FedEx is the worst, BTW. UPS should not be used for anything international anyway, as their rates are attrocious. You could fly the items yourself cheaper.
 

Damicci

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Yeah I noticed that. Thanks for the tip i'll investigate usps next.
 

Kyledesu

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Car parts a big pain and a lot of competition. I did it for awhile and the easiest way was to do higher volumne (Container Level)

Also the easiest way money wise that I know of is to give your girlfriend an ATM card or set up a second account in Japan and trasfer money back and forth. For buying items in Japan.

Set up a Merchant account in the US to accept CC. Paypal is prolly ok as long as your doing higher dollar transactions, but I'd try to stay away from paypal.
 

Damicci

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Kyledesu said:
Car parts a big pain and a lot of competition. I did it for awhile and the easiest way was to do higher volumne (Container Level)
I agree which is why we wanted to start on smaller things build some capital then move up. Thank you for the tips.
 

GaijinPunch

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Did you find anything out on accepting payments? I'm curious to know what the best way would be to do a business like this. Do straight yen into a yen account? I would think a multi-currency account w/ a merchant license would be best, but who knows.
 

The7thSamurai

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I exported auto parts that I bought from Yahoo Auctions Japan, but recently got out of it because it turned out to be more trouble than it's worth. Basically, you have to consider the following:
- because Japan Post is your only real option for shipping you're limited to small auto parts that fit in a relatively small box. That means you can't ship mufflers, wheels, hubs, seats, doors etc. I mostly shipped pedals, and different interior covers;
- if you really want to take a big risk you can ship via a commercial shipping company, but they all require a minimum of 1m3, and then you have all the customs duty hassels on the other side. You will need to either get a licence or register with a customs broker. Like I said, a lot of hassel. And again, this is still only viable for small items because it's like $1000 per 1m3. Lots of small items will bring the shipping cost down per item, but a few bulky seats will cost a fortune;
- Forget companies like FexEx, way too expensive;
- so again with Japan Post, you basically have three shipping options - SAL, surface, air, and EMS. EMS is by far the safest, fastest and best, but it's also quite expensive. Air is also expensive. Surface is the cheapest but it takes like two months sometimes. SAL was sometimes surprisingly fast, on a couple of occasions under two weeks;
- get everything insured, it's pretty cheap;
- Japan Post has limits on the dimension of boxes so check that out too. All the info can be found at:
http://www.ems-post.jp/index.php (for EMS)http://www.int.post.japanpost.jp/ (for the other three shipping options)
 

The7thSamurai

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Oh, by the way, I used PayPal to accept payments directly from customers overseas. The fees are unbelievable which also made it not worth it. If you can figure out a better way to accept money from people OS then good luck.
 

Damicci

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CITI Bank has Multi currency accounts and charge like maybe $10 for currency exchange services. I am not sure a license is required to open such an account. but You can still do transfers from Japan Citi Acct to US Citi Accts And with drawl the money direct from any atm.
 
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