Did My Japanese Car Exporter Steal My Money?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Derek, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Derek

    Derek Derek Weldon

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    444
    Location:
    Yokohama Japan
    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to let everyone know that the "Vehicle Markup Scam" is going to get more popular now.

    What is the problem?

    Vehicle Markup Scam - This is a scam done by Japanese car exporters when buying from auction. Your Japan car exporter tells you that they won an auction car for you, but tells you a higher price than the actual price the car sold for at auction.

    Example -
    Exporter says the car sold for 685,000 yen
    Actual selling price was 655,000 yen

    The above example is real and comes from someone that emailed me.

    That exporter got an extra 30,000 yen profit at your expense. It could be 80,000 yen, 100,000 yen, or more. This happened to me personally for 100,000 yen.

    While this has been happening frequently over the past few years, we are going to see it more frequently now. This is because USS auctions has locked their data last month. USS auctions account for 80-90% of exported cars. Now the public cannot see how much the vehicles sell for at all USS auctions.

    To know the selling price of a car, you need to ask an exporter that has a USS auction membership. USS keeps data for three months only on their system.

    If you want me to check using our USS membership, please email us this information

    Vehicle name
    Auction name
    Date purchased
    Price on your invoice

    Email address is - info@pacificcoastjdm.com
     
    Greg likes this.
  2. Kardon

    Kardon New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Derek helped me out with this exact issue less than a month ago. I was only being given the "total cleared customs" price by my agent, which included exporter fees, vehicle costs, shipping, insurance, customs brokerage, etc. I wanted to know the actual sale price of the vehicle and I could not see it using my agents portal. Derek pulled it up for me no problem, true asset to the community!
     
  3. _drew

    _drew New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Richmond BC
    this sucks for many reasons!

    it sucks to see someone getting scammed by paying more, and it also sucks because my favorite pastime was checking sold prices .. what am I going to do to fill this void now :s :(
     
  4. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Sad. People will always find something to exploit. Would part of this be curbed if you have a good exporter? Like, both cars I bought from you, you included a screenshot of the sold price as well as telling me how much it sold for.
     
  5. kingsoup

    kingsoup New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    575
    Thats a real problem locking USS sale prices, how the heck are we supposed to find stats on what things sold for? not only is scamming a problem now, but that is a HUGE problem in buying cars, can't see sold prices, rediculous.
     
  6. Dah_Hunter

    Dah_Hunter Looking over your shoulder, so you dont have to.

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,372
    Location:
    Lower Rainland (BC)
    This kinda thing really sours the industry for everyone. :(
     
  7. Pajerist

    Pajerist New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    Wet Coast, BC
    Same here :(
     
  8. TylerH

    TylerH New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Thank you for the offer to check but I have question.

    How do I know what you tell me is real if I use your check service and how do you prove it to me. I have read elsewhere that some exporters when asked old sold prices lie about it to make themselves look good to get new business.

    How do I know you have OUR USS MEMBERSHIP, I did research recently and found out differently on another forum that you do not have OUR USS MEMBERSHIP. You bought car for some one and used another exporter because you do not have your own membership, you even say that on the forum when you got found out.

    Please email us VEHICLE NAME, AUCTION NAME, DATE PURCHASED, PRICE ON YOUR INVOICE, why do you need to know price on invoice when you are meant to tell me what it sold for. Should we not email you AUCTION NAME, DATE BUY and CAR NUMBER and you then tell me sold price instead of me telling you the price. This is what make me think my first question maybe right.
    Then I have to believe what you tell me to be correct, I am not saying you are the lier but maybe who tells you is or maybe you are how do I know, this is all I ask.
    Screen copy auction invoice can be changed, I read this as well where you gave customer changed auction invoice.
     
  9. Dah_Hunter

    Dah_Hunter Looking over your shoulder, so you dont have to.

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,372
    Location:
    Lower Rainland (BC)
    Derek just recently got his own access to USS. in the past he was using another company.

    But that is a Valid point, there is no way to know who is telling you the truth. Anyone could be lieing about the prices.. so really its all a game of trust now that we cant see the sold prices.. Who do you trust more.. Unless you go to Japan youself. and see the prices live.
     
    Greg likes this.
  10. FuzzyLogic

    FuzzyLogic New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    69
    Derek, thank you for bringing this up to our attention. I wouldn't have ever thought that this sort of thing has been happening. It's important to have solid trust between the broker and the client.
     
  11. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    @TylerH


    But in all seriousness, what Hunter said.
     

    Attached Files:

    RawRock likes this.
  12. TylerH

    TylerH New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    But how do I know he really have the membership. When I read through the problem on another forum his customer think he had the membership before buy when he did not.

    Today I ran a marathon, that is what I tell everyone.
    Today I have auction membership, that is what I tell everyone.

    You do not know which is true.
     
  13. Kardon

    Kardon New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Well when I emailed Derek to find the sale price from USS Tokyo, I didn't tell him what I thought it sold for (because I had no idea), and he told me a specific amount. A few weeks later I recieved all my original documents from the export company and the price on their documents matched exactly with what Derek told me.
     
  14. Dah_Hunter

    Dah_Hunter Looking over your shoulder, so you dont have to.

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,372
    Location:
    Lower Rainland (BC)
    Bottem line. It's all about trust. You can trust or not trust who you want.

    I assume you have been reading that stuff on the other "forum" that we don't mention. Lol.

    You can trust. Or not trust that forum as well.
     
  15. Pajerist

    Pajerist New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    Wet Coast, BC
    I second that. I trust Derek as myself. That is why I've got my last eight imports from him, and I have no doubt the next one will come with his help!
     
  16. celicarefugee

    celicarefugee New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Is there no transaction document the auction issues that the buyer can request? At least if they try to forge something like that you'll have a paper trail to compare to.
     
  17. Derek

    Derek Derek Weldon

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    444
    Location:
    Yokohama Japan
    Hi Tyler,

    Sorry, this post got really long.

    I don't want to get off topic here because I want everyone to think hard about companies that steal. I want customers to get educated about this. It is not fair for honest exporters to have to compete against these monsters, yet make less money. It is not fair that people get their money stolen. When exporters cheat: Customers lose... good guy exporters lose... bad guys win.

    Though I have noticed you post similar things on our Youtube channel so I would like to discuss this with full resect to you and others asking the same questions.

    I don't post on forums much any more. Two reasons for that -

    1 - We have built enough of a reputation that we no longer need the exposure.
    2 - Forums tend to be a place where competition comes to attack you unfairly. It ruins the fun of enjoying a community knowing others are eager to push you down. That's business though... which is fair, but I don't like it so I don't post often.

    We have had several of our competitors lie about us or try to shut down what we say. I find this type of conversation to be unhelpful because it confuses customers. Buyers need good information to make a rational choice but that was not what was happening. We have to be careful that these forums don't become echo-chambers of ideas. It is really easy for dominant members to sway the group attitudes about things. I could go into details but will save it for another time.

    That being said...

    I like that you are being inquisitive Tyler. You seem like a person that values honesty. That's great!
    I would like to clear up two things you have mentioned publicly about us.

    1 - Yes, we have a dealer license plate. It is the red-box plate that we can put on any car and drive it (with insurance). In fact, we export enough cars to get about 5 sets of dealer plates but we only have one set out of necessity. It is how we could drive cars for the Let's Drive Japan Youtube Channel.

    2 - Yes, we have USS direct membership. We received it recently (after being in business since 2008). Our company was very unprofitable before we got membership because we still needed to charge market rates for our service, yet we were profiting less than our competition. I had to work my butt off through long hours. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I worked it out a few months ago and we lost over $500,000 in profits had we been a member from the start. But hey, you have to start somewhere.

    There are exporters out there (I am sure you know) that is set on "educating" people that other exporters without USS membership cannot be trusted. I don't agree with that. We have hundreds of customers that trust us and just about all of them started buying from us before we were not a member. At that time, we offered all the same services as direct members without exception. It is a myth that non-USS members have limited services. From what I have seen, many of the largest exporters are the ones with the lowest ethics (and most likely to steal money as in the original post). They all have USS membership. Another surprising fact is that there are many (many many many) exporters without USS membership. Several of them are larger than we are. As a card-carrying member, I am not going to tell you that those exporters are not good or that you can't trust them. It's simply not true. The only benefit of being a USS member is the lower purchase and selling fees at auction. We competed with others while making less money, it was fair business (though I wouldn't do it again... yeeesh).

    I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to the exporter that is telling you these things. I think that he just doesn't know. Though I disagree that this exporter needs to say these things as a way to compete with others. If it is who I think it is, he provides exceptional service.

    I don't feel like I have to bend the truth to compete against people. I think that we have an excellent value proposition and have some of the best customers in the world. I am not out to tell everyone that we are the best. I am happy where we stand.. and the market agrees with it because we are increasing sales steadily. Next I want to work on how I can relax and enjoy my life a little. this kind of stress might take years to smooth out.

    Tyler, if you would like, I will email you a picture of my member ID and you can see for yourself... if you need a video to make sure it is not photoshopped, I can do that... heck, if you are in Japan, I can meet you and show you.

    To answer your last question- If I bought a car from another exporter, then ask you for the price, how do I know you are telling me the right price? How do you know if you are being honest?

    Well, as others say, you would have to trust us. BUT.... Feel free to ask 2-3 other exporters but to be sure.

    ...But think of it this way- If I give the wrong number to you, then you go confront your exporter, I will look stupid if I am wrong. I don't like looking stupid.. and especially if that information gets out to the public. I don't have any way to stop that from happening... you get what I am saying? If I tell you incorrect info, it opens the flood gates of the other exporters that want to make me look like a fool. I would have to be impressively stupid to knowingly tell you the wrong selling price of a vehicle.

    If you bought a car from us, please feel free to ask any of the other exporters on this forum and they will do the same for you. This post is about how to help people that have been victim to fraud. Let's continue to stay on that topic. If you want to discuss how we do business and you think it deserves public posting, feel free to make a thread for that.

    All the best to everyone
     
    Hugo4, Greg and _drew like this.
  18. _drew

    _drew New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Richmond BC
    you're the best Derek

    top quality posting right there, folks.
     
  19. TylerH

    TylerH New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    You stop showing USS vehicles on your weekly video because USS auction had threaten members for showing vehicles and would cancel their membership, you mention in your videos.

    I also notice other agents in Japan have also stopped showing or telling stuff about USS.

    But then you now offer this service on a public forum to check sale prices of USS vehicles for everyone, either you are not worried about losing your membership to USS or you do not have membership to lose which is what makes me wonder if genuine about what he tell or will show me.

    I have brought 6 cars from Japan during the last 7 years and my agent Steven Smith was very honest. I never meet him in person but we become good friends, he tell me he own yard (no rental), member of many car auctions plus USS and so on. He even send me photo of him standing in auction once. Then last year he disappear with many peoples money and will not reply to emails, not answer phone, nothing. I recently find out he not own yard that he said he did, did not have auction membership of his own and so on. Many people are complaining about the same thing on another forum so when you are lied to after long business relationship and lose money you are suspect even more when looking for new agent.

    Thank you for offer to email me your id but why can you not post it here, why does it have to be hidden from everyone. I do not know how to tell real one or not but maybe if you post here someone can.
     
  20. celicarefugee

    celicarefugee New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    My guess is since another exporter has used Derek's publicly available documents to forge a US import in the past he would be reluctant to give that out to would be scammers.