Buying parts on the internet and overseas

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 20:04
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A little while back I posted about buying 8 injectors and installation kit for my 6.5l chev diesel. There have also been some recent posts about tyres being bought and imported. By the way this is NOT a fishing expedition.

I have imported parts before for my engine. This excludes cameras and other gear I have purchased overseas.

You must do your homework well as one slight stuff up can cost you a lot of money.

In the case of my injectors which were spot on and have done the job.

The people I ordered them off are very reputable and straight away questioned what I had ordered to make sure it was correct. They asked why I had ordered turbo injectors for a n/a diesel and were quite concerned until I told them the engine had been imported into Australia and was fitted to a Landcruiser. Even then they asked me to go and see if I could read the numbers off the Bosch injectors to make doubly sure all was well. This took a few emails and the people were very friendly. Injectors also arrived 5 days later with full tracking.

What I am trying to say is be careful with your order, trust the people you deal with, watch how much the freight rate is and check that you are not paying a small amount more for the same product in Australia.

In this instance of these injectors the price was nearly half that from Australia. I could have bought the injectors at nearly half again from the states but I wasn't happy with the brand. I am not even talking about chinese ones either or Bosch who I have heard are having troubles with some of their manufacturing plants around the world.

Do your sums and there are some good Aussie businesses out there that might be a tad dearer but offer good service. To those businesses who don't you will go down the gurgler cause it is a whole new world of commerce out there.

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Reply By: Member - Bytemrk(VIC) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 21:08

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 21:08
Spot on Rockape,

Great buys to be had - IF you do your research right.

I prefer generally to try and support local businesses - but not where they are blatantly ripping people off or there is a pressing reason to find an alternative.

I have 2 examples to share:

The first was several years back, when I wanted to buy some air bags to assist my rear springs. I got a local quote, and at the time money was pretty tight and I simply could not afford the $380 quoted. I assumed I would have to wait till I had the money. Then I discovered Trucksprings in Michigan. For $178 including shipping I had the same item sitting on my desk in Melbourne 7 days after placing the order. Hard to argue that wasn't a good deal.

The second was last week - I wanted to purchase an item from my local Land Rover accessory place - he didn't have them in stock and I was told there was a 3 week wait - I could order and pay now if I wanted to.
I got on the net and ordered the item from a crowd in Kent in England. 6 days later I had it ...30% cheaper than what it was going to cost here.

Obviously buying OS has risks...and there are definitely good reasons to support local business that contribute to the Australian economy.

But those same businesses do have to open their eyes and make sure they stay relevant and competitive if they want to survive.

It's a changing market out there....but it always has been, this is just another different type of competition.
AnswerID: 478088

Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 21:11

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 21:11
It might be because you are dealing with overseas people, Rockape. I doubt that you would get that kind of service from the average Australian business.
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

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AnswerID: 478090

Reply By: Member - john y - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 22:03

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 22:03
I, wherever possible endeavour to support Australian businesses and as I'm not computer savvy make my purshases locally. I would however like to agree with the often expressed opinion by others that many local businesses are their own worst enemy by killing the proverbial goose.

It seems to me that the high profile so called 4WD experts (their own called definition and backed up by their ads. in the 4WD magazines] believe that they are entitled to charge exhorbitant prices because of the ignorance of their own customers . they need to realise that their victims are far better educated than previously.
It's this attitude that compells consumers to expand their horizons and look elsewhere. I find it hard to reconcile that a local high profile 4WD service company can justify an hourly charge out rate of $110 per hour.Obviously self promotion is an expensive exercise
I will go anywhere as long as it's forward

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AnswerID: 478092

Reply By: Axle - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 22:22

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 22:22
G/Day Rock Ape, .......You have touched a nerve with Australian Businesses Now!!,....You have admitted that if careful you can get a great deal overseas!!

Why the Hell would you recommend that!?,.....Cheap .Cheap Cheap!, Else where,....This country called australia is no longer going to survive on its own hard work and pride,..Actually i'm amazed at the numbers that just go along with the flow....including useless governments on both sides....What a shame! to see so much change in this country....Makes true blu ozies sick to the core!

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 478095

Follow Up By: Zambezi - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 00:09

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 00:09
Around May last year my Air-conditioner clutch burnt out in my 1996 V6 4Runner. A new clutch was going to cost me $156 plus $400 -$500 for labour. I decided to let things go and wait, as money was very tight last year. I then went to my local Toyota dealer in Wangara and was quoted $850 for a new compressor. One evening, in a rare moment of inspiration, I did a search on Google for an complete with clutch, drier, and TX valve. Lo and behold I found a company in California who dealt with such matters for all regardless of make. The compressor cost $256, the drier was $25 and the TX valve $15 ( all US Dollars) . That adds up to US$296, and $70 for freight to Australia.A total of US$366. In Aus Dollars that came to just around $340. From the time I ordered the parts , and arriving at my front door took less then a week . Had it been from Toyota in the Eastern States, the carrier pigeon would have died of thirst on the way over, and I would still be waiting for the parts. For another $600 for labour, which I don't begrudge one little bit, I have a new aircon system that works better then when I bought the car new ! Another item of interest was the motor n the rear window that powers it down and up , burnt out, because I left the ignition key in the tailgate in the up position all night, and wondered why I had a flat battery the next morning. Again Toyota wanted $430 for a new electric motor. Back on the internet again and sourced a BRAND NEW motor for the exorbitant sum of $50 pus $30 for freight. A couple of hours work and the new motor is in the tailgate, working as if nothing had ever gone wrong. I also bought a set of relays for the rear window , wiper and wiper motor and had those fitted. Relays were $2.20. I actually ordered four, but was sent six and only charged for four. The Toyota relays are 6Amp and the SANYOU relays which are all five pin and exactly the same as the Toyota ones, the SANYOU`S are 10 AMP. No more problems with the rear window. The relay box was $430 . It pays to shop around especially if you know what you are looking for, and have dealt with overseas companies that offer 100% better service than what we get in Australia. Greed is the down fall of most business`s in Australia, and shoddy service to boot.
FollowupID: 753560

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:28

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:28
The good businesses will survive. The ones that realise how the world has changed will survive and the ones that rip people off won't.

I buy much of what I need locally, then if believe I am being taken for a sucker I will do a search of Australian businesses and check prices. Then if one comes in with what I believe is a reasonable or bargain I will buy. Now if I still believe the item is overpriced I will look elsewhere and weigh up freight, exchange rate, quality and warranty.

Here is a small instance. Bunnings had led 12v caravan lamps for $36 each made in china. I bought 6 of the same lamps delivered to my door for $42. Now that is what I call being ripped off. After a cyclone I bought 25 gal batten screws from Bunnings for $25. $1 each. That got me out of trouble so I decided to re screw the fence as many of the rail screws were rusted out. Went to the local bolt company and bought 304 stainless ones for 50 cents each.

You yourself will know how much mark up there is on genuine machinery and vehicle parts.

Woolworths are a classic where they get you to charge out your own items through their self serve lines.

In this area there are a couple of new car dealer ships that won't go broke because of the products they sell but there businesses are suffering from their attitude and blatant paper work stuff ups. When people question them they get either a sickly condescending explanation or they nicely tell the customer that you should have done this or that trying to shift blame.

So far I have seen responses in this and a tyre topic that we should blame governments and unions for problems. I sort of can't figure that out.

No I am not advocating us buying our bits and pieces from overseas but in the case of being overcharged I will.
FollowupID: 753565

Follow Up By: Bigfish - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:30

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:30
Actually Axle. Your right cheap,cheap, cheap. So should we all apologise for not having the extra money to give to the local bloke. Obviously you have the money to be able to pay say $500 for a car part that can be also be purchased overseas, and arrive to your door quicker than a locally sourced one, for $250.
Australia is so reliant on the rest of the world like everybody else.
Mate I own a harley and I know about getting reamed by Oz stealers. Did you realise that because the Oz dealers were charging such exorbitant rip off prices most owners were buying their spares and accessories from overseas? Harley Davidson now have banned all USA companies NOT to sell parts to Oz private people. So much for free trade. They are now being taken to court by their own dealer network in the USA. Greedy buggers. Not protecting the Oz dealer as now the Oz dealer are importing hundreds of 2nd bikes cheaply into Oz and flogging off to unsuspecting people. Grey imports.
I would not only reccommend that you purchase overseas , I would say that as we are part of the global economy with the vast majority of our toys and equipment coming from overseas that your a dill if you dont compare prices with overseas stuff. I pay a bloody large tax bill every fortnight and like many others I demand value for money. As stated, many local business people almost think its their duty to rob you blind and feed you crap in order to line their own pocket.
If you dont want to spend your hard earned money overseas and are happy to pay too much for the exact product that can be purchased o/s , ...go ahead. Dont knock the bloke who knows the value of a dollar and is often in no position to get ripped off. Mate I,m a true blue Oz but I dont like getting ripped off by another true blue!
FollowupID: 753566

Reply By: Holiday Maker - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:40

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:40
Same here.

Needed a new intake manifold for the Mercedes Benz M270, from the dealer $1,190, from an importer of European parts $1,092, importing it from a specialist MB dealer in Denmark $308 + $78 freight.

Even worse than this, is I recently tried to support our local sports store (a well known franchise) Wanted a Pulsar Heart Monitor. There price $129 purchased one thru eBay from a sports store in Melbourne, $84 including express delivery.

As I see it there a a lot of factors here in Australia, why we have such high prices.

The retail network, to start with.

We have the importer adding the first profit margin, then the national wholesaler, then the state wholesaler, then the local franchise. They all want there pound (or more) of flesh.

The there s the high cost of doing business, high rents, high loan fees, high wages from workers who have over the years asked for too much and have a poor work ethic.

We are slowly going down the same path as Greece and other European countries.

The consumer is getting smarter and the internet is the shopping mall.

Businesses will either adapt or die.

To the greedy one's I say "Good ridance."


AnswerID: 478104

Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:54

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:54

All fine and what people need to be aware of with OS ordering.

But the comment "trust the people you deal with" has to be taken in context. I would rust their technical knowledge as long as it matches what I can figure out at home. Trust them financially - nope!! Paypal first for us. I would never use an insecure system to pay. NEVER cash or money order.

Trust technically but not financially. Be wary with the dollar.

AnswerID: 478106

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 08:18

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 08:18
you are quite right in what you have said.

I did mean trust as in their technical knowledge of the products they supply and the manner they answer any questions.

I only use paypal myself and don't divulge any card numbers.

I recently went to buy some info off Choice. Guest member and went right through to final payment and then backed out after finding payment was through credit card numbers. They sent me an email about payment and I replied no Paypal no payment sunshine. I will get the information elsewhere.

FollowupID: 753570

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 10:05

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 10:05
That really bugs me.

Searched for part numbers, made sure the spelling was correct and details were correct and no payment methods shown until the end. None that are easy to find, that is. Maybe buried deep in the "conditions of purchase".

FollowupID: 753580

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 10:09

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 10:09
Yep same thing bugs me. Also the freight charges can be shown right at the end also

FollowupID: 753581

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:26

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:26
Funny how you like Paypal and I avoid where I can. I have found that using the credit card directly has worked best for me.

If you have a Paypal account, they can reverse charge from your account if you have a credit balance. Also, as part of the conditions you agree to when signing up for an account, you are not allowed to lodge a "disputed transaction" claim with your credit card company.

At least with the credit card company, you have ~30 days from billing to claim that goods have not arrived, you did not make transaction etc... and not pay the amount if a disuted transaction is lodged. Also, if someone does rip off your card numbers, you simply lodge a disputed transaction with the CC company and no payment (but interest if you are wrong).

I have had my CC numbers stolen (from a restaurant in Perth) and over $2k booked up. I lodged a dispute with my CC company and never had to pay a cent.

Anyway, that has been my experience with Paypal and CC and I would spend well over a $1K per month online.


FollowupID: 753592

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:59

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:59
Mate are you badly informed about Paypal. Next time someone winges about getting ripped off by Paypal ask them to tell you the WHOLE story. I bet they do not. People today will NOT admit if they made an error or basically stuffed up.

With Paypal you have 40 days. That's ten days more than you quoted.

Paypal cannot automatically take funds from my bank or credit card account because, as a buyer, I have NOT given them permission.

Some companies when using a credit card system want the security number from the rear of the card. If you are foolish enough to hand over the security number, then anyone along the line, not necessarily the company as such, even a staff member, can empty your card up to the credit limit.

There are more protections in Paypal and this is not the place. Have another read yourself. With an open mind this time.

FollowupID: 753595

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:11

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:11
Hi Phil,

When I read the fineprint (Terms and Conditions - T&C's) for Paypal to sign up for an account;
1) I have to agree to NOT dispute the transaction via the credit card company and
2) if i want to sell something on Paypal, I have to allow them access to my account to withdraw any disputed funds from the sale.

I have seen these conditions and also read too many horror stories to trust anyone. But if you want to buy online you have to use Paypal or a credit card so I go with what I think is the lesser of two evils. I do occasionally use Paypal with my credit card, but without opening an account, thus not having to agree to their T&C's.

If you are happy with Paypal and their T&C's, great. I personally don't like their T&C's so do not have an account with them and will continue to use my credit card.


FollowupID: 753598

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:16

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:16
Here is why I do not use a credit card on line and I keep it in site at all times and shield my pin number when entering it.

$10600 skimmed off the card. Money returned by the bank but until they investigate
you do not have a card.

$26000 skimmed of a mates card 2 days ago. He will be without a card for 35 days before they will reissue.

When I spoke to the bank security people one of them said it is very very common for the cards to be ripped off.

Paypal for me any day and they will look into a dispute if it arrises. Also only the amount you authorise with paypal will be debited to you. Not 1 cent more. If you give out credit card details they have the ability to charge more than what you were quoted.

FollowupID: 753600

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:49

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:49

$10600 and then from a mate $26000. Bloody hell ( whoops I swore and I just got home from Mass as well).

And people wonder why we personally use cash and cheques for as much as we can. Especially when on a trip. Luckily the boss gets paid in cash (legitimately). It also saves heaps on credit card and atm fees. We estimate that simply by being paid in cash and using cash and cheques as much as we can, that we save around $400 a year in all kinds of fees. Do you realise that I have never used an atm!!!


FollowupID: 753607

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 13:33

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 13:33
Well, whatever works for you I suppose. Paypal is just another company that doesn't actually provide any credit themselves, they simply use your finacial institiution and the selllers while they sit in-between and shuffle the money. Note that Paypal NEVER lose money. if they cannot recover from the seller, you lose out - good business model for them.

I have many credit cards as I travel nationally and internationally and have to rely on them. Most cards work in most place, but not one card works everywhere, hence the multiple cards. If one gets skimmed (or stolen or not acceted at that location), I just go to another. Just simply not possible to always use cash, on my last trip I was in 3 different currency zones in two continents in one day - how do you get around that. Same for fee's, I have found that the the best exchange rate is the one from your credit card and you only get charged for what you spend. If you use cash, how much do you exchange? Fee's to buy and fees to sell foreign currency. And if you lose cash, its gone!

Bottom line is thats its a different world these days. Cash and cheques may work for some but electronic transactions and ATM's are here to stay. Whatever works for you and suits your need is whats best :)


FollowupID: 753616

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 14:13

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 14:13
Simple to get around. We have no intention of going overseas at any time. Bin there - Done that!!

So no cash problems. And, I laughed at this one, no language problems - yet.

FollowupID: 753620

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 17:56

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 17:56
CC fraud (including skimming) is far more prevalent that some think ($billions worldwide iirc). Banks and CC companies like to keep a lid on it because trust and confidence are critical. My card somehow (could only have been online) got compromised recently. It took me 2 days before I discovered it when looking at my account online. About $3K had been skimmed in small 'purchases' (so as to avoid bank alert systems) but half were approvals pending and were instantly reversed. Bank is still working on the rest which I expect will be refunded. I only use verified sites with encryption. The system is only as good as its weakest link unfortunately.

If ypou didn't read about it, the biggest single online commerce security provider Verisign was recently hacked (many months ago, recently announced). From what I read they have not been able to trace what may have been copied or compromised. That's scary stuff.

I'm still using my new card but even more carefully than before.
FollowupID: 753645

Reply By: Member - Carl- Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:07

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:07
I am heading to live in New York next week and looking at being a source of parts for Australian as a part time business. I have had a F250 here and know the cost of parts. Not just the parts but the freight cost as well. Currently I have a list of things to get for people with Chev and F trucks.
My plan is sourcing parts and then repackaging them to reduce the freight costs before shipping to Australia.

So if need parts drop me a line
AnswerID: 478119

Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:22

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:22
Unfortunately this issue, as with anything that involves another entity getting their fingers on your money, becomes very emotional and often compounded by mis-information. As others have mentioned the mixture includes a percentage of blatant rip-off merchants, all of us wanting more in our pay packets to support a bigger better house, car, tv, holiday, etc etc. Property developers who want more return on their investments which lead to higher rents for wharehouses, shops, etc. This directly and indirectly causes utility prices and the general cost of living to rise and so the spiral upwards continues. Others have pointed out the scary similarities with what is happening in many overseas countries where the short term answer for individuals, companies and governments has been to borrow more and seek pay rises to cover the burgeoning debts. Unfortunately the pain gets worse when correction time arrives, as it always will, the longer the problem is left untreated. A small sector of our population is basking in the glow of the mining boom while our manufacturing sector goes overseas and is now being closely followed by our retail sector. Lets just hope the mining industry can supply jobs to all the people put out of work because their job has gone offshore. Oh wait, the gurus that are supposed to know tell us that the current boom has a finite life span. Oh well, I guess we could expand our tourism industry and be a cheap, cheap destination for tourists. I wonder how much it would cost to import one of those Tuk Tuk things.

AnswerID: 478126

Follow Up By: Zambezi - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 18:59

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 18:59
Hi guys . Thanks for the link for that wheel trolley. Found it at my local auto parts accessory shop this morning and now its in the back of my 4x4 . Its good to see that there are still people on this forum who are willing to give assistance, for which I am extremely grateful. I also agree with the other posts below mine, about rip off merchants etc. Yes, I do buy from my local Auto Accessory shop, but sadly found that they have ripped me off as well. Now I phone around the area in which I live, and get prices over the phone. Its incredible how much difference there is in the mark up for the same part in the same box !!! So I go to the shop that has the lowest price. Seeing as its my hard earned Dollars I will buy at the cheapest price.

With regard to PayPal, I have used PayPal for around ten years in conjunction with E-Bay and never had a problem with PayPal or E-Bay. I constantly leave about $100 in Paypal if I see something that I need ASAP , as it takes about three to five working days for funds to be transferred from my bank to Paypal and again no problems in getting funds into and out of Paypal.

However, I will still continue to purchase parts , accesories etc from the US as long as the AUS$ remains high, and the parts in the US are genuine Toyota, and a darn sight cheaper then what we have to pay for in Australia !
FollowupID: 753653

Reply By: petemac00 - Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 23:24

Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 23:24
Hi All, if anyone is interested in some pricing for bringing goods from USA to Australia let me know. I am an Inxpress franchisee and have access to Inpress USA and can book your pick ups through their system and as such keep your freight costs down. Can message me here or call Pete on 0418 698 626.

AnswerID: 480223

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