Alright, I kinda lied. While you still may need a proxy, you are eliminating some of the middlemen who stand between you and your desired parts. With that being said, this post is inspired by my recent distaste for a seller. While I started this piece from a place of anger and disdain for how the current market has become, I’ll eventually end this article from a place of hope. I hope that others are able to find what they are looking for and won’t cause further frustration.
We believe that access to quality parts go a long way especially for those who are into cars for the long haul. While parts are very materialistic in nature, they can bring individuals together when quality parts are passed from one enthusiast to another. Half the fun of messing with our cars is getting parts especially those rare bits that your friends have never even seen before. I’ve been around the block a couple of times and I’ve had my fair share of come-ups and scams so I’ll give you some information for getting some rare parts from the very chair you are reading this entry. I am in no way an expert but I know enough to be able to get my own parts as well as parts for my close friends. If you would like to chime in please do so below in the comments so that we can share the resources. As a disclaimer, we are not responsible for any purchases you may incur due to this post. There are many services that you can use but the services mentioned below is what has worked for me. We have zero association with the mentioned services.
First up is proxy service. In order for you to be able to purchase some of these parts, you need someone in Japan to physically receive the package and then send it overseas since many companies within Japan may not provide this service. There are just a handful of companies that will sell you used parts directly, one of them being Trust Planning. They have workers who speak fluent (enough) English so that you can communicate about condition and compatibility of the item. Yes, they also sell cars, but I’ll save that for next time.
For larger items such as wheels, seats, and body kits, I have found that these services below that have been reliable.
Streeter Corp has been helping us get parts for years and they have since expanded their proxy service. They have yet to disappoint. I’d suggest emailing them during their office hours while keeping in mind their time zone.
Yes, the sellers of all things JDM also provide a proxy service to buy used parts or parts inquiry from the smallest shops in Japan.
Truly the OG’s in the game. This was the first service I used way back. Based in both Japan and Australia, these folks are great and they can communicate in English just like Streeter and Nengun.
This service is provided by the same folks as RHDJapan. This is a big corporation as it gets and has had a great track record of delivering on their promises. One downside is their rates.
For small items, I’ve used these proxy services countless times for things such as shift knobs, steering wheels, seatbelts, and intercoolers. These services are able to bid on your behalf in the Yahoo Auctions or standard purchase through a Japanese website.
If you are looking to buy serious amounts of wheels or perhaps start a community container these two services can help bring in those parts for a reasonable fee. In the case that you become the middleman, go easy on your customers.
Primary Sources for USED parts:
Yes, I’m pretty sure you can’t read or speak a lick of Japanese unless you are like Edwin who has been getting personal lessons every weekend since I’ve known him. So what is an enthusiast to do? Download Google Chrome of course; it will translate everything.
By now I’m sure you have seen videos of gaijin noobs pillaging the aisles of UpGarage. Yes, you can find some great deals but you may also find nasty parts with JDM ass juice. If you don’t want to use the proxy services I listed above, Upgarage has their own service called Croooober for customers abroad but I’ve found that their prices are heavy.
Primary Sources for NEW parts:
So maybe used parts aren’t your thing and new is what you prefer. Rakuten (the Amazon of Japan) surprisingly stocks some parts but you can probably find more parts from Goo parts.
I hope this is helpful for those who both getting their feet wet as well as seasoned veterans. Happy Hunting! If you would like to share your secrets please add it below or contact us directly. Keep an eye out for our next cheatsheet on how to get cars from Japan.