Below is a list of common questions and helpful information relating to those questions. Feel free to use the contact form on the right of the page to ask us any other question you may have. Click on a question below to see more information.
Q. Where can I see your Terms and Conditions?
Q. I've seen a product cheaper in Japan, Can you match it?
A. Our pricing structure includes all hidden costs which are not accounted for by Japanese retailers when bringing products into New Zealand. Japanese retails do not know about, nor care about local customs duties, port fees and taxes. They only charge you how much it costs 'them' to send it to your door. Therefore, the following should be used as a guide when comparing prices from overseas:
Q. Can you do my team/club/group a deal on multiple items?
Shipping costs roughly $25 / kg, and New Zealand Customs will charge you 10% customs duty and 15% GST on the combined shipping and part cost. Further to this, Customs charges a NZ$25 transaction fee and you must use a Broker to clear your item in Customs, which costs NZ$110. Japanese banks also charge for International deposits - usually NZ$20 - and your bank will charge for an International Money Transfer - typically NZ$25. If you use Paypal or a Credit Card service overseas, companies will often add a percent (typically 4%) to the order total. Shipping within New Zealand is relatively cheap - but it all adds up - so budget for 2.5% of the cost of the part for local shipping (NZ$25).
A NZ$1000 part at 10kg's would cost roughly $1699 once landed in New Zealand. However, if you are using ocean freight there are more costs! When the part reaches a New Zealand port you will be charged handling fees ($45 per meter square), disembursement fees, unloading costs, bio-security fees, Electronic Customs fees and storage / security / MAF fees. A typical aftermarket car bumber would attract an extra NZ$150 in charges, bumping the previous NZ$1699 cost up to over NZ$1820 - an 80% price increase. It's a hassle isn't it - which is why we do all the running around for you.
We also back factory mechanical warranties where applicable - International purchases do not come with a warranty nor do they come with a failsafe return if the brand overseas has made a mistake with the order. Further, you run the risk of being sold fake products or the company failing to deliver on their end of the contract.
For further information relating to customs fees, please visit the New Zealand Customs web site.
A. Yes! Just email us your request! We don't bite.
Q. I see you do not stock XYZ's products. Is all hope lost?
A. Not at all! We welcome demands for new products and you can use our Brand Request facility to ask for a new brand to be listed. However, Fortyone Automotive has a great reputation for stocking and supplying only quality, authentic products where we can achieve official dealer status. This is because we can offer you proper warranties, pass on official information and keep everything legal. As a result we always perform an investigation into the requested brand to see whether or not they will benefit our clients. This can take up to 2 months.
Q. Come on, what are the chances of actually getting sponsorship?
There are other factors to take into consideration - for example the manufacturer may have an existing dealer or distributor here already. In this case, it becomes uneconomical to pursue stocking that brand because you simply pay the middleman to bring them in to the country - a fee we simply do not want to pass on to our clients. That is why we buy direct from the manufacturers - to save you time, stress and money.
A. In a typical week, we receive 2 or 3 sponsorship requests from many different people and/or groups. The vast majority of these people have very loose plans with regards to their car and/or event, and simply want parts at a discount rate in return for placing a sticker on their car.
Q. What shipping services do you use?
We are very interested in sponsoring cars and events - but only in a professional capacity. You can still receive discounts on product prices when buying in bulk, however if you wish to submit a sponsorship request, please detail every little aspect as to why you think you deserve it. We appreciate it when you highlight build plans, event attendance (past and future), results and what you believe a sponsorship partnership could mean to you. To date we sponsor 4 cars either in full or as a subsidised package. We also plan months in advance, if you have a great project, but a tight time frame, it may not be suitable for us to offer any sponsorship because of other sponsorship deals.
A. At checkout we give you the choice as to which shipping service per part you wish to use. Various options using different international carriers are listed in drop down boxes when you proceed to the final checkout page. These select the service to be used, and in no way illustrate the total delivery time frame of the product. We prefer to use EMS (Japan) or USPS (USA) as both services are tracked, timely and insured. Every service is insured. We recommend you use these two services if possible.
Q. How do I get a discount on goods?
The following details each service options:
EMS - Priority Air Freight, which means boxes get on the very next available plane to New Zealand (or to your country if ordering from overseas). Therefore once ready to ship, a part can generally only be delayed by 1-2 days prior to transit, and takes 1-2 days in the air. Quickest but most expensive option.
SAL - Another air freight option from Japan. Boxes are loaded into free space on planes only, and are bumped off planes if EMS boxes arrive first. Therefore in off-peak seasons (March - October) boxes can and do arrive at the same speed as EMS boxes for less cost, but during peak season (November - February) boxes can take 1-3 weeks longer than EMS. Tracking optional but insured.
Japan Post - An economical ocean freight service where the boxes are sent via Ocean to New Zealand. Typical estimated transit is 12-16 weeks depending on vessel path and vessel departure dates. Boxes leave within a week of being collected by Japan Post. Untracked, but insured. Note: As this is one of only two ocean options we use, timeframes can be much longer.
Container Freight - Containers leave Japan to their own schedule but are expensive for oversized items. Insured. Tracked with Toll, Mainfreight or Madagin. Containers leave the USA far more frequently and are cheap. They leave every 2-4 weeks, and take 2-3 weeks on the ocean. An excellent option from the USA. Tracked. Insured. Containers are at best 6-monthly from Japan. Containers typically take 6-8 weeks from the USA. Japanese containers ceased in 2015
Oversized Freight - All Japan Post and USPS services have size limits (called Volumetric limits) on parts that can be sent. Typically, anything over 1.5 meters, or 30kg from Japan is considered oversized while 1.2 meters and 25kg is the limit from the USA. Items over this size can be shipped via air freight via TNT or DHL however the cost is significant. Always insured, 2-7 days transit.
USPS - Insured, tracked and supported quickly. Priority service and normally a 2-7 day transit depending on origin but uses any number of airlines for transport, not just their own carriers.
Fedex - An alternative air freight option using their own carriers, which can slow delivery if there are no scheduled flights to New Zealand and therefore can be slower than USPS. Slightly more expensive but insured and tracked.
DHL - Our preferred choice from the USA and Japan. Tracked, Quick and insured. Well supported in New Zealand.
EOM - End of Month services (EOM) allow you to ship at a discounted rate using any of the air freight services offered. Because shipping is held back until the end of the month we can combine your shipping with other customers shipping to receive discounts on shipping many items at the same time. Please note - we need orders to be submitted at least one week before the end of the month for your item to leave at the end of the current month chosen. Delayed items will leave at the end of the month they are ready - if an item is ordered at the start of month one and it is not ready until the end of month two, it will ship at the end of month three and so on.
If your company uses the above carriers we can drop-ship to your pick up point for a small fee. Please ask prior to ordering.
For further details on shipping, timeframes, quotes and more, please see our Terms and Conditions.
A. Discounts depend on how much you buy, or what brand you buy. For example, buying 5 Buddyclub Coilover kits for your Toyota Car Club can attract a discount - buying a cam shaft from Toda, a header from Spoon and a strut bar from Tanabe may not attract discounts. If you are in doubt you can always contact us to discuss your order.
Q. I can't pay by credit card on-line - help!?
A. Just email us your demands and we'll do all the running around for you. If you email links to each part you want we'll be able to issue you with an invoice and you can then pay via bank transfer, cash or cheque. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also proceed to checkout and either print or save your order or email that to us for processing.
Q. I can't find a bodykit from JIC Magic, or a Meter from Apexi. Where are they?
A. There are various parts that we cannot or avoid listing for various reasons. For example, we shy away from listing body-kits because the cost to ship them over makes it uneconomical and therefore low in demand. As official authorised dealers, we can still get the parts in for you regardless; all you have to do is ask. Also, brands may notify us of their wish to discontinue a certain part, yet they may still list it on their web site or catalog. Often this is done for informational purposes, rather than retail.
Q. I was told my order landed in New Zealand, only to be told they are still in Japan?
A. We rely heavily on information given to us from the brands overseas. For the most part this information is timely and accurate - however some items may not be sent on time despite us being told so. We pass on the shipping update to you (i.e. left Japan, tracking XYZXYZ, ETA Monday) only to find on Monday that the particular item isn't in the box. We then have to update you and chase the item with the brand over seas. Unfortunately it does happen and we can only work our hardest to sort it out for you, as we cannot control shipping overseas!
Q. Are you guys there? I haven't got that quote / email yet!
A. We use signatures in our emails as well as links to our web site and specials which can cause filters on email services to either block, bounce or redirect the emails into JUNK or SPAM folders! Please be sure to check this, or better still add us to your address book so that emails comes straight in.
Q. How do the shipping prices work?
A. There's two parts to the shipping process - the International portion where items are sent from overseas to us in Wellington, and the National portion where the goods are sent out from Wellington to you. These two portions are split so you can see the individual costs more easily to make better shipping decisions. This is because if items are shipped direct to you from overseas, you will be liable to cover Customs fees, GST and Duty when they are intercepted at the border. These costs would be more than what you'd pay through us (these costs are already covered in our pricing) which is why the parcels come through us first.
Q. What is Quick Insurance?
A. There is plenty of fallback for buyers when ordering parts in New Zealand. The Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) takes care of most issues relating to faulty products and our own insurance cover provides you with even greater confidence. However, insurance claims (including those covered by the CGA) do take a long time to complete. For example, our assessors often have to work with International shipping companies and brands, which can take many weeks to deal with, on top of the normal insurance assessment process.
Q. I got a part from Japan / US in 3 days, why is yours taking weeks?
Normally you'd have to wait out this period as the insurance process is followed. Our Quick Insurance cover allows you to bypass the possibility of encountering such a process. At checkout, you are given the option to purchase Quick Insurance. Quick Insurance is cover where we (Fortyone Automotive Limited) inspect and evaluate the claim ourselves and provide the relevant insurance options if an obvious result is reached (replacement, refund, options to change to an alternative product for the same price and so on). As this can normally be performed within 2 weeks the ability to get you back on the road is greatly increased.
Quick Insurance is relatively very cheap. And, it is especially beneficial for large purchases because of its low cost. If you are purchasing an expensive but simple part (such as a camshaft kit) where issues are quite simple to determine then the Quick Insurance Option could be perfect for you.
A. One must remember that when shopping around online, people generally buy from stores or brands that have items in stock and ready to ship. Because there are potentially 10's of different stores or brands to choose from there is a high chance you'll find the item you want ready to ship and purchase it as a result. At Fortyone Automotive however, we buy off the brand that makes the goods. We don't shop around and whilst in extreme circumstances we'll ask the brand to check their own network for stock, we have no other option when it comes to sourcing parts. If they are out we have to wait - we don't have options.
Q. Delays? What Delays! I can fly to the US tomorrow if I want to - that takes only one day!
We appreciate that it is always a preference of the customer to have the items in stock and ready to ship. However there are many reasons as to why not every part (or every common part) can be in stock. Firstly, the cost is astronomical. $200,000 doesn't get you much stock when you break it all down - at cost, this may only be 50 sets of Japanese wheels, or 200 seats. In the broad scheme of things, that is not a lot of stock. And, if you are like us with 60+ brands, that's a budget of around $3333 / brand to secure stock. That's only 3 and 1/2 Sparco seats!
Secondly, as we import goods the exchange rates play a big role. We won't import when exchange rates are down (which is far more common than when they are up or 'cheap') because a) people don't buy parts that are relatively expensive (people buy a knob when it is $60 [when the exchange rate is good], but if exchange rates push that over $90, they won't buy it [when the exchange rate is bad]) and b) if you buy stock and the exchange rates get better you suddenly end up with stock that is overpriced. The example below illustrates this:
If we get US75c per NZ$1 and a knob costs US$30, the total cost for us to buy it is NZ$40. Add some shipping, GST and a bit of profit and we may sell it for NZ$75. If the exchange rate drops to US55c for NZ$1 that same knob which costs US$30 to buy now costs us NZ$54.54. Add your GST, shipping and a bit of profit and we may have to sell it for $99. At this higher price less people buy. If the exchange rates get better (i.e. they go back up to US75c) we have a knob we need to sell for $99 to recover costs that others can do for $75. Therefore, companies generally stock up when exchange rates are very good, and less so when they are bad.
Lastly, as part of our business integrity, we have never charged massive profit margins to "rip people off". We run small margins to compete with parallel importers from overseas. We don't think it is possible to justify selling a widget for $100 when you can self-import for $89. As such, we can't risk stocking up on items when the exchange rates are down because our livelyhood - the profit margin - is well and truly eaten up even with small exchange rate movements.
As you can see, the economics of pricing and the relevance to shipping really do affect delivery timeframes.
A. Unfortunately importing is not as smooth as we'd love it to be. Here's a little insight into how importing works behind the scenes. We typically operate from 7am-1am, 7 days a week. During our morning, the USA is normally 'operating' and we chase orders there. Japan operates between lunch time and midnight and we use this time to chase orders there. The USA does not operate on our Monday so we can normally only work with them from Tuesday onwards. That means, if we don't get an update from the US by our Friday, the next update is normally Tuesday the week after.
Q. Why should I use Fortyone Automotive?
Banks are slow! They need one night to transfer money overseas and that request needs to be in by lunchtime. This means that any order submitted by you after Thursday lunch time will not be processed and cleared until Tuesday the week after (i.e. if it is submitted Thursday, 2pm, it is handled Friday morning. It will be sent overnight Friday, cleared Monday morning in the USA and deposited into the US bank account Monday night. It will then be confirmed Tuesday morning in the USA which is Wednesday here - nearly a 1 week delay). We do not use 'credit' - we do not pay on the 21st of each month - we pay instantly. There is a very simple reason for this - companies often take from Peter to pay Paul. Companies that do so pay last month's bills with your current months sales, resulting in a very risky business situation. Often, such companies collapse when business dries up (see exchange rates, above) because no new money is coming in to pay last month's accounts. Your money is therefore gone. Our approach results in a more efficient service and a more ethical, integral and moral business position.
Where we use Paypal to pay our accounts, orders are generally shipped the same day. This is far quicker for everyone but larger brands who ship 10's of thousands worth of goods each day do not use Paypal because of the high financial risk. Therefore, we are generally stuck with paying up front!
Shipping is not always smooth either. USPS has been known to route boxes through Mexico or Australia. Each time it does so, it needs to pass through Customs and be redirected - adding 3-4 days each time. Fedex and UPS piggy-back on other carriers services resulting in delays because often such services are not available daily - more like twice weekly. Once a box arrives in New Zealand it requires Customs clearance. This normally takes 1-4 businessdays (so items landing before a weekend get held up 2 extra days).
International shipments that arrive on a Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday are not handled until Monday for delivery to us on Tuesday and then up to you. This is merely the nature of New Zealand's 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri attitude rather than anything else. EMS shipments are delivered on a Saturday but once again this is only done if the boxes have arrived before Friday Lunch.
We clear all orders ourselves with Customs. Orders must come to us first as we receive the bill for clearance. If they were sent direct to you not only would one-off shipping be higher but you'd be asked to clear and pay for your goods by Customs. This adds another day to the process. Where we use TNT, UPS and Fedex, we clear the items in the air. This saves a day. So whilst UPS / Fedex / TNT may be slower in the air, they are often quicker once boarding / landing.
Throw in Holidays, bank delays, time differences, annual leave and sicknesses overseas and delays really add up!
These factors all contribute to how we come about at an ETA for your order. We use the best information on hand, our years of experience and our better judgement to determine how long it may take for an item to arrive. It would be very nice if everything arrived quickly and as estimated but the reality is that it's not a simple nor easy process to manage.
A. Allow us to open up and share our personal expriences, motivational aspects and dreams with you.
We Always Deliver
Fortyone Automotive is New Zealand owned and operated. We built everything ourselves on the back of nothing but an idea. Everything - from logos, the website, stickers, ads and so on has been designed, developed and implemented by ourselves. Customers have been very generous to us and this has allowed us to grow to where we are today. We always deliver. Your hard earned money and your buying preferences are never at risk as we adhere strictly to the Consumer Guarantees Act, Parallel Importing Act, Berne Convention and we also created and stand behind our own Buy Genuine campaign. We are Wellingtonians. Your business with us keeps money in New Zealand further supporting local businesses and industry. We know that we are exceptionally well priced. Orders sent overseas break our heart - New Zealand will never see that money again so every drop that disappears results in lost opportunities for Kiwi's many times over - we therefore appreciate the fact that you've chosen to support a New Zealand business as we can grasp what it means to support fellow Kiwi's.
We're honest about our services and issues
Quite often the speed of the delivery often frustrates buyers but we hope with the two answers above (re: Shipping and Delays) that we've shed light on the typical import process. It is the one area that always gives us a lot of grief. We feel it is the nature of importing that items take time - sometimes lots of time! It is our aim to remove any and all delays when it comes to ordering. Realistically, this will never happen because we cannot control the processes overseas, however it would be foolhardy to not try! We also hate being the messenger - we do not like informing you that an item is delayed or that we have no updates. It is a strenuous occasion when this happens but we maintain that we are upfront and professional about any and all expected and unexpected delays. We do not hide once we have your money like some other businesses may do!
We are inexpensive!
Regarding the cost of parts and the services used - if we all used a legal, level playing field, you would find that we are cheaper than other options. We know companies overseas and customers locally fraudulently declare goods to avoid GST and clearance costs and we work with New Zealand Customs to identify and stop those that do. If everyone paid due fees, we'd be cheaper by a long-shot that alternative options. The fact is, we still need to price ourselves to compete with all types of importers, not just those who do it correctly. So we feel our prices are very sharp and we always look to improve them.
We're not an endless abyss - we're people and we care!
We care about our customers and we've always stood behind our products, prices and ethics. Other companies may stall you, or sell illegal replicas, or sell items that the brands have not made for many years claiming it's an original product. Some companies will snatch your cash when they see an opportunity. Some companies run hundreds of percent in profit. Some companies badmouth other companies or tell you nonsense to make a sale. We never have and never will.
Sometimes it feels as if you're talking to someone who cannot do anything about your enquiry. We're not like that. Every email is personally handled by the Managing Director and we overseas every step of the import process. We are a very small team focusing on things that really matter.
We think that morals, ethics and integrity matters.
We don't get tangled up in hype-based sales, greed, misleading advertising, advertising gimmicks and spinning tales just to make a sale. We stand behind our products, our ethics and our morals. We introduced our Buy Genuine campaign to counter illegal replicas and dodgy retailers, protecting you in the long run. We will always see you right.
There have been occasions where we have had to take financial hits to the tune of thousands of dollars in order to see our customers right - without them even knowing! Allow us to show you some example.
During the recession of 2008-2010, exchange rates dropped by 50% in under a month resulting in a 100% (plus) raw part cost increase. Where a part cost $50 to buy in January, it cost $110 a month later. If one operates on a 20% profit margin, those margins were gone in 4 days. Once GST was included (and don't forget whilst the shipping cost remains the same, the converted price goes up as the rates go down) a large loss resulted totally outside of our control - we'd never faced such a recession before! For January 2008 alone, we saw a $15,000 loss. We absorbed every cent of this and honoured every single sale made without any customer realising what was happening.
We have been left high and dry by brands overseas where we've had to cover $3000 worth of goods damaged in transit ourselves and refund the customer. Insurance wouldn't cover it because, regardless of the fact that our insurer covered the parts, we couldn't establish where the fault lay! We paid out of our pockets.
Another example was purely accidental by Bee*R - they offered us a product for a special cost of Y12,000 (NZ$240 at the time) which we promptly sold 9. Unfortunately they realised their pricing mistake and informed us, but we chose to honour the sales regardless, resulting in a $1000 loss - and no one knew!
On the odd occasion, companies will send us damaged or incorrect goods knowing that the cost of us to return them is too high to do so (imagine paying $400 to clear an item with Customs, only to have to send it back at a cost of $300 when Company A won't honour a return because "the shipping company must have done it"). This is a nasty stock-clearing trick. We see our customer right, fully warrant the new replacement part and promptly drop the relevant brand - all out of our own pockets.
We definitely feel that these were rare, one-off circumstances but because of our morals and ethics, we still honoured our customers. You will seldom find such integrity elsewhere, especially overseas where it is much easier to keep your money and turn a blind eye than it is to accept returns and see you right. On the odd occasion we may be a little slow resulting from delays but we will maintain our integrity and deliver to you.
We eliminate risk
We have nearly 10 years experience in ordering, shipping and dealing with the brands overseas. We are not a shot in the dark and we are not a download-and-install e-Commerce retailer. This is what we love and what we do.
We only ask that you understand the importation process and read our Terms and Conditions thoroughly. This will remove many issues associated with your order and make the process much easier.