It takes a lot of determination to own vehicles with scarce parts support. One small fender bender could have you out of commission for weeks or longer. If you’re rolling in something that wasn’t originally sold in America, wasn’t sold in high numbers, went out of production decades ago, comes from a dead company, or any combination of those factors, you may find a dearth of parts for sale online.
For a personal example, I own four cars that were never sold in America. That list includes a Honda Beat, a Suzuki Every, an early Smart Fortwo diesel, and an early Smart Fortwo gasser. Nobody stocks parts for a Suzuki Every in America, so I have to import parts from Japan or Australia. The imported Smarts get their parts either from Canada, somewhere in Europe, or China. Sometimes, I run into a seller who just doesn’t want to deal with international shipping. I get it. Many years ago I used to buy, sell, repair, and modify smartphones for fun and even I was not too fond of international shipping.
Today, Lewin published an article about an artisan who solved a problem with unobtainable, crazy expensive Jaguar taillights by making his own. Adrian pointed out that you don’t need to pay $1,000 for super-rare Jaguar taillights:
But there’s just one problem: the seller doesn’t want to ship to the United States, as pointed out by Gubbin:
“Doesn’t post to the United States” so you have to include airfare to the UK to pick them up. /s
Reminds me of when I was looking at prices for a drug for a common neurological condition, and realized that it would be cheaper to fly from the US West Coast to London to buy it every 6 months than to pay US prices.
Here comes Mike Harrell with some genuinely good advice that has helped me in the past. Just send the seller a message, you never know when they might say yes:
I’ve had pretty good luck (perhaps 75%-ish success) with asking eBay sellers in the UK to ship car parts to me in the US despite that warning. I attribute this to a combination of:
(1) sympathy for my heartfelt plea that I really do own a [whichever UK-market absurdity is involved this time] over here and therefore clearly I need all the help I can get,
(2) my up-front offer to pay a premium for shipping, including (hint-hint) my lack of concern should they choose to pad the bill and pocket the difference as compensation for their trouble,
(3) an enlightened self-interest on the part of the seller that there’s probably not that much of a domestic market these days for, say, an Allegro 3 speedometer anyway, so it’s best to take whatever offer comes along.
Of course, your mileage may vary. Mine’s certainly more consistent with the new speedometer, though.
That last line is great! Thank you Mike! For a second COTD today, we have Trust Doesn’t Rust, who gives Jason a perfect excuse for any errors on our pages:
As for his current errors: Dude’s heart exploded. Too soon.
As for his previous errors: Dude’s heart was getting ready to explode. Cut him some slack.
In case you didn’t notice, we missed a few COTD entries. Friday’s COTD didn’t publish as I chose a comment that was a bit too spicy. I wonder if you can guess what that comment was. I also just got back home from an adventure in Colorado that has left my entire body feeling oh so sore. But, I’m back and feeling better! Have a great evening, everyone.