Working with ZervTek: Advanced Imports LLC

Avishka Chandeepa

Posted 18 June 2024


The Story of Advanced Imports LLC - A Case Study

Advanced Imports LLC is a Texas-based company built on a love for Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) vehicles and a desire to bypass inflated prices in the domestic market. Founded by a car enthusiast who had the most humble start, the company's journey reflects a growing trend in the import scene – catering to individuals seeking unique and often more affordable options that are unavailable through traditional channels.


Humble Beginnings and the Power of Partnerships

The founder's initial quest for a Subaru Sambar Kei Truck quickly shifted towards the iconic Nissan Skyline. Realizing the ease of acquisition from Japan compared to the inflated prices at home, they embarked on a journey of importing JDM vehicles. To help with this, they enlisted the exporting services of ZervTek, which proved invaluable. This initial collaboration focused on securing the most desirable and affordable options, primarily the Nissan Skyline R32 and Skyline R33, along with some other Japanese sedans.


The Intricacies of Importing: A Balancing Act

Importing vehicles requires navigating complex procedures. Partnering with a skilled customs broker, such as the highly-regarded Alex at Cosdel recommended by ZervTek, was crucial for Advanced Imports LLC. While Alex's services come at a premium, they are well worth it. The import process involves a mountain of paperwork, including the Bill of Lading (B/L), filing the Department of Transportation (DOT) form, HS7 code (Harmonized System classification), entry customs declaration, and Integrated Summary Manifest (ISF). Failure to file the latter can incur hefty penalties, with fines ranging from $5,000 to $30,000. Learn more about importing JDMs to the United States with ZervTek here.


Inspections: A Keen Eye and Knowing When to Walk Away

According to Anthony El Bacha, founder of Advanced Imports LLC, auction vehicle inspections are a critical component of the import process. However, not all inspections are created equal. A discerning eye and a good understanding of cars are paramount in drawing conclusions from translated Japanese auction sheet reports. These reports, often accompanied by videos of the car running, can reveal crucial details. For example, a recent inspection by Advanced Imports LLC identified a need for belt replacements based on squeaking sounds captured on video, potentially indicating further transmission or engine issues. Bidding on vehicles without inspections can be risky, especially for expensive models. This approach is only recommended for considerably cheaper cars.


From Individual Passion to a Growing Business

Advanced Imports LLC began as a one-person operation. However, customer demand for importing JDM vehicles fueled its expansion and eventual registration as an LLC. The company has now been in operation for 3-4 years, navigating the typical ups and downs of any small business. The current market presents a buyer's market compared to the peak import surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, the company perseveres. This shift also presents an opportunity for Advanced Imports LLC to secure desirable vehicles at more competitive prices.


Looking Forward: Refining the Process and Expanding Services

Reflecting on the future of the company, Anthony said that the company is actively working towards eliminating the need to purchase vehicles requiring significant mechanical work beyond body repairs. This streamlining effort aims to expedite the import process and reduce unforeseen delays. Additionally, Advanced Imports LLC recognizes the value of leveraging ZervTek's services beyond JDM exporting. By collaborating, Anthony suggested they can offer customers access to additional services like securing additional shipping containers for larger imports or facilitating the import of engines and parts for restoration projects.


Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Importers

Advanced Imports offers valuable advice for those considering starting a JDM import business. Patience and careful selection of vehicles are key. Aspiring importers should initially focus on vehicles with which they are familiar, avoiding unfamiliar models or those requiring extensive repairs. Time is the most valuable currency you have, Anthony says, so make sure you invest it as carefully as you would money.


Advanced Imports LLC: Your Gateway to the World of JDM Cars

For individuals seeking to navigate the exciting and complex world of JDM imports, Advanced Imports LLC offers a comprehensive solution. Whether you have a specific JDM model in mind or simply seek guidance through the import process, the company can assist with finding the right cars from Japan, connecting with reputable brokers, handling all necessary documentation, and facilitating registration in Texas or neighboring states (Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico). Ultimately, Advanced Imports LLC aims to become a one-stop shop for enthusiasts across the United States seeking to bring their JDM dreams to life.

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