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Shattered Glass and Tortured Metal

Even if you're new to Best People Movers world, you've probably heard that I do free mileage and accident checks for anyone in Australia who's interested.

They're not free for me though.

By paying 400 USD upfront for 100 checks, I've managed to bring the cost down from $15 AUD to just under $7 per car. I've also spent billions of hours, explaining to complete strangers and non-customers the results of the checks and how to read the auction report.


Well, our business strategy is to import the best and finest cars that we can find at the auctions to make it a wow experience for our customers and for us.

In contrast, a few importers in Sydney shop for the cheapest, often accident grade vehicles and then cover up problems to make a wow profit + to pay hefty "car yard on the road" bills. Some clock back mileages to enjoy even greater margins.

FB import groups are full of people who bought their imports cheap and then spent double to fix various problems. Here's just one recent example from the Elgrand FB group ⤵️

Elgrand FB group

It's a bit extreme, isn't it? Sadly, it’s not uncommon.

Back to my story.

A few years ago, when the yen became expensive, I was completely erased from the local Elgrand market. My Estima sales also dropped off.

Our premium quality, genuine mileage, mechanically A1 autos were way too expensive compared to everyone else's.

We were losing money badly.

Around late 2016 we couldn't afford to pay the rent anymore. First, we were forced to abandon our holding yard in Kirrawee.

Then unit 10.

And then unit 37.

Then, sadly, our boat had to go too. (Amazingly, it moved just two doors up the road, and I can always say hi to her)

My fancy office and 2 parking spots downstairs was my absolutely last frontier that I wasn't going to give up.


And this is why back in 2017 I ended up on social media. A year later I started my email list + YouTube channel (we are still very bad here, do not judge) and we bounced back thanks to the power of social and the amazing help from all my customers.

Free checks have been my not-so-secret weapon for the last 3 years.

I'm not doing them to name and shame dealers. I never ask for the name. My job is to increase awareness and help people avoid getting a lemon + help to get a deposit back if they found out about fake mileage or bad accident after committing to buy.

And sometimes this is how I get customers and enthusiastic supporters. After a few disappointing checks some people buy or import by custom order through us. Some would leave us a Google review. Some would like my Facebook page. Some would join my email list.


So, let’s have a look at a few real-life examples from the checks that I did last month.

1. Nissan Cube's check for Paul, ACT

Paul purchased his first Elgrand from us years ago, when Ksenia was missing her front teeth, the yen was laughingly cheap, and I was selling over 100 imports a year (115 was my personal best)

Last year Paul asked me to import a Nissan Cube. Honestly, I don’t get Cubes. Instead, I offered him free checks for the ones he'd find here in Sydney. I can't remember how many we did... Let's just say all of the cars were less than spectacular. But this last one beat ALL the records.

Nissan Cube

Offered for sale at one of Sydney's car yards as "a very good car", it was sold at the auction in Japan with a dash instead of the grade - it means a car is not even eligible to drive and SOLD FOR PARTS.

(N.B. We're looking for a pearl white Cube with a sunroof now :)

2. Toyota Estima's check for Nancy, Sydney

Nancy has been looking for a bigger car for her growing family for a few months.

She spotted this 2,4L Estima with the low mileage at a Sydney car yard and left a deposit. When we did a check, we found out that:

1) This vehicle was in the accident - R grade

2) It had multiple A3 and B3-B4 marks all around - which means intensive panel beating.

3) It changed hands 5 times in a row (re-sold) at the various Japanese auctions before it was finally sold for export... and this is never a good sign.

Toyota Estima

On top of that the dealer never mentioned that 2,4L new shape Estima (from 2006) is eligible for import only as a welcab. And this particular vehicle is not. Nearly every single yard is smuggling them in because there's a high demand for an economical 2,4L engine, however, as a consumer you have the right to know what you're buying.

With a little bit of guidance, Nancy got her deposit back.

3. Toyota Hiace check for Andrew, Sydney

Andrew has been looking for a HiAce to convert into a camper. This Toyota HiAce (offered for sale in Perth) got his attention because of its low mileage and slightly cheaper price (even with the delivery). The seller mentioned a minor accident but "couldn't find" auction report to prove the mileage and grade.

The auction report check showed that mileage is genuine, however, six panels have been replaced (marked XX on the auction report) all around and it definitely doesn't look like a minor accident.

Toyota Hiace

4. And we also did a check for Pamela in QLD.

She purchased her Estima back in 2013 with 25,000km and slightly worn-out steering wheel. The check showed that this vehicle was sold at the auction for export with 75,000km on the odometer back in 2013.

So, here we go, four weeks, four checks and four very interesting results.

If you find it useful, feel free to Join my email list to stay connected + be in the know which vehicles are coming and which ones are going, which models are hot, and which are not.

Here’s what else you’ll get in my weekly emails:

  • How to read auction reports and verify mileage with real life examples
  • Differences between the models
  • Why 7 seats may be preferrable than 8
  • Possible risks and how to avoid them
  • What to expect from the new import law and how it’s going to affect us.

Your JDM addict