Good's & Bad's of Ordering Parts & Accessories from the US
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Thread: Good's & Bad's of Ordering Parts & Accessories from the US

  1. #1
    Registered User Array
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Edmonton & Vancouver
    2007 ZX10R

    Good's & Bad's of Ordering Parts & Accessories from the US

    hey guys,

    due to our strong CAD currency versus the USD$, i am planning to order some parts from the US such as full exhaust, rear hugger, rear marker lights, new chain, & a set of tires.

    i have heard bad things about parts411 such as lack of any sort of customer service. my own emails have gone unanswered. however they seem to have the best prices.

    so for anyone who has ordered from parts411 or any US-based dealer/shop, please tell me about your experiences .. good & bad. besides price, i am also motivated by good service (for ex. in handling returns & backorders, inquiries etc.)

    thanx for all your help.


    ps. i don't need to know about getting items sent to CAD address vs. US address, point roberts etc. cuz my brother lives in Washington & i will have the goods sent to him for him to bring back .. he is back every 2 weeks.

    again thanx
    RIP Chia .. you will forever be in our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers

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  3. #2
    Get outta the fast lane!! Array westvan_dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    W. Van (obvious aint it?) LOL
    04' Suzuki SV1000S, 01' BMW K1200LT, 94' Suzuki Intruder 1400
    I don't have experience with motorcycle parts from U.S. but have ordered computer parts, printer toner, etc.

    Big caveat is to tell them to send it any other way but not UPS (the boys with brown in their pants). UPS will freaking rape your bottom big time.

    Last time I had a package come worth an insured $30usd and it cost me another $25-30 for brokerage, gst, UPS donut fund, etc. They really stick it to ya.

    I ordered a 12" hi-perf subwoofer driver a few years ago, came with UPS. Original cost was $135usd. With $20 shipping, UPS brokerage, gst, pst, blah blah blah it was over $300cdn. What a rip.

    Fugg UPS!

    ps. the other problem (I'm familiar with shipping rates due to our business), most parts places rape you on shipping/handling fees which they make easily 100% on or more. Make sure you calculate your "shipped to your door" total cost because one parts place may have cheaper prices and make up the diff on shipping charges.

  4. #3
    I ordered my full exhaust from Parts 411 and saved myself about 400CDN even after all the importing BS.

    The only way to do it to save cash is to ship to someone like TSB in Point Roberts and go pick it up yourself. You still pay tax on the purchase(as you would anyways) but you dont have to pay the brokerage fees which are what really kill you.

    There are definately some sweet deal out of the states, but you have to be smart in shipping it to yourself.

    But dont forget to SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHOPS.

  5. #4
    Eh Muh Gawd Becky!! Array Purplekawi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    my front room
    somethin somethin somethin
    i've ordered from Dennis Kirk in Montana and was very happy. i had it sent to a friends GF in Arlington Washington and then went down and picked it up. doing as they sudgest to Point Roberts is also a good idea. due to free trade there is no customs just tax. Dennis Kirk offers free shipping in continental US which is a big savings and their ship time was fast. price was good and service was professional and prompt. oh that free shipping is of orders over $100. go for it. they also have a good return policy.
    That that doesn't kill us forces us to live with a busted up bike!!

  6. #5
    glowing ghostie! Array gordopolis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    I have kids
    How about riding down south, installing items yourself (or by a US shop) and riding back? No need to mention your new exhaust to the border guards

    Otherwise I second the notion of shipping to Point Roberts. But remember that free trade only covers items made in the US. If you are bring back something bought from a US mail order company, but the part was manufactured outside the US, you are still required to pay customs. But that's only if they check where things are manufactured -- sometimes they don't.

  7. #6
    Jackie Chan's stuntdouble Array Motorcycle Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    CBR600 F4
    If you aren't in a hurry, you can have items shipped USPS airmail. The shipping costs are lower than by courier, and brokerage is only $5. Usually its reasonably quick, though I recently had to wait 5 weeks for a package.

  8. #7
    Registered User Array b166er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    i wouldn't order from parts411. i recently tried to buy some tires they had on sale. got a call the next day saying that they were out of stock and no longer honoring that sale price. mysteriously they weren't out of stock the next day.

    not a big deal i guess but they are liars and i won't deal with them from now on because of it. has been good to me, they ship usps and will match prices.

  9. #8
    Moderator Array CoolDaddyGroove's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    New West
    2014 Kawasaki ZX14R
    I have basically rebuilt my RC by buying stuff out of the US. Parts411 is just fine to deal with as is (who will actually ship to Canada unlike Parts411). Here's a couple tricks:

    Definately do some on-line research for the part you are looking for then CALL THEM, forget the online order.

    Second, get it shipped to Point Roberts. It will sit forever @ CDN customs if you ship it here. Example: Tail section for my RC took 3 weeks via US Post. Everything else I ordere went to the letter carrier in Point Roberts and the longest ship time was no more than 1 week.

    Just remember to take your receipt (online or otherwize) with you when you go pick up the parts. I've gone down 8 times in the past 3 weeks and never once was I charged duties (applicapble to goods manufactured outside the US). They figured I was honest enough to claim them so they only charged me PST & GST.

    Watch out if your purchase is through eBay, they can look up ALL YOUR PURCHASES just by getting using your eBay Login name, so if you mysteriousely forgot to bring your receipt and claim its only worth $20, be prepared for them to check.

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