Check it-Guest Parking is one of the latest additions to the Super Street package, where esteemed colleagues from the industry use our pages as their soapbox. This month we bring you Eddie Lee, the head honcho at Mackin Industries, a place where they know about wheels from RAYS Engineering. - Ed
Stay out of the Gray
Many of you who are into the JDM scene have purchased parts that are sourced through Japan in one form or another. You may have heard the term "gray market" but what does it mean? Specifically this term applies to when products are imported to the United States through a company or by an individual through non-traditional ways that are often times unauthorized.
Let's use Volk Racing wheels as an example: Mackin Industries is the exclusive authorized importer of RAYS wheels for the entire Western Hemisphere, which means that products like Volk wheels are ultimately supplied to the United States by Mackin. Wholesale distributors, tuning shops and online retailers are all supposed to order wheels through Mackin, who then, in turn, sell to the buying public.
However, for what ever reason, a company will contact an alternative source in Japan, order RAYS wheels and bring these products Stateside themselves without authorization. This is an example of gray-marketed product. The reasons for doing this are numerous, it can be an attempt at disturbing established prices, a refusal of the distributor to sell to a company, or even just a lack of motivation to buy from authorized sources. But we can say that since it is not authorized, the cons will out weigh the pros.
Here are some reasons why you should avoid gray-marketed products:* There will be absolutely no product service provided on our end. This can include but isn't limited to warranty and technical assistance.
* Since there is no certification that the product is the real deal, you may be wasting your hard-earned money and time on fake product.
* When it comes to performance parts, each company does its own test fitting and R&D for cars that are sold specifically in the United States. The cars sold in our market are often different in configuration.
* Gray-marketed parts are often sold or obtained through unethical means-do you want to be a part of that?
If you think that you may be buying gray-marketed product from a suspect company, please double check with the manufacturers who will refer you to authorized, trained dealers to make your buying experience more email@example.com