Balancing Act

Update: How to buy and import JDM car parts from Japan

My apologies for the recent dry spell in terms of updates, been really busy with work and going on road trips on weekends. I think the last thing I want to do is tinker with the Prius after a week of work! The past three weeks have been especially busy with the lady’s father visiting us and the United State of America from the Philippines for the first time. He crashed with us during his stay, so naturally, we took him out daily as well as to various tourist traps of the west coast, i.e. SeaWorld San Diego, Hollywood, Las Vegas, etc. Also, I want to give a special shout out to ChuckL for helping me extend the Prius Parts Number list with info and parts that he has personally obtained. The list will be updated subsequently, still haven’t found time to do so! Enough about me, let’s dive into business.

When I wrote the guide on how to import your own JDM parts from Japan, I wrote it with the mindset of giving car enthusiasts an opportunity to explore the vast JDM market available on the internet and not bound to the monopoly of JDM importers, and of course, to save some cash on their expensive car modding hobby. Little did I expect that the article would generate the amount of interests that I’ve witnessed.

I’ve been receiving a lot of comments and questions regarding the guide I wrote on how to buy and import JDM car parts directly from Japan on your own terms, particularly on Yahoo! Auctions Japan and the Buyee online bidding and shipping service.

I gathered most of the questions that were asked and revised my original guide to include a comprehensive how-to on the process of winning auctions through Buyee and the process involved to ship the goods to you. The new content includes

  • package consolidation,
  • package shipment/tracking,
  • package delivery and
  • a comprehensive cost-savings analysis of importing your own JDM parts using the avenues highlighted in the article versus buying the parts through eBay or through a JDM importer.

To add new content to the original article, I purchased an aftermarket JDM chrome front lower lip garnish off of Yahoo! Auctions Japan for US$50 (vs. $180 for an authentic JDM Toyota version) and used Buyee to illustrate the entire buying process: from shipment consolidation to package delivery and part unboxing and installation.

Rather than re-posting the article, I’ll just point to the original article:

DIY: How to buy and import JDM car parts directly from Japan

When time permits, I will revise the article to include a comprehensive guide on how to use Tenso package forwarding service in conjunction with Rakuten Japan. Enjoy!

Toyota Prius ZVW30 G’s Head Lights

Been getting some emails regarding where to source G’s head lights from readers. They look just like the HID head lights on the late model JDM Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) in the “G” Leather Package, G and S model trims.




You can find a used set of PHV head lights on Yahoo! Auctions Japan from as low as $175 and up.  Some of these used lights are fixer-uppers, i.e. salvaged lights or with repaired broken tabs and most are sold without the necessary seals, ballasts and weather caps.

Prius G's head lights

Of course, if you have money to burn through and don’t want to bother with used products, a new set of G’s head lights will run you anywhere from $750 to $1,300+, depending on how complete the set is. I personally think $1,300 is overkill for a set of head lights. And that’s not including shipping. Maybe restoring a set of used JDM Prius PHV head lights will be a project in 2014? We’ll see.

Part numbers for ZVW30 G’s spec HID head lights are (not including ballasts and bulbs):

  • 81110-47571 – G’s spec HID head light, RH
  • 81150-47571 – G’s spec HID head light, LH

Part numbers for ZVW35 PHV Prius head lamps are (not including ballasts and bulbs):

  • 81185-47411 – ZVW35 PHV Prius head lamp, LH
  • 81145-47411 – ZVW35 PHV Prius head lamp, RH

You can generally find used and new JDM head lights on Yahoo! Auctions Japan, or simply following this link:

Just like any used parts, ensure that you have access to all the necessary parts or buy used parts that are as complete as possible (i.e. includes rear head lamp caps, seals, ballasts, etc.)

Any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

8 thoughts on “Update: How to buy and import JDM car parts from Japan

  1. Kevin

    What light bulb does the Prius G’s headlamps use? I just ordered them new from Japan from buyee and want to make sure I can purchase the light bulbs in the states, just in case.

  2. Alex

    Hi if these headlight from Japan, how about projector cut, its probably for RHD cars only so without modifying projector we cannot use them in US?

    1. 5teve-0 Post author

      Not 100% sure but the G’s headlight with HID option are okay for use in the states. I believe it’s the halogen projectors that are RHD oriented and can inadvertently blind oncoming traffic.

  3. Bull

    I was wondering if you could help me out with how and where to get the headlight covers. I’m missing the black and gray headlight covers. If you happen to know a reputable site and or part number it would help tremendously.

    Thank you.

  4. Michael

    I have a question. So there are two types of these lights?! I always thought there was only the G’s type which is HID. Now I can see a difference the G’s lights have a dark black finish in them where as the other HPV is not as dark? Thanks.

    1. 5teve-0 Post author

      From my understanding, they look the same on the exterior. However, the part numbers are different between the PHV HID head lights vs. the G’s head lights.

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