Before buying your first body kit...
By Isaac DeCoursey @ EverythingCelica.com
Before buying your first body kit, know that most shops have these very similar rules...
- "BODY KITS ARE SOLD AS-IS" - The kit is NOT guaranteed to fit.
- "25% (or more) RESTOCKING FEE" - About $150 and up on a 4 piece body kit ($600)
- "YOU PAY ALL SHIPPING COSTS" - On a 4 piece kit, shipping is usually $110 to $190 **EACH DIRECTION**
- "YOU MODIFY IT, YOU OWN IT" - PERIOD.
So if you buy a full kit, Receive it, Then decide that you don't want it - You could be paying upwards of $300 in shipping, plus a nearly $150 Restocking fee. That comes close to (or more than) $450 against your pocket book and you would be stuck without anything to show for it.
The following is a copy the the fine print that can be found on most shop's bill of sale concerning body kits. It's is quite long, so just at least skim through it if you don't want to read everything...
Body Kit / Aero-Dynamics: Buyer fully understands that all body kits are sold "as is" with no warranty expressed or implied; due to the fact that most body kits are made of 100% fiberglass and most are imported from Asia (Japan / China / Taiwan / Korea). Buyer also understands that due to strict U.S. Federal and State Safety crash guidelines, [SHOP NAME] is not responsible or liable for any damages or possible injury incurred upon possible accidents due to driver error, incorrect installations, bad judgment (cracking or breaking your aero parts) or act of nature / God, Allah, Jehovah, Buddah, etc... All body kits (aero components) are only recommended and legal to be used for off-highway use such as track racing or for exhibition show only! Buyer understands that all body kits (aero components) may need modifications for correct fitment such as removal of safety reinforcements, removal of factory bumper lights/side marker indicators, shaving, molding, etc. Because several of these kits are prototyped and used on NON-USA vehicles that have much less safety standards/requirements in their respected country of origin. Buyer understands that all body kits (aero components) require some prep work before paint; we are not responsible for any extra incurred fees, material fees, storage fees for unexpected labor your body shop/paint shop charges the Buyer. We strongly RECOMMEND you only have highly skilled body shop/ technician install and paint any body kit (aero components) for factory or show quality look. Not all body shops charge the same prices, or have the same quality work performed. We find that you get what you pay for! If local in So. Calif. or delivering vehicle to So. Calif. we work with paint/body shops that we can recommend body/paint work to be performed. Buyer understands [SHOP NAME] is not responsible or liable for any vehicle delivery fees, transportation costs, towing fees, or incurred damages for bringing vehicle to So. Calif for installation, paint and/or body modifications. If any aero part(s) arrive damaged or cracked bad enough it cannot be repaired, you must contact [SHOP NAME] immediately in order for claim to be processed and approved. Please refer to Shipping / Handling section of this page for further details involving claims. (Please continue to scroll down)
Aftermarket Lightweight Racing Fiberglass & Carbon Fiber Hoods: Buyer fully understands that all fiberglass & carbon fiber hoods or hoods made of similar lightweight materials are sold "as is" with no warranty expressed or implied, due to the fact all hoods are made of 100% fiberglass or a combination of fiberglass / carbon fiber. Most of these hoods are made in various local fiberglass factories, and also several are imported from Asia (Japan / China / Taiwan / Korea) which carry and set forth NO WARRANTIES whatsoever. [SHOP NAME] is not responsible or liable for any damages or possible injury incurred upon possible accidents due to driver error, incorrect installations, bad judgment (cracking or breaking your hood) or act of nature / God, Allah, Jehovah, Buddah, etc... All aftermarket lightweight racing hoods are intended and recommended only for off-highway use such as track racing or exhibition show only! Buyer understands that all hoods are lightweight aftermarket hoods and that these hoods are have no OEM specifications whatsoever. Most hoods come with stock latch and pre-tapped holes for easy installation. We strongly RECOMMEND that all customers purchase hood pins for safety reasons on ALL aftermarket lightweight racing hoods. [SHOP NAME] supplies Sparco hood pins, or you may purchase hood pins at your local automotive retailer. We strongly recommend all customers only have a highly skilled professional body shop / technician install and paint any hoods (that require paint) for factory or show quality look. Not all body shops charge the same prices, or have the same quality work performed. We find that you get what you pay for! If any hood arrives damaged or cracked bad enough it cannot be repaired, you must contact [SHOP NAME] immediately in order for claim to be processed and approved. Please refer to Shipping / Handling section of this page for further details involving claims. (Please continue to scroll down)
Condition of Sale: All sales are final and all products sold by [SHOP NAME] (The Seller) are sold "as is" to the Buyer.
Returns: Authorization to return any and all products must be obtained by the Buyer from [SHOP NAME] in advance and must be made within (5) days of receiving the product. All returned products to [SHOP NAME] are subject to 25% restocking fee. Buyer must pay for all Shipping / Handling fees on any and all returns to [SHOP NAME]. All products which are approved for return are for store credit only. All products returned for credit must be in the original manufacturers carton in the same condition as it was originally delivered by [SHOP NAME] to the Buyer. Only the original Buyer may request for a return of products. All warranty cards and other such items must be included with the product being returned. Defective items may be exchanged for the same item only, and only after warranty has been cleared from original manufacturer will the Buyer receive product back. After receipt of goods, [SHOP NAME] shall inspect the goods to determine the exact quantity and condition of goods received. If [SHOP NAME] does not accept the goods as being defective and/or returnable for any reason, Buyer must accept incurred costs. Wheels and Tires which have been mounted or used are not returnable under any condition. Special Orders, Custom Made Orders, and all Electrical or Mechanical parts are not returnable. Fiberglass Fenders, Flares and Body Kits are also not returnable items under any circumstances.
It's a good read and full of interesting stuff.
Got any questions before you purchase? ask your shop first - they may have slightly different rules.
I've worked with a few different shops and have run into a prick here and there. But if you talk to the owners and give them an idea of what you are trying to accomplish, they (most of the time) will be fair to you.
Most shops know that they can make the sale the first time... but might not make it the second time if they don't work to make you happy enough to return. Talk with them and ask all your questions before purchasing.
The only other advice I can give besides doing your research TWICE, before spending your paycheck is to locate a local shop to purchase your body kit from - that way you are not being killed by the outrageous cost of shipping and if the parts are not exactly what you expected, you may be able to work a return solution that everyone will be happy with.