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Buying a bass from Japan...duties?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by funkasaurus, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I've been noticing some really sweet CIJ Fenders on eBay lately and I'm thinking about buying one, especially after reading TBers' high opinion of these instruments. Before I pull the trigger, I have a couple of questions for anyone who's bought one of these instruments.

    Did you have to pay customs duties when the bass was delivered?

    Who did you purchase your bass from (Ishibashi, Guitar Gai, Apollon, etc.), and how was your experience?

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Several years ago a friend bought me a Tele at an Ishibashi store in Tokyo, brought it through customs as his personal instrument and left it with me as a gift. So, no I didn't pay customs duties. You, however, will if you buy from Ishibashi. I don't remember clearly, but I believe it is about 10%. The Guitar Gai and his stock is located here in the US. When you pay his price, the duties are already in it along with his profit, which, after 30 years of self employment, I think is reasonable. The quality and workmanship of my Tele is superb, although I did replace the US pickups with Rio Grandes. I have a Japanese Strat that I bought used and it is also a fantastic guitar. The guy before me replaced the US pickups with Fralins. I have not found any problems with the pots or switches. Nor with the pickups, I just prefer a different tone. If I were going to buy a Fender bass, I would give very serious consideration to buying from Ishibashi directly, and maybe from the Guitar Gai. You can call or email Ishibashi for information on US sales. They have English speaking staff to help with International sales.
  3. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    So even with a 10% duty and shipping from Japan, the CIJ 75 Jazz will be about $500 less than the MIA 75. I'll have to send out an email to Ishibasi...

    Thanks for the info man.
  4. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    If they send it to you using EMS Express Mail Service, you wont pay any duty, brokerage or tax. Takes 3-5 days.

    I bought my Greco TB-1100 Thunderbird off Ebay a couple of years ago. It was sent via EMS. I paid $125.00 for the EMS service up front and that was all.

    A Thunderbird is a bigger bass than a Precision or Jazz. It might cost less than I paid.

    I wouldn't hesitate to have a CIJ Bass sent to me using this service again.

    Good luck.

  5. telekaster


    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    Just bringing up an old thread because I'm interested in ordering a bass from japan.

    Thornton, are you in Canada? if so, do you know if it's any different when using EMS to ship to the US?

    It's pretty tough finding definitive info on this matter. It seems some people end up paying customs duties and some do not, but I cannot figure out where the lines are drawn.

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