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Buying gear online and shipping it

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Gunnar Þór, Feb 28, 2002.


  1. I was looking at musiciansfriend.com and I really liked their prices. But they don't ship outside of the U.S. It's not a big problem, I have relatives there that could ship it to me, but I was wondering if there is an online store that ships to Europe and "The rest of the world"?
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The trouble is that you are liable for VAT (17.5% ?) and customs duty for something coming into Europe and it will almost certainly be opened and delayed, with a charge added on for having to open it! ;)

    You wil probably ened up paying more and waiting longer - oh and it is bound to be damaged - have you seen the way airport baggage handlers treat stuff! :(
     
  3. Yeah, that's what I'm worried about. It pretty much seems that I'll have to go to Europe or the U.S. and take it back with me. Another option is to have the local dealership order one for me but it's way more expencive. And then to order it over the net and have some relatives ship it to me. I already thought of the customs problem and shipping costs but isn't there any way to have the company handle it with care?
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - you're still liable to pay VAT and duty - if you don't declare this, on your return, then you are breaking the law and liable for prosecution!!:eek:

    I'm afraid there's no way round it really! :(
     
  5. Bruce is correct about the duty and VAT.
    The Inland Revenue convert the value of the instrument to GBP add the duty and then charge VAT on the whole amount. This will also include the shipping charge.

    However I have now done this four times and it has always worked out cheaper than buying the same instrument here. I have never experienced any delays or damage. The basses have all arrived to me unopened and in good nick. The couriers usually take care of the import and stand the costs of duty/VAT and either bill you later or expect you to cough up on delivery.

    The two main stores I have dealt with have been Bass Central and Bass Northwest. Both offer great service and deals, but for me Beaver (BC) get's the nod.

    All I would suggest is do your sums first and make sure you are getting the deal you want. All the other info, including exchange rates used for tax purposes, are available on the Inland Revenue web site.

    I imagine similar systems exist in other countries.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I suppose if you can make the sums add up, then go for it! I never have been able to though and I think nothing beats the feeling of trying loads of basses, finding exactly the one you want and taking it home with you there and then! :)

    I have often looked at Bass Central and NW amongst other US sites, with intererest.

    But to take a concrete example - my pre - Gibson Tobias Classic 5. Now there is a very similar example being offered for sale currently at Bass NW I think, at about $2,500 - then add on shipping and duty - VAT at 17.5%. I'm sure this is going to add up to more than what I paid for my bass - just under £1700 at the Bass Centre in London?
     
  7. That is unfortunately not an option. The only Ricks you can get in Iceland (I did mention that I'm looking for a Rick, didn't I?) are used ones. And there are only few in the country and no one sells a used Rick here. I had the rare opportunety to try one and fell in love with them.

    I have yet to do the math, but I think that whatever I pay for it, plus VAT and all that will still be cheaper than having one imported for me by the dealership so that I can buy it here. My concern is if the flight here will damage the bass. I don't want to pay a huge sum for a great bass and have it delivered to me in pieces.

    It's very reassuring to know that it worked out for you, I'm going to ask around and see how other it's worked out for other people here.

    Yes, that's true. But a trip to other countries just doesn't feel the same without trying to get something past customs. :D My friend got a crossbow and a load of Ripfuel past them whem he went to the U.S. last winter. There's just too long of a history of trying to smuggle something into the country to give it up now. :) Plus they're more concerned about drugs and the occational weapon than instruments.

    On a side note, I'm going to Spain this summer with my choir. Do you guys know how the selection of Ricks is there? Wouldn't you think that it would be more expencive to get one there and bring it home than to get it from the U.S.?
     
  8. I think that when it comes to preowned basses I think the differences are maybe not so great. Bruce's example bears that out. I did get very good deals on both my Fodera's brand new. Likewise with my £1300 TRB6 JP, brand new !! It's like Bruce says though for some people there's nothing like walking out of a shop with a new beauty tucked under your arm.

    As I said do your sums and see how it works for you. Incidentally I would avoid trying to get anything past customs you could end up with a criminal record, a fine and your bass confiscated.
     
  9. Damn. It wasn't that well thought plan anyway, I just found out that basses don't fit easily into condoms. :D :eek:
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I don't think you should risk a criminal record -you might also get some sort of restriction on your passport - limiting travel in future. :(

    As to Rickenbackers - my local shop in Brighton has them new for about £1300-£1400 - I expect you can get them for a bit less in London if you shop around.

    I was in Spain just before Christmas and did some shopping in Malaga, Seville and Granada - but I didn't see/find any musical instrument shops. :(
    There must be some in Madrid, but I would suspect they woudn't be much cheaper than London?
     
  11. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Hey GunniTH, Bass Central piping up here! (Hiya Nick! :D)

    We ship internationally quite often, and are pretty well versed in getting stuff done efficiently and as inexpensively as possible. There are several other stores that would be just as good at it. Honestly, as you're looking for a Rick, I can't offer any direct help, we're no longer a Rick dealer (hint: fill out and send in your warranty care IMMEDIATELY!!!). I will happily vouch for other good stores though: BNW, Bass Palace, and LABX are all responsible and trustworthy outfits.

    ...hey Bruce, is Seville still the most beautiful city in the world? :D I used to live there, and I really want to go back...
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes it's certainly one of the most amazing to visit - still oranges growing in December! While we were there there were film crews making TV commercials for two different French Car manufacturers - one at the Cathedral and one at the Plaza de Espana!

    It's great to sit in the shadow of the Cathderal and have tapas and freshly-squeezed orange juice! :D


    Are there any decent music shops there - we visited El Corte Ingles a lot and we were shopping for Christmas presents, so didn't have much time.
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    As a PS to Gard - have you got any idea what an NS EUB CR4M (for example) would cost if I bought it from your shop (or any others in the US) - how would the duty & VAT be dealt with?

    I think this would be another good example/illustration of whether it's cheaper to import from US to Europe, as I know the price here and I am probably going to buy one soon...
     
  14. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Wish I knew more Bruce, I lived there back in the mid 60's, when I was but a wee tyke! I just remember always thinking how pretty everything was there, and looking at the old home movies and photos. I haven't been back since then...but I fully intend to change that one day.

    It was grand though, mom would take me with her to the market, because I spoke both Spanish and English equally well, she could barely say hi. I went to a local school, so I learned it quickly. I wish I'd kept speaking it when we moved back here...I've totally lost it now. :(
     
  15. Hi, I am bringing 'back to life' an old thread that I think can still be very interesting.


    The original post was talking about having relatives in the USA. This means that an item bought through internet can be shipped and BILLED to a USA address. So why should we pay tax again if we want to send it to Europe? Haven't we already paied USA tax and vat? Couldn,t we send it via UPS like any other kind of stuff (a blanket made by grandma, for instance:D ).

    Luca