Postage question from a UK TB'er!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmancai, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. bassmancai


    Feb 6, 2005
    Hey guys,

    Well my irritating search for a Jaco signature model fretless continues, and it seems that I'm running out of options. So, a question to any US TB'er that this applies to.

    It seems I'm going to have to find some sort of American go-between, and say buy the Jaco model off Musicians Friend, get it sent to someone in the US and ask them to send it over to me. The problem is, I have no idea how much the shipping would cost to the UK from over there. And what's import tax going to set me back? Apparently import tax can be avoided by having the bass marked as a 'gift', or so I've been told.

    I'm simply trying to beat the ridiculous £1,300 list price of the Jaco here in Europe, as the bass is so much cheaper (about £600-700) in the US.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain

    You can expect to pay from $100 to $200 for the shipping depending on the carrier and the service (xpress,...)

    You won't avoid paying taxes even if the bass is marked as "gift". Maybe that can work with small packages with a not too high declared value, but you can be sure you'll pay taxes for a bass that you'll have to send with insurance.

    Depending on the European country the import duty changes, but expect to pay around a 20% of the declared value of the bass+shipping:

    For example: bass ($800)+shipping ($200) means that you'll pay around $200 taxes.

    Even paying this taxes you can get a good deal compared to the selling prices of some basses on this side of the Atlantic.

    keep groooovin'
  3. flak44


    Nov 4, 2004
    Kent, UK
    i brought a fender jazz from japan last year. The bass cost £450 and postage was about £50. When it arrived in the UK i had to pay VAT 17.5% and the duty tax at that time was 3% but it could of changed. Good luck in the search.
  4. I do not want to be a pedant but you will of course pay shipping and then import duty of I think 3.7% when that is added you then get charged 17.5% vat in that order.

    bass + shipping + import tax [3.7%] + VAT [17.5%]

    I imported a Ken Smith BSR4J into the UK this way and it worked out fine for me so I would say if you can get a good price on the bass from a respectable source then give it a go. However beware that you are buting unseen and unplayed so you might be disappointed.

    All the best with it



    ps I know that The Gallery had a jaco relic in their shop in Camden. If you can you might want to try it out there to see if you like it before you attempt to import one. They are good people and are selling my Ken Smith for me at the moment.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well as others have said, you won't be able to avoid tax/import duty - so you might as well buy directly from a reputable US shop that ships to the UK - like Bass Central or Bass Northwest - these guys are shipping overseas all the time
    and are also good at Customer Service after sales, if you have problems.

    But as people have mentioned - you are buying a factory-made bass unseen... I'd rather just save up a bit more and try basses in shops here..:meh:
  6. MAGUS®


    Dec 23, 2004
    I bought a Peavey from the US and avoided Customs duty and the VAT.
    But i was lucky.
    The sale was from a private individual who was prepared to say it was a guitar i left behind after a visit. He also put a hand wriiten note in the parcel.

    But this is risky at best. C+E are not stupid, they know pretty much all the scams, and i reckon mine just slipped through, as they only randomly check stuff, otherwise they'd be there for years trying to check everything.

    You cant expect a company to say such stuff as my seller said. They would be liable if caught. Depending on the cost of the bass in the first instance, by the time you've calculated the shipping cost onto the purchase price and added 3.7% then added 17.5% VAT on the top, it can work out the same, or even more than buying in the UK.

    Blame our thieving Govt
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    VAT is Europe-wide and many countries actually levy more than the UK - Denmark,Sweden etc. are very high in terms of Tax on luxury goods! :meh:
  8. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Here in Spain we pay 3.5% + 16% VAT.

    keep groooovin'
  9. bassmancai


    Feb 6, 2005
    Thank you so much for the replies guys!

    Yeah it was just a feeler really, cos I know nothing about the cost of tax and shipping from the US to here.

    Oh my god...! I pass this shop everyday on my way to work, I live in Kentish Town / Gospel Oak area! You've just made my day dude! I'm gonna be checking it out tomorrow!

    Unfortunately, I have the feeling I'd be facing a £3000 price tag or somethin' :(

    Thanks again people!
  10. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    dawsons will order you one. Phone the manchester store and ask for Jay. He's an awesome dude, and its well worth a call.
  11. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    Music Ground in London's Denmark St have two in at the moment.... :bassist:
  12. Little G

    Little G

    Feb 27, 2003
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There was a Jaco relic bass in Brighton's music shop - it was over £2k - but the normal sig , retails at about £1200, I think...??
  14. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Theres several different models. For now lets dispense with the fretted one, because that shouldnt be called a sig at all!

    Theres the Japanses Sig, thats a 'perfect' condition

    Theres the USA Sig, thats beaten up and made in Corona

    Theres the USA Custom Sig, thats beaten up and made in the Custom Shop.

    Am i right?!
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Jaco played fretted bass a lot - he always took one on tour and played some of the tunes he is most famous for, on fretted bass - like Come on Come Over and Birdland etc. etc.
  16. alansan


    Mar 12, 2004
    Dublin, Ireland
    I've imported from the US and can personally recommend Bass Central for their professional shipping service.
  17. bassmancai


    Feb 6, 2005
    Well guys I went down to 'The Gallery', a shop near me in Camden (London), and they had the Jaco relic model.

    I played it - and oh my god, what a bass! This thing is amazing! The sound, feel, playability, absolutely astounded me! I fell in love with it straight away, and with it being so close to home it's an ideal opportunity.

    I went down to Denmark Street last week, and played the standard Jaco fretless, and wasn't very impressed by it at all :| They were asking £1,100 for it, second hand, and it felt nowhere near as solid and just, lovely as this!

    Anyway, this relic today was priced £2,300. I offered £2,000 cash and they accepted! Okay yeah it might be slightly cheaper overseas but this relic model is by far better than the standard version, and it's right on my doorstep. Put down a deposit today and will have it when I next get paid (end of the month!).

    I have to admit, the whole beat up gimmick is a bit weird but the deciding factor was that this plays immensely well. I'm unlikely to buy another bass after this (he says now).

    Thanks for everyone's help in this thread, and finally I have my dream bass! :bassist:

    PS. Matthew Foote, I owe you one big style!!! :D :hyper: