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Remember the importing a bass thread ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by yellowisfriedeg, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. Well I tried it , I found a friendly dealer in the states who was willing to ship a bass to Scotland , here is how it went.

    Sting signature series p bass , UK list price £799 case extra , cheapest I was quoted was £699 with a case.

    Bass price at dealer in USA $550 + $100 shipping and insurance = $650 , in real money £408

    When I collected the bass from Parcel Force I was hit for VAT and import duty plus a parcel force handling charge , total £101

    Total for bass plus case in my hot little hands £509 , I call that a bargain :)

    Also I must say that the bass is great , very well finished , I would say better than a USA standard , the USA signature series ones may be comparable , or better I don't know.

    If anyone in the UK wants the friendly dealers e-mail address , pm me and I will put you in touch
  2. Congrats on your new bass! And well done on getting your self a bargain!

    This has got me thinking.......
  3. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    i did the same with my jazzbass, at the end I paid 1100 euros and here it retaild at 900 ....

    VAT killed me ... :/
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I don't really like the Sting basses - they had one in my local shop and it's not my cup of tea.

    But this is a useful reference and an interesting example to apply - so it looks like you are going to get charged about one quarter on top of the price you are quoted by the US dealer.

    So - for £2,000 add on £500 for example.

    Thomann is advertising this bass at £643 maile order from Germany which would mean VAT already included :


    So you have saved over £130 on that price - so buying from the US is still the cheaper option - altough my view would be that you could get a similar bass for £500 used - second-hand.

    I think I would still buy in London shops for the reasons mentioned previously - I wouldn't buy anything without trying and I prefer going for basses in the range of £2,000 - £3,000 and paying by interest-free credit.

    So if I had to pay out all the money in one go - I could probably only afford £5-600 - but by using 0% credit I can get high-end basses in my hands, - but pay over time.

    But thanks for sharing that with us - very interesting! :)
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

    That's about 10 times what I paid for mine.

  6. I don't think the case is included in the Thomann price , the case I got with the bass is a genuine Fender hard case , that's about another £100 I saved :D

    I appreciate the point about not wanting to buy anything that you have not tried but as I said before this was as much an experiment to see how cheap I could import a mainline bass for , as it turns out I like the bass very much and I think I will keep it , if I had not liked it I am in the lucky position that I could put it on the wall in my mates shop and get my money back :D
  7. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Good job on getting yourself a bargain.

    Congrats on your new bass.
  8. Wasn't that thread about a year ago?

    Anyway, sounds like you got an absolutely great deal on that Sting bass, Yellowisfriedeg. Way to go.

    Still cheaprer to buy from the U.S. than from Europe? :confused: That is interesting.

    Glad you made out.

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - the £ Stirling is very strong against both the $ and the Euro - I don't think it is such a good deal for the rest of Europe - so, as "icks" mentioned how he ended up actually paying more for a Jazz bass!

    It is just because all consumer goods in Britain are more expensive than both mainland Europe and the US - so people often go over to Europe to buy new cars and save thousands of £s!!

    I wonder if the international "situation" will change all this? :meh:

    Of course the other thing is that you put yourself at the mercy of several Postal Administrations and Baggage Handlers or Dock Workers - I think that if a bass was damaged and you had to send it back to the US for replacement, then you would end up out of pocket on the whole deal.
  10. Just keep looking on the bright side and thinking positive thoughts Bruce :D , we get the message , you are right and everyone else is wrong :)
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No - I think there are lots of things to take into consideration - so I remember when I was thinking about buying an EUB, I was talking to Gard about buying from his shop in the US. So I seem to remember I could have got a US Steinberger for slightly less than the Czech one I bought eventually.

    But then, Anders mentioned on this board, how he had ordered one from the US to be sent to him in Sweden and it had been really damaged in transit - a big crack.

    So this got me thinking and when I went to the Bass Centre in Wapping and tried a couple of NS basses the balance was tipped for me towards getting one there and then and walking out with it under my arm! :)

    So I could have ordered one from the US and saved a few hundred $ on the price - but it could have been damaged and I would have had nothing to play for a few months and the problem of how to return it? :meh:

    Whereas, I could pay a small deposit to the Bass Centre and walk out with the bass in my hands having tried it for a few hours and deciding it was exactly what I wanted. So - I tried 2 or 3 and the one I bought was the nicest sounding and playing - there were significant differences between them so I was glad to have the chance to choose.

    Of course the 0% credit helped a lot as I said! ;)

    So - I don't think there's a right/wrong - each person has to make up their mind in their case, based on all the considerations.

    I think it's good to have these discussions as it brings out points that a lot of people may not have considered - and it's important to have all the facts to hand - so your point about the VAT and how much it actually adds to the overall price is very useful to anyone thinking of going this route.

    But I think it's important that people are aware of all the issues - so just because 1 or 2 people have imported successfully, doesn't mean that your bass won't be damaged in transit, like Anders' was - and you have to think about how you will deal with that possibility.
  12. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    0% interest???

    Hmmm! We don't have that option in the US.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've bought virtually every piece of gear I own, with interest-free credit - so put down a deposit, then pay over a year, up to about 3 years in easy monthly instalments - but have the gear in your hands to play with!! :)

    Same with sofas, furniture etc.
  14. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Surely they do add to the price, though, even if there's no interest?

    That's how it was with my Roland VS2480. The price was £2,350 - and I chose to pay over 6 months. There was no interest, but what they do is, they add 5% to the price.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - not overtly - so the last two basses I bought from the Bass Centre were priced up on display and there was a clear price, before I mentioned I wanted to use credit.

    I think that what you are saying is illegal and I would report it to a trading standards officer.

    Of course - the way most guitar/bass shops get round this is that they will negotaiate deals "for cash" - so if people are buying with cash, then they can get the price knocked down or negotiate add-ins - I've seen it happen. If you pay by credit card or by credit agreement, then you pay the price they say.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  17. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    All they're doing is, adding 5% to the amount you're borrowing. So, what I did was, I paid £500 up front (£50 deposit, plus £450 on the day). That means I'm borrowing £1,850 - so they simply added 5% of £1,850 onto that, and divided it by 6 months - and there's no monthly interest.

    Seems fair to me!
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  19. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Hmmm that's wierd. I can't remember the name of the people that handle the finance for Digital Village, but it seems unlikely that they would be trying anything :confused:
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I must say that if the Bass Centre had slapped on 5% when I bought my Tobias, for example at £1700, then I would have been pretty annoyed and would probably have not bought it!!

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