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Traveling to Italy, should I shop?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by smokinbass, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. I'll be traveling to Italy this spring (Florence & Rome) and was thinking about keeping my eye open for that long lost great bass. Am I completely naive? Would shipping a bass to the US be the stupidist thing ever?
  2. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    Well, Doing this is going to cost you alot more $ than you expect. Thats the least of your challenges. The euro is stronger that the Us $. So any thing u buy there is going to be expensive at this point. I hope your Italian is good enough to negotiate prices and to make sure you not getting ripped off like all the other "tourists". Be aware that Italy has been pretty much picked through and the chances of finding your "Long lost bass' are slim. If you know specific dealers in Italy, that would help alot. Be prepared to pay a ton of $ for shipping.
    Other than that its easy.
    Buona Fortuna!
  3. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you're near Ferrara it's certainly worth getting in touch with Sergio Scaramelli. He's well respected, and his website is in english and Italian.
  4. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I priced air freight for a large DB in a plywood case from France to Australia recently. EU800 including insurance.

    That was if I built the case and took it to the airport depot myself.

    The plywood case I was to build measured 2m x 1m x 50cm approx. The price is caclulated by volume, not weight. Dimensions they use are maximum dimensions, ie a triangular case doesn't cost much less than a plain rectangular box.

    Shipping by sea is more complicated and more likely to end up with damage, i was told. Possibly a bit cheaper.

    for a EU2k bass, I chose not to ship! However if your budget is bigger and the bass you buy is worth say EU10-15k, then the price of air shipping might be worth it.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Depending on the Value and age of your Bass costs and logistics can vary. I brought my Martini over from Italy last year and it was not cheap. The Seller crated it up and did all the documents. He had to change the date over there to get it out of Italy or Customs might stop the shipment. They don't want their old Basses leaving! I also hired a broker and again had to change the date back with 'faxed over' documents to avoid Customs duty. If it is 'antique' it passes for free. I paid the broker for all documents, customs clearing and truck shipment to me as well. This was about $500. This Broker also works with Kolstein and knows the import game for old Basses.

    If I would have to guess all costs I would estimate $2,000.-$4,000. If it is a $100k Testore the insurance alone might be well over $1,000. for the trip door to door. Your current insurance probably does not cover loss out of the USA. Insurance for the Martini was about $500 by itself.

    Bringing a Bass here is the easy thing. Finding a deal is the trick! If it looks like a real good deal, walk away. They know more about what they have than you do. Also, the Euro is 120/$. With currency exchange commissions make that 125/$. So it will cost you at least 25% extra in U$D to buy there plus all expences to get it home. Then, there is the set-up and repairs. Expect the Bass to develop some problems within the first 2 years or specifically after its first winter in USA.. POP, goes the seams and anything else that wont give.

    It can be fun to find a nice old Bass but the world knows what they have. Bargains are very rare these days.