International buy?

vchizzle

Zomb!e Nine, DFZ
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Apr 28, 2012
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Has anyone bought a guitar from a private seller internationally(overseas)? I’ve sold one, but never bought(except from Canada, that’s just a border cross). Anything I should know? Is it a bad time to do that with the virus still in play?

At any rate, found a guitar I want(currently in Asia), originally purchased in the USA. Price is great, but I can’t find the guitar here in the states. I’ve been watching for awhile.
 

Jazzedout

More Guitars than Time...
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Apr 27, 2012
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Greece
I live in Greece and have bought several guitars from the US in the past without issues.
For me USPS was the fastest of all....
Transit times can be a little strange now.
Several parts ordered from one of our usual vendors in Germany normally took 3 days to arrive, last order took 12 days...
I have a Cu24 for sale and I would have it open for international buyers if I wasn't thinking of the transport delays and potential damage in transit.I only have it open for european buyers at the moment.
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
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Apr 28, 2012
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As jazzed out said, international shipping times seem to be much slower than usual these days. And rates seem to be higher - almost everything I look at on Amazon UK is charging 13£+. Even a single CD.
 

geese_com

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Bought a guitar from France last month. No issues at all. Shipped to me via UPS. Took a week including being delayed two days due to the winter storm.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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Hans and I did a trade last year. No issues at all. We both shipped USPS. He got my guitar pretty quick. I had to wait 10 extra days to get the one he shipped me. It stalled in USPS/Customs. No issue with the actual guitar. Slow times due to Covid.
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
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I should have said spotty shipping times. I've had stuff come in a fairly normal time frame, but I've had stuff take much longer than usual. Like several weeks longer. But I've also had domestic shipments take longer than they should, too, but that can't be discussed here.
 

Wolfhound

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Dec 20, 2020
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Bought a guitar from Holland last year and had it shipped to San Diego. Took 5 days. Had to fill in and email back a few forms when it was at customs but had a FedEx rep as a point of contact to facilitate that. A few weeks later, I received an expected bill for around 9% of the guitar’s cost - import taxes. It was an Eastman and there were several questions about it originally being from China but this did not cause any delay.
 

]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

Zombie Zero, DFZ
Joined
Aug 1, 1985
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Hans and I did a trade last year. No issues at all. We both shipped USPS. He got my guitar pretty quick. I had to wait 10 extra days to get the one he shipped me. It stalled in USPS/Customs. No issue with the actual guitar. Slow times due to Covid.

Trying to remember, Jim. Did we do that when the first round of lock-downs hit?

My only concern with border crossings are related to CITES and secure payment.
 

vchizzle

Zomb!e Nine, DFZ
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Thanks for everyone’s experiences. Guitar is listed on reverb, so not too worried on payment issues. Was just wondering how shipping overseas had been going. Have had contact with seller. Seems responsive and on the up and up. Still may reach out to a couple dealers and tell them what I’m after. Maybe there’s some incoming guitars that are what I want.
 

PCypert

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Mar 12, 2021
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Bangkok
If you have the choice maybe avoid fedex. They’ve historically hit me with the largest duties of any of the major services. Might not have a choice since it might start at a local service and be handed off when gets stateside. But I’ve had great service with usps global priority.
 

Serious Poo

Shoegazing Member
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Apr 27, 2012
Messages
558
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San Diego
I deal in international stuff all the time, here are a few quick tips:
  • Be aware of import/export tariffs, those can bite you if you're not careful.
  • Stick to trusted payment systems (PayPal, Credit Cards). Avoid Debit Card purchases and Wire Transfers, no matter what.
  • Be aware of currency exchange rates, as they can sometimes fluctuate between when you order and when you're actually charged for the purchase.
  • Sale or trade of endangered woods, plants and animals falls under the CITES treaty, and packages can get confiscated if custom's officials even suspect that a package contains something that violates those rules. Brazilian rosewood is probably the most famous wood type that's impacted, but there are many more.
  • It's always good to inquire about packing. The heavier something is, the easier it is to get damaged if its not packed tightly. Also, I've received some shipments lately where the goods were packed using solid chunks of polystyrene foam; that stuff is straight up nasty. It sometimes pays to offer to pay a little extra for better packing materials.
  • Be aware that both US & international customs offices can sometimes delay shipments of pedals & rack electronics if there have been any recent bombings in the world. Yes, I've had a delay get delayed. Also, FWIW I've also had a compressor get compressed. Thanks UPS!
Other than that, I've had some really great overseas transactions. You can get some truly amazing things if you keep your eyes open.
 

vchizzle

Zomb!e Nine, DFZ
Joined
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Messages
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WI
How does one figure out if there will be tariffs or import fees?
I deal in international stuff all the time, here are a few quick tips:
  • Be aware of import/export tariffs, those can bite you if you're not careful.
  • Stick to trusted payment systems (PayPal, Credit Cards). Avoid Debit Card purchases and Wire Transfers, no matter what.
  • Be aware of currency exchange rates, as they can sometimes fluctuate between when you order and when you're actually charged for the purchase.
  • Sale or trade of endangered woods, plants and animals falls under the CITES treaty, and packages can get confiscated if custom's officials even suspect that a package contains something that violates those rules. Brazilian rosewood is probably the most famous wood type that's impacted, but there are many more.
  • It's always good to inquire about packing. The heavier something is, the easier it is to get damaged if its not packed tightly. Also, I've received some shipments lately where the goods were packed using solid chunks of polystyrene foam; that stuff is straight up nasty. It sometimes pays to offer to pay a little extra for better packing materials.
  • Be aware that both US & international customs offices can sometimes delay shipments of pedals & rack electronics if there have been any recent bombings in the world. Yes, I've had a delay get delayed. Also, FWIW I've also had a compressor get compressed. Thanks UPS!
Other than that, I've had some really great overseas transactions. You can get some truly amazing things if you keep your eyes open.
 

Wolfhound

New Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2020
Messages
69
How does one figure out if there will be tariffs or import fees?
I searched high and low to get accurate percentages (and failed) but mine ended up being a bill from FedEx for about 9% of the guitar’s value (shipped from Holland to California). Was still a decent deal as I did not pay local taxes in Holland and the exchange rate was also in my favour.
 

Serious Poo

Shoegazing Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
558
Location
San Diego
How does one figure out if there will be tariffs or import fees?

You can always ask the seller, they should know their country's rules. If they don't, then it might be a yellow flag for you. Also, resources like this are helpful.

https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/international/duties-and-taxes.html

https://support.shippingeasy.com/hc...ies-and-Taxes-International-Shipping-Overview

https://www.ups.com/us/en/shipping/zones-and-rates/us-customs-brokerage-fees.page
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
Joined
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Messages
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Suburban Chicago
How does one figure out if there will be tariffs or import fees?
I bought a guitar from Peach Guitars, in the UK a couple of years ago. It was about Core pricing, but another brand. Once it hit the US it was FedEx. I was shocked to get the guitar in 3 days. Nothing was said about duties, import, or broker fees. At the end of the month I noticed my FedEx account got billed $170.00 for broker fees. I figured I was ok with that since I didn't pay taxes, nor anything for shipping.
 

VirginiaAve

New Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
83
Location
Atlanta, GA
Thanks. I'm looking to buy something from a PRS Dealer in Germany. What's the best way to have him ship? Also, he only deals in wire transfers...that seems a little concerning to me.
Has anyone worked with guitars-shop.de before?
 

Serious Poo

Shoegazing Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
558
Location
San Diego
Thanks. I'm looking to buy something from a PRS Dealer in Germany. What's the best way to have him ship? Also, he only deals in wire transfers...that seems a little concerning to me.
Has anyone worked with guitars-shop.de before?
Debit Cards and Wire Transfers are a hard no for me. You bear all financial risk for those transactions. If the deal goes south, you are immediately out cash money of your bank accounts with little to no ability to get it back.

With Credit Cards and proven payment systems like PayPal, they bear the financial risk. If there's fraud, it's their money at risk, not mine.
 
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