Buy in USA

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Dave, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States, mail
    order. Now I know I will have to pay postage, Import tax and UK VAT, but I
    would also be let off the US purchase tax (just like duty-free shopping at
    Airports, right?)

    Has anyone done this, and if so:
    how easy was it?
    and how much did you save?

    Cheers

    MOB
     
    Tags:


  2. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Dave wrote:
    > I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States,

    mail
    > order. Now I know I will have to pay postage, Import tax and UK VAT,

    but I
    > would also be let off the US purchase tax (just like duty-free

    shopping at
    > Airports, right?)
    >
    > Has anyone done this, and if so:
    > how easy was it?
    > and how much did you save?
    >
    > Cheers
    >


    If you plan to do it mail order you will save the local sales tax but
    remember the US prices are quoted without sales tax (i.e. if you were
    buying in person you would pay about 8% more than the price ticket).
    For mail order add about $150-200 for shipping then add about 34% for
    duty & VAT plus any import agent handling fee. At the end of the day
    you have to weigh up whether the resultant saving is worth it and what
    you would do if the frame arrives damaged or wrong. Also check very
    carefully that you are getting what you think you are. I have seen a
    number of bikes of the same make and name which are completely
    different bikes in the two countries - different groupset, frame etc.

    I've bought a number of bikes back legally from the US and it can be
    worth it if you know exactly what you are buying and you get a deal on
    it. I would not think of buying mail order from the US for a bike -
    components yes, bike no. The problems of sorting out any
    problems/damage with a $200 price tag to return it just are not worth
    it IMO. YMMV

    Tony
     
  3. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Dave wrote:
    > I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States,

    mail
    > order. Now I know I will have to pay postage, Import tax and UK VAT,

    but I
    > would also be let off the US purchase tax (just like duty-free

    shopping at
    > Airports, right?)
    >
    > Has anyone done this, and if so:
    > how easy was it?
    > and how much did you save?
    >
    > Cheers
    >


    If you plan to do it mail order you will save the local sales tax but
    remember the US prices are quoted without sales tax (i.e. if you were
    buying in person you would pay about 8% more than the price ticket).
    For mail order add about $150-200 for shipping then add about 34% for
    duty & VAT plus any import agent handling fee. At the end of the day
    you have to weigh up whether the resultant saving is worth it and what
    you would do if the frame arrives damaged or wrong. Also check very
    carefully that you are getting what you think you are. I have seen a
    number of bikes of the same make and name which are completely
    different bikes in the two countries - different groupset, frame etc.

    I've bought a number of bikes back legally from the US and it can be
    worth it if you know exactly what you are buying and you get a deal on
    it. I would not think of buying mail order from the US for a bike -
    components yes, bike no. The problems of sorting out any
    problems/damage with a $200 price tag to return it just are not worth
    it IMO. YMMV

    Tony
     
  4. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    >
    > Dave wrote:
    >
    >>I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States,

    >
    > mail
    >
    >>order.


    >
    > I've bought a number of bikes back legally from the US and it can be
    > worth it if you know exactly what you are buying and you get a deal on
    > it. I would not think of buying mail order from the US for a bike -
    > components yes, bike no.


    Also note that you will probably pay a lot less duty on some parts than
    on a whole bike.

    I bought a tandem frame mail-order from the USA with no problems (and
    have bought another one since, but that was when living in Japan where
    the import duty is very low anyway).

    James
    --
    If I have seen further than others, it is
    by treading on the toes of giants.
    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/julesandjames/home/
     
  5. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Guest

    "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States, mail
    > order. Now I know I will have to pay postage, Import tax and UK VAT, but
    > I would also be let off the US purchase tax (just like duty-free shopping
    > at Airports, right?)
    >
    > Has anyone done this, and if so:
    > how easy was it?
    > and how much did you save?
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > MOB


    ....also have you checked they will send it to you? Quite a few will not ship
    internationally due to agreements with the bike manufacturer.

    --
    Tumbleweed

    email replies not necessary but to contact use;
    tumbleweednews at hotmail dot com
     
  6. Succorso

    Succorso Guest

    Dave wrote:
    > I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States, mail
    > order. Now I know I will have to pay postage, Import tax and UK VAT, but I
    > would also be let off the US purchase tax (just like duty-free shopping at
    > Airports, right?)
    >
    > Has anyone done this, and if so:
    > how easy was it?
    > and how much did you save?
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > MOB
    >
    >


    Best thing to do is find someone who is a member of the US forces,
    stationed over here. Get them to buy it, and have it shipped over. They
    can then sell it to you. No import duty, no freight costs.

    --
    Chris
     
  7. Call me Bob

    Call me Bob Guest

    On Thu, 28 Oct 2004 22:56:37 +0000, Succorso
    <[email protected]_LEAVE_US_ALONE_SPAMMER_SCUM_ivy-house.net> wrote:


    >> I'm in the UK and considering buying a mountain bike from the States, mail
    >> order. Now I know I will have to pay postage, Import tax and UK VAT, but I
    >> would also be let off the US purchase tax (just like duty-free shopping at
    >> Airports, right?)
    >>
    >> Has anyone done this, and if so:
    >> how easy was it?
    >> and how much did you save?


    >Best thing to do is find someone who is a member of the US forces,
    >stationed over here. Get them to buy it, and have it shipped over. They
    >can then sell it to you. No import duty, no freight costs.


    Or, just keep your eye open for super US flight deals and go buy it in
    person. Good flight bargains do come up quite often in one promotion
    or another, Little Chef were very recently doing (maybe still are?) a
    promo where you could get a return flight to several US cities for
    buying about 50 quids worth of meals.

    Make a bit of a holiday of it.

    Then you've just got to sneak it past the customs guys at the airport,
    but with a few basic precautions you'd probably make it just fine.
    --

    "Bob"

    'The revolution is just a T shirt away'

    Email address is spam trapped.
    To reply directly remove the beverage.
     
  8. Succorso

    Succorso Guest

    Call me Bob wrote:
    >
    > Or, just keep your eye open for super US flight deals and go buy it in
    > person. Good flight bargains do come up quite often in one promotion
    > or another, Little Chef were very recently doing (maybe still are?) a
    > promo where you could get a return flight to several US cities for
    > buying about 50 quids worth of meals.
    >
    > Make a bit of a holiday of it.
    >
    > Then you've just got to sneak it past the customs guys at the airport,
    > but with a few basic precautions you'd probably make it just fine.


    I think this has been mentioned here before - our friends in C & E are
    particularly attracted to Bike Boxes and Guitar Cases in the Green
    Channel. Get yer cheque book ready ;)

    --
    Chris
     
  9. Call me Bob

    Call me Bob Guest

    On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 01:09:45 +0000, Succorso
    <[email protected]_LEAVE_US_ALONE_SPAMMER_SCUM_ivy-house.net> wrote:

    >> Then you've just got to sneak it past the customs guys at the airport,
    >> but with a few basic precautions you'd probably make it just fine.

    >
    >I think this has been mentioned here before - our friends in C & E are
    >particularly attracted to Bike Boxes and Guitar Cases in the Green
    >Channel. Get yer cheque book ready ;)


    Note I did say "with a few basic precautions". Bringing it back
    gleaming in a bike box would seem rather reckless :)

    I'd suggest flying out with a used saddle, some worn tyres and brake
    blocks and tatty handlebar tape/grips. Swap them onto the new bike
    before travelling homeward. Get some quick milage in too whilst out in
    the US, to put some road grime on the bike and gunge on the
    drivetrain.

    Also obviously don't have the receipt for the bike with you while
    passing through customs, post that stuff home separately.

    Of course there are no guarantees of escaping their attention, but the
    odds are good. Way more people get though customs with naughties than
    get caught.
    --

    "Bob"

    'The revolution is just a T shirt away'

    Email address is spam trapped.
    To reply directly remove the beverage.
     
  10. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Call me Bob wrote:
    >
    > Note I did say "with a few basic precautions". Bringing it back
    > gleaming in a bike box would seem rather reckless :)
    >
    > I'd suggest flying out with a used saddle, some worn tyres and brake
    > blocks and tatty handlebar tape/grips. Swap them onto the new bike
    > before travelling homeward. Get some quick milage in too whilst out

    in
    > the US, to put some road grime on the bike and gunge on the
    > drivetrain.
    >
    > Also obviously don't have the receipt for the bike with you while
    > passing through customs, post that stuff home separately.
    >
    > Of course there are no guarantees of escaping their attention, but

    the
    > odds are good. Way more people get though customs with naughties than
    > get caught.


    Having bought quite a few bikes through the red channel I've chatted
    quite a lot to the C&E people who told me tales. The key point is that
    you are an amateur smuggler and they are professionals who do this
    stuff day in day out. They've seen all your tricks and more. Not
    having a receipt won't trouble them. Its your obligation to prove you
    purchased it in the UK, not theirs and they can either hold on to your
    bike or get you to pay a large sum to take it with you until you do.
    They can contact the manufacturers with the frame number to see where
    it was shipped to, your credit card company to see what charges are on
    there and they have the thickest and most comprehensive book I have
    ever seen of bike makes and prices. I took a Cannondale frame through
    Red Channel once and they told me the receipt price was clearly made
    up. Fortunately I had a print out of the Cannondale website with their
    half price frame offer in the US to convince them that half price was
    right.

    The more you resist admitting the truth the meaner they get when you
    eventually give in - I had the pleasure of waiting several hours while
    a friend was given the third degree in an interview room and eventually
    let go with a penal duty rate. The experience scared him sh**less.

    So its up to you but I've seen enough to always choose the Red Channel
    with something as bulky as a bike.

    Tony
     
  11. Ed_Zep

    Ed_Zep Guest

    > Best thing to do is find someone who is a member of the US forces,
    > stationed over here. Get them to buy it, and have it shipped over. They
    > can then sell it to you. No import duty, no freight costs.



    Sergeant Bilko? :)
     
  12. On 29 Oct 2004 01:16:53 -0700, "Tony Raven" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    [of Customs & Excise]

    >The more you resist admitting the truth the meaner they get when you
    >eventually give in - I had the pleasure of waiting several hours while
    >a friend was given the third degree in an interview room and eventually
    >let go with a penal duty rate. The experience scared him sh**less.


    Indeed. And they are the VAT men as well. The received wisdom as far
    as I understand it is that the Inland Revenue are almost human and can
    be put off or at least negotiated with, but with Customs and Excise it
    is always best to pay first and ask questions later.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  13. Call me Bob

    Call me Bob Guest

    On Sat, 30 Oct 2004 21:51:19 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>The more you resist admitting the truth the meaner they get when you
    >>eventually give in - I had the pleasure of waiting several hours while
    >>a friend was given the third degree in an interview room and eventually
    >>let go with a penal duty rate. The experience scared him sh**less.

    >
    >Indeed. And they are the VAT men as well. The received wisdom as far
    >as I understand it is that the Inland Revenue are almost human and can
    >be put off or at least negotiated with, but with Customs and Excise it
    >is always best to pay first and ask questions later.


    There is no need to crap yourself for trying to sneak through customs
    and avoid a bit of import duty. VAT and customs they may be, but
    columbian drug lords we are not.

    They aren't gonna rape you and sell your kids into slavery, the
    options if they catch you are pretty likely to be make you pay the
    duty or forfeit the bike. Not very dramatic. Or terrifying.
    --

    "Bob"

    'The revolution is just a T shirt away'

    Email address is spam trapped.
    To reply directly remove the beverage.
     
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