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Ebay US to UK?

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(@biker_jim_uk)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 536
Topic starter  

Has anyone bought a guitar from the US on Ebay and had it shipped to the UK?
If so what dutyVAT was added if any?


   
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(@chuckster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 938
 

I looked at this a while ago for a new guitar just as an exercise to see if it would be cheaper to import. VAT will be charged at the standard rate of 17.5% on importation and an import duty of between 3.2 and 3.7% will be levied. Add to that your shipping and it doesn't look quite such a bargain anymore. Not sure whether the rules apply to secondhand goods on ebay though. Probably.

This information was obtained from the HMRC website.

Don't you just love rip off Britain. :twisted:

8)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.


   
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(@biker_jim_uk)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 536
Topic starter  

Thanks, I have been caught before, but I know stuff sometimes 'slips through' unnoticed and wondered if people had good or bad experiences with Ebay and guitars.

I have seen some SGs that work out at £350ish with shipping but before import (so looking at £420ish) and it seems a decent deal compared to £600


   
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(@chuckster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 938
 

Sounds like a good deal indeed.

8)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.


   
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(@kaizer-szoza)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 103
 

I am from the US living in Hungary and had one sent via DHL. Some countries allow for gifts without any tariffs. The package just needs to be sent stating that it is a gift. not sure about the UK, but worth looking into. If so, just ask the seller to put gift on the international shipping invoice.

Another word of warning. Ask the seller to loosen the strings (if acoustic) because those inspectors love to look inside to check for contraband. Some idiot tried to take the bridge pind off mine with a pliers and left some pretty ugly marks.


   
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(@the-dali)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1409
 

I've shipped a ton of stuff to the UK through eBay. Mostly smaller stuff (pickups, a neck) but there seems to be a few points to consider...

#1, exchange rate... I imagine the second-hand stuff on eBay is WAY cheaper for the UK and European Union than it is for Americans. For example, a Seymour Duncan pickup (second hand) goes for $50 US.

#2, availability... don't know for sure, but it seems like the availability of guitar goods are plentiful in the USA, but not so much in Europe. That is the impression I get from the inquiries I receive from the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, and Spain.

#3, shipping... I've found that shipping isn't actually all that much more than domestic (USA) shipping. A small package to the UK is about $10, it would be $3 in the USA. The real issue is the eBay sellers who charge super high shipping fees to Europe because they figure that they can...

#4, tax... I don't know too much about the import tax other than I've been asked numerous times to say that the value of an item is 1/10th the actual value for tax purposes. I won't do it... I'm not putting myself at risk for an unknown eBayer.

With all that said, I'd be happy to help out a GN member in getting something shipped at a reasonable price. Let me know how I can help out.

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"


   
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(@biker_jim_uk)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 536
Topic starter  

Thanks guys, it seems to confirm what I thought.
Guitars seem to ship for $100 according to a few sellers which doesn't seem to bad to me, it's just the extra 20% I could get in import duties that worries me.


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Suppose the guitar arrives and turns out to have a warped neck due to shipping problems. Then what? Don't buy online unless there really is no way. Just safe up and buy one with a proper setup, some strings and whatnot. The price difference will be minimal and the risk much lower.


   
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(@chuckster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 938
 

Just done some further reading on this subject and came up with this article.

It explains the ins and outs of importing quite well and has a useful example.

On the bright side we do have the exchange rate in our favour at the moment. Hope it lasts as I'm off to the states for my holiday this year. 8)

Hope this is helpful.

8)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.


   
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