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Shipping Guitar from US to UK

Briagha 25 Aug 07 - 04:22 AM
John MacKenzie 25 Aug 07 - 04:39 AM
Bru 25 Aug 07 - 09:25 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Aug 07 - 10:10 AM
DebC 25 Aug 07 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 25 Aug 07 - 11:14 AM
Bru 25 Aug 07 - 05:10 PM
Backwoodsman 26 Aug 07 - 03:38 AM
Briagha 26 Aug 07 - 04:15 AM
Wolfhound person 26 Aug 07 - 04:25 AM
Briagha 26 Aug 07 - 09:10 AM
DebC 26 Aug 07 - 12:51 PM
Backwoodsman 26 Aug 07 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 26 Aug 07 - 01:56 PM
Bru 26 Aug 07 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Aug 07 - 03:20 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 07 - 03:53 PM
Backwoodsman 26 Aug 07 - 03:59 PM
Bru 26 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM
Georgiansilver 26 Aug 07 - 05:25 PM
Georgiansilver 26 Aug 07 - 05:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 07 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Bert on Kelly's machine. 26 Aug 07 - 10:03 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Aug 07 - 03:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 07 - 06:21 PM
Backwoodsman 28 Aug 07 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,punfolkrocker 29 Aug 07 - 01:54 AM
Briagha 30 Aug 07 - 11:46 AM
Cluin 30 Aug 07 - 12:35 PM
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Subject: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Briagha
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 04:22 AM

I've had the good fortune to inherit a nice Taylor guitar. Only problem is that the guitar is in Florida and I'm now living in Scotland.

The guitar is in the usual Taylor case, and the whole thing weighs about 16 pounds. My cousin has been given minimum quotes of $300 to $400 for shipping via UPS & similar carriers. Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing? What's best and/or most cost effective method?

Cheers... and thanks.
Briagha


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 04:39 AM

I would go with the UPS option. They will pack it, and it will not be handled several times, and/or thrown on the ground by baggage handlers/destroyers. It will also avoid the dreaded carousel
Basically they will pack it in an 'igloo' which will be loaded in one piece onto the plane, and it will not be unpacked again till it reaches their UK distribution depot.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Bru
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 09:25 AM

Three months ago I bought a Martin 12 stringer and had it sent from Rochester, New York. It was sent by USPS and cost me $120 (about 65 quid) for the postage - this included insurance for the stated value and a track-back facility.

You can imagine I was a bit nervous, but I had absolutely no cause to be. I was given (by email) a shipping number, which alowed me to track where it was. I knew when it left the post office in Rochester, when it arrived at the local airport, when it left the USA, and when and where it arrived in The UK. The time frame was - it was delivered by the seller to his local post office in Rochester on Thursday afternoon, and arrived in the UK on Saturday morning.
It then sat in the Parcel Force Customs in Coventry for 4 days while HM Customs worked out what they could screw me for.
A liberal donation to HM Customs' Christmas party (disguised as VAT, Import Duty, handling charges) left me extremely pissed off, but my guitar arrived at the local Parcel Force Depot in perfect condition.

It was my second experience of USPS & Parcel Force International, and I've no complaints whatsoever.

It's worth adding, though, that my guitar was shipped in a hard shell case and packed by somebody who was used to doing it.

If you get the chance - I'd find a hard shell case for the Taylor if it doesn't already come with one.

Hope this helps

Bru


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 10:10 AM

I sent a banjo from Bradford [ Yorkshire ] to New York by FED EX. they collected it on thursday and delivered safe and sound in New York on saturday.

eric


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: DebC
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 10:18 AM

Beware of customs fees!!!! Just something you might want to enquire about.

Debra
www.DebraCowan.com


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 11:14 AM

Might be cheaper to come and get it and buy it a seat all to it self.
Come to the Getaway, have a Florida Muddy bring it up. You fly in with a junker and leave it here go home with the Taylor.

Or maybe not.

Don


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Bru
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 05:10 PM

I did exactly that a few years ago, Don.

I took an old Hofner Verithin over to New York in a pretty tatty case (talk about shoe-horn fit). I'd bought the Hofner on behalf of a friend we were staying with.

I bought a Gibson Victory new from a music shop in Utica, where we were staying. I don't think I paid state tax on it either. Played it a few times guesting with my friends band, stuck plenty of stickers on the new Gibson case so - hopefully -it looked a bit used, and breezed through Heathrow likle a born smuggler. Nobody on the customs desk gave me a second look.

Even if I'd been nabbed for VAT, it would still have come in a less than two thirds of the UK price for the same guitar.

Bru


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 03:38 AM

Bru, if you'd been 'nabbed' not only would it have cost you the duty, VAT etc., but they would almost certainly have confiscated the guitar as contraband. I worked in the shipping industry for 17 years, and I've seen the Customs guys in action many, many times. They don't fuck about.

DO NOT SMUGGLE, IT'S A DANGEROUS GAME. (Yes, Im shouting!) :-) :-)

And I reckon a cost of 65 quid to get a several-thousand-pounds-worth of guitar from the US to the UK in perfect nick is so small a price as to make any idea of flying over there and paying for two seats back, then SMUGGLING IT IN, absolutely ridiculous! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Briagha
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 04:15 AM

Hmmm... I keep humming smuggling songs now...

Anyway, thanks for the good advice. I'm going to look into the USPS option before making a decision. Definitely won't try anything illegal, as I suspect it could cost me my visa and I do like living here!

Briagha


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 04:25 AM

My other half has a D41 that some idiot brought into the UK claimimg it was used. Unfortunately he still had the receipt in his pocket and was forced to sell the guitar to pay the fine.

His loss, our gain.....don't do it. As others have said, doing it properly is expensive, but worth it.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Briagha
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 09:10 AM

Come to think of it, I'm not sure what the rules are in this case. The guitar is used... it's also a gift, as my uncle passed away and his daughter wants me to have it. Anyone know what the customs rules are in that case?

Briagha


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: DebC
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 12:51 PM

I am no expert on this, but it seems to me that the problem with shipping vs bringing something in on your person (or checked luggage)is that you will most definitely have to pay a customs fee with shipping based on the value of the item. If you are the owner of the guitar and are personally bringing it back from the US, I don't really see a problem with that, especially since money didn't change hands in your acquisition of the instrument.

The shipping company will want a value placed on the item (especially a guitar)and that will definitely translate into customs fees. I learned this ten years ago when I had a bunch of CDs shipped to me when I was living in Edinburgh and because the shipper placed a value on the CDs, I got caught with a 66 quid customs fee. If I had known better I would have had the shipper mark the CDs as promotional samples with no value thus avoiding the customs fees. I am not sure you could get away with that on a guitar.

But I would definitely check on the rules and find out what your options are. You might Google UK Immigration and see if the answer is there somewhere.

Deb Cowan
www.DebraCowan.com


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 01:35 PM

Customs don't care if you've paid for the goods or not. Their charges are simply based on the value of the goods, and you have to declare the value that they will calculate duty and VAT on.

Any goods imported from outside the EC are deemed to have a value for Customs purposes, whether bought, gifted or stolen :-) and they will want their pound of flesh - oops, sorry, I meant duty and VAT.

Currently I believe that it's 4% duty and 17.5% VAT (on the value declared plus the duty plus any shipping costs).


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 01:56 PM

I never said it was a good idea. Just an idea.

Is there great sentimental value to the Taylor? If so then no price is too much. I'd kill to have old instruments.

If it is just a good guitar to you here is another thought. Maybe better to sell the box and use the money to buy something special made at home. Support the locals and all that.

Don


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Bru
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 03:08 PM

There was also a customs handling charge, which added about 14 quid on my Martin guitar.

In all - I paid just about £190 to get my Martin 12 stringer here.
The actual guitar cost 820 dollars (about £420)and the shipping cost was another 120 dollars (about £65)- worth every penny as it turned out.

The firm I bought it from insured the guitar for slightly more than the purchase price - 900 dollars (about £455)- and that's what the customs based their VAT and Duty charges. The total customs charges came to £131, which included import duty, VAT and a handling charge. The VAT part was £91, which I've worked out is more like 20% of £460. I've given up trying to contact HM Customs about the extra amount; it's not worth the telephone calls.

At less than £600 it was still a cheap guitar, but it's very easy to see how you can get caught out.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 03:20 PM

If the Customs charge for any item brought in to the UK - be it gift of bought, why is there a place to tick "for gift" on custom slips?


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 03:53 PM

I think you'll find there's a limit on what they'll permit duty-free as a gift. I suspect a £2k guitar is slightly above the limit.
I think that's so, I could be wrong but I'm reasonably sure I'm not.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 03:59 PM

That was me BTW.
My main point still stands - smuggling isn't clever. If an individual is successful it's simply down to luck - HMRC guys are NOT stupid, even if they look as though they might be. The penalties for smuggling a nice, expensive guitar make it a very foolhardy venture indeed.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Bru
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM

I take your point about smuggling, Backwoodsman. The Gibson was a long time ago, and the opportunity and inclination will probably never reappear.

Regarding my Martin though, I think £131 various duties on top of a used £420 guitar is excessive. The seller also included and attached an invoice containing the original purchase price.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 05:25 PM

Suggest having a word with Blaine Horlocker of the Smokey Mountain Dulcimer company   http://www.smokeymountaindulcimer.com who sent me a strumstick quite cheaply last year.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 05:26 PM

PS the Smokey Mountain dulcimer co is in Florida.....


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 05:26 PM

Don't know any sailors on transatlantic boats do you?


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: GUEST,Bert on Kelly's machine.
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 10:03 PM

Speaking from personal experience the problem with UPS is that they won't honor any insurance or warranty. They'll just blame it on the shipper and say the the shipper is an agent an not UPS. And you won't get a penny if your guitar is damaged.

I would get a large box and take the guitar in it's case, pack it around with clothing or bubble wrap and ship it unaccompanied baggage or use a different shipper.

If you are not confident in throwing it downstairs then you haven't packed it well enough.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 03:57 AM

£551 for a Martin sounds like a fantastic bargain to me, even for the low-end jobbies. The same guitar bought from a UK dealer would definitely have cost more, I can guarantee that.

But I'm not here to argue about whether to import or not, or comparative values, or whether VAT is a regressive tax, or why did we join the EC, or what's the meaning of life, or any other bollocks like that - just to stress that, if you choose to import, do it properly. 'Smuggling' contains the word MUG, and that's what the smuggler is. And I've seen a lot of sailors (please note, McG) taken to the cleaners by the Rummage Gang. Under the Customs Man's beady-eyed gaze is not a good place to be. Trust me.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 06:21 PM

I wasn't thinking the sailor as a way of dodging the taxman, but rather as a way of avoiding the baggage handlers.


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 07:32 AM

Aaaahhh!! Sorry McG, I got the wrong end of the stick again. Mea Culpa! :-)


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: GUEST,punfolkrocker
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 01:54 AM

i've purchased several guitars from ebay sellers in the US..

never payed more than about $70 total for shipping..
because i'm prepared to take the risk on waiting up to a month
for sea cargo..
and most deliveries have been securely wrapped to a high standard
and double boxed.

i've never really been too concerned about whether
the shipping total contains sufficient
insurance coverage
[i just presumethe small print is too vague and confusing];

but thats because, so far i've mostly only bought solidbody electrics
at good bargain prices
far lower than their theoretical 'collectors' values..

so to my benefit, import tax / vat has never been more than about
30 or 40 quid on top..

more importantly, up to now every guitar has arrived safely
with no shipping damage..

though sooner or later, chances are a delivery will go wrong
and i'll probably just have to accept tough luck
regarding insurance [or lack of it...!!??]
of course it would be sad to lose a nice guitar..
but i would'nt be out of pocket too much..
and even that would be well outbalanced
by all the £££$$$ i've saved over the last few years
buying fron the US


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Briagha
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:46 AM

Wow... lots of food for thought here--thanks! The guitar does have some sentimental value, as I helped my uncle to choose it. He was 87 years old and taking guitar lessons... in between creating lovely paintings and courting his 92-year-old lady friend. I want to be him when I grow up, if I ever do.

Think I'll just decide that it's worth it to pay whatever fees I need to... and with that armadillo-like Taylor case, I'm sure that damage would be unlikely. Thanks, everyone!

Briagha


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Subject: RE: Shipping Guitar from US to UK
From: Cluin
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 12:35 PM

Goes without saying, I suppose, but have all the strings slackened off before you have it shipped. The less tension on the neck, the better. Just in case...


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