Buying bikes from USA

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  • Buying bikes from USA
  • Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    warranty: may have to return to US unless Giant do worldwide thingyism

    tax: whole bikes attract more tax than parts (might be 15% – google it – and this is in addition to VAT at 20%). You might be lucky and not be charged but my guess is they’ll ship with a big carrier and that will cost 2 lots of tax plus carrier’s fee

    spec: make sure its what you’re expecting partswise, and don’t forget brakes will be US style

    will
    Member

    Hmmm thanks for that! Forgot about the VAT as well as tax!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    if you’re lucky they won’t pick it up at customs and you’ll get it tax free – especially if you can get the seller to stick ‘warranty replacement, $0’ on the customs declaration form.

    NB you’d both be committing offenses by doing this, but I have a *cough* friend who assures me this works every time 😉

    will
    Member

    Basically I’m thinking about buying a new giant anthem x3 29er from US. Mainly because they don’t do one in the uk, and the one they do is silly money!

    Found a dealer through Giant’s website, emailed them and they have said they’ll ship to uk etc…

    Main question has anybody done this? Are there any pitfalls?

    beicmynydd
    Member

    You think you get a good deal until the invoice for import duty and VAT comes from UPS and they will not release the item unless it’s paid.

    corroded
    Member

    As above, complete bikes attract a higher rate of tax than parts. I’ve just received a pair of forks from Jenson and they were a steal, even after tax. A bike wouldn’t have been such a good deal.

    Premier Icon gbichan
    Subscriber

    I bought my bike complete from the US. I had calculated a tax bill of over £600 but only got charged £160 in the end. It was going to be a bargain with the £600 bill so I was more than happy! I would have no worries about doing it again.

    Bream
    Member

    You’re lucky to find a Giant dealer willing to ship as they shouldn’t really, so don’t start spouting about who it is until your deal is done 😉

    Done it myself on a frame/fork set and worked out well, plan to pay the full VAT etc and if you get it cheaper then you’re quids in. Best bet is if the shop can write down the invoice value.

    For £600 tax it would almost be cheaper to fly out there and bring it back checked in 😆

    motorman
    Member

    Another option is to ship the bike in 2 boxes, shipped as “parts”
    This is what 9zero7 did with my new fatbike, rather than sending out as complete bike.
    $180 for international shipping & £295 for Import tax & VAT when it arrived.

    Dan1502
    Member

    Definitely worth buying parts instead of a complete bike. The duty is calculated to the price plus postage then the VAT is calculated based on that total. Duty on parts is 4.7% whereas on whole bikes it’s 14%.

    Also, I just imported the frame, headset and forks. I could get the other bits cheaper by shopping around and negotiating here or from Germany.

    And bear in mind that you can normally negotiate a discount off the RRP with the US dealer too.

    All in all I now have a bike I couldn’t have justified at UK prices but am also aware of potential warranty problems in that it might need to be sent back to the US.

    Hope this helps.

    uplink
    Member

    Nice little calculator here that’ll give you the baseline figures

    http://www.dutycalculator.com/

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    For £600 tax it would almost be cheaper to fly out there and bring it back checked in

    You might have issues there too unless you can prove you took a bike out with you. I’ve known people who have. You could take a tip bike out with you I guess and bin it there.

    Back in 2006 when the £/$ rate was near $2 a pound I got a Cervelo p3c frameset (poncy TT bike) shipped from the states for just under half the uk rrp. The retailer was slightly creative (not at my request I hasten to add – so no idea what would have happened if it had got squished) with the value on the paperwork. Arrived 48hrs after order too!

    Dan1502
    Member

    It depends whether you want to get into smuggling or not really. Personally I don’t. Also, if you buy out there you will pay State tax which varies from state to state but is typically around 9% or 10% I believe.

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    You won’t pay state tax if it’s shipped outside the state so don’t worry about that.

    Dan1502
    Member

    Yes but if you buy it there and bring it back with you you will pay state tax (I was respoding to the buy it out there and bring it back comment).

    anjs
    Member

    There were a lot of problems with the early 29’s and I think Giant pulled them in the end. Not sure I would want a bike that i would have to return to the US is something went wrong.

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