USA Bikes

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
LondonBikeCommuter
Posts: 238
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 4:10pm
Location: Swindon

USA Bikes

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 2 Feb 2015, 6:40pm

Anyone bought a bike in the US and then brought it back to the UK?

If so wanna comment on the VAT/Import duty thing?

TonyR
Posts: 5390
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 12:51pm

Re: USA Bikes

Postby TonyR » 2 Feb 2015, 7:06pm

Yes, many times. Best to declare it and pay what's due. Otherwise they can charge you penal rates or confiscate the bike. A bike is not exactly a small thing to smuggle through and they are experts at spotting smuggling. If they have suspicions remember they can require you to prove that you bought it in the UK and hold onto the bike until you do. They can also check credit cards to see if you've bought a bike on it. As for getting an undervalued receipt, when I declared bikes they often got out a big book of bike prices and checked it was about right.

If you are going to buy over there things to watch out for are same name bike does not necessarily mean the same bike. It can be a completely different bike or have different equipment levels so check you are getting like for like. The sales price is without tax so expect to pay more than the sticker price unless you are lucky enough to be in a state with no sales tax. Consider the costs of shipping it back. BA and Virgin carry bikes for free but many other airlines charge, some through the nose. Finally consider what you'll do if a warranty repair is necessary. You generally need to take it back to where you bought it which means essentially you are buying without warranty.

Gone into eyes wide open you can get some good deals but not and it can become an expensive mess.

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hondated
Posts: 2421
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 7:59am
Location: Eastbourne

Re: USA Bikes

Postby hondated » 3 Feb 2015, 6:52pm

TonyR wrote:Yes, many times. Best to declare it and pay what's due. Otherwise they can charge you penal rates or confiscate the bike. A bike is not exactly a small thing to smuggle through and they are experts at spotting smuggling. If they have suspicions remember they can require you to prove that you bought it in the UK and hold onto the bike until you do. They can also check credit cards to see if you've bought a bike on it. As for getting an undervalued receipt, when I declared bikes they often got out a big book of bike prices and checked it was about right.

If you are going to buy over there things to watch out for are same name bike does not necessarily mean the same bike. It can be a completely different bike or have different equipment levels so check you are getting like for like. The sales price is without tax so expect to pay more than the sticker price unless you are lucky enough to be in a state with no sales tax. Consider the costs of shipping it back. BA and Virgin carry bikes for free but many other airlines charge, some through the nose. Finally consider what you'll do if a warranty repair is necessary. You generally need to take it back to where you bought it which means essentially you are buying without warranty.

Gone into eyes wide open you can get some good deals but not and it can become an expensive mess.

Tony I brought a saddle from the USA naively and ended up having to pay the extra charges, but could LBC buy it and get them to post it to him as a gift which I understand prevents you being charged the extra costs.

TonyR
Posts: 5390
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 12:51pm

Re: USA Bikes

Postby TonyR » 3 Feb 2015, 11:52pm

hondated wrote:Tony I brought a saddle from the USA naively and ended up having to pay the extra charges, but could LBC buy it and get them to post it to him as a gift which I understand prevents you being charged the extra costs.


Maybe but its a bit of a lottery. First the LBC has to want to falsely claim its a gift when it isn't. Some will, many won't - why should they risk their business for a saddle sale to someone who will probably never buy from them again?

Then there is the lottery of Customs. Parcels sometimes just come through in the post and others get picked on by Customs and charges applied. Its not exactly the oldest trick in the book but pretty near so its naive to think they're not clued up.