Flying to the USA to pick up a guitar

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skinfreakskinfreak Frets: 83
Am I just bat shit crazy for considering this, but I am comtemplating flying to the USA to pick up a guitar. Two reasons:
1. set neck and the shipping have me worried.
2. Terrible import duty - I know i am iffy ground with this.

My wife thinks I'm nuts and I should pay the duty. I dunno. There's still issue 1 to consider...plus I may have to pay the duty regardless. Dunno.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1566
    edited June 8
    Yup, you’re technically not off the hook for the duty when you arrive back with it. If Customs decided they wanted to inspect it they could ask you to prove it’s already been landed in the UK and otherwise levy duty + VAT + fines (or worse...)
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  • skinfreakskinfreak Frets: 83
    Whitecat said:
    You’re technically not off the hook for the duty when you arrive back with it. If Customs decided they wanted to inspect it they could ask you to prove it’s already been landed in the UK and otherwise levy duty + VAT + fines (or worse...)
    I realise that... Plus what's 48 of my time worth even if it is asleep crossing the Atlantic.
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  • monofinmonofin Frets: 1022
    Great idea. Make an adventure of it
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6770
    Legally there’s almost no way you’ll save money, unless you can get return flights cheaper than properly insured shipping.

    Pragmatically you’re almost definitely not going to be saving time or potential hassle.

    Even if the neck breaks, which it shouldn’t, insurance should cover it and it’s usually fixable.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1652
    Does the guitar contain rosewood? If so then you need to read the CITES threads
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  • stonevibestonevibe Frets: 2851
    Is the guitar somewhere interesting and therefore worth a short trip? if so, then go for it.
    How much does it weigh? & Does it play like butter?

    You can now read my insane guitar ramblings daily here http://www.gearnews.com
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  • Am I being stupid, but you being on the same plane as the guitar isn't going to save damage to the set neck, is it?
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  • skinfreakskinfreak Frets: 83
    edited June 8
    Am I being stupid, but you being on the same plane as the guitar isn't going to save damage to the set neck, is it?
    I'd try to get it as carry on - if that's even possible. A £350 return ticket may be worth it - I don't know. Then again if one of the legs needs a connecting flight then it's more risky.

    You're not being stupid...I clearly am ;-)!!!
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  • skinfreakskinfreak Frets: 83
    Roland said:
    Does the guitar contain rosewood? If so then you need to read the CITES threads
    Yes it does. But that should not be a problem, although would hold stuff upon import.
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  • skinfreak said:
    Am I being stupid, but you being on the same plane as the guitar isn't going to save damage to the set neck, is it?
    I'd try to get it as carry on - if that's even possible. A £350 return ticket may be worth it - I don't know. Then again if one of the legs needs a connecting flight then it's more risky.

    You're not being stupid...I clearly am ;-)!!!
    Ah, fair one, mate. Be interested to see if you manage that. Good luck with it fella, I know what it's like when you want something that badly a d will do anything to get it! Hope you do!
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1566
    Roland said:
    Does the guitar contain rosewood? If so then you need to read the CITES threads
    If he did fly over and bring it back that would actually be one problem averted. No papers needed when the instrument is with you. 
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  • dindudedindude Frets: 5169
    Are they out of stock in Guitar Guitar?
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  • skinfreakskinfreak Frets: 83
    I aint telling anyone what I am after until I sort my head out about it. Or where it is coming from. Or what colour it is. Or anything... :#
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8858
    If something old and genuine rare and containing rosewood then I'd certainly consider it, especially if it's located somewhere I'd like to visit. 

    But it would need to tick all of those boxes, and I would still expect to pay the taxes on the way home.
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  • jdgmjdgm Frets: 26
    Roland said:
    Does the guitar contain rosewood? If so then you need to read the CITES threads
    Yes. I started this one earlier.



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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 3896
    Whitecat said:
    Roland said:
    Does the guitar contain rosewood? If so then you need to read the CITES threads
    If he did fly over and bring it back that would actually be one problem averted. No papers needed when the instrument is with you. 
    correct - no CITES paperwork required for a guitar containing Indian Rosewood if you bring it back with you as your possession
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  • valevale Frets: 621
    edited June 8
    skinfreak said:

    Am I just bat shit crazy for considering this, but I am comtemplating flying to the USA to pick up a guitar.

    My wife thinks I'm nuts...
    yes & trust your wife's judgement.

    if you want to go because you just want to go, that's a different thing. but using the guitar pickup as a hook to hang that want on doesn't add up.

    that makes me sound harsh & that's not how i mean it. i mean 'go if you want to go but the maths is bad'.
    what she said.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 873
    Thing is if it isn’t the absolute dogs dangly bits when you get it your always gonna regret being so stupid, and your not going to know how good or bad it is and it was worth the hassle the until you get it in your hands, unless of course you’ve already played it. 

    Its about like like looking at Bo Derek in Playboy!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • webrthomsonwebrthomson Frets: 356
    Before doing it be aware that most airlines now require your to hold check guitars, unless you book a seat for them, so you will need an ATA approved case as well :)
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  • m_cm_c Frets: 337
    A couple key points to remember when trying such things.
    1) If you have to book the guitar on with you, makes sure you take one with you. Customs aren't stupid, so if you left the country without one, and return with one, it'll raise suspicions, and the onus is then on you to prove you bought the guitar within the EU.
    2) Don't bring any receipts/paperwork back on your person. If they do search you, and you have the receipt, you can hardly deny buying it abroad.

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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1566
    Better yet, how about don’t try to cheat the system?
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2163
    Sounds a ridiculous idea to me. 

    By the time you add on the flight cost, time, effort and possible heartache when your new guitar gets chucked in the hold.... :s

    Have it couriered and pony up the VAT etc.
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  • BloodEagleBloodEagle Frets: 3685
    Unless it’s something spectacular, impossible to find, and the guy will only allow collection  I’d just a) pony up the dough, or b) wait until one comes up in the eu 
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 400
    Sounds like a very special guitar. One you'd need to see and play before buying? That is a sound reason alone. 

    Very very rare for Customs to randomly ask questions about guitars. Chances are you will avoid the VAT and duty.

    Sure it's 48 hours of your time but if someone on here can suggest a better and more exciting way of spending time than flying to get a dream guitar, I'd sure as hell like to hear it.

    Go for it!
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 861
    Suppose you took out an empty case, or maybe one containing a cheapie, and then brought "it" back - would there be any duties...
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2163
    prowla said:
    Suppose you took out an empty case, or maybe one containing a cheapie, and then brought "it" back - would there be any duties...
    Oh no, not that old chestnut!  ;)
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  • martmart Frets: 2629
    prowla said:
    Suppose you took out an empty case, or maybe one containing a cheapie, and then brought "it" back - would there be any duties...
    In practice, how would the customs people checking the guitar you’re bringing (back) into the country know what, if anything, you took out of the country? Do they keep records of all the contents of all baggage going out the country? 
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  • MikeSMikeS Frets: 76
    edited June 9
    So am I understanding this correctly. You don't value yourself at all, you place no value on that 48 hours you're missing out on, and prefer the idea of spending the money you hope you'll save on Tax and Duty avoidance on a trip to the States to give yourself something to do?.

    Just pay the courier and T&D, but if you do go through with this, I hope you get caught.
    Cheers,

    Michael.
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 400
    MikeS said:
    So am I understanding this correctly. You don't value yourself at all, you place no value on that 48 hours you're missing out on, and prefer the idea of spending the money you hope you'll save on Tax and Duty avoidance on a trip to the States to give yourself something to do?.

    Back to reality please, and with the greatest of respect, get a life.
    No, you're not understanding it correctly.
    We live in the UK, not North Korea. If he wants to do this, that's his right.

    It's a goddamn guitar forum - can't believe anyone is thinking this is anything but brilliant. 

    Went to Chicago for a guitar once. Absolutely brilliant trip. Apologies to anyone who thinks I 'wasted' those few days...
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • BloodEagleBloodEagle Frets: 3685
    edited June 9
    Do it man, I wouldn't unless it were something impossible to get over here, but everyones different I guess - go for it. In the extremely unlikely scenario of getting caught it wouldnt be the end of the world, and would probably be pretty funny tbh. It would probably be worth it just for the adventure alone - life is short you're a long time dead, as someone once correctly asserted
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