Flying to the USA to pick up a guitar

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  • VJIvesVJIves Frets: 194
    MikeS said:
    if you do go through with this, I hope you get caught.
    Does the S stand for 'snitch'? You must be a riot at parties
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  • martin8708martin8708 Frets: 26
    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?.

    Just pay the courier and T&D, but if you do go through with this, I hope you get caught.
    Wow , that's a bit harsh .
    So all those people who drive for hours to meet up in service stations / train stations to buy / sell their guitars are wasting their life ? 
    Avoiding tax and duty is not right , but who here on the forum is whiter than white ? 
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  • MikeSMikeS Frets: 81
    edited June 9
    Hehe, I'm a snitch and shit at parties because I pay my T&D, and think it's stupid to think up scams to bypass it on an open forum?. Turn that music down children, I'm trying to sleep!. By the way I am shit at party's. I think it's an age thing.
    Cheers,

    Michael.
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  • AlexOAlexO Frets: 134
    The USA is a pretty big place so depends where about's I guess. 

    We've travelled quite a bit round the USA and I would use any excuse to get back. But it's a exhausting trip even for a week never mind 48 hours.

    Are you planning on meeting the seller at the airport because once you factor, getting to and from the airport, money on food and drink it all adds up. Surely that can't work out cheaper than having it shipped even with customs.

    If you can make a trip of it, go for it. If not and you are just hanging round airports you're mad!






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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2169
    mart said:
    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? 
    They are not silly, do you think that nobody has tried this tax avoidance scam before?

    Being kept in a secure office for hours after a gruelling transatlantic flight while you try to prove that you took the guitar out with you would tarnish the whole jaunt and is not worth attempting in my opinion.



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  • martmart Frets: 2631
    Neil said:
    mart said:
    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? 
    They are not silly, do you think that nobody has tried this tax avoidance scam before?

    Being kept in a secure office for hours after a gruelling transatlantic flight while you try to prove that you took the guitar out with you would tarnish the whole jaunt and is not worth attempting in my opinion.
    I’m not suggesting doing it, I was literally just asking the question of how they would know - what is the mechanism by which they would establish what you did or did not take with you. Are you suggesting they would simply interrogate incomers, and that the onus would be on the traveller to demonstrate that they took the guitar out? That certainly seems plausible, but it suggests this is a situation where you are guilty until you can prove innocence. Is that right?
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 774
    skinfreak said:
    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.
    Yes. You're batshit crazy. If nothing else, for starting this thread...
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 584
    If you're gonna be going out your way yo avoid customs, wanna bring us back some druuuugs too? 
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  • DulcetJonesDulcetJones Frets: 382
    Can you get a direct flight to the city/area where the guitar is?  I ask because the US has a "hub system", where direct flights within USA are non existent for distances over 1,000 miles or so.  If your flight lands first in NY city and say the guitar is in Atlanta, you will likely be flying from NY to Columbus Ohio, then to Nashville Tennessee, then to Atlanta Georgia, and probably not all on the same plane.   Throwing gas on fires is my specialty.......

    Whoever called it "rush hour" should not be allowed to name anything else.

    Dulcet Jones Creepy Music Blog http://dulcetjones.blogspot.com/

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12800
    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...
    How would you prove you took it out? 
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 861
    Incidentally, I've sometimes thought I'd like to go off to the US and bring back a guitar, if I happened to find one.
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  • skinfreakskinfreak Frets: 83
    Can you get a direct flight to the city/area where the guitar is?  I ask because the US has a "hub system", where direct flights within USA are non existent for distances over 1,000 miles or so.  If your flight lands first in NY city and say the guitar is in Atlanta, you will likely be flying from NY to Columbus Ohio, then to Nashville Tennessee, then to Atlanta Georgia, and probably not all on the same plane.   Throwing gas on fires is my specialty.......
     
    Direct flight to major city but the extras in terms of hotel and transfers make it less likely that I would go through with it.

    I'd like to thank nearly everyone for their comments. Nearly everyone... The piss on my parade contingent can kiss my ass. As I said initially it wasn't just trying to avoid a bit of tax. That a Fringe benefit to being able to ensure the guitar gets to my in o e piece, and it isn't caught up with CITES for weeks.

    And the level of narcissism in someone deliberately trying to pick a fight and then revelling in their moral superiority is quite amazing. Good for you MikeS. I don't care if you are shit at parties.

    At the bare minimum, I'm looking to buy an expensive instrument for the USA and do no t know the best way of doing that economically and safely.

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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 439
    skinfreak said:
    Can you get a direct flight to the city/area where the guitar is?  I ask because the US has a "hub system", where direct flights within USA are non existent for distances over 1,000 miles or so.  If your flight lands first in NY city and say the guitar is in Atlanta, you will likely be flying from NY to Columbus Ohio, then to Nashville Tennessee, then to Atlanta Georgia, and probably not all on the same plane.   Throwing gas on fires is my specialty.......
     
    Direct flight to major city but the extras in terms of hotel and transfers make it less likely that I would go through with it.

    I'd like to thank nearly everyone for their comments. Nearly everyone... The piss on my parade contingent can kiss my ass. As I said initially it wasn't just trying to avoid a bit of tax. That a Fringe benefit to being able to ensure the guitar gets to my in o e piece, and it isn't caught up with CITES for weeks.

    And the level of narcissism in someone deliberately trying to pick a fight and then revelling in their moral superiority is quite amazing. Good for you MikeS. I don't care if you are shit at parties.

    At the bare minimum, I'm looking to buy an expensive instrument for the USA and do no t know the best way of doing that economically and safely.

    A big fat +1 to all of that. 
    "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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  • fandangofandango Frets: 961
    edited June 9
    Sporky said:
    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...
    How would you prove you took it out? 
    How would they prove the OP didn't? When was the last time you saw any customs officers either side of passport control?

    Edit: i should add that’s its very unlikely you’d see the same personnel on inbound/outbound flights. Duty roster would see to that. And they dont keep records of what people take through security.

    edit 2: security more concerned with confiscating your liquids
    TANSTAAFL
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  • MikeSMikeS Frets: 81
    skinfreak said:

    And the level of narcissism in someone deliberately trying to pick a fight and then revelling in their moral superiority is quite amazing. Good for you MikeS.
    Sorry, In future if I have a conflicting opinion, I know now to sugar coat it for you, so it feels like a comforting cuddle and a softly whispered "there there" from your daddy.
    Cheers,

    Michael.
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  • prlgmnrprlgmnr Frets: 247
    This is getting like that episode of Columbo with Johnny Cash.
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  • AlexHunterAlexHunter Frets: 246
    If you’ve got the time, money and inclination then why not. With the exchange rate as it is I can’t believe it’s fantastic deal that will offset the cost of the flight so you must have the money, you’ve got the inclination as you started the thread and have endured the subsequent conversation. Therefore if you’ve got the time,  just do it.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12800
    fandango said:
    Sporky said:
    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...
    How would you prove you took it out? 
    How would they prove the OP didn't? 
    That's not how customs & excise work. The legal burden of proof is on you, not them. 
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • MoominpapaMoominpapa Frets: 385
    OP, this seems like a tremendous amount of trouble to go through just for a guitar. Unless it has some great sentimental value for you, I'm not sure it's worth two trans-Atlantic flights and the dubious business of avoiding customs duties.
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  • fandangofandango Frets: 961
    Sporky said:
    fandango said:
    Sporky said:
    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...
    How would you prove you took it out? 
    How would they prove the OP didn't? 
    That's not how customs & excise work. The legal burden of proof is on you, not them. 
    Hmmmm ... but Customs have to initiate the enquiry (request proof). They will only initiate an enquiry if something prompts them. If one stays under their radar ......
    TANSTAAFL
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  • designerseye88designerseye88 Frets: 166
    Hattigol said:
    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!

    I like this guy
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  • BloodEagleBloodEagle Frets: 3720
    MikeS said:
    skinfreak said:

    And the level of narcissism in someone deliberately trying to pick a fight and then revelling in their moral superiority is quite amazing. Good for you MikeS.
    Sorry, In future if I have a conflicting opinion, I know now to sugar coat it for you, so it feels like a comforting cuddle and a softly whispered "there there" from your daddy.
    This guys just too real for me, he’s totally blowing my entire worldview to shreds 
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  • martin8708martin8708 Frets: 26
    I spent 6 months in the States about 15 years ago , I knew a girl in Dallas and I thought I'd make a go of it .
    I picked up a nice old Fender P bass and a Steinberger XL2 , which I brought back with me (unlike the girl )  Heathrow customs main concern was that the Steinberger was not a gun as it looked like a weapon in a gig bag . Once they were satisfied it was a guitar ,they waved me through no problem at all .  ( mind you that was 15 years ago ) 
    I have heard a story of a guitarist stopped at customs having to play a song to the officials to prove he was a musician , rather than a " guitar mule " 
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12800
    fandango said:
    Sporky said:
    fandango said:
    Sporky said:
    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...
    How would you prove you took it out? 
    How would they prove the OP didn't? 
    That's not how customs & excise work. The legal burden of proof is on you, not them. 
    Hmmmm ... but Customs have to initiate the enquiry (request proof). They will only initiate an enquiry if something prompts them. If one stays under their radar ......
    I was pointing out the flaw in prowla's plan.

    One might well get away with just bringing a guitar back (and there is the Cites advantage), but the take-a-guitar-case-out gambit doesn't seem to offer any advantage.
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 151
    If ya can find identical guitar here (not for sale) go have a photo taken of you holding it as if playing and post on your social media...

    take a shit, even broken, guitar with you that has similar looking case and flog it to anywhere for any amount.

    that way when you get stopped on way home you can go to your Facebook and see look there is me playing it last week before i flew out.
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  • musicman100musicman100 Frets: 926
    Technically your not avoiding tax your evading it, there's a difference.
    That's not on at all!!!!!
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  • Fishboy7Fishboy7 Frets: 78
    edited June 9
    I've brought guitars back from the states a few times. No issues with customs but had to put it through the palette wrap thing and check it in. So no more secure than shipping. 

    Saved a few quid but that was back when the exchange rate was more in our favour.  

    Actually the shop made me up a dummy receipt for like $200 in case i got stopped (on guitar centre paper   )


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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 6986
    MikeS said:
    skinfreak said:

    And the level of narcissism in someone deliberately trying to pick a fight and then revelling in their moral superiority is quite amazing. Good for you MikeS.
    Sorry, In future if I have a conflicting opinion, I know now to sugar coat it for you, so it feels like a comforting cuddle and a softly whispered "there there" from your daddy.
    How did your latest, sight unseen Gibson purchase pan out by the way?
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • dazzajldazzajl Frets: 141
    Wow.... quite a thread. 

    I’m definitely on the go for it side here. It’ll cost you more for sure and if the customs folk want to stop you and you can’t prove it’s had it’s tax and duty paid they will charge you. But if you have the money for this caper and you think the guitar will be around more than a month or two, what an adventure and great way to start out the relationship. 
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  • merlinmerlin Frets: 1158
    The Blue Meanies don't like Music, so they may be rather nasty to you if they catch you. I bet it's a great guitar though and it'll be an adventure and a really positive experience, IF you get away with tricking the bastards. 
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