SITE UPDATE: Subscriptions are now available, for image uploads and no ads. Check the sticky thread in Recent Discussions for more info.

Purchasing from Japan - anybody done it ?

What's Hot
GomersGomers Frets: 6
This may well be a slight, to medium alcohol induced thread but wondering if any esteemed members here have purchased online from a Japanese source.  Notwithstanding the obvious logistical challenges of getting the package here into the UK in one piece, what fees will be waiting for me ?  Initial research suggests import charge and UK VAT ?  I assume this will be based on the declared value and shipping fees ?
2008 Martin 000-15
 2011 Yamaha LL6T
2004 Yamaha LL-500
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom

Comments

  • MellishMellish Frets: 433
    Never done it mate but there's videos on YouTube showing unboxing
     of stuff from Japan. The ones I saw were undamaged.

    Man, you do like a challenge, don't you? :) 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 4441
    edited June 23
    Assume fees that total around 25% of the bottom of the invoice (ie, including the shipping charge, because as you’ve surmised you pay tax on that too!) and you’ll likely be safe and have enough leftover for a few pints at a less reputable establishment. 

    Whether you pay it before or after you get the guitar depends on the courier in most cases. Most are before - but FedEx likes to send you a bill afterwards.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • GomersGomers Frets: 6
    Mellish said:
    Never done it mate but there's videos on YouTube showing unboxing
     of stuff from Japan. The ones I saw were undamaged.

    Man, you do like a challenge, don't you? :) 
     =) It'll most likely come to nothing but a little Malbec last night did get me thinking, "how hard can it be ?...."

    Think there are some good value propositions if you can get past the logistics, potential for a box full of firewood turning up and the additional fees  :3
     
    2008 Martin 000-15
     2011 Yamaha LL6T
    2004 Yamaha LL-500
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • NeilybobNeilybob Frets: 90
    I've bought several electric guitars and pedals from Japan using the Buyee app.

    https://buyee.jp?lang=en offer a service where they buy the guitar on your behalf (you pay Buyee first), ship it to their warehouse in Japan and then will inspect it and wrap it for you before shipping it internationally. It shows you all of the fees upfront which is handy expect for custom charges into to the UK. Custom will contact you once it arrives in the UK. 

    You do have to read the Google translate description very carefully and I like to look at the photos in detail on a laptop rather than a phone. 

    I find this is generally cheaper than buying a guitar from Japan on eBay. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 18090
    There's import and Vat.

    Import is on the item itself. Vat is charged on the item AND on the shipping cost. So 25-30% over the actual purchase price is a safe assumption.

    There will also be a handling charge from the UK courier because they do all the HMRC paperwork for you and arrange payment of the monies.

    DO NOT undervalue it. If you do then if it gets ruined in transit the insurance on it will only pay out to the declared value.

    It's also a criminal offence and if HMRC decide they can confiscate the item and destroy it. You don't get your money back then either, and you might get fined. If you ask the seller to undervalue then you are inciting them to commit an offence too. That's not a good look.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • bertiebertie Frets: 6108
    There's import and Vat.

    Import is on the item itself. Vat is charged on the item AND on the shipping cost. So 25-30% over the actual purchase price is a safe assumption.


    and for @Neilybob ;

    if you pay a third party as you did,   is their fee included in the sum for VAT ,

    so  Guitar + Shipping + TP fee   x 20%
    just because you don't, doesn't mean you can't
     just because you do, doesn't mean you should.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • NeilybobNeilybob Frets: 90
    bertie said:
    There's import and Vat.

    Import is on the item itself. Vat is charged on the item AND on the shipping cost. So 25-30% over the actual purchase price is a safe assumption.


    and for @Neilybob ;

    if you pay a third party as you did,   is their fee included in the sum for VAT ,

    so  Guitar + Shipping + TP fee   x 20%
    Yes 

    I've just reviewed my last guitar purchase from Japan. 

    I paid

    1. 1000 yen / £7.94 in Buyee fees
    2. 2290 yen (Delivery from seller to Buyee) + 15300 yen  (International shipping via EMS from Buyee to me) / £137.74 
    3. Cost of the guitar
    4. £150 UK customs fee 

    Hope that helps. 

    Ooh also look out for Buyee vouchers. I saved loads on my Burny SG Junior purchase. I believe there is always vouchers available for first time buyers. 

    Good luck. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • GomersGomers Frets: 6
    Thanks for the comments so far, really appreciated.  Sounding more and more like a right faff so will probably call it a day down this particular route.
    2008 Martin 000-15
     2011 Yamaha LL6T
    2004 Yamaha LL-500
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • BigPaulieBigPaulie Frets: 177
    Search the forum for the word "Ishibashi"

    You'll find several threads discussing this exact topic.

    Many forum members have successfully imported from Japan. Apparently it's very easy and quick.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 18090
    Ishibashi is a great Japanese seller.

    I've had a few bits from them (as have others here) and they've been excellent. Always very well packed. A well established professional outfit.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • Gomers said:
    Thanks for the comments so far, really appreciated.  Sounding more and more like a right faff so will probably call it a day down this particular route.
    Very sensible, buy local it's a lot safer, easier and probably cheaper in the long run.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • TanninTannin Frets: 1961
    Thanks for the heads-up re Ishibashi I spent an enjoyable hour this morning reading on their site, with several interesting guitars to look at, and numerous wonderful auto-translate howlers. Even Mrs Tannin (who gets pretty bored with my guitar fetish) loved them. Pretty good prices too, though by the time I paid freight (which seems to be curiously expensive from Japan to Oz even though it's not that far) and 10% GST, I'm not so far in front. In the UK, with 20% VAT and customs duty as well, hard to see how it would work out any better than buying locally. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 4441
    Tannin said:
    Thanks for the heads-up re Ishibashi I spent an enjoyable hour this morning reading on their site, with several interesting guitars to look at, and numerous wonderful auto-translate howlers. Even Mrs Tannin (who gets pretty bored with my guitar fetish) loved them. Pretty good prices too, though by the time I paid freight (which seems to be curiously expensive from Japan to Oz even though it's not that far) and 10% GST, I'm not so far in front. In the UK, with 20% VAT and customs duty as well, hard to see how it would work out any better than buying locally. 
    I think it's not so much about getting a bargain but getting rarer stuff that's harder to find here. The Japanese market always seems to get the nicest examples of everything too, and of course a lot of that will eventually trickle down to the secondhand marketplace.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • TanninTannin Frets: 1961
    ^ Good point. There was indeed some rare and interesting stuff there.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • swillerswiller Frets: 39
    edited June 24
    There is a seemingly reputable bloke in kent who imports japanese guitars. I have my eye on e bay on a jap squier strat 87, hence why i found him. He doesnt normally sell on e bay.
    He basically imports jap guitars, sets them up and sells them here in UK. A good selection in stock.
    Whitstable guitars.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • TanninTannin Frets: 1961
    https://topshelfinstruments.com.au does the same thing here in Hobart, @swiller I bought a bass there once, and will doubtless but something else one day.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
Sign In or Register to comment.