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Buying from abroad ?


Has anyone ever brought a bike from abroad and had it shipped here. Found one from R & A Cycles in the US which looks like just what im after. Whats the score with import Taxes / Vat ?

Thanks for any replies


  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    You've not sourced it through Ali Baba have you?

    Last time I looked import duty of 30% and then VAT
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    Import duty can vary depending on the item I think, however you need to think in terms of best/worst case scenarios.

    I've ordered a few things from the states...

    Best case - it passes through customs without question, no charges.

    Worst case - You get "caught" which will mean a delay in your shipment, having to pay Duty & VAT AND you'll probably need to pay additonal money to the Royal Mail for them to collect the money for the Duty and Tax.
  • tomo13tomo13 Posts: 24
    R & A cycles seem to be a pretty big store. Has anyone heard of anyone else buying from them. I Have emailed them , apparently i am exempt from us sales tax, not sure if that comes off the price on screen or i have claim it back.
  • apparently i am exempt from us sales tax
    yes you are cos your no living in the US or paying income tax ( I think thats how it works)

    BUT you still need to pay Duty & VAT - that Im sure would easily wipe out your saving.

    If you happen to be in the states then fly out with an empty bike box, buy bike, put it in bike box and fly home. avoiding tax


    Worth a punt though
  • wyno70wyno70 Posts: 189
    I just bought some reynolds strike wheels from the US. By the time I'd got them, paid all taxes and VAT, they were still the best part of £200 cheaper than the cheapest price I could find them for in the UK.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    R&A cycles is in face a tiny shop in New York (if we are talking about the same shop here).... It does sell some incredible carbon bling but its no bigger than a few medium sized rooms stuck together. I also recall it being very dark and dank

    I was expecting some massive fancy shop... massive let down. In fact its a bit of a dive, well it was when I was in there. Its also partly in the bronx.... and we walked a good part of it.. wasn't the best idea. Not many white folks in that part of the town...at least thats how it seemed!!!

    Also didn't help getting on the wrong train on the way back and going further into the bronx.... not good.

    Have no experience in importing goods.....they used to advertise all the time in mags but seem to have died away a bit.

    Just thought I'd share that with you.... lol
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    As long as you factor in that you MIGHT get caught and have to pay up to 40% in duty,tax, and extra post office charges, you can still get great bargains from the states. And as I said above quite often your package doesn't get stopped.

    Having said that, the bigger the box, the more likely is it to be checked I reckon.

    A few years back when the pound was doing better against the dollar I ordered loads of stuff, I remember getting 3 pairs of Saucony trainers at the equivalent of £25 a pair...happy days!
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