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Tax on Bike Gear from America

captain_oakleycaptain_oakley Posts: 266
edited November 2007 in Workshop
Just an enquiry for the sages out there.....

Bearing in mind out cheap the $ is to the £ at the moment, is it still cheaper to buy the gear in the US have it shipped over here and pay the Import Duty.

Is the duty fixed or does it vary according to the size of the package?

"I want your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle......."


  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    The duty is 4.7% on components and 15% on complete bikes. Then you add the 17.5% VAT on top (including cost of shipping), so it needs to be substantially cheaper for it to be worthwhile.
    I've done it once before, and saved a few quid.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Shop around. Some things in the US are crazily expensive, if something can be marketed as "euro", they seem to lap it up and pay fat margins, in excess of the cost of the EUR/USD exchange rate. For example, Sidi shoes are very expensive. But US made produce is good value. Want a Litespeed frame, or some Speedplay pedals? You can get a great deal but of course, if there's a problem, you might have to mail it back there.

    And the US peso has further to fall, maybe there will be bigger bargains in the future.
  • McHattieMcHattie Posts: 146
    This is an interesting question with the exchange rate moving further and further away from purchasing power parity. It may be worth some research. Any ideas on which US online retailers to look into?
  • McHatie & others,

    there is a retailer in Colorado that does shopping on line & have a really good website. I know someone who buys from them, so as far as you can be, they are reliable.
    Not sure if they ship outside of USA though & will insist on delivery addr being the same as credit card etc

    But there is value in exchange rates especially v the Euro

    website is:
  • McHattieMcHattie Posts: 146
    Thanks redmenace. I'll take a look.
  • rustychiselrustychisel Posts: 3,444
    Take a look at and

    both good, have stock and ship quickly (& what's even better they routinely understate the value on the customs declaration or mark packages 'gifts'). I can't possibly imagine why they do that.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    I\'m only escaping to here because the office is having a conniption
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,562 sells stuff as cheaply as anyone here in the states. I have never had a problem with them. Then again I've never had to ship to a foreign country. Or for that
    matter never bought from overseas. If anyone could, please email me the addresses
    of some of the on line stores over there in euro land.

    Dennis Noward
    Toledo, Ohio USA
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I got some replacement parts from US. I wont mention where just in case but the shipping docs put a value for customs purposes that was not quite the same as I actually paid....
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • andylavandylav Posts: 308
    The import duty rates are only applied if they amount to more than £7 so for most components, you will only have to pay Import VAT at 17.5% and a Royal Mail customs clearance fee of £8 for each package.

    Can still work out very attractive
  • In line with bahzob, I won't say who etc. fro the same reasons but I bought a part from a US ebay seller and they listed the package as a gift. I therefore didn't pay any tax.
    It was a bargain. £99.99 in this country, having looked through most of the shops aracer so helpfully recommended. I got part delivered from US for equivalent of £54.
    So there probably are quite a few bargains to be had.
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