Author Topic: Buying a Bicycle from Europe  (Read 6138 times)

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Offline dkoloko

Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« on: March 30, 2012, 08:02:24 pm »
Anyone bought a bicycle from Europe? Problems? Customs cost?

Not inquiring about buying a bike in Europe, but from Europe, order from USA, shipped from Europe to USA.

Offline DaveB

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 11:39:17 am »
There are several UK internet dealers who ship to the US.  Wiggle, ProBikeKit, and Chainreaction are three I have either personal experience with or direct knowledge of.   They are very reliable and their prices on many items, Campy components and tires in particular, are far better than any local supplier.  They quote in $US if you choose that option and shipping is free if you buy enough.     I'd contact them to ask about buying a bike directly through them. 

Offline dkoloko

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 04:21:49 pm »
Still have questions of problems importing, including customs. None of the UK dealers suggested lists touring bicycles.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 04:51:56 pm »

Offline DaveB

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2012, 09:54:30 am »
Still have questions of problems importing, including customs. None of the UK dealers suggested lists touring bicycles.
I don't know if the type of touring bike we are familiar with here in the US is at all common in Europe.  Notice that all of the brands usually mentioned on this forum are from US base companies or are US specific models from Surly, Trek, Cannondale, Co-Motion, etc..   

Offline dkoloko

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2012, 12:01:36 pm »
There are number of bicycles originating in Europe that match the type of touring models mentioned by DaveB, Thorn, etc.

In response to inquiry to Koala Bike Store, UK, http://www.koalastoreonline.com/, which advertises Cannondale, Jamis, Novara, etc, I received the following reply,

"We do not accept paypal due to the inability of PayPal to confirm that an address is verified in their payment system.

Western Union is what other customers in your country have been paying and their items has been delivered without any problem."

Another reported receiving the following reply to his inquiry,

"we are unable to process all credit cards due to the problem we are currently facing with our credit card processor, our credit card processor developed issues because of large volume of order we are having at the moment due to the ongoing promo we are currently running to all our new and existing customers."

Again, it was requested funds be sent by Western Union.

I do not know if firm is legitimate or not, but the requests payment be sent by Western Union suggests caution.

 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 05:02:42 pm by dkoloko »

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2012, 02:47:37 pm »
I do not know if firm is legitimate or not, but the requests payment be sent by Western Union suggests caution.
I'll go much further than this.

BOGUS! SCAM!

http://positivethinker.blogspot.com/2012/02/scams-plenty-on-internetlets-be-careful.html summarizes nicely.

Fred

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 04:29:56 pm »
There are number of bicycles originating in Europe that match the type of touring models mentioned by DaveB, Thorn, etc.

In response to inquiry to Koala Bike Store, UK, http://www.koalastoreonline.com/, which advertises Cannondale, Jamis, Novara, etc at discount prices, I received the following reply,

"We do not accept paypal due to the inability of PayPal to confirm that an address is verified in their payment system.

Western Union is what other customers in your country have been paying and their items has been delivered without any problem."

Another reported receiving the following reply to his inquiry,

"we are unable to process all credit cards due to the problem we are currently facing with our credit card processor, our credit card processor developed issues because of large volume of order we are having at the moment due to the ongoing promo we are currently running to all our new and existing customers."

Again, it was requested funds be sent by Western Union.

I do not know if firm is legitimate or not, but the requests payment be sent by Western Union suggests caution.

Danger Will Robinson...
ACA Life Member 368

Offline Ailish

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 08:16:05 pm »
Still have questions of problems importing, including customs. None of the UK dealers suggested lists touring bicycles.
I don't know if the type of touring bike we are familiar with here in the US is at all common in Europe.  Notice that all of the brands usually mentioned on this forum are from US base companies or are US specific models from Surly, Trek, Cannondale, Co-Motion, etc..

One example of an English touring bike would be the Dawes Super Galaxy.  In the US, Dawes long ago sold the Dawes name to a company that produces bargain bikes that have no relation to the bikes sold by Dawes in England.  The English Dawes web site lists ten different models of touring bike.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 04:07:46 am »
If you are planning on buying British do your research as which model and I'll try and sus them out over here for you.

Don't suppose you want a Tifosi, I recently did the Southern T and Atlantic Coast on.  All set up for touring and presently in Florida.  Don't plan to bring it home.  But you would need to be over 6'0" pics on my web site www.tonystravels.com
Good luck
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 07:59:00 am »
Another few red flags about "Koala:" they are registered in the Bronx (yep, USA, not UK), with a United States phone number, and a crappy "live.com" email address. If they are going to try to pull of a scam, they could at least go to the extra effort of setting up their domain email.

From a whois:
Administrative Contact:
   KOALA BIKE STORE
   Angel Centeno (koalabikes@live.com)
   +1.6464185413
   Fax: +1.6464185411
   2877 Dill Place
   Bronx, NY 10465
   US

Technical Contact:
   KOALA BIKE STORE
   Angel Centeno (koalabikes@live.com)
   +1.6464185413
   Fax: +1.6464185411
   2877 Dill Place
   Bronx, NY 10465
   US
waynemyer.com
warmshowers.org  (user:waynemyer)

Offline tonupgilly

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 07:45:06 pm »
I live in UK and know of most of the online bike stores here.  Never heard of Koala - so it hasn't come up on a bike shop search from within the uk - beware.  Can highly recommend SJS cycles (St John St Cycles) who make Thorn bikes.  Their service is brilliant and if you buy a bike from them they give you 100 days free trial after which if you are not satisfied you can return it for a full refund.  They deal with quite a lot of USA customers and will tell you exactly what measurements to take to get the correct sized bike for you.  They do several types of bike.  I bought a Thorn Nomad and I am really pleased with it.  You can have the option of S&S couplers too which allow you to fold the frame for ease of transport.  They are worth a look and possibly a phone call - very helpful.

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/bikes-dept395_pg1/

Offline kukula

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 08:27:20 pm »
I bought a Thorn Nomad from SJS in England and had it shipped to the USA. I forget all the charges exactly but it was like $400 shipping and then 11% import duty which was another $400 or so. Not cheap! But it's a really nice bike, and those cost a lot!

Before I sprang for the Thorn I was getting very close to buying a Koga Miyata - but their relationship with their US distributor fell apart somehow. Anyway with the Thorn I had more flexibility on the build details, so I am happy enough as things turned out.

Offline tonupgilly

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 07:14:24 am »
Wow!  That is a lot of shipping and tax - makes it quite pricey.  Must almost be cheaper to fly over and get one.  The Nomad is a very nice bike though.

Offline Slammin Sammy

Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 01:43:08 pm »
I'm glad Thorn came up in this discussion so quickly. I've done ALOT of research on sourcing my next expedition bike, and Thorn has a clear lead in almost every category.

In fact, my wife and I are planning an entire 3 month UK and Europe trip next year around picking up our Nomads in Somerset! I can't wait to get on to a Rohloff rig!

Please note: If you get the bike shipped to you in USA, take 20% off list for VAT! That goes a long way towards covering shipping and duty. We'll be taking ours home to Australia within 3 months of purchase, and will be able to get our VAT refunded upon leaving.