Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: dkoloko on March 30, 2012, 08:02:24 pm

 
Title: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: dkoloko 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.
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: DaveB 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. 
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: dkoloko 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.
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: FredHiltz on March 31, 2012, 04:51:56 pm
http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/ (http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/)

This might give you a starting place.

Fred
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: DaveB 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..   
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: dkoloko 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.

 
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: FredHiltz 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 (http://positivethinker.blogspot.com/2012/02/scams-plenty-on-internetlets-be-careful.html) summarizes nicely.

Fred
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: jrswenberger 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...
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: Ailish 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 (http://www.dawescycles.com/p-411-super-galaxy.aspx).  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.
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: tonythomson 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
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: waynemyer 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
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: tonupgilly 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/
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: kukula 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.
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: tonupgilly 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.
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: Slammin Sammy 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.
Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: rcrampton on July 08, 2012, 12:17:39 am
I bought a bike locally and shipped it to Europe for a fellow touring guy on this forum a few years ago. Figuring out how to get it shipped affordably was tough. I ended up creating a business account with FedEx I think it was (or maybe it was UPS), and that let me ship internationally much cheaper than any other option I found. I believe the recipient had to pay duties on it when picking it up.

When it was all said and done (shipping, exchange rates, etc.) it came together pretty well, but it took me some hours of doing my homework to figure it out.

I know this is shipping the other direction from what you want to do but I'm just pointing out that it took some homework to find an affordable option. I burned several hours on it.

Title: Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
Post by: Mark Manley on July 14, 2012, 08:30:25 am
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!

Totally off topic I know but if you are this close to Bristol, about 20 minutes on the train or a few hours to ride, you can take the cycle path to Bath and Bradford-upon-Avon, a fantastic ride. If you are feeling adventurous you can actually carry on along the Kennet and Avon canal most of the way to London but the towpath gets a bit rough in places.

Back to topic, another thumbs up for SJS cycles, they do some excellent bikes with specifications to suit everyone.