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Any US Based Members Purchased a Synth from Europe


Husker

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Greetings -

 

I've been considering buying a MicroMonsta this Christmas. I've been trying to research the procedure for importing, but am coming up with more questions than answers. Navigating the US Customs site is not for the faint of heart either.

 

I emailed Audiothingies asking about shipping/export to the US, and he didn't have many answers either.

 

Has anyone been through this process?

 

 

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Greetings -

 

I've been considering buying a MicroMonsta this Christmas. I've been trying to research the procedure for importing, but am coming up with more questions than answers. Navigating the US Customs site is not for the faint of heart either.

 

I emailed Audiothingies asking about shipping/export to the US, and he didn't have many answers either.

 

Has anyone been through this process?

 

I'm in the UK - my thought was why not buy through EBay and use the Global Shipping Programme?

The customs charges are included and the shipping rates are pretty good

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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I've done it. Most synth things I find interesting are coming from smaller builders out of Europe now. Been lucky and never hit with any duty charges. BUT what Mr Bryce says about service and warranty work is truth.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I don't believe you have to worry about it. The seller will charge you any fees they incur on their end but that's it.

 

From this link :

 

1) Informal Entry

An informal entry is the entry of goods valued under 2500US$ and does not need to be cleared by a customs bond as it is designated for mostly personal importations. The amount used to be 1000$ before 2013 but the threshold has been increased to 2500$ since then.

 

I've made several purchases of about the same cost - 2 power supplies from Germany (one recently) and that mini Leslie from Japan. Other than having to pick them up at my post office there were no fees. They may open the package to inspect it.

 

Good point on the warranty. I would check to see if they have a simple replacement for early on problems. Based on hourly tech fees these days I wouldn't worry about having it repaired beyond the warranty period.

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I have purchased very expensive synths and hand-made instruments from Europe. It is possible. It is not that bad. You do have to want it. It will take longer than you might think. Sometimes it is barely harder than ordering from Amazon. At others, you have to contract a freight forwarder to negotiate customs for you. But everyone will want to help you if you are polite and admit your helplessness. You will have to pay all customs fees, freight forwarding fees, etc before anyone will lift a finger. This is not a world of "free shipping on purchases over $100". Several months later, you may get mail from your state tax board looking for their sales tax. Oh yes, your state knows that sometimes people buy things overseas. So, they can send you a bill for the sales tax. That's fun on expensive things you thought you were done paying for. So, figure on paying the duty, the shipping, any import handling fees if you need a customs broker, and your local sales tax. That's why I said, "you have to want it". But if you are getting something unique, handmade, special, low volume, amazing sounding, work of art, pinnacle of expression kind of thing? It just costs what it costs. And you pay or you don't get it.

 

Trade Duty for Keyboard Instruments Figuring out customs duty is quite easy. I got this by googling "keyboard customs duty". You look up the country, find the row and read off the duty. Knowing this saves big time when working with a customs broker.

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a half-answer:

 

Ive bought a couple things ... a Tanzmaus drum machine from Thomann (the European Sweetwater, basically); and a couple of intelligent MIDI cables from the Dutch maker, Retrokits (I use one cable to play two Volca FMs as a single six voice synth, and the other to get all my Volca Samples drum sounds on one MIDI channel).

 

The process seems very hit-and-miss. One cable took longer to arrive than the other; the online tracking for them didnt necessarily match what was actually happening; and none of the three items I bought from Europe created any customs or taxation issues at all, even though the sales were out in the open from music-oriented businesses, and the drum machine cost several hundred dollars.

 

So I would just say: Based on this experience and stuff Ive seen posted by others, its worth buying new gear from Europe but you wont know what happens til it happens. The Micromonsta guy is a small seller, much like Retrokits, albeit in a different country.

 

fwiw

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