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Thread: Has anyone shipped a guitar to Australia from US?

  1. #1
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    Has anyone shipped a guitar to Australia from US?

    And vice versa? Considering a trade and not sure what the best option would be for speedy, reliable transport.

    Would an airline do something like that? Any help or ideas are appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    I can't answer specifically about AUS to USA but when I worked in the music store here in Paris, we only shipped instruments UPS. Because less theft, loss, and damage, full insurance, and tracking. (I have nothing against FedEx I assume the same would apply to them). For instruments we avoided the lower cost services (like national postal service's package options) for both international and national orders, because theft and damage were more common and there were limits on insurance payouts.

    In other words, if you want speed and reliability and insurance to the appropriate value, it may cost you a lot! Price up a number of options and weigh up the pros and cons.

    Also be aware of possible import duty and tax liabilities, which might also cost you a lot.
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  3. #3
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    Never had a problem with shipping to Aus from US. Though one time, the guitar got held up at Customs in Aus and no one bothered to let me know. Only found out when I called DHL a couple of days later and was presented with a bill for $500 to cover GST and duties. I paid it immediately and it turned up an hour later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieCrain View Post
    A bill for $500 to cover GST and duties. I paid it immediately and it turned up an hour later.
    Holy cow. On top of $300-400 shipping?
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

    '14 GC HSHP
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    I can't answer specifically about AUS to USA but when I worked in the music store here in Paris, we only shipped instruments UPS. Because less theft, loss, and damage, full insurance, and tracking. (I have nothing against FedEx I assume the same would apply to them). For instruments we avoided the lower cost services (like national postal service's package options) for both international and national orders, because theft and damage were more common and there were limits on insurance payouts.

    In other words, if you want speed and reliability and insurance to the appropriate value, it may cost you a lot! Price up a number of options and weigh up the pros and cons.

    Also be aware of possible import duty and tax liabilities, which might also cost you a lot.
    Thanks, DK. Helpful as always.
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

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  6. #6
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    The most I've ever paid is USD$150 for shipping. Usually $100. But yes, the customs bill is on top of shipping for any import over AUD $1000. The formula is Total cost in AUD (incl shipping) x 5% for duty, x 10% GST.

    It's only happened one out of four times for me. The other three guitars got through without Customs interference.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieCrain View Post
    The most I've ever paid is USD$150 for shipping. Usually $100. But yes, the customs bill is on top of shipping for any import over AUD $1000. The formula is Total cost in AUD (incl shipping) x 5% for duty, x 10% GST.

    It's only happened one out of four times for me. The other three guitars got through without Customs interference.
    What shipping service did you use? Everything I've seen is $300+. Appreciate the information.
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

    '14 GC HSHP
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  8. #8
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    Years ago I shipped via USPS. I flew from Canada to the US (for another reason, of course), and took it to a postal office. Can't recall the amount, but it wasn't unreasonable. But yeah, customs is a bitch.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Years ago I shipped via USPS. I flew from Canada to the US (for another reason, of course), and took it to a postal office. Can't recall the amount, but it wasn't unreasonable. But yeah, customs is a bitch.
    I've done US to Canada and that was inexpensive and easy. Australia seems like a different animal.
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

    '14 GC HSHP
    '14 ASS Semi HHP - Black Cherry Burst
    '14 ASS Semi MM90 - Honey Burst
    '16 Axis - Trans Gold Quilt

    Mesa Boogie Mark V 25
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    Black Star HT-1
    Bad Cat 2x12

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahoonc View Post
    What shipping service did you use? Everything I've seen is $300+. Appreciate the information.
    Good question. Every time I have imported, I've been given a quote by the seller and it's always been reasonable. I've never worried about who the carrier was, I assume they're all equally bad!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahoonc View Post
    What shipping service did you use? Everything I've seen is $300+. Appreciate the information.
    The services that are the safest and most reliable will costs that much. Back in 2011 I paid $360 shipping US to France (and then 4% import duty + 20% VAT on the combined total of the instrument value and the shipping cost).

    As I said, do your homework, shop around, find out what the differences in service are for the prices you pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieCrain View Post
    I've never worried about who the carrier was, I assume they're all equally bad!
    No, some are better or worse than others. It depends how much money we are willing to save in shipping costs compared to the potential financial loss if something happens to the instrument in transit.
    Last edited by DrKev; 06-20-2017 at 12:48 AM.
    An Irishman in Paris...
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  12. #12
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    Hi guys

    Maybe someone who have shipped a guitar in the past from Australia to USA can jump in to share their experience?
    What shipping service was used and what was the cost?

    If the guitar is sent from AU to USA without a case, with its neck separated from body and both packed inside
    the carton box...what postage service to use and approx.cost?

    Regards

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