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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2006 » Archive through December 01, 2006 » Buying Alembics International ?- shipping advice needed please « Previous Next »

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Username: robbiebassepic

Post Number: 10
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 9:28 pm:   Edit Post

Hi - Im in need of advice on the best way to get a used alembic shipped across the pond to UK from a private seller or US music shop.

Issues such as possible damage to the alembic in transit , price , insurance , preffered companys
and other folks experiences (good & bad) would really help!

Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 640
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 2:38 am:   Edit Post

I have bought two alembic items from overseas. The first a guitar from a shop in Germany and the other was an Sf-2 from USA. Both used items. The guitar I was not charged tax on but the sf-2 from the USA, I had to pay VAT plus a parcelforce handling charge which added another 65 to the cost of the pre-amp. So I would really prepare yourself for that cost on top of the ebay or other price you have to pay.

I have asked at the post office about this and they said that it doesn't matter if you declare the item as used or commercial samples for evaluation, gift etc, if they think the item warrants a charge, they will levy it and they will charge the courier who won't let you have the goods till you pay the charges.

Make sure you get the instrument shpped in a good quality case. The guitar I got from Germany was in one of the atx style guitar cases like this
. It has quite hard padding and was also packed in an external cardboard box padded with bubblewrap and when it arrived, the guitar had bumped so much around in the case that the vol and tone knobs had jammed inside the body of the guitar and wouldn't operate.
I had to dismantle and disconnect everything to remove them and refit them. Now they are fine but it was a bit scary especially as the guitar wasn't cheap.
I travel a lot internationally with my band and I can't recommend enough the wisdom of getting a good quality full flight case. Saves tears. If your seller has one buy it off him and get it sent over in that. Saves tears later. I have seen first hand how baggage handlers throw stuff off the plane onto the floor. I have been directly in front of a baggage handler who dropped a bass players instrument which was in a soft unpadded carry on case, on the floor right in front of us even though he had told the attendant it was a delicate musical instrument. So you know when you are not there, it's gonna be worse.

I think if I was gonna get a real expensive alembic series I or II from the states, i'd probably get a cheap flight holiday there and pick it up myself. It can't be much difference between a bargain basement economy flight to most major destinations in the USA from the UK and the cost of insured shipping. Plus the peace of mind.
Advanced Member
Username: crgaston

Post Number: 331
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post

Hi Robbie!
Both Fedex and UPS have online quote generators that will give you a really good idea of the cost. The US postal service is cheaper, but they couldn't ship a bass to New Zealand because of the size. It may be different to the UK, so they're worth checking on; they were MUCH cheaper. I think shipping to NZ was around 500 USD for a Rogue in it's hardcase, padded and boxed. I can't remember if it was Fedex or UPS, though...I got quotes from both and one was substantially cheaper-I think Fedex...Toby, do you recall?
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 238
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 10:55 am:   Edit Post

we went with Fedex. USPS would have been half the cost (IIRC), but as you said, the boxed up case was larger than they allow.

After it's all said and money I ever spent. I get to play an Alembic EVERYDAY!!!
Username: robbiebassepic

Post Number: 14
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 12:07 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys - Seems like a hard flight case, all paded up is the way to go,worth the extra... Ive got my eye on a new Mark king Costom balance K is a shop in Florida, - Ill enquire about them providing a good case for me,etc - ALthough if I can get one of those 70s series 1s in the for sale threads I might reconsider
Username: robbiebassepic

Post Number: 15
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post

Also jazzyvee - drop me an e-mail if your bands are ever playing in Scotland! -

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