Buying A Ric From Overseas

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Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (MatthewBrown) » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:57 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for your many informed posts, and for the wonderful sense of fraternity among Ric lovers.

I dug out my old "The Beatles Complete" guitar chord book a couple of months ago and saw some notes from my guitar teacher when I was 8 years old. I''m now heading to my 40th birthday and figured I've got to stop dreaming of having a Ric [a dream some 30 years long!] and bite the bullet. The current state of the Aussie dollar makes this even more tantalising.

So I've been looking, and wondered if anyone had advice on buying a Ric from overseas. Local suppliers are just tooo expensive. Can anyone advise:
- who are the reputable dealers? There a some sellers on ebay who - by number of Ric listings - must ship a lot. Then again, there are others - like Olivia's Vintage - who seem responsive and dedicated but list less frequently.
- what are the taxes and duties? Assuming I shell out US$175 for freight with the USPS, and the guitar then lands in Australia, what do I then have to pay... and does it make a difference if the guitar is second hand?
- has anyone got any good tips, or "dos and don'ts"?

Thanks for your help! Any advice is gratefully received. If anyone wants to disabuse me of my interest in getting a Ric with toasters rather than high gains, please feel free! I just love the Fogerty twangy sound they seem to produce [think "Pagan Baby" by Creedence].

Cheers,
Matthew.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (ozover50) » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:58 am

Hi Matthew.... welcome to the forum. :D

A number of us here in Oz have purchased Ricks from the US.... via private sale, ebay and off dealers. Be aware that a US dealer cannot sell you a new Rickenbacker - you'll have to go through Rickenbacker Asia for that.

Many ebay sellers in the US won't ship internationally but you can get around that if you have a contact in the US who would receive and on-ship for you. In fact it's not a bad idea to do that anyway as your contact can check the condition of the instrument before you pay for international shipping - just in case it's not as described.

As far as reputable dealers are concerned, if you find one that has a Rick that you want to purchase it might not be a bad idea to bounce it off the folk here. We can throw names out there but in reality we've dealt with few of them. Certainly one that everybody would recommend would be Pick of the Ricks.

There should be no duty payable on arrival in Australia as the guitar is made in the US and comes under the free trade agreement. If the guitar is valued at more than AUD $1000 (doesn't matter whether it's new or second hand) you will more than likely incur 10% GST and customs charges - even though there is no duty payable. The custom fees can amount to as much as $150 - perhaps more.

You will find that unless the USPS clerk is asleep on the job, they will not ship the guitar to Australia as it exceeds the maximum dimensions stipulated by Australia Post. Your options are then limited to international freight companies (UPS, Fedex, etc.) who will charge somewhere in the order of $400 to $450 for shipping.

Sounds expensive I know but think about how much it would cost if the Aussie dollar was around 0.65 as it was when we were buying stuff years ago. :shock:

Hope this is of some assistance to you, Matthew.

Cheers,

Howard

PS.... whereabouts in our beautiful land are you?
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (antipodean) » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:51 am

G'day Matthew,

Checking out some of the Japanese dealers can be worthwhile. Ishibashi, Kurosawa, Guitar Craft and Guitar Shelter all ship down here and shipping is way cheaper than the US (usually around JPY 16,000, or AUD 175). You will have to clear customs yourself (lotsa paperwork) but the customs fee will only be around the AUD 50 mark rather than the AUD150 that the big shipping companies charge. The cheaper shipping and customs clearance is balanced by the fact that Japanese prices are a bit higher than US prices, but you can often find a bargain if you are happy to do the work.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (MatthewBrown) » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:57 pm

Thanks! I sent a few emails to US stores yesterday, and while a couple said they were prevented from sending new Rickenbackers to Australia, several others didn't seem to have such a problem.

The issue of freight is intriguing. Quotes vary from $175 with the USPS [thanks for your advice regarding this option being unlikely, because many ebay sellers refer to the USPS providing this service], to about $240 with FedEx economy, to $500.

Does anyone have any views or advice?

I notice no-one bought into my toaster vs high gain dilemma... maybe it's just not that important!

Anyway, with the Aus dollar at $1.09, it might be time to get a Rickenbacker to Brisbane.

Cheers,
Matthew.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (jps) » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:22 pm

Toasters! 8)
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (antipodean) » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:31 pm

Hi Matt,

It is my impression that US dealers can't sell new Rickenbackers into Oz as Rickenbacker Asia (based in Japan) has the distribution rights in lieu of the appointment of an Australian distributor. They can, of course, sell pre-loved Rickenbackers to all and sundry.

As to toasters vs Higains, I think it is "horses for courses". The scatterwound RI toasters aren't as punchy as the Higains but have a little more clarity. IMHO the difference is subtle and possibly lost on a live audience. Then there's the issue that the toaster-equipped Ricks are at the upper end of the Rick price band. I'd suspect the higains will give you the twang you're after whilst saving you some cash.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (gregga41) » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:31 pm

Hey Matthew,
Welcome to the forum.
I"ve just this past week bought a new Rick in from the states.
Over the years, postage has ranged around the $300US mark.
I've just had the pleasure of dealing with Olivia's Vintage Guitars, the aussie dollar really made things comfortable.
They ship with UPS, the guitar arrived in under a week. Shipping came in under $200 aussie.
Great time to buy, NOW!
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (MatthewBrown) » Sun May 01, 2011 4:58 am

Well, the deed is done.

It's funny. I always imagined myself with a jetglo 330 hanging on my wall... partly for ease of getting to it for a strum around the house, partly because the instrument itself is a work of art and representative of such fabulous music.

But two weeks ago, after a month of trawling the internet for 330s, 360s and 600s, I was on track to buy a 600 series mapleglo. Most players said they still produced that classic Ric sound, and I just thought they'd offer something a bit different.

My bandmate insisted I go and play a Ric just to be sure. It's been fifteen years since I've held one. I've got long fingers and thought the wider 660's neck might be better. My beaut Maton acoustic has a narrow neck, and while it poses no problems the 330's neck was about 4mm narrower at the nut. I was on the 660 bandwagon.

So I found somewhere on the Gold Coast that had a couple of Rics in stock. No-one in Brisbane or surrounds had a 600 series... and many had never seen them. So I knew I wasn't going to see a 600 series "in the flesh". The salesman said the Rics were out the back in a storeroom, and he said he only gets them if people are seriously interested. I told him I'd driven over an hour to get there and have a look. He opened the case and I was looking at a jetglo 330. I picked it up and played it, and the neck felt no different to my Maton...

...And as for the rest of it, it looked, felt and sounded great. It had been an on-going internal debate about what to do, but it was suddenly over. It was what I'd always imagined I'd get.

Unfortunately for the salesman, I politely thanked him and excused myself when he said "I reckon we could do this one for you for $3,500". So after a few emails to US suppliers over the next few days, I had a good offer from Pick of the Ricks. At 2am this morning I called Chris in New Jersey and did a deal. Aside from their great offer and service, who can complain when the Aus dollar is almost US$1.10! I paid roughly a third of the price I was quoted in the store in Australia. I feel for those who did this at US65c.

I am now very happy.... though will be even more so when the the jetglo 330 arrives!

So thanks again to you for your feedback, for your advice [you were right - Pick of the Ricks ended up being great!] and for participating in this forum. It's a great help to newbies like me. Look forward to chatting again soon.

Cheers,
Matthew.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (ozover50) » Sun May 01, 2011 5:31 pm

Hi Matthew.

Congrats......a great outcome for you and anther feather in the cap for Chris at Pick of the Ricks! :D
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (weemac) » Sun May 01, 2011 6:26 pm

I did not know that Pick of the Ricks could sell overseas....
Perhaps my dream 4004 is not impossible....

Eden.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (jps) » Sun May 01, 2011 6:34 pm

I assume said guitar is a second hand one, not a new one, as Chris would not overstep his dealership responsibilities.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (weemac) » Sun May 01, 2011 7:06 pm

jps wrote:I assume said guitar is a second hand one, not a new one, as Chris would not overstep his dealership responsibilities.


Ah!

emac.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (Geddy Lee) » Thu May 05, 2011 9:38 pm

Great thread guys, I am in the exact same position as the OP, but am looking for a Midnight Blue 4003.

Thanks for the helpful info, I didn't know about sites like Olivias or PickOfTheRicks nor the USPS problem either.
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (gregga41) » Fri May 06, 2011 9:24 pm

Robert, this is on Aussie ebay at the moment. Has a make an offer option, probably as they know their buy it now is way too high.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/06-Rickenbacker- ... 35ad69e9d9
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Re: Buying A Ric From Overseas

Postby (gregga41) » Sat May 07, 2011 8:52 am

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