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Advice re buying overseas and shipping to Australia


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The exchange rate with the US continues to improve so I'm considering purchasing hifi gear overseas and having it shipped to Australia.

 

Can anyone recommend decent overseas websites (other than Amazon) that sell hifi gear and ship to Australia?

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My advice is buy stuff 2nd hand here on SNA.    Some truly amazing stuff is up for grabs at great pricing. 
 

Not sure what you are after but I bet something equivalent or better is on SNA cheaper.
 

Regards Cazzesman

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I agree with above.  Unless it’s something very collectible that you can only score in the USA, then the sums won’t add up.  Exchange, shipping, insurance, step-up transformers, power cables, potential tax on arrival - a lot of hassle!  Also, reselling 120v equipment in Aus will be more difficult.

That said, I have used a shipping company called Shipitto, which are great and a good way to avoid crazy shipping fees.  They also bundle items, and it enables you to buy “USA market only” items.....

 

https://www.shipito.com/en/

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I would be reluctant to buy new from overseas, keeping in mind warranty. Would need to be a true 240Vac (not 220-230Vac, we are not yet at 230Vac) plus transit damage. Keep in mind Aust Post has a 20kg weight limit so would need to be courier. On the other hand gems can be found if buying second hand vintage, though you need diy skills to repair, refurb...

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If it’s really cheap then do it. If only cheap by a little bit, then remember when you sell it the value will be less as it’s not bought from Australian distributor. 

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I bought a Marantz SR7012 from Stassen Hifi in The Netherlands a few years ago. RRP in Aus at the time was $4300 - it cost me $1800 incl shipping !!

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If you purchase it from an online store that ships it directly to you, they're obliged by Australian law to either charge you tax on it for AU or put the purchase price on the outside. If the purchase price is >$1000 you will get stopped at customs and asked to pay tax on it. Talking from recent experience.

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On 11/01/2021 at 12:40 PM, mbz said:

I would be reluctant to buy new from overseas, keeping in mind warranty. Would need to be a true 240Vac (not 220-230Vac, we are not yet at 230Vac) plus transit damage. Keep in mind Aust Post has a 20kg weight limit so would need to be courier. On the other hand gems can be found if buying second hand vintage, though you need diy skills to repair, refurb...

 

So much for the 20 year plan!

 

https://www.ewh.ieee.org/r10/nsw/subpages/history/Australian-AC-Line-Voltages.pdf

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1 hour ago, LogicprObe said:

That chart is 2006 and 240v or 230v is nominal anyway, rare to get 230v or 240v exactly so as the chart shows your gear should be designed to take a range.  Looked at this many years ago, what I heard was they were putting 230v  equipment in for new areas or as replacements so it will take a long time. 

 

Yep, wonderful gear here in Classifieds which is always my 1st choice and its amazing what shows up, such a choice, we are spoiled 🙂  However I have no reservations in buying both new and 2nd hand overseas, most of my Canon Camera gear is from Hong Kong or USA and over the last 30 years I have saved a lot and thankfully never needing warranty, and had no trouble having gear serviced or repaired in Australia. Nowadays there are less attractive Camera deals overseas so I typically buy in Australia when the major sales are on, a refurbished DGI Ronan S arrived this week but the 2 handle extension is in shipment from the UK (from Amazon Australia) saving me $55. I have brought numerous 2nd hand guitars and amps from Japan, Canada and USA, I have had 1 amp switched to 240v as it had the windings but 2 ('64 Bassman and Two Rock Opal) use step down transformers.   I recently brought new hifi gear from Hong Kong which I am very happy with, and non powered RCA switching gear from the USA not to mention valves from all over the world.  Some of the 2nd hand hifi I have acquired on Stereonet was originally acquired overseas. If the gear has support for 220v-240v and is substantially cheaper or just not available here then I have no reservations buying overseas.

Edited by Rosco8
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I have bought a few items recently from the Cable Company and shipping costs were very reasonable. Great company to deal with! I asked for postage using USPS First Class and items arrived in 7 days. For SACD's  both Elusive Disc and PS Audio offer very reasonable shipping. This will put pressure on Birdland Records and Audiophile Reference Recording to reconsider their current pricing charges. Just bought the new  Joan Armatrading SACD from Elusive Disc and $12 difference. Not sure re the Asian outlets...their shipping charges are a bit eye-watering. Warranty would be a real problem with electronics etc.

Cheers

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The world is now a marketplace. Buy whatever you desire. Sometimes you pay GST and import duty, allow 15%. 

I recently bought item for $1378 USD value from US it went straight through customs.

The Au online seller was asking 1000 USD more.

Shipping was 144USD. 3 days from Ohio, 6 days from Melbourne to Hobart. lol

He has been in business since 1999 on the bay.

Use paypal lots of protection for the buyer, if you are sold a dud.

Within 5 years we will order and delivery will be droned in 

 

Go in hard.

Edited by deblur
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  • 2 months later...

Bumping this thread as it's the most recent one for this topic.

 

I'm in the market for the very acclaimed Wharfedale Evo floorstanders - 4.4 with a matching 4.C centre.

 

To recap the Wharfedales they are trickle-down tech from the recent Elysian, started with great in-person reviews at RMAF 2019 show in the US "I thought they were amazing, but when I heard the price I thought they were a Must Have".  One reviewer says they are better than the Dali Rubicon 6 @ $7500 and the Focal Aria 926 @ $4200

 

Crutchfield reviews include "For US$2k, it is magic to get this level of sound" and "I've had some wonderful tower speakers over the years, but I'm simply blown away by the level of detail and perceived quality with these towers".  Another Crutchfield customer says of the 4.2s "They are holographic...Listening to these is like going from two dimensional movies to 3D for the first time" and regrets not getting the 4.4.

 

People generally think they sound more expensive and are shocked to find the retail price of these speakers, even a german review magazine Connect said that they were "immorally cheap" and "For really little money you can put a magician in your living room with the Wharfedale Evo 4.4".  

 

Anyway, so I was looking at some other options, like some much more expensive options - Ebay has some Paradigm Signature S6s with a mark for $4k and a matching centre all with Beryllium tweeters, Simply Hifi has Polk L800s with SDA for $8k and Definitive Tech 9080X with integrated Atmos height speakers for $4600. Alastair is selling Focal Chorus 826 30th Anniversary for $3400.  All decent options but to be honest, they are out of my price range for about the next 3 months anyway.

 

So best price for Evo 4..4s + 4.C locally is $4310 - and that's the cheapest, other shops are much more.

 

Alternatively, this shop https://www.audioaffair.co.uk/about/ has very reasonable shipping rates.  As long as there are no surprises, the cost breakdown is:

Evo 4.4 - 999.17 gbp or $1815.66

Evo 4.C Centre - 415.83 gbp or $755.63

International Signed for shipping 94.09 gbp or $171

Australian customs and GST total +15% of total 

1815.66+755.63+171*1.15= $2767.94

 

So that's about 35% cheaper.  Yes with warranty hassles of course. But I am willing to take the risk.  Can't find a better deal for LCR in my humble opinion.

Edited by Zanny
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Buying speakers from overseas is fine, just use fedex to ship them via air. It does not cost that much and you will have them in a few days. They need to be packed in factory OEM packaging , this is important and make sure the shipment is insured with a marine transit policy as freight companies do some times damage items moving them around as most of us know. The factory boxes should protect all but the worst types of abuse such as a forklift prong through a box.

 

The biggest hassle is getting the seller to fill out the paperwork for export/import properly. Obviously they need to be a real seller, not a scam artist.

 

I have bought a few pairs in over the years and never had a hassle. 

 

hope this helps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone, 

 

I have gone down the import route. I have a pair of Klipsch Heresy IVs that I paid $2200 USD for. I got an email this afternoon from USPS saying that one of them is being held in customs. 

 

Is the process easy enough to navigate by filling a form out, or is it worth engaging a broker to get them delivered from here? If so does anyone have any good import broker recommendations? 

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3 hours ago, LucasDA said:

Hi everyone, 

 

I have gone down the import route. I have a pair of Klipsch Heresy IVs that I paid $2200 USD for. I got an email this afternoon from USPS saying that one of them is being held in customs. 

 

Is the process easy enough to navigate by filling a form out, or is it worth engaging a broker to get them delivered from here? If so does anyone have any good import broker recommendations? 

Give USPS a call. They should do the whole customs process internally.

 

The only time I have had to use a broker was for sea freight.

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