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Old 11-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
England-Kev OP
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Buying Parts from The USA - MG Cycle.

A cautionary tale of buying parts from the US, in this case MG Cycle, the Guzzi people. This has been my first dealing with them, I guess it will probably be my last, which is a shame.

So I ordered a pair of replacement grips for the Guzzi Ambo, these were priced at $28.80, to this was added $45.65 shipping to the UK. That was last week, they arrived today, I was then hit with a Customs charge of £14.79, and a UPS handling charge of £11.00

So let me show you what my new grips really cost
New Grips_____$28.80
Shipping ______$45.65
UPS Handling___$17.59
Customs duty__$23.65

Total $115.69 or £72.32 for a set of £18.00 Grips
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by England-Kev View Post
A cautionary tale of buying parts from the US, in this case MG Cycle, the Guzzi people. This has been my first dealing with them, I guess it will probably be my last, which is a shame.

So I ordered a pair of replacement grips for the the Guzzi Ambo, these were priced at $28.80, to this was added $45.65 shipping to the UK. That was last week, they arrived today, I was then hit with a Customs charge of £14.79, and a UPS handling charge of £11.00

So let me show you what my new grips really cost
New Grips_____$28.80
Shipping ______$45.65
UPS Handling___$17.59
Customs duty__$23.65

Total $115.69 or £72.32 for a set of £18.00 Grips
What did you expect?

When I order parts oversea I always count the additional tax, we have 19% and the custom fee
here we have additional 3% to the costs.

To the shipping cost I recommend to ask the place where you want to order the parts if they can be
shipped with second class mail.

The shipping will then take a while, (because shipped by vessel not by airplane), but reduces the
postage a lot. If the place where you think to order deny this search an other dealer.

(I believe your grips where sended by airmail and priority too, which is a real issue for transatlantic
shopping tours ..., (UPS is sadly extremly expensive too, you should use US postal service))
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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UPS is about the last company that you want to ship anything through. They'll charge you to have something cleared through customs every time and I seriously doubt that the customs people check every package out which begs the question....why the customs brokerage fee? I suspect that MG Cycle simply used poor judgement by shipping with UPS.

I live in Canada and order a lot of stuff from the US. If the only option for shipping from a store is with UPS or FEDEX, I continue shopping till I find someone that will ship via the US postal service (USPS). Those two have priced themselves out of the market as your storey clearly indicates.

The customs duty is purely the UK's gig and you can hardly blame MG Cycle for that. Apparently your government doesn't want you shopping outside of your country.

I guess those grips are gonna be special to you for a long long time.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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That is pretty crappy.

UPS handling fee should have been disclosed at time of purchase.

It sounds like the customs duty was tacked on by the UK upon entry? That one may be unavoidable purchasing outside Europe, since they are probably using it as a sort of VAT. I wonder if it would apply for packages coming from individuals overseas. Maybe a "pen pal" system could be applied, where someone from the USA who buys UK goods could trade shipping favors with you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, that's not wildly out of line. International UPS shipping is abhorrently expensive in the states. They could ship it with the postal service, but then it's not trackable, insured, etc. They kind of have to use UPS to cover their ass, but at the same time they probably should've told you up front that it would cost that much for such a cheap item. It's not really fair to hold them accountable for duty and UPS fees on your side. That's completely out of their control and just an inevitable part of international shipping.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
...They could ship it with the postal service, but then it's not trackable, insured, etc.
USPS does have tracking and insurance.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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USPS does have tracking and insurance.
They only track and insure domestic shipments and if you've ever tried their "tracking" service you'd know that the USPS doesn't REALLY offer tracking.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #8
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wow, that sucks. When I order parts from Burlen fuel systems for my SU's and Amals I sure don't get socked with expenses like that. No excuse for that. Lots of times I get things via Royal Mail and the rates are very cheap and parts here in a week. No different than coast to coast in the US.

there has to be a better way to ship. You just can't beat MGcycle, I used them for about 99% of what I needed for my Lemans. Maybe a little investigation on shipping alternatives and then let MG know how you want it shipped instead of leaving it up to them.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #9
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^USPS offers insurance, but heaven help you if you need to make a claim. I've been fighting with them over a transmission that I shipped domestically for about six months. I'm about to give up, and just take it in the ass. I've easily spent 8 hrs of daytime dealing with this. I'm so pissed I can hardly stand it.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:58 AM   #10
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I ship to the UK at least once a week...always use USPS....can't say why they used UPS, I would ask them about it.....as far as your taxes, thats between you and your government
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #11
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We send overseas everyday and use exclusely US Postal Service. In the last 5 years I've been bitten twice with lost packages, but we ship hundreds of shipments every month.

Any import tax is on the reveiving country, not much anyone can do about that, but honestly shipping grips should be about $10 or less.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:15 AM   #12
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I knew I could get hit for the import duty, this is usualy a percentage of the value and the shipping cost, but the UPS charge is robbery, they have already been paid to handle the goods, by the sender? I am not specifically digging out MG cycle, but they never tell you how much the shipping is when you order.

Any other parts I need now, I shall get sent to a friend in Georgia, and carry them home in my hand luggage next time I visit.

Unfortunately I have put in another order from MG, so I expect I shall get hit again! oh well you learn by mistakes, but I wanted to make other buyers aware, so hopefully they may not get hit as badly as I have.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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I used MG Cycle for everything on my Guzzi build. Gordon and the rest of the crew were very helpful in getting parts as well as answering questions. They are pretty good about answering questions by email or phone. I'd drop them a line and see what they could do to help on the next order. Just a guess, but I'd bet they'd send it USPS if you request it.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:28 AM   #14
England-Kev OP
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Originally Posted by photomd View Post
I'd bet they'd send it USPS if you request it.
I might well have done, if I had known the costs up front but there you are, as I said, I am not digging out MG, they stock some great stuff, it is really UPS who are taking the piss
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by England-Kev View Post
I might well have done, if I had known the costs up front but there you are, as I said, I am not digging out MG, they stock some great stuff, it is really UPS who are taking the piss

Oh yeah...I totally get where you're coming from. I'd be pissed at UPS as well: they gouged you. My point was that Gordon and his crew seem willing to go the extra mile with questions and service, so I don't think they'd mind if you asked them to ship USPS. Cool bike BTW.
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