Buying Parts from The USA - MG Cycle.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by England-Kev, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    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:eek1

    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
    #1
  2. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Been here awhile

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    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))
    #2
  3. YT Dave

    YT Dave Adventurer

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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.
    #3
  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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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.
    #4
  5. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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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.
    #5
  6. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    USPS does have tracking and insurance.
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  7. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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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.
    #7
  8. eldomike

    eldomike Who Cares

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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 :D
    #8
  9. SOS

    SOS Ignorance is a gift

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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.
    #9
  10. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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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.:evil

    Unfortunately I have put in another order from MG, so I expect I shall get hit again!:eek1 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.:deal
    #10
  11. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    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.
    #11
  12. lrutt

    lrutt SILENCE.....i kill you

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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.
    #12
  13. photomd

    photomd Been here awhile

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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.
    #13
  14. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    I might well have done, if I had known the costs up front:huh 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:eek1
    #14
  15. eldomike

    eldomike Who Cares

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    The more I think about it...I may recall MG Cycle having a problem in the past with USPS and not using them any more....if thats the case just have them ship to your USA friend and have him ship it on to you via USPS....
    #15
  16. photomd

    photomd Been here awhile

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    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.
    #16
  17. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo's my dog

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    I forget which Ducati parts vendor it is, but one of them warns people to NEVER use UPS to ship things to Canada from the US. Apparetnly it's pretty common for UPS to tag on extra fees to the shipping on international stuff after it's left the vendor.

    I used MG for some parts on my '74 Ducati. It seems that the same part number is often cheaper from a Moto Guzzi parts house than a Ducati parts house...
    #17
  18. Bloodweiser

    Bloodweiser honestly

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    IIRC MGcycle will ship USPS if you give them a good reason.

    +1 on calling them, never had a more friendly parts ordering conversation then with them.
    Great people.

    But dude, these things came from Italy.
    There's got to be somewhere over closer to you that'd be a bit cheaper :dunno
    #18
  19. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Been here awhile

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    Yes, (thank you!),

    have forgotten this hint, you may ask Stein-Dinse in Germany, these guys and women! are really helpful,
    they are in my neighbor town situated, they speak English too.

    The shop is a very good ressource for Italien bikes like Moto Guzzi and Ducati, they have also the complete Dell'Orto
    carb production most parts even old NOS stock available. I have orderd many times there and never had a problem.

    The next good thing no tax no custom fees for you from Great Britain as you trade inside the European Union, you can call them up, order online or via E-Mail.

    http://www.stein-dinse.biz/Moto-Guzzi:::1.html
    #19
  20. BubbaJim

    BubbaJim Adventurer

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    :huh

    Kev,

    Every item sent in from USA to EU countries via UPS will be hit for customs duties etc as UPS get a fee for each one checked so it is in there interest to ensure that each packet attracts a charge regardless of its value. I will not deal with any company in USA that insists in using UPS to ship to Ireland as a result.

    As previously mentioned by another poster Stein Dinse in Germany have an excellent website and provide a great service for all things Guzzi. Teo Lamers in Holland is also very good and has a great stock but postage rates for small orders are high if you do not negotiate price first.

    Best of luck with your Goose and also keep up the great work on your Norton!! :thumb
    #20