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Your favorite guitar (And the one that got away)

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8 hours ago, Dub-T-123 said:

I saw that and was shocked at the super high markup, so I had to look up your import tax rate to try and figure out how that’s possible. Looks like 20%?...

 

Goods such as a guitar being brought into the UK are not only subjected to a 20% mark-up for VAT (Value Added Tax) but also a levy for 'Customs Duty'. This is a strange one as the amount which will be charged varies with both value (Under £135; Gifts with a value between £135 and £630; other goods above £135) and country of origin. The sums involved also vary if insurance and postage rates are involved. The total payable can be quite scarily high compared with original price. Here's one example;

Goods value: £5000 (purchased from outside of EU converted from USD to UK£)
Cost of Shipping/Insurance £500
Sub Total 1: £5500 (amount duty is calculated on)
Duty on Sub Total 1 @3.5%: £192.5
Sub Total 2: £5692.5
VAT @ 20% on Sub Total 2: £1138.5

TOTAL Landed cost including duty and VAT: £6831

So the price paid goes up by approximately 37% (£5,000 to £6,831). The only reason I now know about this price-hike situation was because a while ago I bought one fairly high-value item from Japan and the final amount I had to pay  to have the item released by UK Customs came as a bit of a shock...

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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I have contemplated joining this thread for many weeks, but am a loss for answering the first part of the question. 

Sure, the 'one that got away' has to be the 1971 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe gold-top that I owned for little more than a year, and then sold in January of 1978, right before I went off to Army Basic Training. 

I needed the money, and foolishly believed that I would be leaving behind not only the garage band I was in, but also guitar playing in general, the minute I became an Army helicopter pilot. My brother (and bandmate at the time) warned me not to sell the Les Paul, but I caved into the demands of my then girlfriend (and future ex-wife), and I sold the thing. Along with a really sweet Fender Twin Reverb tube amp. 

Years later, and after taking stock of the situation, I must confess a few things;

* I regret selling the Les Paul, though the fellow I sold it to still owns and plays it to this day. He really loves it and takes good care of it.  So that's a good thing. 

* I regret selling the Twin Reverb amp, though the fellow I sold it to learned a lot, later blowing it up while in a drug-fueled haze. He is now 25+ years clean and sober. Sot that's another good thing. 

* I regret marrying the (then) girlfriend. It was a miserable marriage. But I got a wonderful daughter out of it, and she, in turn, produced her own wonderful daughter, and she is a wise young woman who has always made smart relationship choices. Yet another good thing!!
 
* 41 years after selling the Les Paul, I am still in a band with my brother, and we make really fabulous music together. And my current wife supports me and the band, 100 percent. The best thing of all. 

I have bought and sold many, many guitars over the years since that gold-top. And I currently own in the neighborhood of 20 guitars. 
I love them all, and (to the point of the 'first part of the question') I really can't pick a favorite. 
I play them all, and struggle with the choice of which ones to bring to each band gig. 

Ask me to pick a favorite?
You may as well blindfold me, drag me into the music room, spin me 'round and 'round, and ask me to point blindly at one. 

Okay, there. That one must be my favorite. 
🤔

https://www.dropshots.com/sparkmaj/date/2019-04-15/18:28:13


 

Edited by sparquelito
  • Upvote 1

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2 hours ago, sparquelito said:

I have contemplated joining this thread for many weeks, but am a loss for answering the first part of the question. 

Sure, the 'one that got away' has to be the 1971 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe gold-top that I owned for little more than a year, and then sold in January of 1978, right before I went off to Army Basic Training. 

I needed the money, and foolishly believed that I would be leaving behind not only the garage band I was in, but also guitar playing in general, the minute I became an Army helicopter pilot. My brother (and bandmate at the time) warned me not to sell the Les Paul, but I caved into the demands of my then girlfriend (and future ex-wife), and I sold the thing. Along with a really sweet Fender Twin Reverb tube amp. 

Years later, and after taking stock of the situation, I must confess a few things;

* I regret selling the Les Paul, though the fellow I sold it to still owns and plays it to this day. He really loves it and takes good care of it.  So that's a good thing. 

* I regret selling the Twin Reverb amp, though the fellow I sold it to learned a lot, later blowing it up while in a drug-fueled haze. He is now 25+ years clean and sober. Sot that's another good thing. 

* I regret marrying the (then) girlfriend. It was a miserable marriage. But I got a wonderful daughter out of it, and she, in turn, produced her own wonderful daughter, and she is a wise young woman who has always made smart relationship choices. Yet another good thing!!
 
* 41 years after selling the Les Paul, I am still in a band with my brother, and we make really fabulous music together. And my current wife supports me and the band, 100 percent. The best thing of all. 

I have bought and sold many, many guitars over the years since that gold-top. And I currently own in the neighborhood of 20 guitars. 
I love them all, and (to the point of the 'first part of the question') I really can't pick a favorite. 
I play them all, and struggle with the choice of which ones to bring to each band gig. 

Ask me to pick a favorite?
You may as well blindfold me, drag me into the music room, spin me 'round and 'round, and ask me to point blindly at one. 

Okay, there. That one must be my favorite. 
🤔

https://www.dropshots.com/sparkmaj/date/2019-04-15/18:28:13


 

 

Glad you made it to the party, late or no. Interesting post and guitar choice. 🧐

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5 hours ago, pippy said:

 

Goods such as a guitar being brought into the UK are not only subjected to a 20% mark-up for VAT (Value Added Tax) but also a levy for 'Customs Duty'. This is a strange one as the amount which will be charged varies with both value (Under £135; Gifts with a value between £135 and £630; other goods above £135) and country of origin. The sums involved also vary if insurance and postage rates are involved. The total payable can be quite scarily high compared with original price. Here's one example;

Goods value: £5000 (purchased from outside of EU converted from USD to UK£)
Cost of Shipping/Insurance £500
Sub Total 1: £5500 (amount duty is calculated on)
Duty on Sub Total 1 @3.5%: £192.5
Sub Total 2: £5692.5
VAT @ 20% on Sub Total 2: £1138.5

TOTAL Landed cost including duty and VAT: £6831

So the price paid goes up by approximately 37% (£5,000 to £6,831). The only reason I now know about this price-hike situation was because a while ago I bought one fairly high-value item from Japan and the final amount I had to pay  to have the item released by UK Customs came as a bit of a shock...

Pip.

Thanks for the insight Pip. That explains it

 

This is a stupid question.. but what if you were to get a cheap flight to California and buy one for about $2,000. Would they tax it if you bring it back to the UK as luggage?

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"I don't know with 100% certainty" is the honest answer.

I'm pretty sure it would all be applicable if it was new and cost more than the £630 upper limit for a 'Gift'. I'm pretty sure the Customs Duty also applies if the item was bought by a UK resident even if it was bought second-hand. I'm not sure what the situation is with VAT on used goods, though.

We have friends who are in the process of moving from New Jersey to Surrey (about 30 miles from my part of London) and the thought did cross my mind to have them bring something in (Mark's Guitar Loft has a few tasty items!) saying it was their private possession as I can't imagine Customs Duty would be imposed on personal property.

Pip.

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Well once I finally make my way over there I’d be happy to do some guitar smuggling for you if needed

 

Here are a couple more pics of my Ric since I was just playing it. The grain of the maple has a really cool 3D appearance in person

 

1ItVWui.jpg

Te4qkfx.jpg

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Back when I first started performing, in 1970-71, I had an Epiphone ES-335 and had no idea what it was. I had absolutely no sense, having just come home from Vietnam after two years and all the confusion that came with that. Besides, I was a really good drummer at the time, and was learning to take the front of the stage. The evil Pawn Shop got the Epi.

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