Within the last 8 weeks I priced a frame and forks from the midwest to the u.k. and it came in first class at around $68 using USPS
I seem to remember one of the couriers no long accepts bike frames within the us??? possibly fedex?? I'm not sure if that translates into cross atlantic parcels
Uk customs seem to be getting more proactive in taking money off people so the larger and more exspensive declared items seem to be getting charged more often than they used too.
I'm sure some will chime in about how much they had to pay but basically if caught..customs charges a percentage then the post office has a little slice too
Parcel forces letter is probably spot on and they will return it unless they get their sheckles
It was UPS that no longer took frames, but only if booked through interparcel. UPS do still take frames, but not if booked through interparcel...
USPS is the cheapest way to go, though I don't know how Sylus got the price down to $68; the cheapest I found was USPS global priority or summat. USPS have changed their services recently.
I recently bought a bike in the States and the seller was originally keen to send, but changed his mind once I won the auction. I pointed out to him that if he re-listed he would be unlikely to make anywhere near as much. (in my case, the third highest bid was $250 less than mine), so for the tiny inconvenience of filling out a customs declaration he would be far better off.
Ask for help from our American friends. I was offered a US address and forward posting by a chap on here. I won't name him in case he's inundated. He knows who he is and I'm extremely grateful for the offer, though the seller subsequently sent it himself.
Due to size restrictions, sending a complete bike requires 2 boxes, one for the frame anf forks and other bits, and one for the wheels . You have to work out whether you really want to pay for transporting the wheels. Not just the postage, but additional import duty. Bicycle components attract 5% duty + 20%VAT. Complete bikes are 15% duty and 20% VAT.
They have to be very nice wheels to be worth it!
Oh, and Parcelforce now only charge £8 handling fee for customs.
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