Getting gear from the US?


Standard Member
With the doller being so cheap at the moment, is it a good idea to buy expenive leccy gear on US web sites and get stuff imported. Are there too many complications, risk etc. Does it depend on the particular product eg Plasma's No (due to differing formats), but Receivers or Amps maybe. Surely products such as speakers would be identical wherever you bought them.

Any advice appreciated.




Active Member
Yeah, you should be able to use a step-down transformer no problem.

Obviously you have issues if anything goes wrong and stuff like that you are not easily going to be able to send it back or whatever.

Not sure what the exact import duty on electrical goods is but usually around 10% on most goods. When comparing foreign prices I usually take the price including delivery and convert to uk pounds, then add 10% (import duty) then add 17.5% (vat). If this price is still significantly less than uk price (which it often still is) I go for it. Also note that some couriers will charge you a £15-£20 customs admin fee to get it through customs and to pay all the charges (stated above) - you then usually have to pay this fee along with the customs charges to the courier when it's delivered - usually by cheque or cash only.

Personally I have imported lots of different things from all over the world and never had any real issues, just as long as you work out your import costs beforehand and then compare prices.


Active Member
Originally posted by Ash007
what do you do if its faulty?

Depending on the circumstances, and when it develops a fault I would suggest one of the following:

- Manufacturer warranty should still be valid so try and get it repaired in this country. I have successfully done this with a camcorder no problem but some manufacturers or repairers may be less inclined to help if you purchased abroad.
- Ship back to the supplier (probably at your expense).
- Try and get repaired in the uk by someone at your expense.
- Cut your losses and chuck it away.

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