importing expensive gear from the USA, be careful!!

hi everyone, im new here,  looked on your site a number of times but never joined, but i just had an experience that i had to share, it prob has been talked about on here before but i ordered a lowrance hds7 from wmj marine in the US, seemed a pretty good deal at $1000, $600 cheaper than in aus, add the card for all of aus for another $280  and still looking good.   now here is the tricky part,  you can get it sent via united states postal service for around $60 and it takes 4 weeks or so, or for $170 you can get fedex to send it quicker,  still about 2 weeks.

 

what they dont tell you is that once any package arrives in aus that is worth more than $1000 US  you have to pay customs taxes,  which includes gst and fees.   and that customs tax for my unit was $200,  so all up now this cheap looking package from overseas is really not worth the wait, still cheaper than aus but for all the stuffing around i wouldnt bother again,  i really should have supported local business.

 

what got me the most is the excessive customs tax, i had no idea about that and wmj never told me, of course, which pissed me off,  i emailed them and they said that next time they can write down the value to less than $1000, and i responded saying there wont be a next time and it would have been nice to know about this extra costs they knew about.

 

anyways i just thought id let you guys know in case your thinking of taking advantage of the good aussie dollar!!

 

i get the hds7 early next week so hopefully it does ok,  not sure what happens with the warranty seeing as the unit is from the us.

 

take it easy

 

gav


Dreamtime's picture

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devo

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:27

there all tricksy lil hobbits ay, like its not to hard to change the cost price themselves just to help someone out, just brainless dogs imo

fishy fingers's picture

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I was aware of customs tax

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:32

a few years ago I got something from the us as it was only available from the manufacturer there but I checked out the cost of importing things BEFORE i orderd it!
It's not the sellers responsibility to inform you they may not even be aware of our tax laws here

DazSamFishing's picture

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sorry to hear, although, it

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:40

sorry to hear, although, it pays to research importing taxes. Those postage charges seem bloody excessive to me though.

STEVE231's picture

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Welcome to the forum Gav,

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:41

Welcome to the forum Gav, Hopefully you won't have any reason for warranty claims, as "grey" units are not looked upon favorably by local retailers.

 

It seems as though you are fairly new to importing expensive items into the country, and have learnt a lesson in terms of duty etc. It is illegal to cost down an item to avoid import tax but plenty will do it.

 

When I make big purchases O/S I will factor all this in and weigh up whether it is still cost effective to purchase the item from here or abroad. The most I had to pay in import tax once was $600AUD...OUCH!! but I knew it was coming.

 

Realistically, apart from shipping rates, import tax is the only thing you have to factor in.

Alan James's picture

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Oh dear

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:42

Ever heard of the expression 'buyer beware'.  In this instance however I think the onus is on you, the buyer to check the rammifications of buying goods from overseas, not the seller.  After all, they are sellers / distributors of goods not customs duty and GST advisers for every country in the world.

And if you think customs officers don't know the true value of goods, think again.  Reducing the cost of the invoice may not get you the result you had anticipated. 

By the way, welcome to the site.

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yeah its up to the buyer but

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:46

yeah its up to the buyer but you dont always have to pay the tax.  ive had plenty stuff over $1500 come through and not paid anything its the luck of the draw

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getting the bottom line final answer from a bunch of blokes that use false names and put smiley faces at the end of paragraphs is not the best place in the world to get the information you seek.

Rick's picture

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WMJ

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:47

Have had quite few dealings with this company, and have had nothing but great service...

Customs and Import duties are the customers concern. As each country has it own rules with regards to importing. It's a shame it cost you the dollars, but it does pay to check all the details before you do your transactions.

 

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Paul G's picture

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As for warranty you would

Thu, 2010-10-28 18:23

As for warranty you would need to send it back as most agents here will not touch it.

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mussels's picture

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have you fired

Thu, 2010-10-28 18:28

it up yet mate, have heard lowrances from the states wont work in australia

hopefully not the case for you, sorry is it sounder or gps, only gps have problems

STEVE231's picture

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It will work, but I have

Thu, 2010-10-28 18:33

It will work, but I have been told it may not work to it's fullest potential, i.e, black and white instead of colour. It's called geofencing. I can't say for sure, may just be scare tactics, but it was enough to get me buying my HDS local.

Paul G's picture

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I got my lowrance from the

Thu, 2010-10-28 18:54

I got my lowrance from the states some years back didn't have any problems with it full colour and works great.

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STEVE231's picture

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Same as me, my old unit

Thu, 2010-10-28 19:00

Same as me, my old unit worked a treat, this is just recent thing. I think it is going to be implemented soon.

mussels's picture

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bonzer imports

Thu, 2010-10-28 19:05

put this notice up a short time ago stating

Lowrance have recently implemented Geofencing technology into their units, to limit their functionality of US marketed equipment. If the unit is an American standard unit, and the current location is outside the 30 degrees west and international dateline east of the Americas it will revert to US imperial units and flash a constant message on the screen saying " this unit is not setup in this area please contact authorised dealer".

mullows's picture

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Hate to be the bearer of

Thu, 2010-10-28 19:08

Hate to be the bearer of really bad news mate. Picked up the hds 7 a few weeks ago for $1199 at Bias in Claremont. I was looking to buy in the States but the fella over there said they were getting a few back from Aus as there were problems with something or other as the base maps were all US or something. Then when I did look around local they were on sale here for the same price without postage gst customs and the rest.

 

Cheers

Mullows

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alfred's picture

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You will only have the

Thu, 2010-10-28 19:26

You will only have the problem if you get the US model.  Note - both Global and US models are available from the US.

Gavman - tax is standard with any import over a grand.  Sometimes, you get lucky though.

Tim's picture

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No More

Thu, 2010-10-28 21:09

Not anymore Alfred. All units sold in the states now are sold for use in the americas only. I believe its been this way since mid this year.

 

alfred's picture

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If you go to an official

Fri, 2010-10-29 07:27

If you go to an official agent.

STEVE231's picture

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Lowrance US model,

Thu, 2010-10-28 19:30

Lowrance US model, Insight???
From what I can gather anything else is good to go.

Bluetonic's picture

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Hate to say this, but I buy

Thu, 2010-10-28 21:32

Hate to say this, but I buy a lot from OS, and you need to think a little smart! Let's just say it pays to try and not... um? well you know where I'm coming from?... surely?
Often whatever you 1st put in the paperwork will just get accepted. And if it doesn't, at least you tried.

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strike_zone's picture

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stay local

Thu, 2010-10-28 22:45

as you can see you can get good prices buying local and you are COVERED BY WARRANTY some people brag about picking up stuff cheap o/s but eventually it will come back and bite them in the arse its a long drive back to the us for warranty plus the fact you will not be able to run the unit in metric and that annoying flashing message will drive you crazy its a hard expensive lesson to learn

Faulkner Family's picture

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maybe some things are

Thu, 2010-10-28 22:58

maybe some things are cheaper on paper but as you have found out it isnt that cheap after all. unfortunately you have found out the hard way. i still believe in shop local and get local knowledge. hopefully you wont have the probs that some have said . maybe next time you might want to shop around locally instead of o/seas. never know what bargains you might turn up

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imagine the american who

Fri, 2010-10-29 04:46

imagine the american who buys an insight model hds 10 say for his sail boat and he does a bit of a trip to italy i think he would be mega pissed at llowrance

 

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getting the bottom line final answer from a bunch of blokes that use false names and put smiley faces at the end of paragraphs is not the best place in the world to get the information you seek.

Tony Halliday's picture

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that's why all the bigger

Fri, 2010-10-29 09:29

that's why all the bigger ocean going boats use Furuno and Ray Marine mate! I'd not sail the seven seas with a Lowrance or a Navman etc...

ps, duty should have been only 10% GST as we are in free-trade agreement with USA if I'm not mistaken.

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Now I'm happy :)

Fri, 2010-10-29 18:26

Good to see the brand "Raymarine" mentioned here in a good light, as I bought a Raymarine unit from their dealer in Freo and have not seen many guys using them anywhere, so I was thinking I was using something a bit out of favour with local fisher people :)

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Why buy Lowrance? Why not

Fri, 2010-10-29 07:53

Why buy Lowrance? Why not put the savings towards buying a better quality unit? Pretty sad that you need to rely on Lowrances warrenty. Whatever happened to just building a reliable product.
Don't hear about too many Furuno or Raymarine issues compared to lowrance.

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kane's picture

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bought alot of gear from the states

Fri, 2010-10-29 14:20

never had a problem, also you dont pay tax on gifts ;)

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Alan James's picture

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Taxes on gifts

Fri, 2010-10-29 18:02

I think you will find the tax concession on gifts was revoked in 2008 and therefore customs duty and taxes do apply.

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damo6230's picture

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US gear

Fri, 2010-10-29 14:45

There is a company that imports electronic gear from the US exclusively for AUS/NZ markets.

I used this company to purchase a humminbird sounder (>$1000) and never paid custom/import taxes.

I bought an international model (they sell them to the Canadians) so I got all the metric goodies for only an extra $100 and this model gets mores features than the US model so not fussed about paying the extra $100. 

All good cosidering at the time the unit cost half the price Australian shops were asking......

Happy Hooker's picture

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Nothing wrong with buying stuff from overseas......

Fri, 2010-10-29 14:49

As long as YOU make the proper enquiries about the product, the seller and warranty.

Its not up to the seller to tell you about Australian Duty or custom rules.  

Have bought plenty from overseas, never an issue with anything.Has all worked here in Aus and only problem I had was with an IPod that was sent back and replaced within 3weeks at no cost. Would buy it from locals but when my buying power increases by double , hard to justify. 

You see the prices of TVs and electrical goods dropping with rise in Aussie dollar , why not boat electronics and fishing gear ?????

  

Happy Hooker's picture

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Damo ...was that Koala ??

Fri, 2010-10-29 14:53

Have bought from them and are great. Aus expat I believe and they mention the Customs aspect and warranty matters on website....

damo6230's picture

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Yes that's them

Fri, 2010-10-29 14:59

And yes great service.

John the Pom's picture

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This site is worth a look if

Fri, 2010-10-29 19:04

This site is worth a look if you are importing stuff. Depending on the weight and size they can reduce the postage price quite a bit.

 

http://www.priceusa.com.au/index.html

PattyT's picture

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Very glad i came apon this

Sun, 2010-10-31 16:12

Very glad i came apon this thread.. so if i was to buy one of the higher end reels over 1000 bucks like the dogfight/stella id get slapped with the extra tax? Bullet dodged there. With the dollar like it is now they are going for just over a grand on ebay... so i was starting to gain some interest.

gavman's picture

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thanks for all the response

Thu, 2010-11-04 18:19

i am suprised by all the response on this topic,  i havent installed it yet but after reading the comments im not looking forward to it hahaha,    if there is known issues with using the gps in australia then the dealer yet again should have informed me, no point selling something to someone who cant have it working properly.  i will let you guys know when its running.

just had a thought,   i purchased an australian navionics map with the unit,  and wondered why would lowrance sell these cards to go with the unit if the person who may have purchased it in the US cant use it outside of the US,   would be pretty retarded!

 

Lucky Tim's picture

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hopefully it all works for

Fri, 2010-11-05 08:13

hopefully it all works for you mate and there's no future probs. I went through the same decsion recently and decided to go local, but it was only an extra $100 or so more expensive than importing.
As for the Customs tax that just has to go down as a lesson learnt, or factored into the cost. Sometimes you get things through, sometimes not. As for the seller making the buyer aware of this stuff, sorry but that's the buyers responsibility, they probably ship to heaps of countries so can't expect them to advise everybody of their own local laws and taxes.
Good luck with the unit though, hope it all goes well.

gavman's picture

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i hooked up the unit

Sat, 2010-11-06 08:56

i hooked up the unit yesterday and put the navionics card in and it all works fine, which is great!    i did email wmj just to ask if the hds7 units they sell work in Aus and they said that they still have some of the older units which work,  so it would seem the newer ones will have issues so i think i got lucky.

then unit graphics look great, good deatil on the map, the screen is very good,  now just gotta take it out and test this fancy high def sounder

Faulkner Family's picture

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you have struck it lucky .

Sat, 2010-11-06 09:02

you have struck it lucky . hope the unit performs well for you

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strike_zone's picture

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dont update

Sat, 2010-11-06 21:09

would probably be a good idea not to update the software on the unit at all

PJAY's picture

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Lowrance have recently

Sun, 2010-11-07 19:48

Lowrance have recently implemented their Geofencing technology into the new units (via a software update) to limit the functionality of US marketed equipment. Geofencing is a GIS term whereby software identifies a region on a map. Lowrance have a geofence programmed into the units that identifies (via GPS) where the unit is, and if the unit is an American standard unit, and the current location is outside of 30 degrees West and International Dateline East of the Americas, the unit will revert to US imperial units only and flash a message on the screen continuously saying "This unit is not set up in this area please contact authorized dealer".

Other brands are not subject to Geofencing.

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Tim's picture

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Lowrance

Mon, 2010-11-08 09:56
gavman's picture

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thanks for the info

Tue, 2010-11-09 20:12

thanks for the info guys,   i will certainly not be updating anything as it appears i got lucky with a slightly older version of the hds7.   i took the boat out for a spin off dampier on sunday and the sounder and gps worked great, so hopefully it works well for a long time !!! have heard many bad things about lowrance, but then i just took off a navman colour sounder and gps because i have had issues with that brand, and pretty sure navman and lowrance are owned by the same mob

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Interesting

Thu, 2010-11-11 21:09

What they are said to be doing with the units in the US seems anti-competitive and protectionist of overseas suppliers to me. I used to use Lowrance - now Furuno. I always received excellent service from Lowrance, and family in US had products replaced free of charge even after expiry of warranty. Never had anything fixed over here in Aus though. Agree that the buyers responsibility to understand local import implications - can't blame the supplier for that.. 

Tim's picture

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Update

Mon, 2010-11-15 22:42

Just found this updated comment on this issue from Lowrance.

 

Please note that the problems you are experiencing with the blinking messages and limited functionality cannot be fixed. The unit must be replaced.

 

So if you do get the issue you cant even take your unit to a local supplier for an update. Only way to get rid of it is to replace the unit with a local version.

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That's interesting

Wed, 2020-07-22 06:21

I will start off by apologizing if this isn't the right location for this post. I tried to search for similar topics, but couldn't find anything for my specific questions and then I found this. I was just wondering if it's possible to ship now from the US when there is a pandemic going on?

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Shipping

Wed, 2020-07-22 09:11

 Shipping is still happening, but incredibly slowly. Can't see it changing for quite a while either.

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Virus

Wed, 2020-07-22 07:45

 Probably come with free corona virus.