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A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

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  #1  
Old 27th July 2010, 08:15 PM
 
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A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers


Some of you might have read my "for sale" posting regarding the 2Ce Signature speakers consequent to my decision to upgrade to Quatro. Direct from Vandersteen himself, I got a very reasonable price and have been hunting for freight agencies cum clearance services to ship them from USA to Cochin. All of them backed out at the end and one was trying their best as I asked for a guarantee that once I paid for the speakers to Vandersteen directly and arranged for delivery at the shipper's address in USA, they had to get them to my home in India including Customs clearance etc. These things are heavy and large, plus will be declared at the real price I pay as reputed companies like Vandersteen don't under-invoice and I am also not averse to pay reasonable duties (estimated initially at around 30%) and do not wish to go illegal.

Now the last agency has also said sorry as they have talked to clearing agencies and Customs officials, both working and retired, to ensure that there would be no problems. Unfortunately, I am being told that the Customs will make a big issue when the good arrive. This is primarily because of their high value (> $5000) and also because I live in Middle East, buy from USA and ship direct to India, a case of money laundering, they will suspect!!! There is no way they will allow this and if at all they show some leniency, I could be charged 350% luxury tax for buying such high value items in a commercial international transaction!!! I even got a nice piece of advice that better speakers at lower values are available in India, so why don't you buy locally???

Bloody shame, I would say. Is this the outcome if one wants to buy something which one can afford from one's own hard-earned money outside the country and willing to do it legally? Is this a crime?

I have now only two options for future: either buy them and get them here and send to India "illegally" (there is a multitude of companies in the Middle East who do so regularly paying hardly any duties), or get them here and take along under TR when I wind up here in an year or two.

I have now no choice but to recall my "for sale".

But one thing I have decided, right or wrong: if at all I buy a new set of speakers in the future, it will still be the Vandy Quatros. This experience makes my resolution even stronger.

Or, when I come home next month, may be I should file an application with DGTD or someone for import!

Sorry, folks. Believe me, I am not a money-launderer.

no cheers this time.
murali
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  #2  
Old 27th July 2010, 08:26 PM
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Hey sorry to hear that.. I guess best offer is to get them to Middle East now and ship it to india later.
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Old 27th July 2010, 08:35 PM
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

murali,srry to hear this.best bet would be to get them to ur plc in the ME as arj suggested,use them and get them down during ur TR.should save u a lotta trouble too reg our ever present restrictions .

strange,the innumerable hurdles one has to encounter,even if u hv the money .all the best.
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Old 27th July 2010, 08:39 PM
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Murali,

Not sure which middle eastern country you are in, but I think it would be better for you to import it directly to your current country of residence, pay less duties legally and then ship it to India through one of those shipping companies which will deliver them to your home in Cochin. While I appreciate your inclination to pay full duty in India, personally I think there is nothing wrong in using the middle eastern shipping companies.

Just my two paise.

-thekinge
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Old 27th July 2010, 09:38 PM
 
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Hi Murali
pm me offline and I will put you in touch with Shippers and forwarders who will take care of this

cheers
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Old 27th July 2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Thanks for all your kind responses.

Yes, shipping to my place in the Middle East seems to be the only viable option. For goods manufactured in USA, I don't have to pay a single cent here as duties as they have free trade agreements. So far I have been inclined to look at direct shipment from USA to India for avoiding double shipment. The other problem is I may be stuck here for another year or two and buying now and keeping it here till I return under TR is a waste of money; I can very well buy them before I come. I don't have much opportunity to use them here.

I am considering all options before buying them or keep the quest pending.

It may be interesting also to find out which law I am breaking according to Customs officials. This is worthwhile as recently I came across several politicians from our country in this part of the world. One of them, the son of a prominent leader and himself aspiring to become another CM, found his hotel here (he owns in partnership with some locals) forcibly closed by authorities as they were running a brothel and bringing ladies from India on work pretexts, I hear he lost quite some money. Then there were some left party leaders here raising funds. I wonder relative to these guys, we folks employed and toiling under the sun fall victims to the laws they make in collusion with the bureaucracy. Who is laundering what???

murali
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Old 28th July 2010, 01:32 AM
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Murali,
If the only problem is that you're staying in Middle East, why not ask someone in India (relative or close friend) to buy it from Vandersteen and ship it to Cochin? You can pay the friend by bank transaction, and the customs will see an order placed from India, delivered to India. Or am I missing something obvious?
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Old 28th July 2010, 10:52 AM
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Sorry to hear that - It mirrors my sad experiences in trying to get heavy/expensive audio eqpt. into India. I guess your best bet would be to work with a C&f agent or work with odyssey as I guess he deals with this on a daily basis and probably is an authority on this by now. Best of luck and do keep us posted - I want to import a $10+ k speaker down the road and am interested in knowing the best way of doing it.
Cheers
Sid
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Old 28th July 2010, 11:12 PM
 
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Hopefully my final observations before I withdraw from this forum.

A few more shippers I managed to contact in USA confirm the same story. The speakers being expensive will certainly be classified as "luxury goods" and are most likely to attract 65% duty plus 12% VAT, fines etc. In other words, I will end up paying the same money as I pay for the speakers to get them at my home! I recall my earlier experience of getting the Vandy 2Ce directly from India when I ended up in the same situation (a reason I had mentioned in my "for sale" post). All this is because I am a personal user, not a legitimate businessman or dealer holding import licence. Then the high value of goods, my being a novice in Customs matters with hardly any contact with anyone in the department who matters, and my desire to bring them in by legitimate means. I am not saying that others cannot succeed in this but my situation is like this.

Odyssey had given me some helpful hints but unfortunately they don't work in my case for the reasons mentioned above.

Thanks to all who sympathised and offered tips.

It has been a wonderful experience so far in this.

What next? Good question. I am now tempted to use that money to sell off my 5-series and buy a X-5. At least it gives me something to enjoy here without my music. Or, may be try a hawala deal to give back something to the bureaucracy and politicians. Or, buy a gold biscuit and smuggle it in. So many choices indeed. Now you appreciate those old Bachchan movies!

cheers and sincere thanks to those who read me.
murali
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Old 28th July 2010, 11:16 PM
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Re: A sad end to the quest for Vandersteen speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajinkya View Post
Murali,
If the only problem is that you're staying in Middle East, why not ask someone in India (relative or close friend) to buy it from Vandersteen and ship it to Cochin? You can pay the friend by bank transaction, and the customs will see an order placed from India, delivered to India. Or am I missing something obvious?
you are missing something obveeous!


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