Antigua Winds
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  1. #1
    Henblower's Avatar
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    Default Fair terms for trading internationally?

    I'm about to sell an expensive instrument internationally:

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...leeping-Beauty

    I'm not experienced in international internet business and I am not dealer. What do you think are fair terms?
    I think that, being a certified Paypal member, the buyer will be safe if my data are confirmed by Paypal (name, address) and he gets a kind of invoice/bill with my full address. So a pre-payment should not be a problem.
    Someone has offered me a deposit, wants to fly from the U.S. over here to inspect the horn and pay the rest of the sum in cash.
    Can you advise me on which terms make sense and what you would do to make both parties feel alright and safe.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Pre-Payment is absolutely the norm on any transaction as far as I am concerned, unless the person I am selling to is a friend or someone that I know very well. Being paid through paypal gives you and the buyer some protection and many people, including me, only ship once the funds have cleared and can be transferred onto your account (which of course could be retrieved in a form of litigation from paypal if , for example you cannot prove that you’ve sent the item to the registered address).

    If someone is offering you such a thing as to pay a deposit (which is for you to know the person is serious about whatever he wants to pay ) the item that you are selling should be really very valuable indeed to justify the flight and cheaper than it would be in his country even adding the flight costs.........although you might have someone who is not prepared to take the risk to buy something without having it seen it in person and go through great expense to make sure or someone who has to come to Germany anyway!

    However there is no more risk in conducting such a transaction these way than selling in Germany to someone who is collecting the goods at your place.

    So as long as you are not meeting at a place where you could be robbed of the object that you are selling or you are getting paid with counterfeited banknotes there is no risk (these risks you always run even if selling locally to someone who’s collecting the goods personally).

    Most of the time selling internationally is no more problematic than selling locally and shouldn’t be regarded as a headache with the sole exception of returns.
    In the Netherlands it is very complicated to tell customs that you are taking an item BACK (as they think you’ve bought it abroad even if it says return) and they want ( unless you tell them beforehand) to charge you for custom duty (and the postal service or courier charges you for handling trough custom).

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henblower View Post
    Someone has offered me a deposit, wants to fly from the U.S. over here to inspect the horn and pay the rest of the sum in cash.
    Can you advise me on which terms make sense and what you would do to make both parties feel alright and safe.
    I would prefer this. You know there will be no issues with the buyer falsely claiming the horn was damaged and trying to get a bogus refund etc.

    Make sure you are safe though as milandro says, and if necessary or appropriate meet on neutral ground. This is not so easy as people may not want to playtest a saxophone in an airport carpark.

    To be honest, I trust my gut instinct on whether somebody is an armed criminal, many times I've had buyers round to my house without even thinking whether or not they will pull a knife.

    Buying/selling is risky on both sides, for all the buyer knows, you might take their money and send them a box of bricks (and not the type of pile of bricks that is a valuable artwork )

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    ......... you might take their money and send them a box of bricks (and not the type of pile of bricks that is a valuable artwork )
    Yes, like Carl Andre works!. I wonder what Oric Muso would think of this!........

  5. #5
    Henblower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    I have just had a very informative telephone call with Paypal. The only protection for seller and buyer is the proof the money has been sent (Paypal, but I think any bank would confirm this) and the proof the goods have been shipped by the seller (UPS, FedEx, DHL and others). If the buyer pays a deposit and pays cash at your home, he can claim his money back at Paypal. If you can't show Paypal any document you shipped the good you sold, they will ask the money back. That's how it works. So, in the end, it's either full trust or, as Pete says, gut instinct. The Paypal solution is the better solution because both sides will have a third party background.
    I do not necessarily feel mistrust for the guy who is willing to come over, but what I do not understand is that he is willing to carry up to 7500 EUR (10000 USD) here in cash, losing about 8% in money value if he has to change currencies twice (USD-EUR and back) if he does not buy the instrument. In this case the estimated sum for a close look at my horn will be about 2500 USD for a flight ticket and loss in exchange rates.
    On the other hand, if I agree on a 3-day try-out period, shipping the horn to the U.S. and back will be about half that money.
    In both cases, you should be sure what you are about to buy and get. That's why I did the video to show the instrument and "the man behind the horn".
    Yes, milandro, you are right, you have to take the instrument to a customs office and do a documentation of what you are shipping and announce that the horn might come back. In that case, you can prove to customs authorities you sent the horn, it was your property and it's just coming back. If you do not take care, they will charge you about 25% VAT and duty. So you have to be careful there.
    One last word concerning cash: every filling station in Germany has a machine that controls bank notes of 50 EUR or a higher value. It seems a lot of funny money is around these days. That's why I think paying by Paypal or bank transfer definitely is the better solution.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    not really..........since you are not shipping anything the seller shouldn't expect you to accept this advance payment as a sale, after all he is doing this to secure the sale before he comes to you. You can explain that paypal only works in a transaction where you ship the goods and that you cannot accept it if the goods are not shipped.

    You can receive money via paypal (and pay no or limited costs for this transfer by the way) as a money transfer not against a sale, which this is. We do this for gifts or donations.


    These transfers cannot be retrieved. But the buyer would have to trust you completely. But otherwise you would have to trust him not to claim his money back!


    The buyer can take traveller’s cheques with him or alternatively get money from an ATM machine with his credit card (although he might have a daily limitation for this and if the sum exceeds this limit he needs to do this in several days) once he is in Germany and pay you with that money ONLY if he is satisfied of the instrument. This could also offer you some guarantee in terms of the money being not a fake.

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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Paypal will only refund a buyer if he does a full payment for a purchase. If he pays a deposit by paypal, that is all paypal will refund him in case the deal doesn't work, even if he pays you the rest of the money by other means or even via a second paypal payment (which I imagine is what this potential buyer has in mind, rather than carrying all the money in cash with him to Germany ...). So it seems to me that in this case the buyer is risking much more than you. After all, if he doesn't like the horn, he depends on you to give him back his deposit and you still have your saxophone with you.
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  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jazz Is All's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henblower View Post
    I do not necessarily feel mistrust for the guy who is willing to come over, but what I do not understand is that he is willing to carry up to 7500 EUR (10000 USD) here in cash, losing about 8% in money value if he has to change currencies twice (USD-EUR and back) if he does not buy the instrument. In this case the estimated sum for a close look at my horn will be about 2500 USD for a flight ticket and loss in exchange rates.
    On the other hand, if I agree on a 3-day try-out period, shipping the horn to the U.S. and back will be about half that money.
    In both cases, you should be sure what you are about to buy and get. That's why I did the video to show the instrument and "the man behind the horn".
    I don't understand the whole deal really. Everything in Europe, including vintage saxes, is more expensive because of the lack of a mass merchandising business model, a much smaller market due to a much smaller population, and the high VAT rates. I constantly feel like we'fe getting gouged on most everything, and in fact we are. To sell something to Americans you have to discount the price that you could get selling it within the EU, or to Australia or Asia, so I don't understand why you would do that unless there just aren't any buyers right now here in Europe. If you aren't lowering the price of this horn to the norm for the USA than the deal makes no sense at all from the American perspective, and even if you are, why would someone from there want to pay a $2500 premium to come and collect it? Either the sax is so rare that he couldn't find it there and has no choice, or the guy is so rich that money is no object, or he has to come to Germany anyway on business and the airfare is not an extra expense.
    What am I missing?
    "We don't determine music, the music determines us; We only follow it to the end of our life: then it goes on without us." -- Steve Lacy


  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    the fact that it might not be a saxophone at all? the fact that whatever it is it might be something which will easily damage if shipped incorrectly?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    I guess if you can afford to pay $10k+ for a sax, assuming it's a player or collector buying it, then the extra $1500 or so to fly to Germany is probably worth it in order to play it first and then fly back with it to ensure its safety.
    Ska Ska Ska Ska Ska

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    everything is relative. a friend of mine bought a Grafton for 2500€. Graftons are notoriously dangerous to ship, the likelihood that the horn could be damaged in transit was not remote. He went to pick it up in England addig to the cost of the horn perhaps 20% (but saving on risk ).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    everything is relative. a friend of mine bought a Grafton for 2500€. Graftons are notoriously dangerous to ship, the likelihood that the horn could be damaged in transit was not remote. He went to pick it up in England addig to the cost of the horn perhaps 20% (but saving on risk ).
    Agree with this. I mean, you're paying the price of a small car for a saxophone... I'd imagine the airfare is of small consequence.
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    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    Yes, like Carl Andre works!. I wonder what Oric Muso would think of this!........
    I'm not sure if it's real - the image looks a bit computer generated. Maybe it's an HDR image. But the A is back-to-front, so it's not great.

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oric Muso View Post
    I'm not sure if it's real - the image looks a bit computer generated. Maybe it's an HDR image. But the A is back-to-front, so it's not great.
    alright, this one then....... same author

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    That's been done before!

  16. #16
    Henblower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Thanks for your thoughts and hints. I think we can put an end to this. There's just one thing: "Jazz is all" is not right that vintage horns are more expensive in the EU than in the US. The horn I am offering will cost about 4000 to 6000 USD more in the US, and I know that Selmer Mark 6 and Super Balanced Action are asking notoriusly high prices in the US. Had to correct this.

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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henblower View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts and hints. I think we can put an end to this. There's just one thing: "Jazz is all" is not right that vintage horns are more expensive in the EU than in the US. The horn I am offering will cost about 4000 to 6000 USD more in the US, and I know that Selmer Mark 6 and Super Balanced Action are asking notoriusly high prices in the US. Had to correct this.
    Yes. It could be the case that the US buyer is traveling to Europe, buying the MK VI and still make a huge profit with it when back in the US. Have you guys seen some of the prices that Roberto's Winds is asking for these kinds of horns?
    Tenor:
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oric Muso View Post
    That's been done before!
    Wasn't he, Carl Andre, the one that did it before? Tate Gallery purchase, early 1970s? Lotsa press coverage about silly gallery purchases and public money? Usual stuff.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fair terms for trading internationally?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    Wasn't he, Carl Andre, the one that did it before? Tate Gallery purchase, early 1970s? Lotsa press coverage about silly gallery purchases and public money? Usual stuff.
    I'm pretty sure people like the Egyptians got there before, and they did a much better job of it.

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