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  1. #1
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    Buying a bike from Germany to US

    Hello MTBR! New member here

    I would like some input from people (if any) that has purchased a bike from Germany. I've been looking for a bike for my 11 year old who stands 4'9/26" inseam and is outgrowing his Cannondale Trail 24. I found a couple which are the 2018 Scott Scale Junior 26 (available in the US) and an Orbea MX 26 XC with Hydraulic Disc(not available in the US).

    The Scott will run me about $600+ but my son prefers the Orbea (which really looks good, with hydraulic disc and a bit lighter than the Scott). I found an eBay seller that also owns a bike shop in Germany that is giving me a great deal on the Orbea ($550) and will cost me 50 euro to ship ($60). However, a couple of UK sellers that I contacted did not want to ship to the US because they said that it will be expensive. I understand that a bike is and oversized package and shipping is surely more than $60 so what am I missing here? The German seller said he will use DHL but online DHL quote is about $2000 (DHL Express). I contacted DHL also and they said that the seller would probably use Deutsche Post (DHL Partner) and USPS will deliver to me and it will be cheaper but will take longer to arrive, about 2 weeks.


    So has anyone ever purchased a bike from Germany or anywhere in Europe? How was your experience?

  2. #2
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    No experience with a bulky item like a whole bike, but just make sure you don't get stuck with duty fees/import taxes. I had a frame shipped from Canada and got stuck with a bill from FedEx plus what I paid the seller. The bulkiest I've bought is a fork from the UK and that was not a problem.

  3. #3
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    Ouch! That is exactly what I am worrying about. Hidden fees. DHL told me that US Customs fees only applies once the value hits $800 so I'm not too worried about that since the bike will be under $600. Tax, seller said I don't have to pay German VAT as I am in the US but not sure if I will pay tax once the bike lands here. I also order parts from UK with not problems whatsoever but never ordered a whole bike!

    Thanks for your input!

  4. #4
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    Find a bike from a US bike distributor that fits. Shipping bikes from overseas is a PIA.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.

    Ebikes are not bicycles

  5. #5
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    Thanks mtnbikej. Been researching for two weeks now

    We tried a small framed GT from Dick's Sporting goods and although he can reach the floor with the seat all the way down, his handle bar reach is too much that his back is bent forward and the 27.5 wheels seem to make it hard for him to maneuver. Cannondale does not make 26", Orbea only has the 27.5 model here as well for about $900. My next option will be the Scott Scale Junior 26. I'm sure Specialized will have one but I haven't had the chance to go to the Specialized store. I have yet to find an XS in a bike shop here in Los Angeles.

  6. #6
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    The best solution for an 11 year old kids bike requires shipping it from Germany? That's just crazy...I would definitely keep shopping and buy local.
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  7. #7
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    I remember outgrowing shoes every 6 months at that age.
    Just saw you are in LA. Call Bike Attack and see what they could do or might have.
    Good Luck

  8. #8
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    Hey sturge, the bike in Germany is not available in the US. It was made specifically for kids around my sons age. All we have here are 24ís and heís outgrowing his. The price is a tad bit lower than what we have here and slightly better equipped with hydraulic brakes thatís why I was considering it. But thanks for your input.

    Bluedog03, Bike Attack does not have the Scott Junior 26, I called them a week ago

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ardv28 View Post
    Ouch! That is exactly what I am worrying about. Hidden fees. DHL told me that US Customs fees only applies once the value hits $800 so I'm not too worried about that since the bike will be under $600. Tax, seller said I don't have to pay German VAT as I am in the US but not sure if I will pay tax once the bike lands here. I also order parts from UK with not problems whatsoever but never ordered a whole bike!

    Thanks for your input!
    I've bought parts (not complete bikes) from Merlin and Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK and did not get hit with duty or other taxes. CRC say they will pay duty on all bikes but they charge about $95 to ship.

    Not that this matters, since they don't have the bike you're looking for, but it's another data point.
    A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

  10. #10
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    Yes same here. I emailed Evo Cycles, Tredz and another online shop in the UK. Evo Cycles said the cheapest they found is about $450 shipping plus the bike, they have it at $650 so no go on that one. Still donít understand why the German bike shop is only charging $60 for a 24x24x47Ē box that weighs 40 lbs

  11. #11
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    For grins, I found the Orbea for $471 in an Irish shop called Marrey Bikes, added it to my cart and it said international shipping would be $11.33. But their Delivery page says "Unfortunately we can't ship children's bikes internationally." Might be worth checking with them via e-mail.

    Orbea MX 26 XC 18 Road Bike - Marrey Bikes
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  12. #12
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    Its actually $671 without shipping. I sent them an email, lets see what they say.

    I also checked chain reactionís shipping policy. I love how they have everything explained in detail in terms of international shipping. Wish they had the bike Iím looking for

  13. #13
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    That's weird, $671 would be about the conversion from 471 pounds, but I have dollars selected as the currency.

    Buying a bike from Germany to US-capture.png
    A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

  14. #14
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    Lol yeah it is they have two $ on the currency option

  15. #15
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    Well damn. Sorry to take you down that rabbit hole.

    I'm genuinely interested in more UK & EU options for bike stuff, especially German sites because I've seen some really good prices for tires.
    A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

  16. #16
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    No worries. So this is the German shop that Iím trying to get the bike from. The owner seems nice.

    www.jj-bikes.de

  17. #17
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    Look for a used small 26er here in the states. I'm sure there are thousands for sale cheap because nobody uses them anymore. My 9 year old son is on a nice aluminum Trek 26er with a good front shock that I got real cheap (used).

    And you wrote something that struck me in comment 6, your son's feet should not easily touch the ground when seated on any bike.

  18. #18
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    I'd look for a used Extra Small 26er (13.5 Frame). It would be slightly too big, but not for very long.

  19. #19
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    Complete bicycles are a different thing. I imported a NS Snabb from Canada and I got hit with an 11% tariff + "brokerage fees."

    Check out Giant Bicycles, they have a kids 26+ version of their XTC hardtail. Trek has the Superfly 26, and Specialized offers almost all of their bikes in an XS 13-14" frame size. There are tons of options out there.
    The cake is a lie.

  20. #20
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    I appreciate all the response and advice

    Seller in Germany just gave me the out the door price of $532.98 ($440 + $75 ship) for the Orbea MX 26 XC (hydraulic disc) shipped.

    That is lower than the Specialized Hotrock for $550 here in the US, Scott Scale Junior 26 (which comes in one color) at $579, Giant XTC Junior 26 (no granny gear, front shock) at $560, I can't even consider Trek Fuel Junior 26 at $1000+ due to the price. All US bikes mentioned does not include tax and shipping.

    So kubikeman mentioned brokerage fees. I think that will be my hidden cost as the 11% tariff only applies for products above $800

    Don't get me wrong guys, The Orbea is not the only bike I am considering, I am open to any bike out there that can be purchased at a reasonable price new or used specially since he will out grow it in about 3 years or less.

  21. #21
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    Thanks. Do you remember how much was the brokerage fee? The bike you purchased is over $800 that's how you got hit with tariff.

  22. #22
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    One option that is similarly equipped is the Rocky Edge 26" (Edge | Rocky Mountain Bicycles). It has mechanical brakes, but you'll likely spend less replacing those with hydraulic brakes then the shipping and possible brokerage costs on getting one into the country. There are a number of Rocky dealers in the LA area.

  23. #23
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    Sparkman999, thanks for that. I haven't heard of Rocky Mountain but those junior bikes do look good and priced reasonably.

    DHL just delivered stuff to my work so I chatted with the driver for a minute LOL! He's been with DHL for 10 years.

    He said I have nothing to worry about in terms of brokerage fees as the seller should or would eventually cover it with his DHL account since he is the one paying in Germany.

    As far as US Customs, nothing to worry about there too as the bike is under $2500 (this is what he said) although we already know that US Tariff starts at $800

    Box size. He said that as long as one person can carry the box, it is not considered oversize.

    Only thing I will pay is tax which varies depending on the value and since the bike will be valued at $440+9.75% tax (Los Angeles) we will be at $482.90 plus $93 which brings the bike to $575.90 given that there are no other hidden fees.

    One thing the DHL drive said is that it all boils down to what the value of the shipment is.

  24. #24
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    ....oh and another thing he said is that it is actually harder to ship stuff from US to Germany than bring in stuff from Germany to US

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ardv28 View Post
    Thanks. Do you remember how much was the brokerage fee? The bike you purchased is over $800 that's how you got hit with tariff.
    I'm not sure where you're getting that info, the US customs website is a joke as far as I'm concerned, but I'm pretty sure the $800 threshold is for for goods you plan to import upon returning to the US. I.E. you vacationed in Cuba and purchased rum and hats for your friends back home.

    I'm pretty sure if you purchase something abroad and have it imported, it'll likely get taxed somehow. You may fit in a lower tax rate of 5.5% due to the size of the wheels and weight. My bike is an adult, size medium 29er.

    I could be completely wrong on this, but you should have a check ready when you receive the bike, because you'll have to pay the dude delivering it on the spot.

    5.5% of 532.98 is only $29, so you're still way ahead of the other bikes you looked at. The brokerage fee was $67, but that totally depends on who the shipping company uses; YMMV.
    The cake is a lie.

  26. #26
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    Oh it was DHL that told me twice over the phone about the $800 threshold. I also read the same info on Chain Reaction Cycles in UK's international shipping page. Pasted it below

    "Customs information
    NEW! - From March 10th 2016 if your order total is under the duty threshold of $800* (*inclusive of all shipping charges), you will not have to pay import duty. (Prior to March 10th 2016 the import duty threshold was $200)

    *USA Ė Duty Paid on All bikes*
    ALL Customs duties due on bike purchases in the United States will be paid by Chain Reaction Cycles. This will be applied automatically at Checkout, meaning once youíve completed your order online and paid for postage, itís a hassle free delivery process right to your door, no delay at Customs or additional charges to worry about!"

    But again I will not be purchasing from Chain Reaction I just pasted what is stated on their website.

  27. #27
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    Just want to keep this thread updated for anybody, like myself, who couldnít find much answers online about importing a bike from another country to the USA regarding fees and such.

    So I pulled the trigger and got my kid the 2018 Orbea MX 26 XC. Out the door price from a German bike shop was $532 shipped via DHL. Seller charged me $92 for shipping and itís on itís way.

    Letís see what happens

  28. #28
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    I wouldn't expect any brokerage fees if no import duty is owed.

    If your son is putting his feet on the ground while seated he may not be using the 'cowboy' mount.

  29. #29
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    Thanks. Yes, the cowboy mount is one thing he needs to learn. Heís used to putting his leg over the bar which I always correct when I catch it. The reason for this is because all his bikes from age 4 or 5 (although always age appropriate sizes) always had small frames that he can just easily throw his leg over. His current Cannondale Trail 24 has a curved top tube so it made the already small frame seem smaller and easier for him do the bad habit of leg over bar mount and dismount.

  30. #30
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    Once he gets the mount you can get slightly larger bikes he can ride longer.

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