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Overseas mail order bikes/parts shopping


Oct 15, 2008
Hello all,

I`ve just joined after being a voyeur for a long time.
I am in the process of buying a new roadbike and I`m thinking of getting the bike from a shop in Seattle. FedEx charges about $240 for shipping (3days). Also thinking about using totalcycling out of Ireland for some parts. My question is for anyone who has experience having bikes or parts shipped from abroad: any strong opinions regarding Japanese customs? Any nightmare stories? Any customs delays or horrific charges?
Your experiences and advice are much appreciated.

thanks phil
very interesting
i`ll post when the goodies arrive
I had a few issues when my bike arrived from Italy. It got held up a day at customs, which meant I had to delay a trip to Kyoto (with the bike). It wasn't huge deal but they seemed to take exception to a pair of socks the shop had thrown in as a freebie without putting a note on the invoice. Other than that, I had to pay a bit of duty, but not loads.

I had another bike sent from the UK, though, and that went very smoothly.
unaccompanied baggage

I've never used it for a bike, but I've had several guitars sent to me as unaccompanied baggage. One example: I took an expensive guitar to the states for some repair work, and when it was shipped back to me (even tho insured for and with a multi-thousand $ declared value) it came in free of duty and consumption tax.

You just need to do some advance paperwork, and as I recall, you don't need to to declare what it is that'll be coming in, its value, nor where it will be coming from. Your unaccompanied baggage can arrive up to six months after you get here. There's a form for this at the airport that you fill out and have stamped by a customs agent when you come in.

Not always, but in a couple cases I've printed up big labels for the box and sent them to the shipper: 別送荷物. Then when your shipment arrives it will probably take a couple extra days to clear--shipper has to call you, you have to send them the original of the form, and they then have to clear it thru with that in hand. It at least saves 5% per thousand.
Oops guess I put this in the wrong thread.

Ironic but I have been ordering some NITTO stuff from US. I think it was imported there when the dollar was up and Y down. Even with S&H it seems just a bit cheeper. I have had good results with THESE GUYS:

They gots the cool stuff.
Got a honkin long 2 foot Nitto seat pin. Useful in this land of tiny bikes.

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