#1
Just a quick question for those who know.

why are guitars always more expensive in the uk?, not just by a little but usually seems like 30-40% more than what they would cost to people in america. an example, Im looking to buy a mexican made fender standard strat, the cheapest I can find is:

£ 383, about $600 usd? aren't they like $400ish in the states?

second hand the cheapest I have seen is still £320

in the uk we now have 20% tax on virtually everything, whats the tax on instruments in america?
#2
America gets a thing called sales tax which is usually only applied when you buys omething so the price of that often isn't stated on websites. So they do normally have to pay a little bit more than what it looks like if you look up a guitar on an American shop's site. But it's not as much as our VAT.

Pretty much the reason we have to pay so much more is because we keep bending over and taking it. A guitar that is $500 in America should be about £300 here + 20% VAT to = £360. But it never does, a guitar that is $500 in America is usually £500 here. People keep buying them though so distributors and shops will keep charging that much. It's the same with other instruments, cars, phones, computers, DVDs, video games, books. Shops know that SOMEBODY will be willing to pay that £500 so that's what they price the guitar at. If everybody refused to pay their inflated prices then they would be forced to drop them down. But that will never happen. It's even starting to happen with second hand prices, if you look on ebay you'll see lots of people selling guitars and amps for pretty much the same as they cost brand new four years ago. Shit's crazy. What we should be doing is trading between ourselves, cutting each other bargains so the distributors and shops are forced to charge less to compete. Instead we've all realised the same thing the shops have and we're scalping each other, driving prices higher and higher.
#3
Everything is like that in America. Stuff that costs £30 here costs $30 over there. I remember I went there when £1 was almost $2. (c. 2004) Game Boy games were only $30 dollars I was in heaven! (To the point where I only actually bought one Game)
#4
I agree thet you guy in europe get shafted for USA gear.
Look at Peavey amps for example, yes they are good quality, but even at $1000 USD for a new 6505 is strching it, you pay the equivilant to what a Mesa dual Recto cost in USA.

But it also goes the other way, Orange, Mrashall, Diezel, Futch, ect ar hugely over priced here. For example an Orange rocker verb 100 runs @$2300 USD, and for that price you can get a Bogner Uberschall here.

It also comes down to what people are willing to pay for a specific brand.

Most US web sites do not charge sales tax, unless they have a physical retail store in your state. I bought a Krank rev 4x12 for $999 USD, and would hate to see what it would cost over there.
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#5
it is the same in Korea, the stuff here is crazy expensive. I went looking for one of those cheap little Honeytone amps for my tiny apartment. Back home in the US they are $19 all day long, here the cheapest was $65!!! i was like WHAT? so i had mine shipped to me but long story short that is how everything is here. Food, electronics and clothing all 2x to 3x more.
#6
thanks for the replys

im not going mad after all

guess im going to have to suck it up and pay the extra or buy a squier... (shudders)
#7
I would honestly look for gear that is made localy to you, there are great guitar/amp companys in just about every country, and it's nice to support your local economy
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#8
It can be cheaper at times to actually fly over to the US, from the Uk, buy the guitar and fly back than it is just to buy the guitar here.
#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
I would honestly look for gear that is made localy to you, there are great guitar/amp companys in just about every country, and it's nice to support your local economy
Not in the UK there aren't. Every UK builder prices themselves out of the market. I think the cheapest dude I've seen is £1,500+. There is no such thing as like an affordable British maker. There are a couple of guys like Vintage and TC Ellis that are based in the UK but they have their stuff made in China and Indonesia and Korea and they still charge as much as Epiphone and Squier do.

There are guys in Poland that will make you a guitar by hand to whatever spec you want for half of what a UK builder will charge for a basic Strat or LP copy that is mostly done by CNC. Just because UK builders think so highly of themselves and won't price themselves fairly purely out of ego. It's stupid.
#10
As an Australian, I feel your pain. An Australian-owned company making an Australian-made microphone? $400-500 cheaper to ship it from the US.

Sometimes, distributors just like to bleed people dry.
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#11
It's basically the American-European difference in social mentality. Europe has a much more collective approach to social safety nets (e.g. until the Great Recession, German unemployment benefits maxed out around $38,000 a year for life--a bit extreme, but the point is made), but in order to pay for those programs, you have to pay more in taxes. Here in the US, it's more individualistic, so we pay less in taxes, but when we get dealt a shitty hand (lose our job, get cancer, whatever), we're pretty much on our own. Right now, I prefer the American system because I'm a college student and can barely afford the current price level. When I'm 65 and still working, Europe is the way to go. It's all about perspective.

Also, the way the tax system is set up, at least here, if you order something from a different state/nation online, you don't have to pay sales tax. For example, if I live in Maine and order something online from a company in New York, I don't pay sales tax, but I will have to pay shipping; whereas if I bought it in store, it'd be the other way round.

Thirdly, is it just me or have there been a lot of these threads lately? We get it, you hate paying more for stuff. Deal with it.
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#12
Quote by grohl1987
Not in the UK there aren't. Every UK builder prices themselves out of the market. I think the cheapest dude I've seen is £1,500+. There is no such thing as like an affordable British maker. There are a couple of guys like Vintage and TC Ellis that are based in the UK but they have their stuff made in China and Indonesia and Korea and they still charge as much as Epiphone and Squier do.

There are guys in Poland that will make you a guitar by hand to whatever spec you want for half of what a UK builder will charge for a basic Strat or LP copy that is mostly done by CNC. Just because UK builders think so highly of themselves and won't price themselves fairly purely out of ego. It's stupid.

why don't you list some of the UK builders you're referring to? you only mentioned those that are UK based companies having their products manufactured overseas.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#13
Quote by Blompcube
why don't you list some of the UK builders you're referring to? you only mentioned those that are UK based companies having their products manufactured overseas.


www.ultimate-builder.com

It's mainly due to import taxes and the such eating into profits, so they have to raise the price by (usually a bit more than) the import taxes on the item.
#14
Quote by grohl1987
Not in the UK there aren't. Every UK builder prices themselves out of the market. I think the cheapest dude I've seen is £1,500+. There is no such thing as like an affordable British maker. There are a couple of guys like Vintage and TC Ellis that are based in the UK but they have their stuff made in China and Indonesia and Korea and they still charge as much as Epiphone and Squier do.

There are guys in Poland that will make you a guitar by hand to whatever spec you want for half of what a UK builder will charge for a basic Strat or LP copy that is mostly done by CNC. Just because UK builders think so highly of themselves and won't price themselves fairly purely out of ego. It's stupid.

Marshall, Orange, Matamp, Laney, ... are all UK made brands that do not price themselves out of the market. You don't HAVE to go 'boutique'.

And that polish company probably is RAN?
They suck huge ass. Their work is VERY sloppy. I'd rather pay more for an instrument that is built the way it should be, than paying quite alot of money for a sloppy instrument.
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#15
Quote by Steve635z
www.ultimate-builder.com

It's mainly due to import taxes and the such eating into profits, so they have to raise the price by (usually a bit more than) the import taxes on the item.

icwutudidthar

but it was pretty obvious i meant guitar builders. and i didn't ask you to list them
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#16
VAT, Import Duty & Transportation Costs all lead to higher prices.
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#17
Economies of scale - America is a much bigger market.
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#18
You can get a good used MIM strat for $250 here in NYC. Though this morning I saw a guy advertising a used MIM strat and a 30-watt Crate amp for less than $200 together. Brand new a MIM strat is $499 and that's with free delivery and no sales tax. Due to the vagaries of USA tax law, if you want to actually play the strat in a local shop before you buy it then you will pay sales tax, which would add around $40 to the cost.
#19
It was cheaper for me to buy my guitar from a smallish guitar store in America and have it shipped over here, including import tax than it was to buy here. I got my 2011 Les Paul Custom (brand new) for just under $3000 which is around £1800. Here the same model costs £2850. So I saved over £1000 by going through a small dealer in America, where I know the sales staff really well and can trust them to pick the best guitar they have.
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#21
Quote by LP_CL
Marshall, Orange, Matamp, Laney, ... are all UK made brands that do not price themselves out of the market. You don't HAVE to go 'boutique'.
I wasn't aware that Orange made electric guitars. Oh, wait, they don't.

And that polish company probably is RAN?
They suck huge ass. Their work is VERY sloppy. I'd rather pay more for an instrument that is built the way it should be, than paying quite alot of money for a sloppy instrument.
First I've heard of this RAN. I was talking about Mayones. I've only handled a couple of their basses but if those were anything to go by their guitars should be incredible.
#22
Quote by grohl1987
I wasn't aware that Orange made electric guitars. Oh, wait, they don't.




well, i doubt they actually made it themselves, it's probably a generic knock-off that's been re-branded.

edit: at a second glance that looks shooped to hell but dolphinmusic.co.uk are actually selling them...
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
Last edited by Blompcube at Jul 25, 2011,
#23
I feel your pain I'm tempted to import my next guitar from the states but I'm worried about import tax and the inevitable transport damage.

It can't be economies of scale, they don't make the gibsons, ibanez' or G&L guitars in the UK, they're still made in the US or x Asian country...
Gear:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
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#24
Quote by Spud Spudly
Where can you get a LP Custom for under $3000? I want to go there.


Eddie's Guitars in St.Louis. Ring them and ask for a guy called Brett. He's awesome and will find a guitar you really like. I've known him a while and he found exactly what I wanted when I was thousands of miles away. Just make sure you tell him guitarbob123 (George) sent you, if you say i'm on MLP he'll know who I am and give you a great deal. Just if you're buying :L


UK prices are stupid. The amount I paid in dollars is close to what it would cost in pounds over here!
'And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.'

'You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.'
#25
Quote by grohl1987
I wasn't aware that Orange made electric guitars. Oh, wait, they don't.

First I've heard of this RAN. I was talking about Mayones. I've only handled a couple of their basses but if those were anything to go by their guitars should be incredible.

Oh, didn't know this was guitar related only. I thought we were talking gear in general.

And yes, Mayones guitars are really good. I didn't know they made custom orders too. I thought it was more like Carvin. Some models where you can select alot of options on. But not really really custom made guitars like VIK guitars or ESP CS where they just do whatever is imaginable.
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Blackat
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#26
Quote by BlueIceBox
I feel your pain I'm tempted to import my next guitar from the states but I'm worried about import tax and the inevitable transport damage.

It can't be economies of scale, they don't make the gibsons, ibanez' or G&L guitars in the UK, they're still made in the US or x Asian country...

Economies of scale = larger markets with lower prices.

They sell far more guitars in the US, there's also a massive used market - that keeps prices low relative to other countries that don't shift as many guitars and don't have as many second hand ones floating around.
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#27
Quote by digman50
Eddie's Guitars in St.Louis. Ring them and ask for a guy called Brett. He's awesome and will find a guitar you really like. I've known him a while and he found exactly what I wanted when I was thousands of miles away. Just make sure you tell him guitarbob123 (George) sent you, if you say i'm on MLP he'll know who I am and give you a great deal. Just if you're buying :L


UK prices are stupid. The amount I paid in dollars is close to what it would cost in pounds over here!

thanks
#28
Quote by LP_CL

And yes, Mayones guitars are really good. I didn't know they made custom orders too. I thought it was more like Carvin. Some models where you can select alot of options on. But not really really custom made guitars like VIK guitars or ESP CS where they just do whatever is imaginable.
They're like the Jackson and Schecter custom shops, usually they only do custom options on their standard models but if you pay them enough they will make you anything. It just so happens that 'enough' in Poland is a lot less than 'enough' in the UK is. I'm not saying they're cheap, just that they put UK builders to shame on like-for-like builds.
#29
Quote by grohl1987
They're like the Jackson and Schecter custom shops, usually they only do custom options on their standard models but if you pay them enough they will make you anything. It just so happens that 'enough' in Poland is a lot less than 'enough' in the UK is. I'm not saying they're cheap, just that they put UK builders to shame on like-for-like builds.

Yeah, that's true.
Hufschmid
Blackat
Washburn USA Custom Shop
PRS
Mayones
Orange
Diezel
Engl
#30
I would say there are a few luthiers in the UK that can make like for like with Ran and Mayones and blow them away.

Just so you know, a RAN clone of a Blackmachine B2 clone for £2500, thats £1000 more than the price from Doug.

Jaden Rose builds insane guitars for usually around £2k. He even built an Ibanez Fireman clone for £1600.... Thats hardly mental pricing.

Dylan at Daemones starts all his builds at £1500 but his options are hardly pricy,

thats just a handful of the UK based builders recognised on here, you need to learn more about the best UK luthiers Grohl.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#31
Most of them seem to ramp the price up once you mention custom options though. I've seen quotes for things like +£250 just for block inlays instead of dots. US and other EU builders would barely charge +£50 for that. It's all very well starting at £1500 or whatever but it's not like final builds will cost that. Just look at the UK distributor of Seymour Duncan custom shop pickups. SD's site quote most custom shop pickups at $150 so what does the UK distributor charge per order? £160. It's not like there's much of a local alternative with BKP asking for £100+ per pickup. The basic build might not be so expensive but if you want nice parts you're still ****ed. Other builders in other countries may not be any cheaper or may even charge more for the initial build but they go a lot easier on custom options and parts.

I have heard before that Jaden Rose is comparatively cheap but I've also heard his guitars leave something to be desired for the prices they command.
#32
Sorry but where did you pull those figures from?

Also by the time you work out postage, import tax and VAT your SD pickups are about spot on with pricing....

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb