Ive been after a gibson explorer gothic II, that cant be bought in Australia, and apparantly zzounds.com and still getting some in even though gibson has stopped producing them (hmm). Anyway, using an external shipping website i can buy the guitar from zzounds, and get it shipped to australia (zzounds doesnt do international shipping). I have to pay import tax however, as it is an item over $1000 (Aus law). So i have to pay around $190 for shipping, and $200 - $300 for import tax.

So $1249 guitar, with around $500 to ship it to australia. so about $1749 US (about $1,790 AUD). It still ends up being cheaper then if i bought one in australia, as the cheapest 76 explorer here is $1850 and a gothic II would cost a little more.

BUT....i have a friend coming over from the US soon, so i could buy the guitar off zzounds and ship it to him. Then he could bring it over with him. Here are my questions, i dont want him to have to carry it with him on the plane (i want it to be as easy as possible for him). I dont have any experience with planes, so what could he do? Would he have to ship it himself?

If he did ship it himself, would that be exactly the same as me shipping it? Would he still have to pay the import tax etc? Or if its counted as luggage he doesnt have to pay any import shipping?

Can anyone who has had to bring a guitar overseas with them give me some advice? what did you do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
when i bought my guitar from the states i checked mine in as luggage and they let me through. It had a hardshell case and it was covered in cardboard. However i did leave via a pretty small airport (Lansing). The case did have a dent but the guitar was fine (heavy duty case ftw).

Edit: i was taking the guitar from the states to the UK.
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes"

"Like a blind man at an orgy, I was going to have to feel my way through"

Last edited by YngwieJnr at Jul 22, 2008,
Well all I can suggest is that if he does bring it over himself to make sure that he puts a few stickers on the case or something to make it not look so new.

But then again he would only be bringing it one way right? So it wouldn't be seen as him buying it and taking it home as he is a US citizen. If it was the other way round where he was trying to bring it back into the US then it would be seen as importing it into the country from where he came from.

Just make sure it has a decent hardcase though as they do get thrown about a bit

Another suggestion, perhaps ring up the airline your friend would be using and find out there policy on taking a guitar with him.
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yeah just buy a good hardshell case for it, they even let you carry musical instruments on the plane, there might be a 25 charge for an extra checked item though, but that's a lot lower than what you would pay for shipping
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ive done what you did once, the problem is that the tax is a killer to the ratio of the value/price of the guitar, what i usually do, if you have any relatives in the US (or anyone else that can do the job) buy the guitar and ship it to them, and then they will ship it to you vis USPS they can write "Gift" on it and you will be taxes much less (or not at all), they can also declare the value as less, i don't know australias tax laws but i assume its similar to mine.
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Last edited by guynaa at Jul 22, 2008,