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  1. #1
    Flying Dahon Avatar's Avatar
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    Buying a Brompton in the UK & bringing it back to the States

    I'm thinking about buying a Brompton when I travel to London and bringing it back to the US. Will I save a significant amount of money if I do so? This includes reclaiming the VAT taxes.

  2. #2
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Brompton M3L:
    Cost in NYC: $1,049.00 USD [532.20 GBP] US Source
    Cost in UK: 592.00 GBP [$1,167.27 USD] UK Source

    Something to do with the weak dollar maybe?
    VAT is 17.5% so you might save a little but I think it will be close, especially if you consider possible excess baggage costs on the way home.

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    If you're interested in saving money, buy a Merc while you're there and bring it back. Merc costs
    330 GBP only. Comes complete with rack, front bag, lights, etc. It's a great deal and a great bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    Brompton M3L:
    Cost in NYC: $1,049.00 USD [532.20 GBP] US Source
    Cost in UK: 592.00 GBP [$1,167.27 USD] UK Source

    Something to do with the weak dollar maybe?
    VAT is 17.5% so you might save a little but I think it will be close, especially if you consider possible excess baggage costs on the way home.
    Interesting.

    A Brompton is actually more expensive in the UK than the US using American Dollars. However, I suspect there are plenty of used Bromptons for sale that are going for a song. Used Brompton in the US are way over priced.

  5. #5
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    ebay UK.

    http://sports.search.ebay.co.uk/brom...4QQsacatZ33503

    You might be able to reclaim the VAT. That will take some paper work and could cause a problem with duty in the US.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Interesting.

    A Brompton is actually more expensive in the UK than the US using American Dollars. However, I suspect there are plenty of used Bromptons for sale that are going for a song. Used Brompton in the US are way over priced.
    With the current exchange rate anyway ... a year ago, it was probably the other way around.

  7. #7
    Senior Member brommie's Avatar
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    Merc

    where can I buy a Merc?

    Brommie

  8. #8
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    Looking for value for money bike in the UK? Look at this site. I bought a revolution sport off them a couple of years ago and love it. Aliminium frame and carbon fork. It is even cheaper at the moment and tempted to buy another at this crazy price. www.edinburghbicycle.com

    Jim

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I think from the figures it looks like you'll not save a huge amount of money. Another thing to consider is whether or not there is value in buying a Brompton from a local store that can provide service in case you have any issues? If I'm going to buy an expensive bike (well, in relative terms for me) I'd have to save at least a hundred dollars or 10% or more before I'd consider a more remote source for that reason (unless of course I had no easily accessible dealer anyway).

    Having said that, perhaps you can take a Brompton back to any Brompton dealer if you ever had trouble, but I'd still feel more comfortable taking it back to the purchase origin as usually I believe part of the purchase price of an LBS inherently includes service/expectations for that store. It may also be that Bromptons can be had for greater savings when bought used in the UK, don't really know.

    Further, transporting a bicycle over the Atlantic is not without its risks; your Brompton could pick up a bump or a nick -or heaven forbid, *get lost or stolen*, who knows, let alone the whole issue of claiming back VAT. For my 2 cents worth, I'd say buy in the States since the savings just don't outweigh the risks for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Interesting.

    A Brompton is actually more expensive in the UK than the US using American Dollars. However, I suspect there are plenty of used Bromptons for sale that are going for a song. Used Brompton in the US are way over priced.
    Used Bromptons are much in demand in the UK, especially London, and hold their price very well. Despite talk of waiting lists and short supply bike shopd in london seem to have a plentiful supply of new Bromptons. I was in the large branch of Cycology (?) in Kingsway, Holburn a week or so ago and counted thirteen bikes sitting in the showroom.

  11. #11
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brommie View Post
    where can I buy a Merc?

    Brommie
    Here's their website: http://www.mercbike.co.uk/

    Here's the BikeForums mega-thread on Mercs:
    Merc

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