Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Podobin
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Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Podobin » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:27 pm

Curious if anyone here has experience purchasing a guitar directly from Casa Luthier or Guitarras de Luthier in Spain to the US in the recent months? Was interested in knowing how the transaction went, how long it was to receive the guitar and overall satisfaction with the experience.
thanks
Podobin :cafe:

epcritmo
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by epcritmo » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:05 pm

I can walk to Casa Luthier in about 25mins. They are very professional and good to deal with in person. I can imagine that shipping over seas should be professional done too, but I have no experience of that. I bought my Camps crossover from there and often buy strings from them
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michaelquek

Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by michaelquek » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:45 am

I bought Bernabe -Especial and Pack Santiago Marin -30th anniversary from Guitarras de Luthier and they are very professional in the dealings.
I think it is a good time to buy guitar because Spain is going through economic challenges. So they are hungry and I am sure you get very good deal/services from hungry dealers.The only thing is that English is not their first language...so be patient and speak slowly...

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:15 pm

I live at Cascais, near Lisbon, and, back in 2014, I decided to drive some 700 km up to Madrid to buy a guitar at Guitarras de Luthier. Everything was previously arranged by e-mail (in English). As I had put a ceiling on how much I wanted to spend, they proposed some three or four guitars for me to experiment while at the shop. They were quite helpful. During around three hours I was alone and surrounded by wonderful instruments in a quiet place they have for this purpose. I played them all and, eventually, selected an Hermanos Camps Master with a cedar top, a guitar with a wonderful sound and solid traditional Spanish construction. I'm quite happy with it. Now, I could have ordered a guitar without going there and they would have sent it to me by express mail to Cascais (or elsewhere around the world, I guess), but I was not prepared to buy such an expensive instrument without playing it first and compare it with similar ones.
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
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2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

larryguitar
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by larryguitar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:00 am

Podobin wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:27 pm
Curious if anyone here has experience purchasing a guitar directly from Casa Luthier or Guitarras de Luthier in Spain to the US in the recent months? Was interested in knowing how the transaction went, how long it was to receive the guitar and overall satisfaction with the experience.
thanks
Podobin :cafe:
Did you ever buy a guitar direct from Spain? Any trouble with US Customs? Will Indian Rosewood cause problems?

Mr.Rain
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Mr.Rain » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:36 am

I have bought stuff from them in the past(physical shop Guitarras de Luthier), they have a very nice catalog of guitars and gizmos and treat customers nicely. Their prices are near to the lowest it will go in a normal shop (not ordering directly from the luthier or a bargain internet shop).

Again the reason for this, is that international dealers getting their piece of the cake (apart of paying for the international shipping expenses...), so if a guitar costs a 30-50% more in USA, I can assure you there is no relation with the local economy, but the extra "middlemen" getting their individual parts...

Again if you want to get a better price you have to buy blind... to win you have to risk...
When you pay the extra to a local dealer, you're paying for being able to check the exact instrument you're taking home, bear that in mind :D.

Also you have to understand that most of people in Spain do not talk English... Same reason why most of Americans do not Speak French (even if they studied it in school as their 1st foreign language),nowadays you have google translate,so it ain't that bad.

larryguitar
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by larryguitar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:41 am

It sounds like you bought from the shop. I’m worried about the guitar being confiscated by customs when it is shipped to the US. Should I worry?

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:45 am

larryguitar wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:41 am
It sounds like you bought from the shop. I’m worried about the guitar being confiscated by customs when it is shipped to the US. Should I worry?
I bought two guitars from Australia last year. One guitar made it through with no cites papers and arrived within a week. The other guitar, that apparently had the papers, sat in customs. Apparently they couldn’t tell what kind of rosewood that one was or something, and it arrived 3weeks later. I had to pay customs duty on both, but it wasn’t that much. As long as you’ve got the papers it will get to you eventually.

John Ray
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by John Ray » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:49 pm

The question of confiscated guitars should no longer be a concern as long as they are not Brazillian. If the seller has his CITES papers in order (esential for any sale) then a government agency will be vouching for the accuracy of the identification of the wood. I just sold a guitar to Guitarras de Luthier and I sent him a certificate stating the species as certified by the Ministry here in Spain. With that he can apply for the CITES and send the guitar anywhere in the world. If you are nervous about the seller trying to sell Brazillian under another name you should stick with easily identifiable species like Indian Rosewood. For the record, in my sales to Casa Luthier in Barcelona and Guitarras de Luthier in Madrid everything has been above board and respectful.
John Ray
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Philosopherguy
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Philosopherguy » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:05 pm

I'm pretty sure big name guitar houses aren't going to be shipping things if they have doubts the guitar will make it. Afterall, it would be their name and reputation at stake. I think the two sellers the OP mentions in the initial post are well-known and legitimate operations. They would likely not tarnish their good record by taking chances.

I wouldn't have too much worry about guitars making it to where they are going from any legitimate businesses. Individuals? Well, you have to evaluate that as best you see fit.

Martin
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Podobin
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Podobin » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:29 pm

Thanks for the updates. This is very encouraging to hear. I regularly purchase other goods from EU and Asia, but have been hesitant about guitars. I would purchase from either Guitarras de Luthier or Casa Luthier without hesitation.

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zavaletas
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by zavaletas » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:12 am

There is a down side to such purchases--basically any return is problematic. So if you don't like it, or it arrives with some issue or is damaged, you face real headaches. Even if the seller will take it back, it will be very expensive-- and you may not recoup any duties paid. God forbid, it is damaged, dealing with international claims is not for the faint of heart.

James
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

Mr.Rain
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Mr.Rain » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:22 am

zavaletas wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:12 am
There is a down side to such purchases--basically any return is problematic. So if you don't like it, or it arrives with some issue or is damaged, you face real headaches. Even if the seller will take it back, it will be very expensive-- and you may not recoup any duties paid. God forbid, it is damaged, dealing with international claims is not for the faint of heart.

James
My 2 cents.

The other option is paying 1.5/2 times the original price in a local dealer :mrgreen: . To "win" you have to take some risk. Otherwise be conservative and give another slice of the pie to a local business...

If the shipping is properly insured and you deal with a decent shop you should not have any issues (damaged during transport)... just pay the extra cover..

If you do not like the guitar, then is when you really have a problem :chaud:

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zavaletas
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by zavaletas » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:40 am

I certainly am not marking up the guitars I sell to this degree, but there are shipping and duties to be paid, and the costs of holding an inventory (sometimes for years). At the end of the day, I am lucky to clear 15 percent (which certainly is better than interest on a savings account). Because as a dealer I get a discount that an individual buyer won't receive and pass that along to the buyer in pricing my guitars, my prices are often comparable to what you would pay if you buy directly. But, not to make this post about me, if you have played the particular make and model of guitar you want to buy before, that can reduce the " what if I don't like it" risk.

While trying a guitar out before buying is the best, not everyone has a Salon or guitar store with a wide selection of models, and this is where dealers-- even if you buy it directly-- certainly are valuable. If you can't play one, the next best is to hear good recordings. We record all the guitars that come through our hands and have a youtube channel where you can listen to samples. Although we were the first to offer such recordings, you can find almost any make of guitar being played often by good players on youtube.

One last observation, while friends opinions are good-- their recommendations will always be limited to what they have seen and tried.
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

Philosopherguy
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Re: Buying dealer direct from Spain to USA

Post by Philosopherguy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:54 am

What I see here is that both points can be valid. For those who can risk a few thousand dollars or more on a guitar, why not buy direct and save some money? After all, if you really don't like it you can sell it used and likely not lose too much in the grand scheme of things. Anyone who has purchased from e - b a y is definitely of this kind of mindset. On the other hand, for those who just want a concert instrument that they KNOW sounds good, the markup from a dealer where you get to try the guitar might not be that bad. Most professional guitar players that I know aren't made of money and don't want to risk too much cash on a blind transaction that could turn bad.

I think the luthier market is really catering these days to the "informed amateur" who wants a nice guitar and has the money to buy. Professional players likely make up a very small percentage of the business. This is in no way a criticism, just an observation. If you can afford it, why not play a great guitar? I am not personally a great player and I have a number of nice guitars that I like. For me personally, I can take risks on guitars I want to try and I don't care too much. Do I do it all the time? No, of course not. But, these are different markets with very different projected outcomes to a purchase.

Martin
*************************************************************
2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
2013 Ramirez 4NE - Cedar
1998 Dean Harrington - Spruce
1977 Kuniharu Nobe - Spruce
1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

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