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Bad experience with US customs buying Tokai made Greco
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:57 pm
Had my first bad experience with customs. They would not let a Tokai made Greco through U.S. customs that I bought on eBay from Japanese seller. The seller said it happens every once in a while now and it’s very random, although much more common. He said the recent trade war with China has contributed to this problem specifically any guitar that looks to be a copy of American guitars. He tried several times to get it through customs for me and he was finally warned by customs to stop trying. It had nothing to do with the Rosewood board. Rather because it look like a Gibson Les Paul. He said he would not put this guitar on the market for overseas sale for a while for fear that he could suffer consequences. He said there is no rhyme nor reason to it really. They (U.S. Customs) just do what they want, whenever they want to.
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:08 pm
I guess they believe you should be playing authentic.
Have any pics of the guitar ??
I worried about a guitar i had coming into Canada because of the Rosewood but it sailed thru (whew). I don't think i'll be doing that again. Perhaps if they lighten up on the CITES rules for instruments but i honestly have too many as it is.
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:34 pm
OP, sorry to hear that. Sounds like a no win situation, as US Customs can 'legally' seize & hold any item they choose to.
I have been very lucky, as the worst experiences I had with Customs is multiple boxes with what looked like broom handle holes stuck into the card board, and the occasional but rare opened & re-taped boxes.
If they believe the guitar is a 'copy' or if they believe it violates any 'trade dress' issue(s) they will likely have the guitar destroyed. Re: Lanham Act.
I hate to tell you but you have very slim odds of ever seeing that guitar in your hands.
Hope it works out better than that tho' ....... good luck.
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:30 pm
Fortunately, the seller did not hesitate to refund all of my money. And the seller still has possession of the guitar.
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:52 pm
Freebird wrote:Fortunately, the seller did not hesitate to refund all of my money. And the seller still has possession of the guitar.
surprised you did not mention either one of those two facts in the OP
sounds like a 'no drama required' thread now
congrats ....... U so lucky
Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:31 am
You have an "interesting" way of communicating with other people.
For those interested, Here is the communication from the seller in Japan:
I got a message from Japan Post.
The declaration was rejected by the US Customs.
And I was warned by American Customs that I would not file this guitar any more.
I'm sorry but I can not file any more.
This guitar is not for sale for a while.
Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:13 pm
Again, glad it worked out
Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:37 am
I wonder...could it be some of these eBay re-sellers are being creative with the reasons that a guitar cannot be shipped? Perhaps the guitar was not available to be resold. If the guitar had been shipped it would have been up to the buyer to deal with US customs. There is no exit customs here in Japan so his story about trying several times doesn't make sense to me (as someone who has sent a few axes over to the US from Japan).
Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:50 am
wulfman wrote:I wonder...could it be some of these eBay re-sellers are being creative with the reasons that a guitar cannot be shipped? Perhaps the guitar was not available to be resold. If the guitar had been shipped it would have been up to the buyer to deal with US customs. There is no exit customs here in Japan so his story about trying several times doesn't make sense to me (as someone who has sent a few axes over to the US from Japan).
Harold, you do make excellent points and you certainly have the experience & the knowledge of shipping guitars internationally from Japan.
I thought this whole story sounded pretty fishy from the get go.
Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:02 pm
I am now wondering about the truthfulness of the seller myself. I’m guessing the seller was one of many “re-sellers” doing business on eBay. As a result of my own digging, I was able to track down this guitar to Grasshopper guitars in Tokyo. Apparently that’s where the reseller found it. I called the shop directly, but unfortunately the owner of that shop does not speak English,’ and I do not speak Japanese, so I was unable to get any firsthand information about what happened to this guitar then or since. Seems like there is some system for buying and reselling guitars in Japan to overseas buyers that doesn’t always work well for the buyer.