Neilb

Buying from Hong Kong......?

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I've been looking at various items on ebay, valve amps etc, for stupidly low prices. What exactly is the deal with this. Is the price doubled or tripled with import duty? Is the case work filled with pebbles instead of transformers? My head tells me to avoid but am I wrong. There must be some decent deals amongst them.

Anybody have any experience of this?

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This subject comes up on a regular basis ~ have a search on the forum. General points to consider:

Import duty, shipping & insurance, plus handling charge, plus VAT can mean an additional 30-35% on the price paid.

With HK amps, they're designed for 220V operation. In the UK we are at 240V, often higher. Potential reliability/safety issues.

Warranty ~ cost of returning item to seller is prohibitive. Can often mean that effectively no warranty.

China is a market that is rife with fakes/copies.

Re-sale value is often poor.

It's my opinion that you're much better buying used in the UK/EU if budget is tight, or you want to swap components around a bit (like many of us here!).

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If you do a search you will find several recent threads on this very topic.

Edit, Beaten to it.

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I regularly buy from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia etc. There are good and bad everywhere, the worst I had was in Torquay! If on ebay, look for feedback ratings, remember 10% ebay fees + 4% PayPal. Import duty + VAT is about 22%, and they charge that on the postage too!

Many sellers mark goods as lesser value, to avoid duty, but of course there are risks to that. Under about £17 value there is no duty, double that for "gift". Returns for repair etc. should not be charged duty, but I think there is paperwork to fill in before sending.

My Ming Da amp is a 240v version; sometimes you can specify, but then you have to wait a bit longer while they make it. My monoblocks are 220v, but I use a variac to power those.

Warranties usually exclude postage back to the seller, so remember that.

I was scared the first time I did it, a bit like flying, but so far it's been ok. Just like flying! My rule of thumb is; only spend what you could stand to lose and walk away, like gambling.

There are great savings to be had, but also great ripoffs. OFC sockets which are brass for instance, but my regular sellers are great. My next purchase is planned to be a pair of L. Cao 8" fullrange speakers, nearly £300, plus all the extra costs; I trust the seller (Kevin at Valab).

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Moderator

If you are going to buy Chinese I would suggest buying from a European distributor. Otherwise put that budget towards something second hand.

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Just to save you reading through all the threads I'll summarise them for you.

Don't do it.

Summarised even further.

​DON'T!

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Super Wammer
If you are going to buy Chinese I would suggest buying from a European distributor. Otherwise put that budget towards something second hand.

Enter Big Jack with his Ming Da amps and good back up.

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Why, have you been burnt? More info would be helpful.

Go ahead and search through the threads. All the info is there. Then please come back and summarise your thoughts.

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I meant helpful to the OP. I have enough experience of my own buying, I posted to help to help him. And you?

I must admit to having no experience of buying valve amps from the far east. I was put off by the horror stories found on tinternet.

I've heard there are good vendors, such as 2juki, that are reputable. Still, I wouldn't be buying a valve amp from the far east.

I'm sure you've had a good experience with vendors you've purchased stuff from. Have you imported a valve amp?

To the op, if you really want to try valves I'd recommend having a listen to some first as they may not be for you. Hold or attend a bakeoff. They are good fun and you learn a lot.

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well I already have a Ming Da I bought whilst living in Vietnam. It was fine but because of the import taxes I had to get it from the airport. It was a nightmare taking a month, 3 different officials then locating the amp in a holding warehouse which looked like the scene at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I swore I'd never bother again.

If you have a 220 volt amp can you get it made into a 240? Or, can you buy a special device to use externally to convert the current into 220? Very curious about that.

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I'm sure you've had a good experience with vendors you've purchased stuff from. Have you imported a valve amp?

To the op, if you really want to try valves I'd recommend having a listen to some first as they may not be for you. Hold or attend a bakeoff. They are good fun and you learn a lot.

Yes, my Ming Da MC84-C is imported, and I asked for, and got, a 240v version. Sadly I can't remember from whom I bought it. If I find the receipt (somewhere in the loft) I'll let you know.

And I agree about listening first.

- - - Updated - - -

well I already have a Ming Da I bought whilst living in Vietnam. It was fine but because of the import taxes I had to get it from the airport. It was a nightmare taking a month, 3 different officials then locating the amp in a holding warehouse which looked like the scene at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I swore I'd never bother again.

If you have a 220 volt amp can you get it made into a 240? Or, can you buy a special device to use externally to convert the current into 220? Very curious about that.

I use a 2amp variac to power both Ming Da MC845-C monoblocks; that's enough current. http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=variac

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