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How much cheaper is an Italian frame bought in Italy...(17 posts)

How much cheaper is an Italian frame bought in Italy...BrianNYC
May 27, 2003 10:02 AM
I might be traveling to Italy on business. How much cheaper would an Italian frame (i.e. a De Rosa or Pinarello) bought there be compared with one bought here in the US?
Cheaper? Maybe more?RJF
May 27, 2003 10:20 AM
Not sure, but my guess would be that an Itallian frame bought in Italy would be more expensive than the same frame bought through cbike or highcaliper or another U.S. retail outlet. The reason for this is the much higher Euro taxes.
Also the Dollar is at a record low vs the Euro..Dave Hickey
May 27, 2003 10:23 AM
Somewhat suprising. I assume the exchange rate should...BrianNYC
May 27, 2003 10:24 AM
also be taken into account these days.
There goes that idea. Thanks. nmBrianNYC
May 27, 2003 10:27 AM
Cheaper? Maybe more?cw05
May 27, 2003 10:34 AM
what's the website for high caliber? thanks.
Link for High CaliperMy Dog Wally
May 27, 2003 10:50 AM
May 27, 2003 10:35 AM
a rider with a CF Colnago (don't recall which model) told me he paid near 4k with full Record 10 spd while the same bike retails for 6k in the US.

I would believe it's somewhat cheaper since you won't have to deal with an importer and pay distribution or import duties.

One cool thing, regardless of cost is that you might be able to get a hold of a cool "euro" only model not available in the US. Plus bragging rights...
Any place to check out "euro" only models online...BrianNYC
May 27, 2003 10:41 AM
bragging rights are important.
Bragging rightsfiltersweep
May 27, 2003 10:51 AM
Bragging rights are about dropping your crew on a 15 year old Schwinn with DT shifters...
There are other types of bragging rights too. nmBrianNYC
May 27, 2003 10:53 AM
He probably bought it from Total Cycling! nmRJF
May 27, 2003 11:38 AM
how about England?tarwheel
May 27, 2003 11:52 AM
The cheapest prices for Italian frames I've seen are at He carries Colnago, DeRosa and a few other makes, but I'm not sure about Pinarello. Make sure you convert the prices (British pounds) to US dollars. When I was shopping around, Maestro would sell a Colnago Master X-Lite with Flash carbon fork for about $1,000 US. Shipping is a little higher than from US sources, but probably less than you would pay in sales tax from a LBS.
It may be substantially cheaper, depending on several factors.djg
May 27, 2003 1:49 PM
One would be where you purchase and how easy they make it for you to avoid taxes that ought not to apply to you (how much of an export business they do).

I'm sorry that I cannot offer suggestions of particular Italian shops, although I notice that Zona Bici mail order has good deals on certain products. I do have experience ordering Colnago from England--maestro in particular--and I know that you can get Colnago, De Rosa, and Ciocc much cheaper in the EU than you can here in the US. If you do, you'll have a european or manufacturer's warranty--not the US distributor's warranty--but many of us don't care that much, given the savings. Even now, with the relatively low US dollar, I don't think US dealers come near the prices available overseas.

I believe that Pegoretti also has somewhat lower prices over there. And you may be able to go by the shop at Masi (Milano Bicycles in the US now at the Vigorelli in Milan) or at Mondonico and get measured in person for a custom, if that's of interest.
Some tax and duty facts that will helpboneman
May 27, 2003 2:11 PM
Value added tax VAT varies from country to country. It's 20% in Italy, 17.5% in the UK, 16% in Germany, etc. Generally, if you purchase the frame in one of the European countries, you will be eligible for a refund of the VAT tax. Depending on country, there may be a minimum amount due before there is any refund. Method for getting the VAT refund can vary, by country and if you purchase it from the US and have it shipped versus buying it in country and bringing it back with you. This is the easy part.

Okay, we've only covered the VAT. Shipping costs are whatever they quote. Now upon import, the US charges import duty. The following applies to goods shipped versus bringing it back with you on the plane (see the US customs site for details as there's a flat import duty rate up to a set amount and then they go to the tables): If I recall this is either 5% for complete bikes and 10% for frames. You can go to the US customs website for a complete guide to the harmonisation rate tables. The amount of duty is computed off the declared (by the seller who puts it on the shipping manifest/bill of lading) amount. This may or not be net of VAT so make sure you clarify with the seller. In theory, before delivery/at delivery, that amount of US customs duty must be paid to the shipper before they release the goods. The in theory bit is despite the law, there's the enforcement aspect. You may get lucky and pay no import duty. Assume the worst and then get pleasantly surprised.

The long and the short of it is that even under a worse case scenario, the total cost will be generally less. Not necessarily massive so make sure you know how much the VAT refund or net of VAT purchase price will be, how much shipping is and how much potential duty you will pay. Also factor in that if you're concerned about warranties, it's likely that you'll have to ship back to the seller and be subject to the local distributor warranty terms.

I live and work in Europe, dealing with Pan-Euro transactions everyday. It's actually relatively simple if you know the facts.
Don't order complete (built up) bikeB2
May 27, 2003 6:22 PM
because the duty is a lot more than if you buy everything unassembled. If they don't put the components on the frame there is 0.0% duty on the gruppo and 5.1% on the frame versus 11.0% on complete bikes.

Here's some info from SDeals website (may be out of date):

Duty Rates. Advisory for the U.S. only.

Tires 0.0%
Groupset parts 0.0%
Hubs 0.0%
Rims 5.0%
Frames 5.1%
Saddles 8.0%
Pedals 8.0%
Spokes 10.0%
Complete Bikes 11.0%
Clothing 14.9%
Wheels-See Rim,Hub & Spokes
make sure it is made italy and not just painted or designed.kneebreaker
May 27, 2003 6:03 PM
i noticed some italian bikes are beiong outsourced in china and taiwan. they just get painted in italy.