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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've hit upon an opportunity to potentially acquire a very special horn from a French auction site in just a few days. They accept international bids, and, while my French isn't great, I know enough that I'll probably be able to squeak by when the bidding goes live. The thing that has me concerned (apart from what I'm actually willing to spend for this crazy thing) is that, if I win the horn, I'm going to have to make arrangements with the auction house afterwards to have it shipped to me. I've never ordered a musical instrument from overseas before, and as this one doesn't appear to have a case I'm not sure how much I'd need to pay in order to ensure it arrives safely. I've already accounted for the potential cost of the auction fee in my budget, but I want to be certain I have all variables under control before I jump into things. I've lost out on three of these horns before, I'm hoping this might be the one that doesn't get away. But if it does, well, at least I'll have this information handy for whenever the next one comes along.

Could anyone who's had a horn shipped from Europe give me a reasonable idea of what it might cost? It's roughly the size of a curved soprano, if that helps. Thanks in advance! :)
 

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Shipping is not a problem from Europe (I have shipped several dozens of horns to the US) , however once I bought a flute from a London auction house and they wanted to use and expensive courier, I insisted that the postal service (which does offer tracking insurance was perfect and so they did).

My experience with the Dutch postal services (which is a private company called Post.nl ) is very good, but there are many alternatives and cheaper than couriers.

You could even do a pick up from the auction house. So you send the actual courier to pick something up somewhere. Don’t be enticed into buying one of those services which provide paid import tax because in many years it happened only once that there was anything to be paid at the US end and it was 5% (we in Europe always pay hefty VAT)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, milandro! The auction house offers both standard post and courier service, but I still have about forty hours or so left to decide which one I want to use. Thanks for the heads up about the import tax; I'm a little paranoid about this and probably would have bought one of those services just to make sure I had my bases covered. I'm not particularly concerned about the overall speed of shipping, though; I'm willing to wait an extra ten days as long as I know it's definitely on its way. My chief concern at this point is that I don't know how much the package is going to weigh (since weight=cost). I bought a caseless alto a few months ago that I paid $35 to ship, but it was so heavily wrapped and padded that it ended up weighing only slightly less than it would have if the case were included. I'm positive this horn weighs less than that alto, but it's also coming from a much greater distance. There are a lot of unknown variables in this, so I'm probably just going to set aside an extra $150 to be on the safe side.
 

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I would always prefer to send an instrument in a case and by the way , in my country it only makes sense to be saving weight if you are just shy of 10Kg. otherwise you jump straight to the next category which is up to 20Kg. (and we cannot ship anything above that the only one time I did it was through someone whom, I still don’t know how, was able the circumvent this rule).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I won the auction!! I've already settled the invoice, and once they confirm payment we're going to settle the shipping arrangements. Thanks again, milandro!
 

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I suppose it will take some time to reach the US.

Have lots of fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@saxcop It's a Couesnon Saxie. It's probably a horn that only a collector would be interested in, since it isn't as versatile as a true soprano, but I think it has potential. It has a couple of condition issues, but they're extremely minor and won't affect its ability to play.

@milandro It will probably take a couple of weeks, possibly longer; even before the auction there was a disclaimer that there might be delays in processing due to the sheer bulk of items that need to be attended to after each auction. The time difference between the U.S. and France is also making communications difficult; it might be another 24 hours before I can finalize everything. But at least I know I paid for it, it's mine, and it'll be on its way eventually. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't even want to think about what the shipping would cost for that.
 

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I would use DHL express and it's not that expensive and it takes like 3-5 days and u have it delivered to your door in the US.
I've shipped several times stuff from Europe to the US and it's never been any problems. Mostly the other way around with your postal service usps ..
But also with DHL u don't need to pay taxes right away its shipped thruu and dosent get stuck in customs and u get the fees in a bill later on.

Skickat från min LYA-L29 via Tapatalk
 

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@saxcop It's a Couesnon Saxie. It's probably a horn that only a collector would be interested in, since it isn't as versatile as a true soprano, but I think it has potential. It has a couple of condition issues, but they're extremely minor and won't affect its ability to play.

@milandro It will probably take a couple of weeks, possibly longer; even before the auction there was a disclaimer that there might be delays in processing due to the sheer bulk of items that need to be attended to after each auction. The time difference between the U.S. and France is also making communications difficult; it might be another 24 hours before I can finalize everything. But at least I know I paid for it, it's mine, and it'll be on its way eventually. :)
How did this one pan out? I saw a Couesnon Saxie for sale on leboncoin.fr. a few months ago for dirt cheap ("toy price", 35$), the owner obviously had no idea what it was. Unsurprisingly, it was sold very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I finally received my Saxie in the mail last week! (It arrived in a violin case, which gave me a brief moment of panic when I opened the box and thought I'd been sent the wrong item.) It doesn't have its original mouthpiece and hates the ones I've introduced it to, so I'm currently fishing around for ideas. Setbacks aside, though, I'm so happy to finally have one of these that I don't mind waiting a little longer to get things sorted out. It'll be a fun little horn once I find a good mouthpiece for it. :)

What condition was that other Saxie in? Mine has some denting on the bow plus the missing mouthpiece, but it's in great shape otherwise and has a beautiful patina.
 

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If I remember well, the Saxie I saw on leboncoin came with the original mouthpiece. It was in reasonable condition but had quite a bit of neck pulldown, so it would have needed some time with a tech for sure.

As for replacement mouthpiece, I have read in several threads that the basic Yamaha mpc for (Bb) soprano works well on C soprano. Maybe worth a try.
 
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