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International motorcycle shipping? Help!

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Hello,

Does anyone know who I can work with to ship a motorcycle international? Specifically, South Africa. I have contacted Forward Air but they only work domestically.

Any and all input appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike

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ptguy,

Please say that you haven't sold a bike to someone overseas and they've sent you a money order/certified check/whatever to cover shipping plus a little extra that you'll return when the shipping costs are known. If so, you're in the process of being ripped off big-time!!! That is a scam that's been going around for quite a while, yet it still catches people every day. The money order/check ends up being no good (it takes a bank about 2 weeks to clear an international certified check and by then you've already shipped the bike and mailed them a check for the difference. You end up being out the bike, the costs you paid for shipping, plus the difference in the check that you mailed back to them. Normally the bikes are shipped to Europe, but occasionally the are sent to South Africa. If you don't believe me, check with your regional U.S. Secret Service office....they'll have a stack of cases exactly like this. It's a variation of the infamous Nigerian advance-fee fraud (also known as a "419 scam"). If there isn't a USSS office nearby, check their website and do a search on "419". The "419" name comes from the section of the Nigerian legal code that covers advance-fee fraud, hence the name.

If this is a legitimate sale, you will most likely have to ship it by sea, normally to Durban. I lived in South Africa for three years and imported two bikes, and know first-hand how much paperwork is involved. I arrived there in August 2001 and it took until February 2002 to complete everything. There is a 33% import tax and a 14% VAT (sales tax) involved, plus Interpol police checks (to see if it was stolen somewhere in the world), local police checks, and more. You should not have to pay any of these fees....that's up to the buyer, as is the responsibility for getting all the paperwork from the various S.A. agencies.

All I can say is.....be verrrrrrry careful on selling a bike overseas.

Cheers,

Mac

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I appreciate everyones feedback. But I have been corresponding with this guy for a while, he flies in on the ISDT reunion rides each year. One of his buddies who lives here in Michigan just checked out my bike for him.

No, this guy is not going to give me a cashiers check or money order. He is going to wire the money to my account. So, once I see that money in my account, I will send him the bike.

So, getting back to my original question: What shipping company should I use? Forward Air doesn't go to S. Africa.

Mike

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I appreciate everyones feedback. But I have been corresponding with this guy for a while, he flies in on the ISDT reunion rides each year. One of his buddies who lives here in Michigan just checked out my bike for him.

So, getting back to my original question: What shipping company should I use? Forward Air doesn't go to S. Africa.

Mike

Sounds good. I think everyone that responded just wanted to make sure you weren't getting taken by a scammer...lots of people have.

South African Air (SAA) does fly cargo from the U.S. to Johannesburg sometimes. It won't be cheap, but probably can be done. Other airlines that fly into S.A. are KLM, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, and Emirates Airways. While only SAA and Delta (who is code-shared with SAA), fly here direct from the U.S., it might be worthwhile to compare prices with some of the other airlines in case it is cheaper to ship to Europe first and then down to S.A. I know that Lufthansa used to fly motorcycles between Frankfurt and NY/Chicago/LA, but have no idea if they're still doing it. Most any airline will likely have all sorts of requirements for the shipping....draining all fluids, purging the tank with nitrogen, crating, etc.

This isn't going to be easy. Plan to spend a lot of time on the phone... The buyer also needs to find out exactly what paperwork he'll need so you don't have to keep FedEx-ing something to him every few days.

Good luck...

Mac

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I appreciate everyones feedback. But I have been corresponding with this guy for a while, he flies in on the ISDT reunion rides each year. One of his buddies who lives here in Michigan just checked out my bike for him.

No, this guy is not going to give me a cashiers check or money order. He is going to wire the money to my account. So, once I see that money in my account, I will send him the bike.

So, getting back to my original question: What shipping company should I use? Forward Air doesn't go to S. Africa.

Mike

I wouldn't give anyone access to be able to wire money into my bank account. Seems if they can access your account to put money in, they can access to take money OUT!! The best way to deal with overseas transactions is have them pay with a money gram. There are many places that take them, Albertson's for instance. I sold a bunch of motorcycle parts do guys in Europe and they either paid with paypal or with a money gram, it worked great!

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