Moving vinyl and components overseas

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Brian Gupton, Feb 25, 2017.

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  1. Brian Gupton

    Brian Gupton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    As some of you already know, I'm moving overseas in the next few months. I'll be living abroad in Central/South America for at least the next 3-4 years and possibly longer. I'll have a lot of flexibility with where I live as long as I stay in US friendly timezones, so I expect to make a few moves to different cities over the course of those years.

    Honestly, giving up my HiFi was far and away the most difficult part of the decision, but one I'm ok with. Selling my records, on the other hand, is even harder. I have close to 10,000 LP's and just don't know if I can bring myself to part with them.

    That said, if I keep them in storage all those years I incur some significant storage expenses and will still ultimately have to do something with them. Really wishing I'd been a HiRez audio convert instead of vinyl now! ;)

    I'm thinking of trying to pare my collection down to my favorite 500-1000 records and having them shipped wherever I end up. Obviously this presents additional challenges when/if I move again.

    I also may take my turntable, though I'm a bit worried about having such an expensive player in countries where that costs as much as many houses. :(

    That said, anyone ever do this? What kind of costs am I looking at to ship 1,000 records?
     
  2. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    $3.09 per individual LP via USPS Media
    $1-$1.25 shipment for Mailers, Bolsters, Bubble wrap and Tape.

    There's a good Thread for 'Best Shipping Supplies' on here, somewhere.

    Good Luck.

    (Just noticed, If you are shipping 1000 LPs in a Lot Shipment, I have no idea.)
     
  3. Brian Gupton

    Brian Gupton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah, bulk shipping will be a lot different I suspect. :)
     
  4. Snoflo1998

    Snoflo1998 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    I empathise with you on your oncoming nightmare. I have done this and I vowed I'd give up my HiFi system after the hassle of the move (I didn't: I'm weak). I moved from the UK to Jamaica for a post for a couple of years. I shuttled about 30 favourite LPs padded in a suitcase and they survived, but I wouldn't like to do that again. I also had my Michell Gyro SE II player shipped over. You will have to deal with huge customs duties in some of these countries if you are importing anything - they don't care if the item is used and old. Also, if your items are weird enough U.S. Customs and Border Control will 'inspect' them when you return to the U.S. They inspected the Michell turntable as it transited through Miami and they scuffed up the paint finish, which I had to repair.

    If you don't want to give up your LP collection, or store it, you can ocean freight it instead. LPs will attract very little customs duty. You can, of course, ocean freight your whole Hi-Fi, but....those duties. Also, many folks have million dollar hifi in Latin America, so don't worry about that part. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  5. td320_vinylist

    td320_vinylist Active Member

    If you would not have moved, how much would you have spent on records in those years? What about spending that on storage? Or you could try selling the least treasured 25% or so to fund storage or shipping. I would never sell an entire collection like that.
     
    rtrt and Snoflo1998 like this.
  6. MondoFanM

    MondoFanM Member from ATX

    Location:
    Austin
    I saw your ad in the classifieds. Always loved you set up. Now what you should do is keep everything and turn your house into an air bnb exclusively for well-screened audiophiles
     
    Ken Clark, Rolltide, AllenR and 4 others like this.
  7. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    You clearly have a job and lifestyle that has let you quickly amass an amazing system and a dizzying amount of vinyl in a very short time. I recall seeing your threads as this was all purchased and collected, you clearly have great passion for this hobby and the music. So the question is this: Do you really have to sell everything? Three to four years goes by so fast. Do you really want to start all over again when you would have all that great gear and music waiting for you upon your return? (I'm assuming it's all paid for!).

    In comparison to the value of your gear and music collection, what is the full cost of storing it all safely? My guess is it's a fraction of the worth of your gear and collection. I saw your ad for the gear and that was over $80,000 asking price, no doubt less than you paid for it all retail.

    If your position and finances seem secure for the next four to five years why not make this much simpler and store it all away. Then think of the fun you can have putting together a top of the line portable digital system!

    Best if luck on the adventure!
     
  8. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Hey good luck to ya, may be a great time to get out of Dodge. Be sure to keep us posted on how it goes.
     
    forthlin and timind like this.
  9. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana

    No better time to move to Venezuela!
     
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  10. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hire a freight forwarder. Box an pack all your gear and as much vinyl as you possible can (or want to), use styro-foam, peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic air pockets, and whatnot inside the boxes to immobilize and cushion everything, stack everything on a single pallet, make sure it tapers upwards so nothing is double-stacked on top of your pallet, shrink-wrap the pallet generously and tightly together, and air-ship it to your final destination as a single palletized unit. In the customs declaration, which your freight forwarder should help you fill out, declare everything as "personal possessions, used" and maybe give a brief description in general terms, such as "stereo equipment, vinyl LP's, books, etc. Make sure you seek out a forwarder that specializes in freight to the region you're going to and explain the situation to him - he will know what to do AND may even have connections at the local Customs. You're not the first person moving overseas, it all has been done before. I know people who moved all their possessions, including used cars, motorbikes, and furniture in sea-freight containers, for practically a song (in relative terms). And, once it is understood at customs that it's your personal effects, the customs duties are generally lenient. Plus, where you're going, palm grease also works, if all else fails. Where there's a will - there's a way.
     
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  11. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Obviously, remove the tubes from the amps, and maybe even the tonearm from the table and take them with you in a well-protected package. anything inherently super-fragile or prone to misalignment goes with you.
     
  12. Brian Gupton

    Brian Gupton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ha!!!
     
  13. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    Best of luck...I had to relocate a few years ago to the Dominican Republic, and I just returned back to the State after my assignment (ExPat) was completed. Taking my equipment and record collection was a pain as well when I returned back. I was lucky that my company paid all expenses, so I didn't spare anything. I made them make some special crates. I don't has many LPs as you, matter of fact I must have around the number that you want to keep.
    On the move back to Florida they did damaged my turntable, luckily I insured all my stereo equipment, and got a full refund for my Rega RP6.
    One thing I can tell you, you will find some very warm and enthusiastic folks when it comes to music and equipment, not that many, but when you find them its like a community. Lots of fun.


    Peace,
    Tony
     
  14. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Congrats are in order, since I assume this is an up move career wise, and sounds like an adventure. If you are going to store anything, you need a serious place, not one of those "you store it" places. And once you pay for some space, I doubt the cost of another few square feet is going to matter. In other words, if you are storing 1,000 records in a good storage facility, you could just as easily store 10,000.
    I just went through this. I packed the records myself, culled out the stuff I didn't think was worth keeping and all records and gear are in a climate/humidity controlled vault at our movers back East. I used double walled "show" boxes from Bags Unlimited, numbered every box, and did a rough inventory, by box number. Not every record in every box, but for the high value stuff, pretty granular.
    All gear went into original packing or crates except for the horns- the original packing would not have held up- so I had it specialty crated. It's all in storage now, awaiting my green light.
    I agree that you don't want to "ship"- if you eventually want this stuff down where you settle, you'd coordinate with an outfit that does international moving or freight handling. There are specialists for everything, rarely cheap, but you don't want the records or gear bashed, dropped or submerged. I knew a guy who specialized in doing this for cars- shipping all over the world. He acted like a broker, and found the best deals with the best handlers. I expect that within the realm of high end household goods/art collections/furniture, you can find someone similar. I'd probably start with your mover, if you are using a full service mover. They usually have affiliations all over the world to handle international moves. On the other hand, you could just keep the stuff on ice for a while. You may decide, given your life style and climate, you don't want it all there. And definitely talk to your insurer. Movers and handlers and storage places often have really bad, almost worthless insurance. You want to make sure of your coverage through your own insurance, from the schlepping and storage part to the freight, etc.
     
    Brian Gupton likes this.
  15. Brian Gupton

    Brian Gupton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I definitely thought about that (storing the whole system). A lot.

    I purchased a good portion of my more expensive gear used and will not really lose any significant money selling most of it. I figure the pleasure I've gotten from it more than makes up for any losses I do incur. In the end, I just decided that it didn't make much sense to store everything knowing it is VERY unlikely that I will be back in the States anytime soon.

    I'm leaning toward Columbia right now (medellin or bogota), but want to live in both places before deciding where I will settle. One cool thing about Columbia is that you can get a residential visa if you make a business investment of roughly $20-25K or a property investment of $100K-ish. I'm definitely NOT buying property there, but I have always wanted to open a little bar/cafe. From my limited research, it seems that I could open a little vinyl cafe like you see in Japan for not much more than the $20-25K required. That would get me a residential visa AND maybe a little extra income (I'll also be working remote).

    I'm not dead set on opening a business there yet, just something in the back of my mind that has been a lifelong dream. I'm thinking I can store the records until I'm ready to commit and then have them imported. Perhaps it can even be a tax deductible biz expense.

    The more I think about it, the more I think it probably makes sense for me to sell my turntable too. It's overkill, especially if it ends up in a business and I'd probably have most (if not all) of the money needed to start up a bar just from selling my table & arm and buying a more appropriate system.

    A lot to consider...
     
  16. Brian Gupton

    Brian Gupton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Tony - Do you happen to remember how much your move cost? How many Lp's did you have to move?

    Seems like I could pack everything in boxes and then stack all the boxes together in one pallet for shipping. One good thing about vinyl is that it is easy enough to stack together and compact despite being super heavy.
     
  17. Hermetech Mastering

    Hermetech Mastering Vortextual Waveform Projection

    Location:
    Milan, Italy
    I bulk shipped most of my vinyl (around 1000) from the UK to Japan in 1999, Japan to Italy in 2011, and Italy to Paris in 2014. Just go with a reputable removal/shipping company and they'll sort you out.
     
  18. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    I believe it came up to about US$13K, but this was for a 40 ft container, which is big. I only have about 1,200 vinyls, not as many as you ;). I was going nuts with 1200 I can't imagine 10K. For the LPs the moving company gave me this special boxes for media, which fit about 100 LPs or so. Once boxed, I made them make some crates to place the boxes in, with several levels to avoid stacking the boxes. I believe that most potential damages are caused by the handlers as they trow or move the boxes around, without knowing that they are fragile, and believe me, no matter how many warning sign you put on the boxes, they don't care.

    Your idea of placing the boxed LPs in a pallet is good. avoid having individual boxes.

    Also, one thing about the shipping price, you have to take in consideration that I moved from Florida to the Dominican Republic and vice-versa, which is not that far. One more thing, make sure that you find out about any tariff or taxes that you might have to pay to get your equipment in the country you will be residing.

    Peace,
    Tony
     
    Brian Gupton likes this.
  19. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    That seems like a very good idea. I was petrified when I did my move, I was more worry about my system and records, then my new job assignment.

    Peace,
    Tony
     
  20. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Drum machines are not inherently evil.

    I have close friends nearby that would be happy to house my system and records should a situation like this come up. 10,000+ records would be pushing it though. Do you not have a trustworthy friend so you don't have to take a bath on your investment? At least for your system?
     
    Henley likes this.
  21. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    Store it. Do digital while away. If you sell you will regret it.
     
  22. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    I can't believe the selfishness of the San Francisco forum members. Us friendly midwesterners would be happy to be the caretaker of your system. Always willing to help out.;)
     
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  23. rbp

    rbp Forum Resident

    Keep the lot and store it in the States until you get settled - then make a decision.
    You may loose interest in Central/South America provided that option exists.
    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  24. tman53

    tman53 Vinyl is an Addiction

    Location:
    FLA
    Your move to Columbia is not much further than moving from the West coast to the East Coast. Would you get rid of all of your gear if you were moving to Portland, Me.? I know moving out of the country can complicate things but...
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  25. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Brian,

    Are you moving of your own choice, or moving within a company? If the latter, do you have some kind of relocation package? Like some have mentioned above, I too have moved internationally (twice), the last time being from Amsterdam to Oakland, and, as mentioned above, my stuff got moved in a shipping container. Didn't cost me a penny, and I could have moved so much more.

    I wrote more about my experience in this thread: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa...s-companies-service-options-boxes-etc.255111/
     
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