View Full Version : ukulele resources in Germany

06-01-2011, 05:50 PM
This is possibly the wrong place for this, in which case, mods, move away!

Hello! So the story of my life is that I'm moving to Germany in two weeks (right outside of Hanover), and I have absolutely no idea what the ukulele scene over there is like. Can anyone recommend any groups, resources, stores/chains, websites, open mics, or anything ukulele related that I should know about? Also, what is this import tax I keep hearing European UU members talk about?

mm stan
06-01-2011, 06:11 PM
Aloha Austin 1,
Buy you uke now.....really and carry it over.....is this a temporary move.....or permanent one...wow..big change girl...can we ask what prompted this...holy smokes...Good Luck, MM Stan

06-01-2011, 07:44 PM
ukulele.de (http://www.ukulele.de/menu/)

You'll be just fine in Germany. Check out youtubers rawuke and WS64. You'll also be in the land of RISA. Think of all the electric ukes you can buy without the crazy shipping fees.

06-01-2011, 08:18 PM
I live in the UK so hopefully can shed a little light on the import tax you here people talking (is that complaining about?), Germany may be slightly different but as both countries are in the EU it should be similar to the UK system.

I think the following is pretty much right but apologise in advance if there are any mistakes, the system is quite confusing!

Whenever you import (buy/even get sent a gift I think) an item that is over a certain value (around 18/$30) into the EU you are liable to pay tax on it. Importing into the UK you can get hit by 3 additional charges:

1) Import tax - the amount varies depending on the type item so the rates are confusing!
2) VAT (Value Added Tax) - currently 20% in the UK, 19% in Germany.
3) The courier/delivery company's handling fee - if you have import charges to pay sometimes the courier charges you a handling fee for dealing with it.

When calculating the taxes the cost of shipping is also included. You will normally pay the taxes to the courier/postal service who deliver the item.

To attempt to avoid tax (obviously at your own risk) sometimes you can get the person posting the item to mark the package as having a lower value and/or mark and wrap the package up as a gift (gifts can have a slightly higher value before they are taxed).

Some US websites (amazon.com for example) seem to allow you to pre-pay the taxes when you order an item, so you won't have a bill to pay when it arrives.

As for websites I can second the vote for RISA, www.ukulele.de, as I've ordered a few ukes from them!

Ken Middleton
06-01-2011, 08:20 PM
Also, what is this import tax I keep hearing European UU members talk about?

Germany has a strong ukulele scene compared to most European countries. I can't recommend any clubs though.

People get confused about import duty. When you are importing something from the use there is often a duty on it. For ukuleles it is only about 3%. However, the real problem is VAT, the tax that is put on virtually everything (not food, etc). In Germany this is currently 19%. If you buy a uke ffrom the US and impoort it into Germany, you pay 19% of the cost of the uke and the shipping (plus an admin fee that the German carrier demands).

My advice: buy in Europe and avoid all this. There are plenty of good stores.

06-01-2011, 09:19 PM
If you speak German also check the German forum: http://www.ukulelenclub.de/Forum/UseBB/index.php

06-01-2011, 10:45 PM
You may introduce yourself in the who-is-who section of the german forums. Although the main language of the forum is german, you can easily participate in english (If you want to, that is!). The german club has about 2800 members, loads of regional get-togethers on a regular base, an active chat and lots of experience with buying ukes in and outside of germany. Feel free to join us anytime.:D

06-06-2011, 02:25 PM
thanks everyone for your help!