Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?
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Thread: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

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  1. #1
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    Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    I've tried a couple of tool watches that I picked up at the "Sales Corner". They were all nice in their own way but I'm ready to admit that the watch I've really been hankering for is the 856 (non UTC) on a rubber strap with a small clasp.

    I did join in another thread here a while back and voiced my opinion that by the time you pay VAT refund fees and customs and get your new watch home to the USA that the savings are pretty modest and probably don't make up for not having a USA warranty. However I've been wrong about a few things in the past. Just search for my handle and the phrase "catch-and-release" to confirm my fallibility in the watch department.

    So...if you bought your Sinn in Germany and saved a bundle would you please share your experience? I'll by flying through Frankfurt in about 10-days and could probably just squeeze out the time before my connecting flight to Vienna to visit the Sinn shop.

  2. #2
    Member TxBassTech's Avatar
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    The big gray area on buying the watch in Germany is when you come back to the U.S. IF you declare the watch coming through customs, you will probably have to pay the duty on the watch and that will erase most of the savings. Although, I would buy the watch at the factory store if you get the chance because of the experience of buying there. I went to the Sinn Factory with a friend who bought a 556. The showroom has every watch on display for you to try on and you may get some cool free swag. We each got a hat, big German catalog and a small bottle of champange. The people at the factory store will size your bracelet for you and they have all the other band options if you want to try them out. The staff at Sinn are very helpful and will answer any questions you have. Take cash because they give you a few points discount for paying cash instead of credit card.
    The buying experience is just as important to me as the watch, I would rather have a cool experience and story to go with my watch than saving a few bucks buying off the Internet. Part of the fun of collecting watches (and knives) is meeting the people behind the product and feeling the passion that they have. I am fortunate enough to get to travel all over the world in my job, so I try to buy things in the places I visit that are made in those countries. When I look at the watch I bought from Leon Lazar in Berlin or the custom knife that Andy Roy (Fiddleback Forge) made for me with Texas Mesquite I harvested, it means much more to me than something I bought off Amazon.
    gaopa likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    Yes, but don't use the airport vultures on the VAT redemption (Global Blue?). Patrik at Sinn will explain the procedure to submit proper documents to Sinn for a full refund. I know a host of US Citizens who declared expensive watches at US Customs and were not charged a cent for duty. The methodology is quite complex and I am not sure many officers know how to apply them.

    My guess is that policies have changed and the threshold is higher than on their outdated documents.

    Not sure if you actually save money though, seeing all of those beautiful pieces makes you spend more than you planned.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    Can't really comment on the savings but figure you'll get a minimum of 13% back with Global Blue and I believe 17% if you go through the longer/complete process as mentioned above. Just realize that at least in Frankfurt, getting someone to stamp your customs form can be annoying depending on which terminal you use and the officers can have strange office hours or there could be a queue. Plus, ensure you don't pack any of the receipts, box, in your luggage. Some give it a cursory glance before stamping and some are thorough. All that being said, you won't get your receipt stamped until you exit the EU so that might not even be Frankfurt airport anyway!

    Regarding duties, I think you have an $800 allowance so the duty would be on the remainder...should not be much to pay at all.

    As the others said, the experience in the Sinn HQ is fantastic. Even if you do not buy, you will be sure of the watch you want afterwards by getting to try things on at will.

    Use the following site to do the trains if you like (4.25 Euros each way) and about 40 minutes with one change at the main station. You'll go from Terminal 1 to Rodelheim and walk to Sinn:

    Search for route

    Hope this helps,
    Mike

  6. #5
    Sinn Moderator gaopa's Avatar
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    I would really enjoy going to the factory store just to have the experience. On my next visit to Germany I plan a visit. Cheers, Bill P.

  7. #6
    Member polishammer's Avatar
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    Yes, you can save buying in Europe, but as always, you need to know what to do. Few of my brand new Sinn's came from Europe, both Germany and Poland. Each time I got them for less than the going used price in US, not to even mention new price. Saying that though, you have to be flexible and patient. You spend time looking for the right AD, and then once you find him or her, things get easier...

    BTW, if anyone has a chance to visit Sinn factory, take it. It will be worth it. Gazylion of watches on display and very nice and approachable people.
    Last edited by polishammer; September 21st, 2013 at 16:28.
    There are only two kinds of people in the world, the ones that own Sinn U1, U1W, U2, UX, U212 and U-Unlimited, and ones that don’t.

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  8. #7
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    I strongly believe that the AD system that Sinn has outside of Germany is terrible. There is certainly a better way to do business. I understand that many folks here have had a good experience with watchbuys or others - but honestly, how can you sell into one of the largest luxury goods markets in the world without having a AD with a storefront or showroom. They have only one AD in the United States that does occasional roadshows and doesn't have a storefront if you happen to be in their area on vacation or business. I understand that many will point to the fact that Sinn doesn't spend money on marketing and cuts out the middle man to keep prices low - but Sinn price inflation has been dramatic in the past 5 years and can no longer be considered good value if you are purchasing from an AD in the US, UK or Australia.
    Last edited by CMSgt Bo; September 22nd, 2013 at 00:17. Reason: welcome to the world of Sinn

  9. #8
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    Re: Did you save by buying your Sinn in Germany?

    +1 for Singapore AD. The price is ridiculously marked up and even after a 30% discount, a Sinn U1 on rimubber would cost >SGD$2500. The after service is also horrible, or I should say there is no after service at all.

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