Selling speakers to a buyer in Russia?

Hi all!

I may have a buyer for my PBN speakers in Russia.  What do I need to do to make sure I'm not scammed?
Only one way to be totally sure, don't do it.
I agree...leave it alone.
C'mon, Russians are people too. Use PayPal friends & family ergo the $ up front. Or Venmo. I buy Russian tubes, it's no problem other than takes a couple weeks. Scam worries as a buyer maybe, but not as a seller.
Agree, Paypal F&F, or wire transfer direct to your bank. "Trust but Verify". Keep us posted if things go sideways!
Good luck with getting any money Russia one BIG SCAM!!!!!!!!
I would insist on a bank wire and a 1-2 week clearance period before shipping.
I bought two pair of speakers from prague. Super communication excellent experience. Are we in the US the only people to trust?😉
To paraphrase Nancy Reagan, just say nyet.
get your bank to give you your international wire transfer bank number and Swift number and have him/her transfer directly to your bank it will take 4-5 business days to clear then ship. no biggy I send stuff over seas to Europe/Eastern Europe  all the time.
Hell NO !     Ebay stopped shipping anything to russia from the U.S. . That was the only country back when i sold cd's on EBAY that customers would not get their cd's. Their postal /customs are crooked . STAY AWAY 
I just googled Russian importation and general mail service and it may take months for your package to arrive once it reaches Russia. They are horribly understaffed and underpaid. One of the major worldwide shippers, EMS, will only refer you to the general mail services for tracking info since they have no idea where anything is once it reaches Russia. I'd think twice if I were you.

All the best,
Many years ago, I sold an amp to a buyer located in Russia. My solution was ask him if he had a friend or contact in the CONUS who would receive the shipment. This person would confirm that the amp worked and then forward the shipment to Russia.  He did. Very smooth transaction. He got a great amp.
I sold 2 pairs of AQ Sky ICs to a buyer in Russia.   Once it arrived in Russia, took several months before reaching final destination.   Service is very very slow.  I totally forgot about it until the buyer emailed me after it arrived.

Due to weight, easily damaged and expense in shipping speakers, I would pass on the sale. 
Easy. Contact the Trump Organization and ship thru them.
I want to chip in as experienced internet retailer:

The tension between Russia and USA is only on government level and it's really none of our business of casual and peaceful population. If you still didn't learn to think this way, now it's a very good time to do so to apply your understanding towards nearly all military and other international conflicts. All you have to do is to quit watching and listening to the NOOZ and start using your OWN consciousness and cognition . 

The biggest issue is customs and it's not only Russia.
Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Russian customs are totally and completely unpredictable. They can hold and repossess items for reason or no reason.

I would advice NOT to use mail services, but ship it to nearest major airport via cargo airlines ONLY.
This way it gives more control to the buyer to retrieve his purchased goods from customs.

So the customs issue is partially solved. If for some reason customs would not let the merchandise through, than it can be returned to you and once returned, you can initiate refund - expenses. All you have to do is to explain it to your buyer. This way you will look much smarter than even Nancy Reagan's "NYET" stuff or whatever the old stoopid beech can say on teevee LOL...

That is to say, either cargo airline to pick up from airport or no go...

Stay away from this sale. If it were an IC, then fine. Speakers are a whole different story. Too many chances for damage and then what? Oh my stay away.
Right now s/he was asking how much it would cost for shipping.  I contacted 3 shippers and have only heard from one so far (DHL).  They only deal with businesses; not individuals.

I can easily imagine the cost would be double - triple what it would cost in the continental United States.  That will probably scare the potential buyer away.  Those PBN EPS-2 speakers are big and heavy.

Anyway, thanks for the excellent advice!

And no, it's not Vladimir P.  Ay ay ay you guys!  ;-)
mountainsong - Prague is in Czech Republic, another world completely 
I wouldn't sell anything like this outside of the US or  Canada....I worked in international household goods moving for over 10 years.  Every shipment to Russia was a nightmare.  For a while the government was taxing every item coming in.  A small 5 cubic meter shipment was costing thousands in import duties and the items were not worth much more than this.
Let me chime in - it will be almost impossible for you to ship the EPS2 to Russia. We ship there frequently,  its always very cumbersome and most shipments go through intermediaries in Europe.

Best of luck


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I sent a cartridge to France and a Tone Arm to Australia. And another cartridge to Canada but of course that is in the US. Just kidding Eh! All went fine!

I live in Russia and pretty frequently getting stuff from US.
There are strict rules on our customs and sometimes they work pretty poorly (it could take up to one month sometimes, but mostly (9.7 of 10 times) it could be delivered in 2 weeks). For example, if your speakers are weighty then you gonna have to send them divided (30kg (66.14 pounds) per package could be received per month taxfree). Also, always use USPS only since other shipping services are prohibited for individuals here. But there is another way to send it — you can suggest the buyer to ship the package via a forwarder like or for example. It’ll be much more comfortable for the seller in US since the shipping is gonna be within US (such forwarders has their warehouses in different states). When the package arrived to the warehouse, customer gets photos of the package and then picks the best way to ship the package to himself in Russia.

Anyway, I just wanted to fix this myth that every Russian is a SCAM since it isn’t, obviously, and we all love audio. So let’s trade more cool stuff transborder). For example, I use an American legend — MC275 in my setup, recently I ordered quad KT88 for it via US store since I trust US sellers more that ours either but I do live here and I’m not a SCAM.
Good comment @theppd 
I have dealt with various record collectors in Russia who are incredibly knowledgeable -Yuri Grishin, for example, has written those superb books on the famous British recording labels. There seems to be a very healthy community of enthusiasts in Russia.  
And one more russian audio enthusiast. For my head-fier enterprise (~80 headphones on metal I have experience of purchase of headphones in different countries - i.e. US, Japan, Australia, Sweden. Never had any problems with sellers (happy me), never sellers had any problem with me.
So myths are myths, reality - Russia is NOT the land of brown-bears-hackers ))
@levap not entirely thrue since it is a country of bears and hackers, also, vodka, babushka, ak47 and us Audiophiles.
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I have never sold through friends and family. 

I have heard from people who have that eBay does not offer their usual guarantees and protections with this service and have been burned badly as a result. I would recommend not to use this unless they really are friends and family.  

While, as His TriumPhness would say, I am sure that "there are good people in Russia, some of whom are audiophiles", I nevertheless choose not to sell to Eastern Europe generally and Russia and Italy (you didn't know that Italy was in Eastern Europe, did you?) in particular, just too much potential for trouble. 

I have have a pair of Altec 604C coaxial studio monitors that were recently rebuilt with company-spec parts: all moving parts were replaced.

I will be listing them for sale any day now to US, Canada, Japan, S Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, U.K., France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Scandinavia only. 
here are my 2 cents
Yes Russian customs and the post office, until recently, worked badly, but now it has become better, although problems remained. My whole system is derived from the United States. Shipping EMS 7-10 days. I did amps orders from large companies, and all went forward, even understating customs value without problems.
Who is at risk in this transaction is still a big question?
You get the money and then send the speaker
Why are you worrying?
and yet the gentlemen you have a biased attitude towards Russia
we live in a democracy and market relations only 20 years old, and you?
@unreceivedogma, could you comment please, why "too much potential for trouble" in Eastern Europe?
BTW, I've never seen Italy referenced as a part of Eastern Europe, it's in Western Europe actually. And Hungary is sometimes attributed to Eastern Europe.  

Agree with rock 71.  What is the problem to send anywhere if buyer pays the money before? If no direct delivery or you are not sure that delivery will be care, then just tell the buyer about it and all moral responsibility would be on it.  The buyer paying 100% front also bears the risk that he will receive some bullshit. It's also possible, isn't it?
I'm russian. Sometimes I buy something, more often on Audio Markt  in Europe . Sometimes living in Japan. Once I bought Siltech Power cable Ruby  Double Crown and it was a fake and I couldn't get money back. As I understand there is a real business there, be care.
End in the end I want to write the saying. There are no bad nationalities, there are just bad people.
Good luck for all!
I am Vladimir:)
I have experience in purchasing goods in the United States
If speakers price more than 1000 euro and weight more than 31 kg. are subject to the additional customs duties. It will be very expensive for buyer, because that is the value of the customs duties is calculated from the excess of € 1,000.  At the same time Russian Customs in calculating payments can define it as the price of a new product based on the price in any online store. Thus customs payment may be higher than the cost of the product itself. My advice is to avoid major problems it is better not to sell the heavy, large and expensive items in Russia.
Small and chip things without problem will be delivery to Russia.  
My last parcel from Canada (partsconnexion)  was delivery to 10 days.
If your buyer is paying for shipping and customs then you really don't have any risk as long as you get paid before sending them.  I can't imagine they would do that, but I would only proceed with the sale under those terms.  Once your money or product cross out of the USA you have almost no recourse.  My wife is dual citizen of both countries and we send and receive things all the time to her family.  Im not familiar with your speaker brand , but if they are big and heavy the shipping / customs costs will be insane. They will most likely tax buyer for new speaker value, they won't care about them being a used product with a lower declared value.. Yuma is right on target with the small inexpensive items are about the only things that make sense once you figure in shipping and customs.  
Hello.   For us it is very expensive to buy something from America!  Now again I will buy power cable, but to buy expensive Speakers at the rate of 1 $ = 60₽, thank Barack-I do not want!                                                                                         Here in Moscow there are sellers who do not have a shop, because it is expensive and they sell like through the store. This is not an official dealer. You need to meet and make friends with these vendors. Such a dealer will ensure that everything will be fine. Such a dealer will receive a small percentage of sales, but as we all know this seller, so you will have to buy speakers.                                    We have SOUNDEX forum, where you quickly find a person who may be working with you and sell. Two years ago, the ruble exchange rate was 1 $ - 20₽, is now 1 $ -60₽. I hope your new king will be independent and honest. In general, there are so many good and beautiful bookshelf speakers that want to buy and buy!  The Russian market is very small HIFI-HIGH END, and when I look at your AUDIOGON always find a good product, but no more than € 1000!                                                                                                      I buy Stealth V12 - $ 1800 + $ 104 ( 13% VAT) + $ 76 (4% by paypal) = 1980 $. 
I would be interested to learn more about what the Russian enthusiast audio scene is like-- older tube equipment, odd or obscure or sought after stuff we might not see in the States or Western Europe, not necessarily the gear being brought in from US, UK, etc. to which all of us have access. Maybe another thread, not to derail this one? (Apologies for diversion). 
I created a new thread for that purpose:
I’m from Russia, and most of my equipment I am ordering from US. Many of us - russian audiophiles, do the same. I even suppose, that russian customers are bringing a noticeable share of the profits of some US hi-end audio manufacturers. Moreover, we not less than you have afraid to meet a scam when buying something from America.
If you want to protect yourself, just follow these three tips:

1. Full prepayment.
2. Bank transfer is most reliable.
3. More expensive an safer delivery methods are preferable.

This is enough even for truly paranoid. Although, if you don’t buy used equipment, but sell it, I think, you can be confident - in this case it is difficult to meet a scam.
And don’t worry if you are asked to declare a lower price of goods in parcel than it actually is. Our customs policy is quite foolish, so we trying to avoid extra taxes when it possible.
Lot of good suggestions... but... if you decide to do it:

1.  Advise the buyer of your terms and let him decide if he wants to accept all the risk.
2.  Have him accept risk of loss from the time you deliver the package to the shipper.
3.  Allow him to select the shipper with which he is most comfortable.
4.  Make sure you identify him as the shipping party - who will settle all claims if the package is damaged - FOB Shipping Point.
5.  Make sure he understands the sale is final upon your receipt of the funded payment, and delivery to the shipper - there will be no returns or refunds.
6.  Provide him complete pictures of the speakers before you pack them, as you wrap themy and pack them, which provide him enough detail that he is confident they are in àcceptable condition, and to provide him proper evidence to support a damage claim if necessary.
7.  Mare sure you receive funded payment (cash in your bank account), before shipping.
8.  Do not use PayPal, or any service, that may charge back your account, if he were to file a claim (including Audiogon, which doesn't accept these terms, generally).
9.  Make sure all terms are well documented and that he has acknowledged acceptance.

You might also involve a third party (such as your bank) to function as a closing agent, who would hold his funds, pending your proof of delivery to the shipper, and release them to your account, upon receipt of such proof.

That's the only way to safely do the deal.  He may not accept those terms, but that's much better than the alternative.

If you're not prepared to do all that - don't do the deal.
And by the way, these procedures are those you should use for any international transaction - they are not directed, exclusively, at those with Russian citizens. They are no more, or less, honest than the average US citizen.

Many of the above comments (humorous, or otherwise) reflect undue influence of all the "fake news" (propaganda) being promoted by all our biased media.  While Russian politicians may be corrupt, they are by no means any more so than those the US has experienced for the past 8 years (no matter which party). Russian citizens are no more likely to be corrupt than US citizens.
Wow!  Thank you everyone!  Lots of good replies; lots of good information.  Sounds like a major hassle.  I have not yet heard back from the possible buyer after I contacted him/her initially.  At this point I assume the costs involved in the transaction are more than the buyer wants to spend.

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I've done several business deals in Russia (manufacturing and distribution).  My advice is to give the speakers to The Little Sisters of the Poor.  In the end, you will be in the same place, no speakers, and no money, but at least you will avoid the shipping brain damage.    
I think dealing with Russia is no different than most other countries. There's always someone out there to scam you at any time. With money comes greed. I think the buyer has more to worry about than you. I'm not too familiar with PBN but know that they can cost more money than I'm willing to part with for a pair of speakers. Good luck and yay or nay are both good choices. 

Your PBN EPS-2 speakers are very big and heavy. This means that shipping overseas is only possible via couriers like FedEx, DHL etc. I am pretty sure that even the lowest courier will cost easily over 2000 USD.

At current courier rates it only makes sense to ship overseas items that are under 31kg and can be shipped via national post.
Different countries may also have different max weight and measurements.
Inside EU we have cheap and fast DHL Freight for heavier items.