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Old 11-03-2008, 21:34   #1
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International trade to help finance cruising?

I always thought that if/when I start cruising around the world, I could partly finance it by buying items in one country and selling them in another. I was wondering if any one has ever done this and what you did.

The scenario I always thought of possibly doing would be buying some high value/low density item in the US (even buy it retail if you are buying too low of volume to consider a wholesaler) such as an Apple iPod. Then take it somewhere else and sell it. For my example I’ll say Mexico.

According to Apple’s website the retail price of an 8gb iPod in the US is 199 US dollars and in Mexico the retail price is 2,699 Mexican pesos.

When I convert that on Yahoo Finance I get
2,699.00 pesos = 250.69 dollars.

Therefore if you can sell it at Mexican retail price you can make $50US. I realize though that you would have to sell less than retail to give locals incentive to buy from some guy down on the waterfront.

Then to continue could you buy something in Mexico that would be cheaper than other places, and take them to your next destination? For example could you stock up on liquor and take it with you to a remote south pacific island nation where it could be expensive to fly things in.


First I can think of why not it is done:
  • Room taken up by the good being transferred
  • Import duties
  • Probably would have to register with the authorities as a commercial vessel, thus costing a lot more to dock
  • Too much work paper work in general for slim margins.

What would it happen if you turn from cruiser to smuggler and just not alert the authorities that you have high value items you plan on selling in their country?

How hard would it be to do in general, and what items could one use?

Keep in mind that I never sailed to another country before, so I don’t know what happens when you check in with authorities. Also keep in mind that the reason I chose the items in my example was because iPods are low density/high value (so they will not take up much room on your boat), and since they are charged from the USB port on your computer and are already loaded with every major world language they seem like a good thing for export to other cultures. I chose liquor because resorts in isolated areas may need it and it would be expensive to fly it in. My example is purely hypothetical, remember that when it comes time to flame me

So I guess my ultimate question is can something like this be done, or has anybody ever done anything like this. Also why would this plan be the exact wrong thing to do?

References:
US Apple Store - The Apple Store (U.S.) - iPod nano
MXN Apple Store - Apple Store (Mexico) - iPod nano
Yahoo currency converter - Mexican Peso to U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate - Yahoo! Finance
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Old 11-03-2008, 21:53   #2
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Darwin Award!

Let me get this straight. You are going on a public sailing forum to ask a bunch of strangers ...How to Break the Law by using a boat!

Am I missing something. Oh yeah!, you need a boat!

ps I will report you if you send me a personal message!
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Old 11-03-2008, 21:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Let me get this straight. You are going on a public sailing forum to ask a bunch of strangers ...How to Break the Law by using a boat!

Am I missing something. Oh yeah!, you need a boat!

ps I will report you if you send me a personal message!
lol, I was merely asking if anyone has done this and how much trouble one would get in if you get caught trying to break the law. I am not asking how to break the law, just if any one has done it before.

edit - oh ya, I do have a boat, the mighty Boston Whaler in my avatar
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Old 11-03-2008, 22:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harpoon5.2 View Post
What would it happen if you turn from cruiser to smuggler and just not alert the authorities that you have high value items you plan on selling in their country?

How hard would it be to do in general, and what items could one use?
For those who do not want to read the whole blurb
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:03   #5
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Smuggling is a criminal offense, in all jurisdictions.
In Canada, fir instance, there are penalties for purchasing illegally smuggled goods, which may be as high as a $500,000 fine, and five years in prison.
I don't know what penalties are commonly imposed upon petty smugglers.
Historically, there have been many punishments for smuggling, which usually depended on the value and amount of the goods smuggled, and the degree of violence committed (if any). The ultimate punishment was, and remains, death.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:29   #6
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Ya. But if you get away with it and become wealthy as those who own Seagrams as well as a lot of other companies in Canada then it is called good business. A lot of, now highly respected Canadian Companies, got their start during prohibition years smuggling booze to the US. Its called risk investment. LOL
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:59   #7
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I don't think this need go any further.
I hope Harpoon gets the idea from the couple of replies already just what a stupid idea that is.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:02   #8
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For reasons that should be obvious; we will NOT engage in ANY “How To”, or “Why Not” discussions revolving around (or advocating) criminal enterprises, such as smuggling.

I see Alan beat me to the punch.
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