Thread Number: 35750  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
I live in the US 🇺🇸, is it possible to buy a vintage vacuum from eBay UK🇬🇧?
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Post# 383719   1/7/2018 at 00:16 (195 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Hi everybody! I live in Dallas tx, is it possible that I can buy a vacuum cleaner from eBay UK like a Hoover Junior or another vintage product?

Post# 383722 , Reply# 1   1/7/2018 at 01:28 (195 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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Of course it is, but the shipping will be in the hundreds of dollars.

Post# 383723 , Reply# 2   1/7/2018 at 01:35 (195 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Oh boy. And how does it work? The same way as eBay US?

Post# 383725 , Reply# 3   1/7/2018 at 02:00 (195 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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You would have to copy and paste the prices to USD using Google Currency Converter in another tab when on the UK site, and there is no guarantee a seller would ship to the United States due to the incurred risk of such a large item. You can try though if you got the cash. Also you will need a voltage converter unit to be able to use the vacuum in the USA, but I'm sure you knew of that.

If I wanted to order a Kirby from California, and ship it here to Indiana that would be over $100 in shipping. I can't fathom to guess what an overseas shipment would be of a British vacuum.

I think it would be cheaper to fly over there yourself, buy one in a junk shop, then fly back home with it in your luggage. :-P

Post# 383727 , Reply# 4   1/7/2018 at 06:34 (195 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Also the vacuum may need to run from 220-240V--do you have a transformer?Also a connector for the machines plug.

Post# 383743 , Reply# 5   1/7/2018 at 11:28 (195 days old) by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
Hey Gj3476

The link below is to the company the Royal Mail
contracts with for large-sized international shipments.
They're not cheap, but if there's a "must have"
then its worth it in the long run.


Post# 383748 , Reply# 6   1/7/2018 at 13:29 (195 days old) by tazcatsdad (Buffalo, NY)        
You may want to consider using a mail forwarding service.

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I have bought several vacuums from the UK using both and, and I can tell you from experience that there are many sellers in the UK who will only ship vacuums to UK-based buyers.


So, what I did was engaged the services of a business based in Dover, Kent, UK that offers mail forwarding service.  Basically, what the company does is give you a "slot number" at their UK registered business address in Dover.  When you buy something from a seller, you then provide that seller with the address given you by the forwarding company.  The seller ships to the forwarding company: the forwarding company, in turn, ships the item to you here in the 'States via Royal Mail's Parcelforce service.  It's not cheap, but the last time I used it it wasn't exorbitant either.  The link below is to the website of the company in Dover that I chose to use.


Also, you may want to consider setting up a payment account through so that you can pay for your purchase in GBP (British Pounds).


Finally, if you are planning to use any machine(s) that you buy from the UK, you will need to have a voltage converter as British and European machines operate on 240V, 50 Hz as opposed to our 110-120Vm 60 Hz.  I have a 3000W converter installed in my basement, and a long extension cord with UK fittings (which I acquired from, of course!) running through a hole in a closet floor down into the converter in my basement.  Then, whenever I want to use one of my Brits, I simply go to the basement and switch on the converter, pull the socket and cord out of my closet, plug in the vacuum and go!


Here are two pictures of some of the British machines I own: both are Electroluxes.  One is the Powerlite Petlover Z2255FZ upright, purchased new from, and the other is the Cyclone Bagless Z5305 canister (which over in the UK is called a "cylinder") purchased as a refurb from a seller on  Hope this information helps you.


Bill W.


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 383750 , Reply# 7   1/7/2018 at 13:50 (195 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I know that eBay in the US has an international shipping center to handle overseas shipments. As a seller, I charge an overseas buyer domestic shipping to the international shipping center, which takes it from there and bills the buyer separately for the overseas shipping. I have no idea how much they charge the buyer but it certainly makes my life easier as a seller. I've never used that service to ship anything as heavy as a vacuum cleaner, just die cast scale car models weighing up to about three pounds.

Post# 383772 , Reply# 8   1/7/2018 at 18:44 (195 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Something like this will work?

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Post# 383775 , Reply# 9   1/7/2018 at 18:59 (195 days old) by tazcatsdad (Buffalo, NY)        
Not quite, Gabriel.

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All that that is going to do for you is convert a British plug to an American wall socket.  It won't step up our voltage to that of what your British vacuum cleaner will need.  In fact, plugging your cleaner into one of those could harm the machine -- or at the very least make it run far slower than it's designed to run.


Check out the link that I've provided below.  You will see the current line of voltage converters from the company whose product I use with my European cleaners.  This website should give you a good idea of what you'll need.


Bill W.


Post# 383784 , Reply# 10   1/7/2018 at 20:20 (195 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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tazcatsdad is correct, that's the device you need. You plug it into your outlet, turn the knobs to their proper settings, plug your Euro-vaccum into it and away you go. Make sure it has enough wattage for the vacuum you want to use it with.

A 220v European vacuum will not work on American outlets because we only have 120v electricity. Likewise using a 120v American vacuum in Europe on 220V will blow up the motor.

Those little plastic things are just socket adapters to fit UK plug to US outlet, and is not for operating appliances in any way. They have no step-down transformer inside to convert the electricity, they were just made mainly for people to plug in their cell phone chargers to, which have built in voltage conversion.

Post# 383788 , Reply# 11   1/7/2018 at 20:47 (195 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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When I have my own house, I'm just going to put in a 240V outlet, preferably one I import from the UK or somewhere so nothing accidentally can be plugged into it that shouldn't be.

Post# 383792 , Reply# 12   1/7/2018 at 22:02 (195 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Wow I wasnít expecting all of this. Good I talked to you guys, thank u. And nice to meet you tazcatsdad, Iíve been watching your videos for a long time!

Post# 383793 , Reply# 13   1/7/2018 at 22:04 (195 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Wow I wasnít expecting all of this. Good thing I talked to you guys, thank u. And nice to meet you tazcatsdad, Iíve been watching your videos for a long time!

Post# 383799 , Reply# 14   1/7/2018 at 23:21 (194 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Hopefully one of these days Iíll try to get my 1st British made vacuum like a vintage Hoover. I want to be in the ďinĒ crowd like u guys.

Post# 383801 , Reply# 15   1/7/2018 at 23:32 (194 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

That's a lot of work and some $$ just to use a Euro vac. With older vacs, I can't see that they were any better than ours, different styling/features for sure.....the newer stuff of any quality seems to be mostly Euro....but imported they run here on 120-130volts.



Post# 383814 , Reply# 16   1/8/2018 at 06:38 (194 days old) by Vaclover (Freestate, Virginia, South Africa)        

If i go overseas to buy a vacuum cleaner will i be able to take it back in my luggage like a box or something?

Post# 383815 , Reply# 17   1/8/2018 at 06:52 (194 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Why not? I bought a new Eureka upright in Florida in 1983 and brought it back by plane to Montreal. I took it in its original box which was about less than a meter cubed. Canít remember if I checked it with my luggage or took it onboard with me. I guess now you would need to be able to unpack and repack it at the security check.

Post# 383874 , Reply# 18   1/8/2018 at 17:01 (194 days old) by tazcatsdad (Buffalo, NY)        
Nice to meet you too!

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Glad to hear that you enjoy my videos!  You can see some of the British/European models that I have in those videos, BTW ...


Bill W.

Post# 384384 , Reply# 19   1/17/2018 at 10:05 (185 days old) by ManchesterVacs (Manchester)        

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Experienced sellers on UK eBay have what is called Global Shipping enabled for large stuff such as vacuums.

This enables the UK seller to ship to a local service centre (ours is in Derbyshire) and they forward it on to whatever country the buyer is located in. If the seller has filled in the dimensions and weights correctly during listing, the charges will be very reasonable, not the "hundreds of dollars" mentioned above. We sell a few machines to the US and Australia this way.

The US has similar as I have bought machines from the US from eBay.

As a test, if someone in the US here puts item number 232247950662 into search, it *should* show you a new Sebo X7, and it *should* be priced in dollars including delivery.

Post# 384531 , Reply# 20   1/19/2018 at 21:14 (183 days old) by Collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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I get machines from the UK all the time. As long as you have an ebay account and a paypal account there is no problem. Currency is automatically converted when you go to pay. Remember to check first if the seller will ship internationally though before you bid.

As far as voltage all homes in Canada and the US have both 120 and 240 Volts available. If you contact an electrician he can put in a 240 V 15A outlet for you. DO NOT put in an European outlet. You can have an adapter made for it but hard wiring in an European outlet is against the electrical code and, should a fire result, it can void your insurance.

You can also make an adapter using a small electric box and European outlet which plugs into your dryer outlet. As long as it isnt left plugged in when not in use you should be ok with that too. (If you need info on how to make one give me a yell)

Post# 384537 , Reply# 21   1/19/2018 at 23:27 (182 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Well the only problem is that I actually live in an apartment complex and I probably canít put in a UK outlet in the apartment but I can probably one day I can get a voltage converter box that tazcatsdad mentioned on reply #9.

Post# 384578 , Reply# 22   1/20/2018 at 22:19 (182 days old) by Collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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This one is a reasonable price and is good for up to 1000W appliances

Post# 384585 , Reply# 23   1/21/2018 at 00:17 (181 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Thank u Collector2, I added to my Walmart app list!

Post# 384593 , Reply# 24   1/21/2018 at 08:23 (181 days old) by Collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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Check the wattage of the machine you want to get first. You may even have to go to a 1500 W transformer. (Wattage = Voltage X Amperage)

Post# 384617 , Reply# 25   1/21/2018 at 18:44 (181 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Yeah, because that's only about 10 amps from that converter....using a power factor of .8.


You can't just use that simple formula with electric motors and capacitors etc.



Post# 384618 , Reply# 26   1/21/2018 at 18:55 (181 days old) by AlexHoovers94 (Manchester UK)        

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Being British and knowing what British people are like (awkward or donít want the bother) they more than likely will not ship abroad, half of them wonít even post within the UK!!! Really annoying!

Your best bet is to ask a British collector to get it for you and then ship it with appropriate packaging to the US. That would be a much better option, some of the vacuums I have recieved in the past are not packed adequately for posting within the UK! Let alone across the pond.

I some what regularly import old US Hoovers and thenshipping is anywhere from £80-£100!


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