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Customs Charges


Guest Andy Kempster

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Guest Andy Kempster

i have had a couple of occassions recently where i have been hit with customs charges when a record has arrived. today it was £11.98 a couple of weeks ago it was £32!!!! turning a bargain buy into an overpriced nightmare.

the most frustrating thing is if you have a few records on their way you generally dont know which one it is until you have paid.

is there anyway to stop this happening? have you ever refused to accept a delivery due to the customs charges.

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The bit I don't understand is why they levy this custom charge on 2nd had items! I bought a 50 year old mink hat and they even charged me £14 extra for that.... grrrrr :rolleyes:

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Today alone I've refused to bid on over 20 items from the States that I normally would have bid on because the sellers have said that they will put the full value on. Fine, but don't expect us to bid! After a few months they'll start to notice they are getting less and less bids from the Uk and maybe have a rethink but for now, they've lost a lot of money they could have had from me.

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I'm glad I found this topic. I'm a US seller who frequently ships to the UK and Europe. My careful nature tells me I should insure a valuable record for a long trip overseas. I'm speaking of items valued at $100 US or more. But I can't insure it for one value and mark a lower value for customs. I want to keep your customs charges low (and your bids high) but it seems that puts all the risk on me if the item is lost or damaged. Ebay would surely refund your payment and I am left with a broken or missing record, because I wanted to help you with your tax bill and yes, help myself to a higher bid. Lately I have been insisting on trackable shipping with the notice that if I ship with a lesser customs value, the risk is with the buyer for lost or damaged shipments. No problems yet because most packages do just fine.

I'm open to other ideas, but wanted you all to understand my side.

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I'm glad I found this topic. I'm a US seller who frequently ships to the UK and Europe. My careful nature tells me I should insure a valuable record for a long trip overseas. I'm speaking of items valued at $100 US or more. But I can't insure it for one value and mark a lower value for customs. I want to keep your customs charges low (and your bids high) but it seems that puts all the risk on me if the item is lost or damaged. Ebay would surely refund your payment and I am left with a broken or missing record, because I wanted to help you with your tax bill and yes, help myself to a higher bid. Lately I have been insisting on trackable shipping with the notice that if I ship with a lesser customs value, the risk is with the buyer for lost or damaged shipments. No problems yet because most packages do just fine.

I'm open to other ideas, but wanted you all to understand my side.

I ask the sellers to value low and say that I will take the hit if the record doesn't arrive and promise not to try and claim the money back from paypal.

If you're both honest people, this should work.

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Two days ago Ebay sent out messages re. updates to Ebay Buyer Protection and Privacy Policy.

There's one little bit in it that might be interesting for this thread:

We reserve the right to suspend a buyer's coverage under the eBay Buyer Protection Policy if we suspect that buyer is colluding with a seller to misdeclare the value or type of an item for evading customs fees.

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Guest DAWEEDSMOKA

I always just put the value at $2 regardless of what is it. don't even have to ask. have yet to lose/destroy a record in the mail.

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I actually did manage to put low customs on a record that I insured for more once! I might have been screwed if I actually had to put in a claim though.

Bob, did you send this record abroad, e.g. Europe? From what I understand it's not possible to send items insured to and from USA?

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Bob, did you send this record abroad, e.g. Europe? From what I understand it's not possible to send items insured to and from USA?

I sent it to london. Maybe it's not supposed to be possible but I did it, it was insured for like $1000 but customs was only $10. Also, like I said, maybe it was stupid because it's possible that an insurance claim would fail (although if the package is lost at least I don't know how they would know what was on customs, could be a different story if it was damaged).

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Two days ago Ebay sent out messages re. updates to Ebay Buyer Protection and Privacy Policy.

There's one little bit in it that might be interesting for this thread:

We reserve the right to suspend a buyer's coverage under the eBay Buyer Protection Policy if we suspect that buyer is colluding with a seller to misdeclare the value or type of an item for evading customs fees.

Ebay is only intererested in making profit and unless some one can prove otherwise ,they have no scruples !

It's more than likely a statement to cover their own arses incase they get customs coming at them ,saying they knowingly allow it to happen and don't act?

a bit like the "health and safetly " policy in the workplace.....it's only there to protect the company ,not the individual! ...but please ..lets not open up that can of worms on here :thumbsup:

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Had this self-same problem recently with a US seller - wasn't even an eBay item!!

Common sense dictates that low custom values shld be declared on records - fer fecks' sake!! If a record is lost / busted / stolen, the customs tag means nowt anyways - it's all down to whether or not the item was shipped insured / non-insured - that is the crux for insurance - customs tickets are not taken into consideration...

As DaWeedSmoka said - I don't even ask how / what to declare on our green customs tx...it's just common sense - who in their right mind wants to pay an extra 20% VAT on top of what you've already paid?

Some people are just non-worldly beyond belief...MRez

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Guest Bearsy

I have basically given up with buying records from the USA cos of the ridiculous custom charges involved nowadays, if i was to potentially buy from a seller in the USA i would ask if they could put a small amount on the customs slip cos its just not worth it otherwise and if they wasnt willing to do that then i would keep looking elsewhere to find what im after, shame cos i have missed out on a few tunes but fook am i giving any more money to the tax man :thumbsup:

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Guest Bearsy

I'm glad I found this topic. I'm a US seller who frequently ships to the UK and Europe. My careful nature tells me I should insure a valuable record for a long trip overseas. I'm speaking of items valued at $100 US or more. But I can't insure it for one value and mark a lower value for customs. I want to keep your customs charges low (and your bids high) but it seems that puts all the risk on me if the item is lost or damaged. Ebay would surely refund your payment and I am left with a broken or missing record, because I wanted to help you with your tax bill and yes, help myself to a higher bid. Lately I have been insisting on trackable shipping with the notice that if I ship with a lesser customs value, the risk is with the buyer for lost or damaged shipments. No problems yet because most packages do just fine.

I'm open to other ideas, but wanted you all to understand my side.

you wouldnt be going far wrong by putting your sales up on here in the Sales section, no fees and 99.9 % of members totally trust worthy :thumbsup:

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I have basically given up with buying records from the USA cos of the ridiculous custom charges involved nowadays, if i was to potentially buy from a seller in the USA i would ask if they could put a small amount on the customs slip cos its just not worth it otherwise and if they wasnt willing to do that then i would keep looking elsewhere to find what im after, shame cos i have missed out on a few tunes but fook am i giving any more money to the tax man :thumbsup:

Same here - at least 10 last week who I didn't buy from or bid on because of that.

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Guest Bearsy

Same here - at least 10 last week who I didn't buy from or bid on because of that.

it would be a thing to let our USA sellers know that many from this side of the pond like yourself Pete buy and sell records for a living and some buy to help fund there own purchases and now with the TAX MAN having his share too then there goes any profit margin for the British dealers, i suppose thats your problem Pete where a potential profit wiped out by the TAX MAN even though you declare and pay your tax on profits cos its your living,

tough times in record dealing what with this and the recession :thumbsup:

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Can I refer you to this link.

https://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageTravel_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000014&propertyType=document

Read 2.3.....and then 2.4.

If the parcel TOTAL is under £40 (and that means - not individual items) , I ask the seller to dispense with anything suggesting I bought it and to replace it with a post it note which says...HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It used to be £32.

It's worth mentioning that if you buy a second hand song sheet, it is not liable to duties/ vat, but the VAT people might still charge and it's a devil to get it back. Now, I ask the seller to write to he "commodity code" on the declaration. You can see these commodity codes on the Revenue website.

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Guest JJMMWGDuPree

Not bidding on anything seems crazy to me. Just assume you're going to get caned for tax and put in a lower bid to allow for it. You've not lost anything if you don't win, you've not lost anything if you win and get taxed, and I can attest that on the odd occasion when you win something and it slips through the net you feel really rather dead chuffed.

I did once buy some CDs from a shop in the States and without being asked he disguised the parcel as a birthday gift. Very nice of him, but I find that CDs nearly always slip through the net. I think the customs people employ vinyl sniffer dogs. :hatsoff2:

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Guest lord maccrington

the problem really isn't customs but royal mail and parcel force charging for paying the duty on your behalf and taxing you with a 'handling fee' for the privilege. got hit by a japanese package getting pulled a couple of weeks ago. the duty was seven quid but it became 21 in total once these bandits had demanded their cut. i have read that they are acting in contravention of the law by holding up your mail until you pay but they can demand the charges after delivering. only way out is to ignore the letter they send out and after 28 days your parcel will be returned to sender at their cost. an honest seller would refund your purchase cost (but not i suspect your postage charge on getting item (s) back) it all seems a random process as it rarely happens to me- despite buying about 20 items a month mail order. tagging items with lower fictitious values will- i'm sure- eventually be a thing of the past once they discover resources like pop sike!

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