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  #1  
Old 06-05-2008
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Default France Customs Are Thiefs...

If you're shipping to France quite often, like me, you probably know what I'm talking about. Seriously, out of 10 packages I ship to France, 1 or 2 don't arrive or are returned. I am lucky if they are returned because usually they just vanish.

I've had everything from memory cards, shirts, antiques, teddy bears and even paintings vanish in France customs. Why? No idea. One of the items was returned as 'Not Accepted Into France. Reproduction'. Guess what it was? A painting by a Japanese artist who happens to be a friend of mine. Not even a very famous artist outside of Japan and barely known in France. Another package was returned with a huge letter in French that I translated into "please fill out French customs declaration form, in French, not in English, available at office number XXXXX in Paris, France". Like I'm going to travel to France to pick up a customs form to then send the item from Tokyo to Paris? Come on!

I've come to the point where I just don't ship to France anymore. Anyone else?
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Old 06-05-2008
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Stopped shipping to France when US$2400 dollars worth of an item disappeared.Luckily it
was insured. I ship to a German town close to the French border instead.
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Old 06-05-2008
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lol i never knew this, i would have assumed France would be reasonably safe place to ship too. what dodgy customs officers they must have, unbelievable
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Old 06-05-2008
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You do not know too much about the French then. They are a complete law unto themselves! The French only love the French. And even then if they do not like you, then
you are well and truly out. LOL>
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Old 06-05-2008
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France is VERY STRICT also-- they require 3 copies/Commerical Invoice, the buyers EIN/tax id#, and buyers/receivers telephone number, they actually Verify with the Buyer/receiver the Value--if it does not match what Ive placed on pkg--item gets returned.
--I have also had--Item "Abandoned by Sender + receiver"...yeah right... they stole it!
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Old 06-06-2008
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They steal all the time. I just had another buyer complain that his item didn't arrive and customs had no record of it. The tracking number clearly shows it last went into customs, after that it's gone.
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Old 06-06-2008
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Fairly typical. You want to try to get back VATtax from La Douane(Customs) when you leave France. They forget they can speak English and are rude. I have found it helpful to swear at them in French which changes their attitude quickly.
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if you from the uk/eu its no problem shipping to france, its just outside of eu you have problems. However french dislike to speak english, I guess sometimes they go a little to far.
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Old 06-06-2008
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My brother and mother also sell on ebay. Between the three of us we've had over a dozen packages come up missing in France. My brother had the replacement item he sent to replace the first "lost item" come up missing, and yes the address was correct. Yea I'd say they are a little shady. Sad thing is I've only been selling on ebay for 4 months and I have had 4 things come up missing in France.
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Old 06-06-2008
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I have the most customer service (not customs) issues with France & Canada.

It must be the language....lol
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If you think France is bad try and ship to italy outside of EU
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Old 06-07-2008
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I find Canada, France and Germany to have the highest rate of "missing packages" when shipping by first class international. I think part of it, is that buyers know there is no direct tracking available to prove delivery, unless
you go one of the more expensive shipping methods, which for items under $50 does not pay.
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Old 06-07-2008
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When I ship from Japan to Canada or the US, I never have a lost package. I've sent about 3000 I have records of. The most missing are to France, then Italy and 1 in Germany.
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Old 06-07-2008
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Italy is by far the worst, they are outright thieves and when they don't steal your package they take 30+ days on 1st class international. France is next worst followed by the Ottawa, Canada area. Spain is okay but they are SLOW.

To cut down on theft, having to fill out those damn green customs forms, improve my delivery % and cut my customers a break, in January of this year I started marking my packages with my own little sticker

--Duty free, Printed material, Advertisement- Advertising Catalogue---

My items are under 4 pounds, under $20 and I have a huge markup so I don't care if a few get opened and the customer has to pay VAT/GST.

Shipping overseas is now a breeze now, I just pack, weigh, and put the stamps, address and my own little sticker which says

--Duty free, Printed material, Advertisement- Advertising Catalogue---

Note, the USPS IMM says advertising materials, including catalogues are duty free.

No more customs forms or waiting in line, I just dump it all in the parcel bin and I am on my way.

Of course, I actually sell advertising catalogues through my ebay account so all is legit on my end.

Last edited by The_Cynic; 06-07-2008 at 11:11 PM.
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but you don't have any tracking numbers to provide to your customers that way.
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Old 06-08-2008
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So, 99% gets through and if doesn't I either, refund or send another. My item cost is so cheap that the time I save on not messing with the customs forms, etc... is worth a hundred times the amount I spend on resends and refunds.

To get tracking on foreign stuff you to pay up, it's not worth it for a $10 item that cost me $1.50.

My time = money
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lol smarttt
but your item must be really small
because it has to be a certain size and certain weight and if it goes over either/or
it wont ship
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Hi all
Well well, as i'm french, i think i have to answer
Probably some of the customers are liars but here, we have big problems with the post. If you send a letter, no problem, it will arrive ; but sending a packet is more dangerous ; some are stolen by the post employees, are not handled carefuly.
I never send in France without insurance or tracking number.
Anyway, i've ordered on Ebay a photo lens from Hong Kong... Never received...
And yes, we have "la douane", which taxes about 25% more of the basic price for the objets sent from UE foreign country ; and it's the seller who has to fill all the paper.
Anyway, everything is taxed here ))
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EVERYTHING?? edible products also?
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Yes, in France, we have a tax called TVA (19.6%) on everything (food, clothes, restaurants...): which means that when you pay 100€ for an item, 19,6 €, go directly in the government's pocket

A friend of mine bought a guitar from US. The price was 1700€. The packet has been blocked by customs and he has to pay 400€ taxes to get it...
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Old 07-16-2008
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19.6%!!! Thats really high! And I was complaining with the 7.5% here...
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