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  #1  
Old 07-06-2008
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Default Customs fees, who's responsible?

I have a buyer who bought a $600 item from me on eBay. The package was shipped and it was stuck in Customs in Canada for about 2 weeks. Finally the buyer was able to reach Customs about it and they told him he needed to pay $452 in taxes before they could release it. Obviously he got back to me angry that he needed to pay taxes and asks me why I declared the full value on the Customs form.

He specifically asked for "full insurance" so obviously I need to declare the value. It doesn't make sense to put a value of $10 on the package and then when it gets lost, I get $10 back instead of $600, right?

Obviously the customer needs to pay the taxes for it, but Canada Customs won't send it back to me or give it to him unless they're paid. Now he opened a PayPal dispute for 'non-receipt'. What do I do? I can obviously tell PayPal that he hasn't paid his taxes, but they will likely give him back his money and I won't see the package again because Customs doesn't return it until he paid the taxes for it, which he won't.

Is this a lost case?
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Old 07-06-2008
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HI:
I claim FULL VALUE when I use UPS- BUt, depending on the item/customer, I either pay the customs/duties taxes or we split it, or they pay it all-- it depends on the item.
_-I tell them up front.
-- When you choose split fee on "UPS"--they then "BILL" that customer, with a paper bill--which of course they normally never pay....

In your immediate case- I guess I would try to negotiate with the customer--I would also call ups customs, or whoever your carrier is--
sometimes the physical makeup of the item in question changes the value considerably--
i.e.
a jacket can be made from cotton--so a 100% cotton jacket may carry a tarriff value of $400- whereas, a poly blend, with a metal zipper combo may only be a tariff of $120.. (probably bad example--but im trying not to give away what my items are...)

Hope you get the point.. you can search for the Tariff codes right in the ups site..EXAMPLE;
4501.900.10--maybe for a leather belt, but 4501.900.11 maybe a vinyl made, with brass buckle--
They usually have 15 different pick from choices..all for basically the same item..
>> HOW DO I KNOW THIS?

>>WELL-- once i was being surcharged around the same--$400-$500 for a $150 item sent.
Once i called,complained, and did alittle investigation--I merely changed the "chemical makeup" of the item slightly--but still true--
then customs charges dropped from $450 down to like $62..

--SO MAYBE your item is NOT 100% leather--??

>> ALSO--in UPS--you can have a "Carriage Value" of $1,000.00,,,AND a Customs Value of $10-- HOW?
>> because you are sending a Commercial sample--to you--who invented it--yes-you may have $10 in RAW parts--BUT--street value is near $1000--hope this doesn't confuse you??
Best,EBHL
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Last edited by ebayhateluv; 07-06-2008 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 07-06-2008
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I have experienced this exact same situation....

Shipped an antique nut grinder to Canada. The customer wanted full insurance as well as the item is NOT replaceable. I filled papers out therefore with full-value. It too was held in customs for tax needed--customer did check with shipping co. as the amt. needed for taxes and was fully aware for the ins. would need the full declared value on commercial invoice.

3 1/2 weeks passed with item held in Customs--buyer must have gotten "remorse" and filed the item not received dispute with pp.

I forwarded all emails to pp--shipping info/tracking and email from Customs with info. of what was needed--accordingly, pp DID find in my favor and denied a refund to buyer under these circumstances. This was 8 mo. ago however--pp constantly changing--but definately worth a shot.

I would recommend passing along any info. you may have regarding this transcation to pp--you may be surprised...thye may just find in your favor. They seem very used to International buyers trying to get away with purchases and when held in Customs...filing disputes--seller loses product and money when buyers do this. They told me International buyers should educate themselves accordingly to customs tax/rules, before purchasing or they absorb the burden...

Hope it works out for you
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I think it's the sellers responsibility unless otherwise noted. As a buyer once they pay you, it is your job to get the item to them. If you didnt want to pay the customs fee you should have outlined it. No one want an extra $450 bill tacked on to what they were and already willing to pay.
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wrong, you should have knowledge already of buying overseas.
if you bought from an american website, they dont pay u customs. they may say "may be liable for import duties" it's 50/50
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Amazes me the stupidity of an international buyer. Do they think because they
are buying from ebay they are going to be exempt from import duties?

International Trading

I state on my listings about import duty yet still get asked. My rule is if it is from overseas,there may be import duty.
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The buyer may have been totally unaware of import duties. I was unaware of it as well until I started wholesaling. The original listing lays out the basic guideline of how the transaction will go, a contract in a sense. And all that was required of the buyer was payment. From there the seller's responsibility is to get the item to the buyer in the condition described. If you didnt state the buyer will be liable for duties, then you should cover it. So either you pay and lose some money, or dont and lose all of it.

Last edited by richcollegeguy; 07-07-2008 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Then that buyer is stupid. Every country in the world has tariffs, taxes and duties payable. In the example being given, the buyer asked for full value insurance of the goods to be declared. Should Canadian Customs waiver duty because the buyer did not know the rules.Should imjustme be out of pocket? I would hope that. something can be worked out.
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Old 07-07-2008
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richcollegeguy......when you go to the store and but an item, can you not pay the sales tax, because you were not aware of it?

My oh my, our education system is definitely failing....The children of the world must be pretty ignorant to think that there no such thing a duties/taxes.

Try telling a police officer that you should not have to pay a ticket because you did not know it was against the law to not wear your seat belt....
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Old 07-07-2008
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AGREED..with ALL points.. BUT-- $400 duty on a $600 item-- alittle Ridiculous--agreed?

We had a girl from Bulgaria work at our restaurant several years ago- she left her personal laptop behind.
I decided to send to her- I used ups. She gets a call- they wanted (the Bulgarian Customs)- $750 to claim her laptop.. Now this is a College kid, she Prob only spent $999 on it--how are they entitled to $750?
>> I ended up western union the $750 to her--so she would not be out, as i felt the customs people were just out to keep her pc..but i felt- what a RIP OFF!
(Come on--75-80-% duties and tax??)
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Definitely agree on the $400. There is something wrong with that. Customs officers are not always perfect and make mistakes....This amount needs to be disputed by both the buyer ans seller....

Somewhere, it is obvious a mistake got made......


Also, there are customs brokers that help in situations like this..so, imjustme, do a Google search and find a customs broker. They should be able to help clear this up.....

Sorry, I was not more helpful earlier.....
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Should be about 22% right ??


About $132 ?
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Old 07-07-2008
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My cousin works for customs, in NYC ...he told me to put "Reapair under factory warranty" for high ticket items. When customs check it, theres no way for them to be able to tell if its broke or not. It's always worked for me, not saying it will work 100% of the time...but I sell high price items also, never had a issue
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A & A Contract Customs Brokers - Customs brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing, customs broker services


TRY THIS LINK TO A CUSTOM'S BROKERAGE
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if you ever receive packages from china you will learn the ways of their ninja tactics. They can get a truck through customs without fees or delay. I have been buying from china for about seven years now and about 30 packages a year and have only had one stopped and had to pay customs fees.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Let me share Modee's secret. His items go overseas in funeral caskets.

Who wants to bet that the customs officer started his career with ebay?
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Last edited by GreenBean; 07-07-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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u joking lol?? Im quite gullable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMiles2564 View Post
richcollegeguy......when you go to the store and but an item, can you not pay the sales tax, because you were not aware of it?

My oh my, our education system is definitely failing....The children of the world must be pretty ignorant to think that there no such thing a duties/taxes.

Try telling a police officer that you should not have to pay a ticket because you did not know it was against the law to not wear your seat belt....
Are you in the UK? because here in the states customs fees are almost non-existant.

Not knowing about sales tax or wearing a seat belt is quite stupid. The comparison can not even be made. We grow up with this in everyday life. But to those that never really purchase things online, let alone internationally will most likely not be aware of this. We all know you go to th post office and oay stamps to send something, who'd of ever thought you'd have to pay to receive? Maybe this person was used to people declaring them as gifts?


It's 100% the sellers fault for not stating this. I know us sellers have to stick together, but the seller is wrong in this case! You wrote the listing, not the buyer! The listing is like a purchase order/contract. Surprise charges just cant be sprung! Sorry!
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And, to add to this... a buyer told ME that there is a hogher chrge on UPS deliverys than on USPS deliveries. thus I ship USPS. Have no idea if this is true or not. what say you all???
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Old 07-08-2008
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usps global express is the best hands down shipping from the usa internationally.
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Old 07-08-2008
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Exclamation Recap

Let's look at the original statements made by imjustme
"The buyer asked for FULL value of the item to be put on the form" and not a
lower figure. The seller complies with the buyer's request and sends the item.

Canadian Customs hold the parcel and assess a high amount of duty. Everyone is annoyed. The buyer got what he asked for, an item shipped with full value coverage. Now it would be between the parties including customs to resolve the matter. Seller & buyer might need to co-operate.
I support the seller. It does not matter that the buyer did not know what to do. The seller does not need to hold the buyer's hand. As an example,
who would buy an auto without KNOWING THE DAMN* FACTS about it?

And yes, FEDEX & UPS charge much higher rates than USPS. They might have
quicker delivery times but there is a cost.


*slaps own wrist but damn stays.*
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Last edited by GreenBean; 07-08-2008 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 07-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogarelax View Post
And, to add to this... a buyer told ME that there is a hogher chrge on UPS deliverys than on USPS deliveries. thus I ship USPS. Have no idea if this is true or not. what say you all???
I agree 300%
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