Buyer Wants to Avoid Customs Tax

  1. I have been selling on eBay for a decent amount of time now and ship a lot of items internationally. I have changed some of my shipping policies after learning certain things through trial and error. I often have international buyers asking me to declare the item they want to buy for less than what they paid for it on their customs declaration so that they can pay less or avoid paying customs tax. Recently I updated my listings to say that I will not do this because I am now sending all international shipments out with insurance and then the item will only be insured for the amount they want it marked as.

    So, I just had someone purchase a bag, which she has already paid for, and she puts a note on her PayPal payment that she would like it only marked as $80.00 for tax purposes. My listing clearly states that I don't do this. I really wish people would read or at least ask me before they hit the BIN. So now what do I do? I was thinking about sending her a message that I will do it, but that the item will only be insured for $80 and that I am not responsible if something were to happen during shipping. What do you all think? The bag is a Botkier mini holster bag that is new, but from about 4 seasons ago so I sold it to her for $180.00. It's also a bag that I have had to list a few times to finally sell it... HELP!:confused1:
  2. Mmm thats tricky, i think if the buyer wants to risk it then its up to her. I know its a bit naughty etc, but it will be on her head if something goes wrong.

    I brought my LV neo speedy from the States and the seller put on the full retail value, I paid $260 in tax, to say i was not pleased...tbh if your package is tracked its V unlikely that it will get lost and if i knew about the taxes before i received my bag I would have asked her to at least lower the amount she put on the package, I wouldnt have minded so much but it second hand!
  3. I know this is an issue that really divides people, but I feel strongly that it is simply not fair to expect the seller to bear risks like this. As I understand it, the insurance serves the seller and so if anything goes wrong, the seller is vulnerable. I don't know whether a declaration that it is at the buyer's risk makes any difference and suspect it probably wouldn't if the worst happened and the parcel went astray. For that reason, if it were me, I would politely and regretfully insist that the item has to be declared and insured for its full value explaining to the buyer why this is so - I imagine others may disagree but I personally would rather lose a sale than worry myself to pieces about an expensive item going astray and the repercussions.
  5. I agree this is kind of a touchy topic, because just like Luva Pug said, apparently the tax can be very high. The reason I had changed my policy is because I had a buyer who purchased multiple items from me at one time and wanted 5 packages with 2 of these items in each package shipped to Brazil, and each package be marked as $10 each. I was new at shipping internationally at the time, so I did it. Needless to say, customs allowed one package to clear, but the other 4 were sent back to me, which takes FOREVER! Then I also started to worry about the whole insurance thing because just like regular domestic mail here in the states, if there is no insurance USPS will do nothing. I had another item that the buyer claimed not to have received, he is in Portugal, which was before I was insuring everything, and I called USPS to see if they could at least track the item to see if it made it to Portuguese customs and they couldn't give me any info other than what was on their website. So it's like, what do you do?
  6. I think US sellers run a risk by falsifying anything on customs forms; remember they are official US Government forms. Like many other sellers, I tell International bidders in my listings, IN BOLD TYPE and contrasting color, that I will not misrepresent the nature or value of goods on customs forms. Still like others here I occasionally get a winner who asks me to do it, and I just refuse. It's the only way to protect ourselves as sellers.

  7. Another touchy situation... I was always under the impression that if insurance is not purchased by the buyer, the seller is not responsible for lost packages. And I have seen this in countless eBay listings, where the seller states that if insurance is not purchased by the buyer, the seller is not responsible. Recently I started including insurance on all of my items in the S&H charges to make it easier for both the buyers and myself. Because I can totally understand someone being pissed if they don't receive something, and then what are you supposed to tell them? "Sorry, you didn't buy shipping insurance?" IMO the insurance protects both the buyer and the seller, which is why all of my items are now shipped out insured.
  8. I am an international buyer on E-Bay (from Greece) and I always ask for things not to be declared and shipped in an envelope. Because in Greece and most of Europe you pay a VAT (tax) on the price that is declared and in Greece (not sure if the other EU countries) on the shipping method. For example I bought a Fendi handbag that was $300 USD, and I had to pay 120 Euros $156 USD to get the bag out of Customs eventhough I am an American studying abroad, to say the least I was not happy.

    I would tell the buyer that if you declare the item that way that she will be risking it and see what the buyers says.
  9. I could be wrong, I also thought it was full responsibility of the seller, should something happen with the package. She could agree to take responsibility, but could very well change her mind, should something happen,turn around & blame you. I would cover your bases and not sell it to her. Or, have her wire you the money, so you don't have to deal with a charge back.
  10. Don't do it. As the seller, you assume all responsibility if the package gets lost. She need only file an Item Not Received dispute and PayPal will refund every penny she paid you for the item ($180). You, on the other hand, will get the "pleasure" of fighting with her customs to try to recover the smaller amount of $80.00 you declared and insured the item for. I never could understand why any seller would take that kind of risk for someone.
  11. Hi, why is it the seller's responsibility? If insurance is not taken, the buyer would be unfair to blame the seller due to a postal blunder. After all, the seller doesn't drive the mail truck.
  12. Great point, Print*Model. I do feel bad for a lot of these buyers who have to pay such a high tax to buy internationally, which is I guess why I had done this for people in the past.(That and I was kind of green in the international shipping area)
  13. I don't care whether sellers put in their listing that if you don't buy insurance, it is your risk -- that is not true. The seller is responsible to deliver the package. If it gets "lost" the seller is responsible, not matter what they say.

    For this reason, I calculate the price of insurance into the shipping price and note that insurance is included.

    I also would never lie on customs forms. It is a fact of life that when you buy from outside your country you may incur taxes. You should not ask someone else to violate US laws so you can avoid paying taxes required by your country's laws.
  14. And I have seen this in countless eBay listings, where the seller states that if insurance is not purchased by the buyer, the seller is not responsible.

    they can say it but it's not true. anything to do with shipping is the seller's problem. not the buyer. i always laugh when i see that in an auction because just wait until something of that person's goes missing. they'll see who's problem it is then.

    ITA with lulilu.

    the buyers who ask that you mark things as gifts are totally aware of the customs fees on the items they buy. and since they are aware of it they should factor that in to the cost of what they're buying and bid accordingly. sorry but i don't have sympathy for it. i just had a bidder bid mutliple times on my auction- which CLEARLY states i will not mark as a gift etc- and then flip out of me when she emailed me after bidding and I said i would not do that or declare a 400 item for i think 20 dollars is what she wanted. sorry but read the listing. better yet read the usps site.
  15. I was going to say, i don't think its the seller responsibility if something goes missing, i am not 100% sure though!

    And I just received a balenciaga bag from Canada and the seller just put down PURSE $100, so i didnt pay any tax =). I think as long as you say that you as the seller are taking no responsibility if the package is lost then i really do not see any problem xx