Is it common practice to....

  1. Put a lower purchase price on customs forms when shipping out of the US. I very rarely ship out of the US and I have recently decided to start. Well first bag I sell the lady asks me to write the value at $50 so she doesn't have to pay high customs fees. I wrote her back and told her I couldn't do that, I insure all my items and couldn't under value it.

    Also, with shipping this bag is $255, the item itself is $230 does it have to have signature confirmation because the total amount is $250 or just if the item value is $250?

    TIA
     
  2. Yes, it is a common practice. An illegal common practice, however. Also, whatever amount you value the item for on the customs form is the amount that you must insure the item for and it's the amount that you will get back should the item get lost.

    Not a smart move for any seller IMO. Keep in mind also that your buyer will get back every penny they paid you for the item thru PayPal.
     
  3. Well, it's common practice to ask, but it shouldn't be done, IMO. I did it once for a fellow PFer in Canada :shame: and I was sooo afraid I was going to get called out on it. I'm such a bad liar. I can totally understand wanting to save someone money (especially customs fees :yucky:) but knowing that you can only insure an item for it's declared value it just seems like a bad idea.
     
  4. Thanks, I figured I could only insure it for the amount on customs....and I definately don't want to be out all my money if something goes wrong. Not to mention that it is NWT so if they did by chance open it....

    I will just ship with the proper amount and signature confirmation.
     
  5. Also- in addition to the other comments- shipping Fedex ground international is less expensive to Canada from the US, but I learned the hard way, that the buyer can refuse to pay the custom charges- and I was charged $72. Shipping international can be complicated, but I think going through the US postal office is the best option.
     
  6. ^^ditto what everyone said. It is in the buyer's interest for you to do it, but certainly not yours -- both w/re to potential loss and illegality.
     
  7. can't they specify it is a gift? would it still be liable for customs charges then?
     
  8. I wont change the $$ but will mark as a gift if asked... not sure if there is a benefit to that or not...And I dont indicate anything about the purchase on the form outside of the brand of bag it is... i.e Marc Jacobs Bag ~ Coach Bag
     
  9. Even if an item is marked as a gift, customs will still charge based on declared value. In some countries customs can inspect the package and charge tax based on their perceived value. If your item has tags on it, there is probably no point in declaring it as having lesser value than the price on the tag.
     
  10. Marking the item as a gift will still incur charges if the package is checked.
     
  11. AND you can be audited (business OR personal!!) for that and you face very stiff fines.

    In addition to tax problems, it's also mail fraud to lie and say it's a gift when it's not. As in, a crime.

    So, if you think you're doing someone a favor by marking it as a gift, think again. You are definitely risking your own neck and your bank account, not to mention potential jail time if you make it a habit. When I am asked to mark items as gifts, I just politely refuse, and explain fully, being sure to point out that it is after all illegal. Surely they wouldn't want me to break the law, would they? ;) That generally shames people enough to not ask me again.

    Anyone who sells on eBay really is held to the same standard as a business: it's your responsibility to know and comply with the law. Ignorance of the fact that something is a crime is no excuse, and unfortunately it won't help you if you're caught.
     
  12. Thanks all....I sent it today with the correct value and just put "purse" on the package and did not mark it as a gift. I think people who have to pay customs should realize that when bidding....I don't want to get in any trouble so they can save a few bucks.

    Thanks for all the advice.
     
  13. Like the other posters I won't declare a lower value either for reasons mentioned above.

    Just a FYI, some countries are really picky about what's on the customs forms. It might get stuck in customs if you don't list the brand and the matierals used. For example, Leather Gucci Purse instead of just pruse. I just have a situation like this with Candadian customs. Luckiy I shipped it though UPS and their customer broker called me and we created a revised invoice and a letter explaining the package and we were able to get it released. Otherwise I don't know how long it would have taken to get it released.