Customs woes...

dagnypup

O.G.
Feb 3, 2010
924
145
Hello tPFers!

I was wondering if anyone here could tell me a bit about their prior experience with customs?

I live in the US and bought a ridiculously expensive bag off of Ebay (my total GRAIL bag). It came overseas to the US and has been "inbound to customs" since 9/11. I called my local USPS office and they said that the Customs department won't even give them any information over the phone, so there was no point in even trying to call. They also said that packages can sit in customs for 30+ days.

I decided to go ahead and call customs anyway and when the lady asked me the value of the handbag, she flipped out -- totally shocked that someone would spend that much on one bag. She was transferring me to a "specialist" and I decided to hang up because of the way she had reacted when she heard the value of the bag. She never got my name or even asked about the tracking #.

I called a second time and spoke to someone directly in shipping and he asked me the value of the package (but I told him I wasn't exactly sure). He also did not ask me for any personal information or tracking #, but just said that I needed to fax a copy of the customs forms to him with my name and phone #. I have send an email to the sender to provide those things for me but because of the time difference, I probably won't hear anything for a couple of days (weekend coming up).

I am not sure what I can do now, other than to just wait..:cry: I have ordered bags overseas before and got them in 2-3 days. I was so excited to finally get the bag I have been wanting for YEARS...only to have to wait some more. The thing that is killing me is that I have no idea what is causing the hold up. I have read horror stories of people who have had their bags declared a "fake", items lost, or astronomical customs fees. I am reluctant to draw unnecessary attention to my package (especially if it is just going through customs without any issues) because it would be fabulous for it to miss having any taxes due! But, I am NOT holding my breath on that one! hahaha

My questions for any of you:

What is the longest you have ever had an item "inbound to customs"?
What was the final outcome of the item? (duty paid? lost? returned to sender? Item destroyed?)

Cheers!
Dagny
 

remainsilly

bye-bye
Aug 15, 2014
6,470
9,544
Look here: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases
It's the US customs website for internet purchases. It explains most things.

I suggest speaking honestly & fully with customs agents, during next phone call.
They'll explain what you need to do.

Unless your bag's an endangered species skin or violates regulations, probably just lack of paperwork/broker causing holdup.

Hope this helps.
 

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2008
6,264
158
Boston
Look here: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases
It's the US customs website for internet purchases. It explains most things.

I suggest speaking honestly & fully with customs agents, during next phone call.
They'll explain what you need to do.

Unless your bag's an endangered species skin or violates regulations, probably just lack of paperwork/broker causing holdup.

Hope this helps.
good point about the species skin etc. because in some states (California) there are strict regulations