Ebay Buyer Returns $1700 Handbag - I Am Billed for Customs Duty!

lovelygarments

Kay
O.G.
Nov 24, 2006
6,125
11
Cincinnati
I'm hoping someone can assist me with this problem. Here is the scenario:
I sold a bag on Ebay - buyer lives in Australia - she is a Purse Forum member, and I knew her via PF. She purchased it using BIN - $1700.00. She asked that I send the bag to her friend in New Albany, Ohio. She had bought several other bags, and her friend was shipping them to her. I did so - I shipped the bag to her friend. Her friend then shipped the bag to her in Australia. She rec'd the bag. She left me positive fb. Six weeks or so later she noticed a "defect" in the bag. I offered her a full refund. I told her to be sure to fully insure the bag, and to mark that it was a return, not a purchase. She shipped using FedEx. On July 3, 2008, I rec'd a bill from FedEx for $183.00 for duty that they paid in advance on my behalf. I called and spoke with a FedEx associate, and gave her the info, and she said someone from their brokerage unit would be contacting me. I never heard from anyone. On August 26th, a Fed Ex envelope arrived at my home, and in it is the assessment saying that I need to go ahead and pay up! Has anyone else had this happen? I am going to file an appeal, but I wanted to know if anyone else has had this happen? Thank you!
 

Lee

Moderator
Authenticator
O.G.
Jun 8, 2006
65,016
225
Wow, you still offered full refund after 6 weeks?! Anyway,hope you can get things sorted out!
 

mmmsc

O.G.
Feb 1, 2007
9,368
29
USA
Lovely: this does not really answer your question, but I think you are unbelievably lovely for even offering a return after 6 weeks?? Someone notices a "defect"in the bag SIX WEEKS later??? I would just have said "sorry, done deal." But since you didn't, have you tried contacting her and telling her she owes you $183.00+?? I would just send the bill to her and let her deal with the problem she caused. Or give FedEx her address and let them deal with her? Good luck and I am so sorry this happened to you.:crybaby:
I'm hoping someone can assist me with this problem. Here is the scenario:
I sold a bag on Ebay - buyer lives in Australia - she is a Purse Forum member, and I knew her via PF. She purchased it using BIN - $1700.00. She asked that I send the bag to her friend in New Albany, Ohio. She had bought several other bags, and her friend was shipping them to her. I did so - I shipped the bag to her friend. Her friend then shipped the bag to her in Australia. She rec'd the bag. She left me positive fb. Six weeks or so later she noticed a "defect" in the bag. I offered her a full refund. I told her to be sure to fully insure the bag, and to mark that it was a return, not a purchase. She shipped using FedEx. On July 3, 2008, I rec'd a bill from FedEx for $183.00 for duty that they paid in advance on my behalf. I called and spoke with a FedEx associate, and gave her the info, and she said someone from their brokerage unit would be contacting me. I never heard from anyone. On August 26th, a Fed Ex envelope arrived at my home, and in it is the assessment saying that I need to go ahead and pay up! Has anyone else had this happen? I am going to file an appeal, but I wanted to know if anyone else has had this happen? Thank you!
 

lovelygarments

Kay
O.G.
Nov 24, 2006
6,125
11
Cincinnati
^ I had this happen to me, I appealed it and received the full amount back. GL LG!
Thanks for letting me know that it has happened to someone else! I'm going to send all of the documentation - the Ebay auction page, the Paypal page when she paid me, the Paypal page when I refunded, and I hope that will convince them that I was not BUYING the bag. Thank goodness I copied the Ebay auction page because it is no longer up. :yes: I really don't want to pay $183.00 for customs duty when the bag started out in America to begin with! :nogood:
 

coachfreak

Looking for LVOE
You may need the "friend" to send you a copy of the receipt from when she mailed the bag out of the country. That may help if the address the friend sent it to is the same on the return label for the package you received.

*** BTW- I missed it was 6 weeks, you are an angel!
 

lovelygarments

Kay
O.G.
Nov 24, 2006
6,125
11
Cincinnati
Lovely: this does not really answer your question, but I think you are unbelievably lovely for even offering a return after 6 weeks?? Someone notices a "defect"in the bag SIX WEEKS later??? I would just have said "sorry, done deal." But since you didn't, have you tried contacting her and telling her she owes you $183.00+?? I would just send the bill to her and let her deal with the problem she caused. Or give FedEx her address and let them deal with her? Good luck and I am so sorry this happened to you.:crybaby:
Dear "M," you are safe and sound, and not flooded out!!! At least I hope you are o.k., and not stuck in a hotel room somewhere. I have been out of town a lot recently, and that nice little note from FedEx was in a pile of mail. I did e-mail the buyer to let her know about the problem, and to advise her that I was sending all of the information to FedEx/U.S. Customs so that they can figure it out. I am sure FedEx will not pursue her for the money. U.S. Customs has assessed me, not her, so it will be left to me to straighten the matter out. It will just take a lot of time, and it is quite irritating, to say the least. I was glad to hear from PinkSuadeSoho that this has happened to her before, and that she was able to resolve it successfully. I would think that once that they see that the bag (1) was mine, (2) buyer paid for it, (3) I refunded buyer, and then (4) bag returned to original owner, that they will waive the fees. I just don't want to ruin my credit by having FedEx report me to a credit bureau in the meantime. :faint:
 

lovelygarments

Kay
O.G.
Nov 24, 2006
6,125
11
Cincinnati
You may need the "friend" to send you a copy of the receipt from when she mailed the bag out of the country. That may help if the address the friend sent it to is the same on the return label for the package you received.

*** BTW- I missed it was 6 weeks, you are an angel!
I'll ask her if she will provide that information to me. That would be helpful. That would provide the missing link as to when I shipped the bag to her friend in the U.S., and then the friend forwarded the bag on to Australia. I'll e-mail her, and ask if she can do that.
 

onegirlcreative

Daddy's Little Girl
Feb 11, 2008
8,391
3
Dovunque voglia andare
Just out of curiosity, have you mentioned any of this to the original buyer? Maybe since she's a tPF member she will be a bit more understanding, especially since you refunded her for the full amount. Worse case scenario, perhaps she would be willing to reimburse you for half of the customs fee—providing FedEx still doesn't budge and makes you pay this fee—and you both can be happy???

This is a tough call, I must say. I have never heard of such crazy stuff, especially here in the states with customs. I guess because I have never received something of that value from overseas, so I have never had to pay customs fees.

Please keep us posted and good luck. I'm sorry you're going through this, especially since you've been nothing but gracious with this return—after 6 weeks. Oy!
 

lovelygarments

Kay
O.G.
Nov 24, 2006
6,125
11
Cincinnati
Just out of curiosity, have you mentioned any of this to the original buyer? Maybe since she's a tPF member she will be a bit more understanding, especially since you refunded her for the full amount. Worse case scenario, perhaps she would be willing to reimburse you for half of the customs fee—providing FedEx still doesn't budge and makes you pay this fee—and you both can be happy???

This is a tough call, I must say. I have never heard of such crazy stuff, especially here in the states with customs. I guess because I have never received something of that value from overseas, so I have never had to pay customs fees.

Please keep us posted and good luck. I'm sorry you're going through this, especially since you've been nothing but gracious with this return—after 6 weeks. Oy!
I just e-mailed her tonight, so I hope she contacts me soon. I do know that on her return form, she must have checked a box for "Repairs / Returns." On a computer generated form, it does state that the "Purpose" of the item, is for "Repairs/Return." Evidently U.S. Customs is not buying that.

I do pay customs fees all the time. So, I am familiar with FedEx and their billing. I order from LVR, and mytheresa.com, etc., etc., and I dutifully write out the checks to pay the customs fees. But I'm not going to pay customs fees on a bag that I already own. :nogood: Thanks for your words of encouragement! :smile:
 

glammm

Member
Jun 27, 2008
773
1
^ yeah, exactly.
esp since she used it for 6 weeks, thats approx $4.36 a day it cost her to carry that bag. [$183.00/42 days]

your very generous!
 

swissaus

Member
May 1, 2008
396
0
Switzerland
I don't think its really the buyers fault that customs have messed up.. though it is awfully nice to do a full refund after 6 weeks. I think the best thing is to straighten things out with customs so noone needs to pay anything.

This is absurd. I would send the buyer a bill from PP.
 

SWlife

For the love of beautiful things
O.G.
Oct 18, 2006
15,248
2,252
New Mexico
You really are very nice to refund after 6 weeks, I'm afraid I wouldn't be nearly as nice.