HELP: Buyer is Requesting I Pay Her International Taxes / Duty!

shontel

Member
Feb 16, 2011
1,079
0
Miami Beach, FL
I'm in the US. I sold a pair of Tartaruga Christian Louboutins for $360 and shipped them via Express International Mail to buyer in the UK. I insured the shoes for $200. Tracking shows that the shoes are being held "pending payment."

The buyer emailed me saying that they wont release the shoes to her unless she pays 45 pounds (about $70). She is requesting that I pay or atleast help her pay for her taxes.

Has this happened to any of you?
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
47,477
16,281
East Coast, USA
I'm in the US. I sold a pair of Tartaruga Christian Louboutins for $360 and shipped them via Express International Mail to buyer in the UK. I insured the shoes for $200. Tracking shows that the shoes are being held "pending payment."

The buyer emailed me saying that they wont release the shoes to her unless she pays 45 pounds (about $70). She is requesting that I pay or atleast help her pay for her taxes.

Has this happened to any of you?
Buyers who purchase internationally need to know that they might be hit with fees. They need to do their homework.

Respond to her with the following link:


http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/international-shipping-rules.html#who

Who pays for customs?

Generally, buyers pay additional costs such as duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees. To avoid problems, make sure that your listing clearly states this. You can cut and paste this directly into your listing:
 
Apr 15, 2007
63,997
9,336
Did your listing say that buyer's are responsible for taxes/duty in their

own country?? Buyers know when they purchase something internationally

they are responsible.... and you underdeclared the value by $160... let

your buyer know she has to pay this not you and would not agree to pay

this at all... sorry, but your buyer is either inexperienced or just wants you to

pay...
 

shontel

Member
Feb 16, 2011
1,079
0
Miami Beach, FL
My listing unfortunately did not mention that buyers who purchase internationally may need to pay customs fees. (I figured all international buyers should know this.)

Any thoughts on what I should do?

Buyers who purchase internationally need to know that they might be hit with fees. They need to do their homework.

Respond to her with the following link:


http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/international-shipping-rules.html#who

Who pays for customs?

Generally, buyers pay additional costs such as duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees. To avoid problems, make sure that your listing clearly states this. You can cut and paste this directly into your listing:
 

shontel

Member
Feb 16, 2011
1,079
0
Miami Beach, FL
I think buyer is inexperienced. I don't think she can afford the extra $70. I don't know...

I don't know how taxes in the UK work, but $70 seems rather high for an item insured at $200...

Did your listing say that buyer's are responsible for taxes/duty in their

own country?? Buyers know when they purchase something internationally

they are responsible.... and you underdeclared the value by $160... let

your buyer know she has to pay this not you and would not agree to pay

this at all... sorry, but your buyer is either inexperienced or just wants you to

pay...
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
47,477
16,281
East Coast, USA
It's possible that the customs office is assessing the tax based on market value. They aren't dumb and know that packages are often under-declared, (something that BTW is illegal to do).

Perhaps this is their way of "punishing" the buyer for receiving an item with too low a value assessed to it.

In order to get a feedback removed that refers to customs fees, you need to make a statement in your listing. But as for having the buyer be responsible for her own fees, that's expected. In your future listings, include a statement along the lines of what ebay recommends.

I certainly don't think you should cover them.

If she doesn't want to pay the fee, recommend that she instruct them to mark them "refused, return to sender and once you receive them, you can refund her purchase price. I wouldn't refund shipping since this isn't your error.
 

lovely64

LunAtic
O.G.
Nov 17, 2006
38,080
344
Europe
She should be glad she´s not in Sweden where we pay around 40% in Customs. Message her and explain that she is the one responsible for Custom fees in her country.
 

shontel

Member
Feb 16, 2011
1,079
0
Miami Beach, FL
Thanks, Dear. I feel sad for the buyer. $70 is alot to pay in taxes for shoes she paid only $360 for. I spend nearly $1000 on shoes and even then my taxes aren't that high.

It's possible that the customs office is assessing the tax based on market value. They aren't dumb and know that packages are often under-declared, (something that BTW is illegal to do).

Perhaps this is their way of "punishing" the buyer for receiving an item with too low a value assessed to it.

In order to get a feedback removed that refers to customs fees, you need to make a statement in your listing. But as for having the buyer be responsible for her own fees, that's expected. In your future listings, include a statement along the lines of what ebay recommends.

I certainly don't think you should cover them.

If she doesn't want to pay the fee, recommend that she instruct them to mark them "refused, return to sender and once you receive them, you can refund her purchase price. I wouldn't refund shipping since this isn't your error.
 

skislope15

Member
Aug 11, 2010
3,296
19
I think buyer is inexperienced. I don't think she can afford the extra $70. I don't know...

I don't know how taxes in the UK work, but $70 seems rather high for an item insured at $200...
Its not that high i paid 59 on 500 this morning in canada and the duty had been waved, all i paid was sales tax. While i give you credit for being a caring seller its not your responsibilty to pay the taxes for the buyer, i know anytime i mail from the usa or uk i get nabbed, this should have been something that your buyer thought about up front. Perhaps she can have the post office hold them a week or 2 longer to allow her to get the funds together. She already got a good deal on the shoes you shoudnt be out anymore money for her oversite
 

Hessefan

O.G.
Sep 14, 2009
2,417
549
£45 is pretty normal here. On top of the customs the Royal Mail charges a handling fee if there is a charge. Which is between £8 and &12 as far as I remember. I understand your buyer is annoyed, but it'll be a lesson they have to learn. Just tell her it is not your fault nor responsibility to pay her customs as that is the price for importing goods from abroad. Really sorry you have to deal with this! Let's hope she'll pick them up. To be fair, if she can afford CLs then she can afford the customs charge.
 

shontel

Member
Feb 16, 2011
1,079
0
Miami Beach, FL
OMG!!! 40%?!?!?!?!?!?!? I promise I would NEVER purchase internationally if I had to pay that much. I must be lucky because I have never had to pay taxes/custom for buying goods internationally. Also, this is the first buyer I have sold to internationally that this has happened to (that I know of).

She should be glad she´s not in Sweden where we pay around 40% in Customs. Message her and explain that she is the one responsible for Custom fees in her country.
 

LindaP

O.G.
Dec 31, 2007
9,034
9
Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia USA
I certainly don't think you should cover them.

If she doesn't want to pay the fee, recommend that she instruct them to mark them "refused, return to sender and once you receive them, you can refund her purchase price. I wouldn't refund shipping since this isn't your error.
I agree with this advice, I would NOT give her money to cover the taxes. Explain to her that this is not money that you receive and is her responsibility if she wishes to take delivery of the item.

If she does leave you negative feedback that you are unable to get removed, you can always reply that the buyer did not want to pay the custom's duty to take delivery. Potential buyers will see this and understand, it will not reflect badly on you as a seller, imho.
 

michi_chi

O.G.
Feb 2, 2008
1,494
108
Edinburgh, Scotland
I think buyer is inexperienced. I don't think she can afford the extra $70. I don't know...

I don't know how taxes in the UK work, but $70 seems rather high for an item insured at $200...
It depends on the amount that you've declared on the customs form. It is also then calculated based on the amount of the item and VAT paid is 20% (so approx $40) plus any charges the post office/courier company charges. With higher value items, I believe the tax paid is more.

Having the seller pay tax and customs is a relative luxury that people shouldn't assume. As BeenBurned has said, the buyer needs to have done her research to know that information and it's not that difficult to find. They even have information posted on the HM Revnue and Customs site:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/post/buying.htm

Tax and customs is the buyer's responsibility, especially if it's their country the item is being shipped to where they're required to pay taxes/customs
 

Hessefan

O.G.
Sep 14, 2009
2,417
549
Also, don't think of it as $70, think of it as £45, which isn't that high in a UK context unless you are really poor. Wages here are higher, so it doesn't equal £70 if you know what I mean.
When I first moved here I used to translate all prices in my head and a sandwich would be like €12, which is obviously ridiculous. But you have to remember people also get paid in £, not any other currency.
 

Hessefan

O.G.
Sep 14, 2009
2,417
549
shontel said:
OMG!!! 40%?!?!?!?!?!?!? I promise I would NEVER purchase internationally if I had to pay that much. I must be lucky because I have never had to pay taxes/custom for buying goods internationally. Also, this is the first buyer I have sold to internationally that this has happened to (that I know of).
We don't get charged every time. I've bought items for over $100 that never got held in customs, and others for half the price that did. It depends on whether they pick your parcel out it seems.