I'm so sad - customs tax/duties :(

Aug 16, 2006
1,243
7
I recently bought a beautiful bag on eBay US and got it shipped here (the UK). I just got a notice that I'm being charged 75 pounds in customs tax and duties. :sad: That's $150! I only paid $750 for it, so that is like a 20% mark up. :tdown: Don't you just hate when unexpected expenses appear out of nowhere?

I'm not sure how customs even knows. I bought it off eBay, so my seller (who is very nice) may have included an invoice. But if she didn't, do you know how they might know? My item was insured by the seller, so could they have worked it out from the insured value? Is that easily discernible? Or do you think they actually have sources to find out the value of these things?

Sigh, I guess this is one of those costs that you just have to deal with sometimes. Any advice/personal experiences/opinions shared would be really appreciated!
 

jackie1

O.G.
May 14, 2007
1,508
0
you would have been charged 17 1/2% VAT plus import tax plus a clearance fee which does add up to about that amount unfortunately
 

nataliam1976

Member
Nov 14, 2006
17,227
10
43
Its not really out of nowhere, I presume its the first time you got something shipped from outside Europe, everyone like us is hit with them, hardly anything slips through customs without paying duty.

If she has insured the item , she gave the value of the bag and they counted the duty based on that. even if she didnt insure, she still needs to give the value for custom purposes. That sucks big time.

I was hit with 30 and 40% customs, so yours is not that bad ;)
 
Aug 16, 2006
1,243
7
Thanks for your input, Jackie and Natalia! Natalia, why on earth would they tax you 30 - 40%? :wtf:

Another question I have is: do you or people in general ask sellers to mark down the cost of the bag in the declaration? Do sellers often agree to it? Are there any repercussions for them if they try to make the price less than it actually is? I'm just wondering whether it's the wisest thing to do for the future. I just didn't think of it at all as it is the first time I've gotten something shipped from the US in this way. Silly me.

Well, lesson learned.
 

nataliam1976

Member
Nov 14, 2006
17,227
10
43
Thanks for your input, Jackie and Natalia! Natalia, why on earth would they tax you 30 - 40%? :wtf:

Another question I have is: do you or people in general ask sellers to mark down the cost of the bag in the declaration? Do sellers often agree to it? Are there any repercussions for them if they try to make the price less than it actually is? I'm just wondering whether it's the wisest thing to do for the future. I just didn't think of it at all as it is the first time I've gotten something shipped from the US in this way. Silly me.

Well, lesson learned.

well they have different price brackets in Ireland..if the bag plus shipping costs go above certain value that hit you with even higher duties.

Less and less sellers agree to ship with lower value, becasue in case the item gets lost or they get scammed, they can only claim the insured value of the parcel back. Also they are breaking the law doing that :hrmm:
 

Twinklette

Over*the*Rainbow
Feb 22, 2006
3,683
3
Oz
If the seller claimed it as a *gift* how does that work at customs? As the buyer are you responsible for any customs fees at that point, and is it harmful for the buyer at all?
 

shop2drop1

On a ball field
Sep 1, 2007
3,492
0
46
Land of OZ
Thanks for your input, Jackie and Natalia! Natalia, why on earth would they tax you 30 - 40%? :wtf:

Another question I have is: do you or people in general ask sellers to mark down the cost of the bag in the declaration? Do sellers often agree to it? Are there any repercussions for them if they try to make the price less than it actually is? I'm just wondering whether it's the wisest thing to do for the future. I just didn't think of it at all as it is the first time I've gotten something shipped from the US in this way. Silly me.

Well, lesson learned.
As a seller (not lots of stuff, just stuff my family doesn't use) I only ship within the US for this reason. I have had buyers ask me to reduce the amount or mark it as a gift, but I won't do it. I don't want the hassle of a buyer getting upset at me & leaving negative feedback because the laws of their country charge them a custom fee. I also don't want to break the laws of my country or another country, that's for sure! It isn't in anyone's best interest to lie to avoid custom fees. If you insure an item the amount is right there for anyone to see.

It stinks that you weren't aware of it. I wasn't either until reading some custom fee discussions in the ebay forum here. Hope I helped a little.
 
Aug 16, 2006
1,243
7
Thanks for the insight, shop2drop1 and nataliam! You really helped. Thanks for your kind words. I suppose $150 is a crappy price to pay to learn the lesson, but it could've been worse. Someone on the eBay subforum got charged over $250 for a $1000 bag! Yikes!