Question on whether I should ship to UK

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  1. I usually only ship to the US Lately I have had several requests from the UK If I use paypal and ship to the UK what additional things do I have to do to protect myself.Also what is the best shipping service USPS Fed Ex or UPS?If I shipped a couple of pieces of jewelry about how much is shipping?Thanks
  2. I have shipped to the UK many times with no problems on payments via PayPal at all. I use Express Mail Service or Royal Mail.

    The only problem is if the buyer doesn't understand customs duty. This is a legal/moral dilemma. Many countries including the UK have to deal with the reality of very tight customs duties, which are much less of an issue for USA buyers because the USA has generous limits. Personally, I stick to the rules and declare the sale price on the postal records. I take the precaution of letting the buyer know in the listings that customs duties are highly likely. I also give them the option of either Royal Mail or Parcelforce as the UK handler.
    I have had my feedback smacked about by UK buyers, but usually it is on the shipping and handling charges. This is because buyers confuse the Customs Duty with my shipping fees or generally see the stars as a chance to vent about Customs Duty.

    But the transactions are usually great.

    If you let them know well in advance that they are up for these charges, you will be fine.
    If you underdeclare, you are taking a risk that Customs
    • may check your item and put their own valuation on it, which may be worse for your buyer.
    • hold it which would be scary or
    • return it to you.
    • might let it sail through (but unlikely).

    Depends on how much drama you want. Personally I like a quiet life so I stick to the normal system and make sure there is lots of communication with the buyer. It seems to be working. There are lots of nice UK buyers.

    I do suggest you read this link

    There are many approaches to this and lots of different views on this issue.

    actually i've never so far (fingers crossed) had an underdeclared package questioned and i've received quite a few over the years. i can't think of anyone i know who it's happened to either. they don't get opened all that often, that's not to say it can't happen of course. the only way they'd know is if they decide to open the package. that happens either on a random basis or if they see something suspicious looking in a scan. in my experence most packages DO sail through as long as the description on the form is very generic (say used handbag rather than hermès birkin, or rayon dress rather than hervé léger dress).

    underdeclaring does mean that you're risking losing the full amount in the event of a lost package since you can't insure it for the full amount, and if you accept paypal you leave yourself completely exposed since the buyer can always get their money back if they don't receive the goods. there are separate shipping insurers that can be used but i don't have any experience with that, i think they're mostly for amounts higher than the shipper can/will insure. i'm sure someone else here can chime in about those though. my personal preference for receiving packages from outside the EU is with a lower declaration but using a very safe shipping method so that i can track it all the way.

    UPS is the worst for brokerage charges in the UK/EU, no buyer would want to have their item delivered with them from outside the EU. fedex are slightly better, usps delivered by royal mail are lowest (although afaik none of the trackable methods end up with royal mail, only parcel force who charge more). my personal preference is for usps express, or fedex if i'm in a rush.

    what sort of value are your items? lately i've found that a lot of things under £100ish have slipped through even though the official limit is much lower. customs duty is only payable on items above £120 in the UK, but VAT kicks in at £18 (£36 for gifts).
  3. Ship USPS Express Mail and protect yourself by insuring for full amount and declaring full value on the custom's form. Make sure your buyer is aware it's likely they will have to pay custom's charges, if they ask you to lie on the customs form I would tell them no. I would let the buyer know ahead of time what their shipping charges will be (you can calculate them at and if they are in agreement that the item will be declared at full purchase price, then go ahead and ship to them if you feel comfortable doing so.

    Personally I don't ship internationally anymore due to the whole custom's drama but if you're going to do so just make sure you protect yourself.

  4. #5 Feb 21, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
    From a personal view I've just got a bag via ebay (I live in the UK) and I can tell you the more information you provide the more it protects you and makes the transaction easier and hopfully less prone to problems

    The bag I got via ebay was sent via USPS Express Mail International and it took 03th to the 18th to arrive which was pretty good. I think the seller then used Parcel Force to deliver in the UK. The best thing I found with this method everything was trackable. I got a tracking code for USPS and then when they handed it to Parcel Force you could use the same code on their site to track it in the UK

    I would strongly outline all import duty, excise duty, VAT and clearance fee are to be paid by the buyer and maybe if they bid on your item just send them an e-ail making sure they are aware that they have to pay this and if they don't cancel their bid?

    Hope this helps
  5. I think you mean, paid for by the buyer. :smile:

  6. Defo! :nuts: - good job there is an edit button
  7. All I really have to add is that Parcel Force are a complete nightmare for the buyer (both financially and logistically) and so, pretty much any service that avoids them is preferable, as far as I'm concerned.

    I definitely think anything of value should be shipped fully insured, though; whether via the shipper, or via an independent insurer.