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Mailing Stamps Internationally

 
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1106 Posts
Posted 07/17/2009   2:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add danstamps54 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Greetings all,

A while back I listed some covers on eBay and received inquiries from the UK and Norway about bidding. I don't sell a lot so I restrict myself to the US.

Since this is an international group I was wondering about the do's and don'ts, the traps and pitfalls of mailing philatelic items internationally.

The last time I did that we had what were called "pen-pals." You wrote a letter, sent some stamps and, if the postage was correct, in a couple of months you would get a reply with some stamps from that country. LOL

I'm going to stick with playing in my own sandbox for a while but I was curious. I know the world has changed since then.

Thanks!
Dan
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USA
1881 Posts
Posted 07/17/2009   2:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nr-notrare to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Dan......

I've bought and sold on ebay since Aug. 2003 with buys & sales with people in about 50-60 countries and have had only one problem with a buyer from Portugal claiming he did not receive his item. Sometimes packets from Asia can take close to four weeks to get here but I've received everything I've ordered in decent condition.

All things considered, collectors are generally decent people.
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Posted 07/17/2009   3:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree that collectors are generally very decent people. It isn't the buyer I'm concerned about.

I was wondering more about forms, fees, taxes, duties, inspections and customs regulations that would gum up a trade. I don't know if any are applicable for stamps but I've heard some horror stories from others that have sold items internationally.
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United States
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Posted 07/17/2009   4:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, collectors tend to be a good lot, so you will have few (if any) problems, especially if they are a member a philatelic society.


Quote:
I was wondering more about forms, fees, taxes, duties, inspections and customs regulations that would gum up a trade. I don't know if any are applicable for stamps but I've heard some horror stories from others that have sold items internationally.

That's where the real problem exists. For stamps coming into the US, there is really no problem as few items exceed the import limitation threshold. The only restricted stamps are DPRK and Cuba, but I've never known the state/treasury departments to enforce this unless they were revenues found in a passport.

For stamps being sold to other countries, this IS a problem because many countries have VAT or other customs duties, and the threshold to trigger these is very very low, so it doesn't take a large sale get wind up with a hefty additional bill for the buyer. In addition, since many of the postal systems are now privatized (e.g., Canada, some European countries), some of them assess a basic charge just to calculate and bill the tax!! One friend was charged only 84c customs tax, but then charged $5 fee for calculating/assessing/collecting the tax!! I know that Royal Mail (Britain) charges an unbelievable 8 for this (in ADDITION to the actual tax!!).

http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/...diaId=400362

The loudest and most common complaint I've heard involves Italy. Basically, stamps sent to the large cities are almost certain to be either rejected (very strict import restrictions involving certain stamps) or heavily taxed. Mailings to smaller cities seem to pass through unfettered.

Please keep in mind that my comments are in regard to stamp sales, not stamp trades. However, some countries do not distinguish between the two. In other words, bartering is taxable.
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Posted 07/18/2009   8:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampnaround to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The small number of items that I've shipped internationally were small enough to ship in standard sized envelops. Unless opened for inspection the item mailed would appear to be ordinary coorespondence. Whether this is strictly legal, I do not know.
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Posted 07/19/2009   07:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dianne Earl to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've received and and sent many stamps Internationally with no problem. They vary from normal envelopes to 5lb monsters and everything in between and as far as I know none have ever been opened,questioned or taxed.

Dianne
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