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Shipping from US to UK Question

 
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United States
832 Posts
Posted 10/10/2018   4:27 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add KRelyea to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This morning I received this question from an eBay customer;

This morning I received a Fee to Pay card from Royal Mail, requesting an extra customs charge of 15.56 for the lots I bought from you. I didn't realise, having paid $20 postal charge, that there would be an extra fee at my end - apparently, they will not deliver until the money is paid. I don't know what the fee is about as I have never had to pay a customs charge before and I've had hundreds of packets delivered from USA and Canada. Was the correct postage paid at your end? Please advise.

The item was valued at $178 and was sent 1st Class Package International and weighed 14 OZ. Does anyone have any ideas about this?


Thanks,


Ken


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United Kingdom
3511 Posts
Posted 10/10/2018   4:40 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
At a guess, the relatively high value suggests that customs probably charged VAT, which is then collected by the Post Office. The postal cost is bit of a red herring, I think. It's up to the eBay buyer to understand the duty/tax position in respect of goods bought from overseas, although I suspect that such understanding is hard to achieve!
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United States
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Posted 10/10/2018   5:04 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Seems hard to believe he's never dealt with VAT before?
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United States
2485 Posts
Posted 10/10/2018   6:51 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would quote the postal service rates - direct him to a link if needed. Also hope the buyer knows that any packets(parcels) 4oz. or greater in weight are required to have custom forms. Maybe he has received lots of packets, but maybe they were all lower valued items. Also he should know that sellers don't collect VAT taxes.
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United States
1561 Posts
Posted 10/10/2018   7:34 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It seems to be getting nearer to impossible for small eBay sellers to offer international shipping. Too many layers of complications, VAT, etc. Government bureaucracies have become involved to the degree that I seldom sell outside the US.
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Australia
24532 Posts
Posted 10/10/2018   7:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I have ceased buying from Canada or America.
The Aussie dollar at 70c US, High Postage Rates, my understanding (lack thereof) of GST (Goods and Services Tax) on overseas purchases.

My bulk purchases when we were at parity with the US dollar, is serving as winter nuts, squirrelled away for years, I can now begin to unpack and use them in lieu of...........



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United States
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Posted 10/10/2018   8:29 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's still easy to ship overseas as long as your shipments are low in weight. One can mail 1oz to 3oz. shipments for $1.36 to $3.33 US which is fine for a set of stamps or more and up to a dozen covers or so. I'll even split an order into two parts if needed as it's still cheaper than one 4oz. shipment. I'm sure that's still cheaper than gas. No customs forms are required. No registered mail required. Not that hard.

Now if you're mailing albums and bulk boxes - trickier, but if the buyer is willing to pay so be it. A strong dollar does suck for selling overseas, but things change.
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United Kingdom
15 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   10:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add usinbritain to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ken, actually your buyer got off lightly - technically there should have been 3 charges on the import: 5% import duty on the stamps, 20% VAT on the stamps + the US postage cost, and a Royal Mail/Parcel Force handling fee. If they are a UK dealer and VAT registered, they can claim back the VAT but if a collector, it's the cost of living in the UK. I believe that the current cut-off for duty-free imports is about 15 Pounds. Steve Taylor
www.stephentaylor.co.uk
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Posted 10/11/2018   12:43 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I responded that it was probably VAT and his response was;


Quote:
URGENT
Hi, thanks for email. I really am unhappy about the situation, as I feel I've paid your invoice in full and did not expect any additional charges to be levied by anyone. I think from the investigations I have carried out the charge is made up from a Customs charge and an additional charge by Royal Mail for handling the complication. All imported items here are free of customs duty up to a limit of 135 and VAT is never applied to imported stamp purchases. I think what has happened is that you have put all the items into one packet and made a declaration that the value of the packet is in excess of 135 which would then bring an import levy into force, I operate many sites on eBay through my family and have imported thousands and thousands of lots over the last 10 or 15 years without ever paying any surcharge. I think this is probably what has happened and as you tend to sell larger lots perhaps you should be aware that an import levy comes into force when 135 value has been reached. I must admit I was not aware of this before this transaction.
I'm now in the position of wondering whether it is viable for me to pay the additional charge, bearing in mind that all in all it will cost me approximately $40! if I pay the additional charge to get the item delivered to me. My alternative is to ask you to refund the amount of your invoice and the goods would then be automatically returned to you by Royal Mail in 18-21 calendar days. I attach a copy of the card delivered to me by Royal Mail so you can see what has happened and I should be grateful if you would let me have your urgent comments so that I can decide what is the best way forward for me. Whatever the outcome I think it will be a learning curve for both of us as this sort of complication can only lead to bad feeling.



As a seller my inclination is to just block sales to UK, it's not fair to some buyers but if buyers are unhappy I am risking bad Feedback and spending extra time dealing with their unhappiness with their own Tax laws. I should note that I have dealt with several complaints about VAT and it is always UK.
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United States
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Posted 10/11/2018   1:15 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I wouldn't block sales to the UK as the vast majority of sales are probably no problem. Just block this one buyer. Here's some info on UK import customs fees - https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-...tax-and-duty

I would add to your listings in lieu of blocking countries - "Buyers are responsible from all taxes and customs fees levied by the buyer's country."

I also wouldn't give any form of refund if he refuses the shipment until the shipment is returned to you in the same condition as you sent it. I also think that "Vat is never applied to imported stamp purchases" is bunk. Unless he can post the actual gov. regulation on this then it's just hearsay.
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Edited by Battlestamps - 10/11/2018 1:15 pm
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Posted 10/11/2018   1:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jenny2U to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
KRelyea He's confusing customs with VAT. Goods sent to the UK outside of the EU are subject to VAT if the amount of the order is over 15 (including shipping). The VAT rate he has to pay, like it or not, is 20%.

Refer him to this page for a full explanation.

https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-...tax-and-duty
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United Kingdom
3511 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   1:29 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eBay is explicit on the point that customs duties, taxes etc are the responsibility of the buyer. If he disagrees with the assessment, his argument is with officials here, not with you. He should read the customs/VAT guidance and pay any legitimate fee. And Battlestamps is right on the refund point.
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Spain
80 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   1:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Roberto59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not only it is in the U.K., also in Spain the collection of taxes applies him to everything possible.
A friend of Utah me sent the folder of the quarters USA of states and parks, With some coins of my lacks, in a small package.
I had to pay 20 of customs taxes for purchase in the exterior, when they were a gift.
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Spain
80 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   1:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Roberto59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not only it is in the U.K., also in Spain the collection of taxes applies him to everything possible.
A friend of Utah me sent the folder of the quarters USA of states and parks, With some coins of my lacks, in a small package.
I had to pay 20 of customs taxes for purchase in the exterior, when they were a gift.
The letters do not pay if they are not very bulky, the packages if they pay rates.
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United States
1062 Posts
Posted 10/11/2018   1:45 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It's still easy to ship overseas as long as your shipments are low in weight. One can mail 1oz to 3oz. shipments for $1.36 to $3.33 US which is fine for a set of stamps or more and up to a dozen covers or so.


From January 2018, Universal Postal Union regulations were changed to prohibit sending merchandise by First Class Mail International from the United States. While I cannot recommend flouting the regulation, it would seem prudent for sellers who continue to send stamps or other lightweight items of value by First Class Mail International to send packing slips electronically directly to the buyer. Since more valuable stamps must be tracked for insurance purposes, I raised shipping fees dramatically for over $100 items to England, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and a few others and almost all stamps to the rest.

While eBay is attempting to increase international sales, the UPU and countries with low Customs de minimis thresholds or overzealous tax collectors reducing sales. Duty thresholds vary widely:

https://global-express.org/assets/f...ril-2016.pdf

As pointed out above, VAT thresholds, especially in Europe are quite low.
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Edited by cfrphoto - 10/11/2018 1:53 pm
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Posted 10/12/2018   10:52 am  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
After explaining that by eBay rules the seller has no obligation to pay any VAT or Customs fees, I offered him a choice of a one time only $10 refund for 1/2 the Vat or leave the item in Customs and I'd give him a refund when it was returned to me. He chose the $10 refund. It's far easier for me to give him $10 rather than resell and repack the 3 items. I blocked him and now UK is on probation with me.

I'm pretty sure eBay considers a package left at Customs as "Delivered" and will not uphold a "Did Not Receive" claim and my only obligation to give a refund is because it's the righrt thing to do.
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