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If it's too good to be true....(import duties)

danensis 04 Dec 08 - 09:47 AM
Spleen Cringe 04 Dec 08 - 10:08 AM
VirginiaTam 04 Dec 08 - 10:14 AM
Spleen Cringe 04 Dec 08 - 10:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Dec 08 - 10:32 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Dec 08 - 10:34 AM
danensis 04 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM
semi-submersible 05 Dec 08 - 06:24 AM
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Subject: If its too good to be true.....
From: danensis
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 09:47 AM

It probably is.

I found a box set of CDs on Amazon at a cracking price. I searched all the small print for gotchas - and didn't find any.

Today it arrived, and customs have clobbered me for £5.40 and Parcelforce for another £8. It would have been cheaper to pay UK prices
or for them to send me each CD separately.


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 10:08 AM

This happened to me when I ordered the Harry Smith Anthology from a US retailer. Bargain, I though. Less than half the UK retail price. Didn't think anything of it as I'd ordered loads of single CDs from the States and they'd arrived without me having to pay any customs or other surcharges. With the Harry Smith Anthology I was clobbered for over £30 in extra charges....

Having said that I soon recovered when I put the first CD in the machine... the Anthology is easily worth its weight in gold.


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 10:14 AM

Arrgghh, thought I got a deal on the Odetta CDs I ordered from Amazon UK. 2 are being shipped from US. Am I gonna get clobbered too?


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 10:18 AM

If it's a small package (one or two CDs in normal cases) you'll probably be alright. My Harry Smith anthology is in a box the size of an LP and about an inch thick - plus it was 'well wrapped', shall we say...


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 10:32 AM

Always make sure you get suppliers to mark the package as a 'gift' rather than put the commercial value on. Say no more, squire. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 10:34 AM

I seem to recall a limit of £26/28 before they come after you. I order lots of CDs from the States (I prefer Caiman over most UK sellers) and only once had to pay (on a £30 one, duty + Post Office handling charge).

Mick


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: danensis
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM

According to the Customs and Excise site £18 is the point at which duty is charged.

Four separate CDs wouldn't have attracted duty (but would have cost more in postage).

I've just looked at Amazon's Terms and Conditions, and it says "In Marketplace, items are offered by sellers for sale at a fixed price ("Fixed Price Sales"). Unless otherwise agreed by us with the seller in advance in writing, the price of any items sold in Marketplace (including the applicable delivery charge) are displayed inclusive of any customs and excise duty, VAT and other taxes which may be applicable and sellers may not charge or seek to charge the buyer for any customs and excise duty, VAT or other taxes which are additional to the price displayed for the item on the Site."

According to Trading Standards that doesn't exclude Parcelforce from charging a handling fee, nor Customs and Excise charging duty.

John


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Subject: RE: If its too good to be true.....
From: semi-submersible
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 06:24 AM

Not the seller's fault, but Customs can be a crapshoot. Some packages come through normally, but others may more than double in price. I remember Mom having to shell out about $30 Canadian on a birthday present I'd bought her through a US-based fair-trade non-profit NGO. Now I enter a shipping address such as "Happy birthday, Xxxx Xxxxxx" on the few occasions I order gifts cross-border.


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