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Customs charge, WWYD?

(8 Posts)
fuzzpig Tue 20-Nov-12 16:51:09

DH has bought an item from a US seller (not sure what exactly as it's a present for me), paying £12 postage.

Just got a card from local PO saying they can't deliver it because the seller didn't pay a customs charge. So we have to pay another £12 (which includes PO handling fee) to get the item.

Now DH has sold lots to various places worldwide and this has never happened, items have always arrived etc. So what is this customs charge?! And more to the point would the seller have known about it? DH did email him to tell him but got a really arsey reply.

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 16:54:07

Go and see them. Often it's because of what the item is and the usual value of said item. Take details of e-bay sale and proof of payments made too. Sometimes you just end up with the fee and no customs charge.

fergoose Tue 20-Nov-12 17:03:49

I have had stuff marked as a gift and no charge, but I have had stuff marked way over the value and have had to pay extortionate charges

I guess it depends how much you want the item as to whether you pay it or not

RooneyMara Tue 20-Nov-12 17:10:10

I think from memory the fee itself is around £12. I used to get these a lot - it's absolutely not the seller's fault, sorry sad

You have to anticipate the possibility that your parcel will get spotted and charged - many don't, some do. It's random afaik.

I used to trade in antique things from the USA and often got hit with a charge - next time factor it into the bid you make.

Sorry - you can appeal sometimes though as others have said, try ringing parcel force/whoever it is and asking. Don't leave bad feedback because of this, though if they were arsey first you could on that basis!

RooneyMara Tue 20-Nov-12 17:12:09

Btw if it's what I'm thinking of, then the seller is unable to pay it for you in advance - it's something that gets put onto stuff at customs over here, on its way in.

If sellers mark the parcel 'gift' it should get through without, but technically that's lying as it's a purchase you made, not a gift. Some will do it anyway, some refuse to if asked. (I don't ask!)

RooneyMara Tue 20-Nov-12 17:12:55

Also antique stuff if marked normally gets through with just the fee. You have to get them to write 'over a hundred years old' on the label smile

fuzzpig Tue 20-Nov-12 17:45:59

Oh I see - I thought it was something that the seller could've paid, I didn't realise it was random! Bugger, I had no idea that was a risk of buying abroad. blush

Oh well.

Ankle - do you mean take proof to the post office? Would it have to be on paper? Printer not working ATM.

RooneyMara Tue 20-Nov-12 18:38:50

Yes usually only from the USA, not Europe.

I did appeal once or twice, I think I had to photocopy some bits of paper proving the item's value, age etc. (so just pages from a reference book) and the final sale page from ebay, and so on. Fill in a form you can download and print off, or I think the PO should have a hard copy somewhere they can give you if you've no printer (I've not got one now - surprising how often I wish I had!)

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