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EBAY - customs charges...can someone help me...please!

(17 Posts)
GAAArrrrgh Fri 19-Jun-09 17:26:02


I paid for an item from an American Ebayer to be shipped from the states. I specifically asked how much it would cost. Now I've received a letter from the post office saying I have to pay £10.45 in customs charges!! The seller said that this is standard but she NEVER mentioned it when I asked about costs. Is there anything I can do?


Jumente Fri 19-Jun-09 17:27:48

No, sadly it's not something she needs to inform you of - it's pot luck whether you get a charge or not and I'm afraid you have to cover it and factor it in when you import something.

It shocked me the first time I got one...but you'll get used to it. Don't blame the seller! smile

HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 19-Jun-09 17:28:15

Probably not. This is a charge on our side, not really anything to do with her. It's quite normal to pay customs charges when you buy from overseas, I guess it's something they think we should know.

(I got stung when I bought some clothes from usa - cost me more than the clothes did!!!)

GAAArrrrgh Fri 19-Jun-09 18:08:28

LOL! That's almost the case here Hecate. I am negotiating with the buyer at the moment. Just shhhhhhhh and don't tell her what you have said on here, I think she might pay them this time as I am kicking up a stink. I honestly do think they should be VERY clear about the costs though when asked specifically. We receive presents from friends in the states and don't have to pay customs though?

gigglinggoblin Fri 19-Jun-09 18:14:49

I think you pay customs on items worth more than £18, including postage. She prob wouldnt know about the charge as I bet most of that is the post office admin fee, they are really bad for over charging imo. If you ever buy from USA again DHL are much better, ask your seller if they will agree to use them. They pay the charges so your item isnt delayed then invoice you after, admin fee is nothing like post office. Some sellers mark things as gifts so no customs is charged. Not much help now but tbh I dont think you can blame the seller

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jun-09 18:17:16

Why should she pay them?

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jun-09 18:18:21

The costs aren't her fault, she has nothing to be upfront about.

GAAArrrrgh Fri 19-Jun-09 18:26:59

Well as someone who exports stuff for a living you would think she would KNOW about customs costs and she should warn buyers about them. I think that is honest and upfront. A joe average such as myself wouldn't know anything about them. If I was in her shoes I would warn customers.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jun-09 18:54:00

I'm Joe Average and I know about customs charges.

The charges are levied by our country, not hers.

GAAArrrrgh Fri 19-Jun-09 19:10:05

Well good for you Mr Average! I didn't and I bet I'm not alone. I think if a buyer asks you what costs are involved in buying from you, you SHOULD mention it. I guess we have to agree to disagree.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jun-09 19:22:20

But they're not her costs. They have nothing whatsoever to do with her. You asked the shipping cost, she told you. She is not liable for the customs charge.

Jumente Fri 19-Jun-09 21:17:58

GAAA you are being completely unreasonable, I'm sorry to say.

Firstly as I said earlier, not all parcels receive a customs charge. Yours was unlucky. Secondly she has NO way of ascertaining what the charge might be, even if it is applied to your parcel.

Would you know what someone in the states would have to pay in taxes if they bought something from you? I doubt it!

You should have checked for yourself. It's just really unfair to blame her.

Jumente Fri 19-Jun-09 21:19:00

And I say all that as primarily a buyer from abroad, not a seller. It's your call to research this stuff. She can't do it for you even if she wanted to.

Jumente Fri 19-Jun-09 21:24:28, what if she was completely unaware that custome charges might be applied at all? I mean, you didn't know, why should she?

GAAArrrrgh Fri 19-Jun-09 21:34:57

LOL! Oh well, she and I have learnt a lesson. She has a big fat warning on her shop front now and I will know better than to buy stuff outside the EU.

And they all lived happily ever after.


Jumente Fri 19-Jun-09 21:36:42

See here:

'International buyers – please note:

Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or P&P charges. These charges are the buyer’s responsibility.

Please check with your country’s customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding/buying.'

From the ebay help pages.

GAAArrrrgh Fri 19-Jun-09 21:50:04

The 'help' pages - you see if you didn't know about customs charges you wouldn't even know that you needed to be looking in the help pages. I agree that it wasn't her fault I got charged, but I don't think a warning about it would be unreasonable either. Now I must stop arguing with you about this!

<leaves for yodelling lesson>

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