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has gone Russian...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm quite new to the 1/6th scene so I've been picking up information regarding the best places to buy kit from, I don't buy complete figures as I like to 'bash' my own, so its all small parts that I'm ordering.

Now apart from the obvious ebay, which I've found to be a very useful place to shop, I've purchased from several 'main stream' suppliers, such as 'Black-Ops Toys.com', 'Collectable Kitbash.com' and 'Monkey Depot.com', I've had good experiences all round, with lots of choice, and great service - however, I received a bill (invoice) today from FedEx, now I appreciate this is legal (I've researched this) and I have no problem paying VAT or tax on an imported item (I'm a good boy, honest!) but I feel a bit miffed at the £10 'Clearance Administration Charge' when the VAT is only £6.18 - has anyone else experienced this? and if so has anyone found a way to shop without the courier companies reaching for the vaseline every time you buy something from abroad? :popcorn
 

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Old Hero's Die Hard
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Yes i had this problem i had to pay £28 charge on a £90 item (£18 clearance & £10 admin handling charge), almost a third of what it was actually worth. The only way around this is to get the seller to mark the parcel as a gift under the value of either $15 or $25 i can not remember the actual amount. otherwise you will get stung with a customs/handling charge everytime! i have only experienced this once a few months back and i have received well over 70 items from over seas.

so in future request that the seller marks the item as a gift under the value of $15 or $25 to avoid this. but in all honesty if the seller wishes to mark the item properly it is in his rights to do so.

hope this helps

john
 

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A month ago i received a message from buyer who purchased around $60 stuff from me, if I remember right I had declare the package as $30 but he needed to pay tax plus handling charge in total £17 sth like that.

I used to help marking low value, however it's risk to seller declare at $10 for sth actually worth $100 if the parcel get lose due to accident, from my experience I have around 1-2% (count by pieces) lose during shipment.

So if you buy a lot of things from same seller and he refuse to mark too low, maybe you can ask him to separate into several package.
 

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Schizophrenic Modeler
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4,735 Posts
You can ask for the seller to mark your purchase as a gift under a certain value limit on the declaration form, but you must realize that such forms are official government documents and they expressly mention that the form must be accurate & truthful; otherwise, it's a violation of law. Also, if the package's value is marked as less than the actual value of the contents and the package is damaged or lost, you won't get the full value in any insurance that may be on the package.

I agree that customs' duties and other fees suck, but it's better to go ahead and pay them than to have a run-in with the government or lose money on a missing package.

David
 

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fortuna favet fortibus
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2,313 Posts
FedEx/UPS and other couriers will screw international buyers with charges besides tax... I tell my seller not to send it thru these or cancel my purchase altogether
 

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has gone Russian...
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Resisting Evil
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so in future request that the seller marks the item as a gift under the value of $15 or $25 to avoid this. but in all honesty if the seller wishes to mark the item properly it is in his rights to do so
I think it has more to do with the law than the seller's "rights"....I guess he has the "right" to break the law......he can be charged with mail fraud......
 

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The funny thing is... There's ton of people that continually say the postal service should be abolished. The postal service (in the US at least) is the only thing keeping the private carriers in check, and the only service left that is remotely affordable on int. shipping. Without them, there would literally be thousands of businesses, that wouldn't even be able to sell overseas anymore. Myself included.

Usually the fees they try and get sometimes at the other end on an int. shipment, are the fees that pay the people at that end. They try and make it seem like they're based in every country, but they really aren't. They have other companies do work for them in those countries, so the "broker" fees and so on.. help to pay those people.

IMO... Lowering values for people is foolish. What do you think will happen if it goes missing? They'll value it at what you wrote down, which will be nothing. Do you think the buyer will just let you keep the money? No. They'll want the money back, and then you get nothing.
 

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Kit-Bash Krazy!
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If you buy parts from eBay from places like commastore, storerooms TMThobby etc, you will rarely pay customs. I recommend for the majority of stuff, stick with your UK retailers like Collectable Kitbash, CBToy Collectables, Eagle Eyes Action Station to name just a few...
 

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For Canadians buying from the US - This works most of the time ( but not every time .) If the value of the order is less than $100 Cdn. have it shipped US Postal Service Expedited. Canadian Customs doesn't bother with most things less than $100. When it does go through their hands they will also charge a $10 'handling' fee to collect the GST/HST. It looks like the courier companies are collecting the taxes for the government first, so that they ( the couriers ) get the handling fee that Customs would get if Customs handled it. Either way, it's us costing $10 for either party to collect taxes ( ... and we have Free Trade in North America ? )
 

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The administrative/brokerage fee is to cover the paperwork submissions/electronic data transfer to get the product cleared through customs. Everyone including the government charges it, with couriers being on the upper end of the charge scale. If you think it's bad as a consumer, businesses pay 5-10x that fee, even on a simple one line importation. $10 is on the low end for a courier, UPS you want to avoid.

Couriers will generally default to charge whereas when you send through a party that hands off to a government postal service then the it's generally a question of how many packages customs officers are screening that day as items have a deadline to be cleared through. Most stuff is screened security first, taxation after. Expedited parcels are given a bit more leeway as the deadlines are more strictly adhered to then something sent by basic service level like first class mail. The more basic/phony the product description is the more likely it is to get screened.

You can always opt to self clear, although the time and gas involved may end up costing you more. The courier is legally required to adhere to the import country's laws and if your package squeeks through when it shouldn't have, most countries also hold the end consumer liable for a self assessment of the unpaid amounts, should you ever get audited. If its a concern I'd recommend a service that hands off to a national postal service, like EMS or USPS do.
 

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Fortunately free trade isn't much of an issue here as most toy categories fall under a zero percent duty rate. That's likely to go away in the near future as the MFN classification that made in china goods fall under is going to be revised to be more reflective of developing nations, as opposed to someone like China who is much further along relative to where they were previously.

For Canadians buying from the US - This works most of the time ( but not every time .) If the value of the order is less than $100 Cdn. have it shipped US Postal Service Expedited. Canadian Customs doesn't bother with most things less than $100. When it does go through their hands they will also charge a $10 'handling' fee to collect the GST/HST. It looks like the courier companies are collecting the taxes for the government first, so that they ( the couriers ) get the handling fee that Customs would get if Customs handled it. Either way, it's us costing $10 for either party to collect taxes ( ... and we have Free Trade in North America ? )
 
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Happens to me every time I order from the US, the nice chaps at customs decide to get a bit more money from me. If however I order from Asia, they don't touch me.

Lair of the Octopus is my go to guy for 1:6 here in the UK, he's only about a half hour from my house!!
 

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I'm BACK!!
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Toy Anxiety are the only US seller I touch, I've never been hit when I've ordered from there. I once got some Carlito parts from World of 1/6 and got stung with a £23 charge. If I'd waited one more week I could have got them from another retailer for a lot less. Ah, the joy of hindsight!

Collectable Kitbash are probably good but are taking aaaaaages to get in what I want. I need a DID Jack head, theirs will be the cheapest price anywhere, but the figure is still down as a pre-order!

CHEERS!
 

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My comment on 'Free Trade' was, as Sheldon Cooper says - 'Sarcasm.' In the end, no matter how it's explained, I find the 'handling fee' just adds insult to injury. It's another tax camouflaged by changing the name ... but we're starting going political here ...
 

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1:6 Mechanic
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As Andy-B says, order from USA and you are almost certain to get customs and handling charges. Order from Asia and you rarely do. That is on imports to the UK. I agree that it is probably false economy to ask the sender to declare a lower value. Safest option is to buy in the UK. The only trouble with that is that I find many items I want are just not available in the UK.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea I am afraid ...
 

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I'm BACK!!
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Absolutely,

Also, unlike in Asia, you try finding any bricks and mortar shops in the UK that sell figure parts, and I mean ones you can actually visit and look around in. That's mainly why a lot of us here have to look overseas to find what we want.

CHEERS!
 

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That depends on the retailer in question. Toy anxiety and Monkey Depot do not declare actual value on their shipments sent outside of US, at least on smaller boxed loose parts orders I have received. That being said both have disclaimers that if you utilize their cheaper services they do not insure packages. For larger orders or expedited orders MD declares full value in my experience.

Most Asian based sellers opt to declare a low value, although in some cases the value they choose ($0), poor descriptions for item deceleration, or size/weight of shipment can lead to customs reassessing the value of the item and charging taxes as the see fit. It's always a YMMV situation as mentioned previously their chief priority these days is with safety and detecting prohibited/concealed items.

The legality of the valuation of the shipment varies from country to country depending on the relevant export laws of the shipping originating country. Those can vary depending on the dollar value of the shipment and the classification of the goods. Most use carrier specific insurance, so insurance becomes an issue for them in this situation regardless of the export regulations. In many cases as mentioned it doesn't make legal or practical sense for the retailer to under declare.

As Andy-B says, order from USA and you are almost certain to get customs and handling charges. Order from Asia and you rarely do. That is on imports to the UK. I agree that it is probably false economy to ask the sender to declare a lower value. Safest option is to buy in the UK. The only trouble with that is that I find many items I want are just not available in the UK.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea I am afraid ...
 
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