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Can someone explain shipping internationally to me? Condenser Microphones
Old 9th September 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
Can someone explain shipping internationally to me?

I'm considering shipping to Canada from the US, and it just seems like one hoop after another. I'm honestly nervous about labeling it as a gift...because it's not. I can't get a clear answer from Fed Ex as to what forms I have to fill out - can anyone fill me in? I'm not going to pay all the extra costs, so I'm not sure it's worth it for either one of us...
Old 9th September 2007
  #2
Gear Nut
 

If the buyer is requesting you label it as a gift, the buyer should be aware that Canada Customs is wise to all the "gifts" crossing the border and it rarely benefits the buyer. the insured value (assuming it's insured) is always considered - the value - at the border.

I purchase from the U.S. a few times a year - have not had a problem yet.
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Tibbon's Avatar
I too have concrns and wonders about customs and such when selling/buying online. All of my eBay auctions are US only due to that fact. I had a really bad experience with one guy in "Miami" using a forwarding service to Venezuela and complaining about it not arriving in good shape and saying he couldn't use the UPS insurance. It was some real bull****.

I know that when I sent my Machinedrum in for repair, there was a slight glitch due to the fact that I didn't have the original box to send it overseas, and that we were risking getting hit by tarriffs. It went though ok, but still took a while.

Maybe it's just us silly americans that don't know about buying/selling internationally, but I do have to admit I don't know the first thing about custom, VAT, tarriffs, shipping timeframes, etc

My main worry if I were to sell overseas on eBay is that it would get hung up in Customs and then the person would say that I never shipped it, taking the money back from paypal on me, and then they would get the item (taking the money and the product) and leave me negative feedback for poor shipping time.
Old 9th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
Hey - thanks for the reply...I'm going Fed Ex - I'm confused as to what forms to fill out...and do Canadians expect to pay an extra $100 + for things?
Old 9th September 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
And if it gets hung up in customs, they can dispute it with paypal and hold your money for ages...
Old 9th September 2007
  #6
You need a Shipping Invoice in triplicate (3 copies) included in the pouch -- the Invoice should include the country of origin (example: "Made in the USA"), who it's from (and signed and dated by them), who it's being shipped to, number of packages in the shipment, phone contact info for both parties, a description of the product, a list of what's being shipped and most important - a value of the shipment for customs. Ask the receiver if they have any special instructions for declaring the value - for instance if you're shipping DVD's to some countries the physical media is valued at $x.00 and the software is valued at $y.00 -- but the total must be what you're being paid.

On UPS forms make sure to check the box that the receiver pays the import tax.

The USPS use FedEx and have the correct form for you.

Hope this helps.

Rail
Old 9th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
alexstringer's Avatar
 

You don't need to be born from Jupiter's legg to understand international shipping.
Basically, filing a false custom declaration sends you to jail if you're caught. So be carefull how much of a favor you wanna do to the buyer.
1st rule is the importer pays for his own duty fees, and it's also true for americans, except that our sale tax is more reasonable here compared to Europe.. If you're desperate to sale, you'll probably do everything the buyer ask you to do, but if you're not desperate, weight your actions against consequences. I don't lie to custom when i ship to Europe, i always tell buyers that i won't risk jail for someone i don't know, and than honestly, with their strong Euro against $, they shouldn't make such a big deal out of their taxes. Buying in the US will still come out cheap compare to buying locally for themselves...
Old 9th September 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
emrr's Avatar
I've used US Postal EMS mail for close to a decade with great service and no problems. Far cheaper than Fed Ex and UPS and far fewer hassles. Customs comes down to this - declared value has to match insured value. If they don't want a declaration thay can't get insurance. Damaged or lost package? They are all slow to pay. The only EMS package I've ever had go missing out of easily several hundred was something to Tiawan that arrived the same day as a massive earthquake that knocked over many tall buildings.
Old 9th September 2007
  #9
Quote:
Basically, filing a false custom declaration sends you to jail if you're caught
Not quite because you aren't defrauding your own customs, it is the country of import that is losing the revenue.
Old 9th September 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
alexstringer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rimskidog View Post
Not quite because you aren't defrauding your own customs, it is the country of import that is losing the revenue.
If you feel like teflon & wanna play smart ass w/ customs, be my guest !
Let me guess, you don't live in the US, do you ?
This is typical comment i usually receive from foreign buyers who try to convince me it's all right to declare item as gift ...
Old 9th September 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I think going usps is a way better option. First they walk you through everything step by step. You simply fill out your name and address, the person recieving the packages info, the description of the item, the declared value and insured value. Sign a line and date it, pay a little extra and you're done. Recently I shipped to France, it was an LDC in the original box, I think it was only 20 something bucks and I forgot to fill in half the form including declared value. The guy got the mic with no problems at all. It really isn't that big of a deal.
Old 9th September 2007
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
And if it gets hung up in customs, they can dispute it with paypal and hold your money for ages...
It is very unlikely anything would get held up in customs, unless drugs were involved.

As for an extra $100 - not a problem. Even though the American and Canadian dollar are close to par, it rarely reflects that at the retail level here in Canada.

For a $2500 piece of gear I can save in the neihbourhood $500 buying U.S. even after all taxes are paid.
Old 9th September 2007
  #13
I wouldn't expect anyone at a UPS Store to know what they're doing.. If you ship UPS go directly to a UPS office.

Rail
Old 10th September 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

In many cases there is no real benefit of labeling an item as a gift.

If you are paying for a piece of gear chances are (if your a business) that your going to be claiming the tax back anyway. If its labeled as a gift it just makes your book keeping harder as you still have to account for the money going out of your account to pay for the gear. If you buy alot of gear surely you want that investment to be recovered against your profits.

Also as the seller you are potentially taking a risk by intentionally giving customs wrong info.

Old 10th September 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

customs , custom brokers

I bought a mic - sent from Europe to me in the US .

The seller labeled it a gift but it was insured for slightly over 2 K .

I got a call from a " customs broker " who said I would have to pay US Customs + all their fees as it was insured for over 2 K . I had to send credit card info and power of attorney for them to handle this one shipment .
I thought they were con men and I asked a friend familar with the process .
He advised that unless I wanted to spend a lot of time and frustration on it to let the customs broker do their thing . He also said it would be better to have dealt with UPS but they would charge me extras too .
I would up paying about another $250 for fees and customs .

In this case it was worth it because even with all that I came out a little bit under the going price for this mic . And its a great mic .

I think the customs brokers are con men but they are just USA legal con men .

I also had to get a power transformer but it didn't cost much and works great .
Old 10th September 2007
  #16
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

all of my ebay buyers want "Gift" , i always send it that way to Canada, no problems over the years.
also other countries i send the same way.
also USPS is the best way to go, fedex and ups is a pain in the ass.
Old 10th September 2007
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
I'm considering shipping to Canada from the US, and it just seems like one hoop after another. I'm honestly nervous about labeling it as a gift...because it's not. I can't get a clear answer from Fed Ex as to what forms I have to fill out - can anyone fill me in? I'm not going to pay all the extra costs, so I'm not sure it's worth it for either one of us...
Some advice: Declare it for what you insure the item for. So if it's worth $2000, and that's what you insure it for, then declare it for $2000 as well. There is a very good chance the item will be returned to the sender if it's not accurate, or charged full value to the receiver regardless. Also include 4 copies of your receipt. Again, the receipt(s)/invoices should be accurate to the above method of declaring and actual real value. I know some people have said they are able to slide past the system, but it's a razors edge at best.
Old 10th September 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Forget Fedex or UPS for international shipping from the USA. It can be a real pain. These shipping companies will deliver your package, and then several weeks later will send your customer an invoice for duties. They will also at the same time send you an unpleasantly worded ultimatum that *your* account will be debited for the unpaid fees in the event your customer does not pay them.

Not to mention that UPS will very likely destroy any package shipped with them.

USPS Global Express Mail all the way. Simple, cheap, fast, insurable and trackable. Typically three days to anywhere in the world in my experience.

Steve
Old 10th September 2007
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Johnkenn, feel free to label the item as gift if necessary, however if the item is used, be sure to mark it as Used Electronics.

In the case of studio gear an item could easily be considered a gift from one studio to another, etc, very easily, but still be insured and declared for its full value without issue. It is important however to ship USPS with a tracking number, whenever possible, as it will be cheaper than via UPS or fedex as these companies like adding other handling charges etc to the bill at the end of the road as has been mentioned prior in this thread. Make sure you package the item very well.

I am located in canada and have made many purchases through ebay and paypal (over 40). I have not had any issues and have always stressed on USPS with tracking as the form of shipment.

I have 100% positive feedback and the last purchase i made as of the time of this post was second hand p12 mic which arrived in mint condition and which i paid $60 Canadian for handling and duty fees (item was not labelled as gift in this case, hence the duty fees).

With USPS the buyer/reciever of goods is charged any duties up front and is required to pay those fees at the time of parcel pickup at the destination post office.

Hope this helps, pm me if there are other questions.

Steve
Old 10th September 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Mike Derrick's Avatar
 

Shipping (for-sale/auction-won) audio gear between Canada and US shouldn't be a problem. We Canadians get dinged extra $ paying for customs fee, taxes (13% here in BC) so that kind-of hurts on the higher ticketed items, so that "great" deal in the gearslutz classifieds isn't quite the "great" deal by the time we get it up here. It sort-of limits what items I chose to buy.

In some odd cases where the going rate for a used piece of gear is close to the retail street price,...it may actually cost more to buy used from a US private seller than it costs to buy an item new here in Canada.

You shouldn't really worry about shipping from US to Canada, especially as the US seller, I think the Canadian buyer has alot more to worry about.
Old 10th September 2007
  #21
USPS Global Express Mail is actually shipped by FedEx.

Rail
Old 10th September 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
Not sure if this has been mentioned...but Fedex International Express covers brokerage fees in the shipping cost. It might be a bit more expensive, but will definitely save the buyer some money if they item is expensive. And definitely don't go with USPS, since they have a limited tracking system in place.
Old 10th September 2007
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
ericzang's Avatar
 

So far I've been lucky shipping gifts with usps from US to various countries including Canada. Receiving has also worked out without fees, usually using the country's postal service. Although I did send some instruments to my address in US from other countries with UPS and it worked out fine too (very expensive though, I was in a pinch).
Old 10th September 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 
robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Derrick View Post
Shipping (for-sale/auction-won) audio gear between Canada and US shouldn't be a problem. We Canadians get dinged extra $ paying for customs fee, taxes (13% here in BC) so that kind-of hurts on the higher ticketed items, so that "great" deal in the gearslutz classifieds isn't quite the "great" deal by the time we get it up here. It sort-of limits what items I chose to buy.

You should try living in Europe. 22% is the hit here. It's painful on high ticket items !!!!!
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