Author Topic: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?  (Read 23684 times)

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Offline tld

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2013, 08:35:25 am »
The US seller should understand that it is simply helping someone with their one time purchase, I do not plan to import these illegally and sell it here, however somehow everyone seems to understand it exactly like this.

I apologize for the language, it's uncommon for me, or at least I'd like to think so, but:

This is starting to piss me off.

Asking and expecting are two very different things.  I can understand the temptation to ask a seller nicely if they can lower the value a bit.  Paying more in import taxes/fees than a product cost surely is annoying, and it is a problem.  But more or less expecting that a seller commit fraud to help you out, demonstrates an unbelievable amount of egotistical feeling of entitlement.

The reason I decided to chip in on the topic is that I live in Norway.  I'm not an american defending american businesses, I'm a Norwegian, and that puts me in an even harsher boat than you.  We not only have the same problem importing from the US, but we don't even have the exception when buying from an EU-country.

Do import duties, VAT and fees bother me? Yeah, they do.

Do I try to get around it?  Sure.  I'll try to keep my orders smaller than exception threshold (€150 for Lithuania, about €27 for Norway).  I'll occasionally ask a seller if he's willing to sell me something a tad bit cheaper ("Hey, if you can sell me that thing for $36 instead of $37, I'll save $90, pretty please?"), or ask if they can split an order into multiple shipments lower than the threshold, that kind of thing.

Asking is one thing, but I would never actually expect them to jump through hoops for me, much less commit fraud for my sake.

tld

 

Offline JoeyP

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2013, 08:43:49 am »
That is never ever going to happen, as any import is a matter between the importer (the customer) and their local customs authority. Do you really think a foreign customs authority is going to come over to investigate and prosecute someone in a foreign country?

That's not the regulatory issue for us in the USA. When we fill out customs forms, we are also declaring the value to -our- government, not just the receiving party's government. Our government has very strict regulations regarding this, and one consequence of not following them is losing all rights to export.

Our government keeps several lists of "denied persons" which must be checked before every shipment. Some of the lists are targeted more toward avoiding shipments to terrorists etc, but some of the lists include people who got there by violating export regulations. It's even possible to get in trouble shipping something entirely within the USA if you ship to someone on a denied person list. It is definitely worth following the rules if any part of your livelihood depends on exporting.
 

Offline vk3yedotcom

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2013, 09:08:14 am »
Quote
US people seem a lot more likely than others  to have a problem with reducing declared values - probably a cultural thing about following rule and fear of authority. Whearas I don't think I've ever had anything from China with the  right value!
 

I agree it's probably a cultural thing.  There's also a degree of 'doing the right thing' or 'better to be safe than sorry' as much as fearing authority.

Countries started by the British or northern Europeans, Japanese and some others have developed strong institutions that engender trust in commercial transactions.  Not that they're perfect - eg Enron - but there's mostly a rule of law that goes unnoticed until its broken.   Stuff that we take for granted is not necessarily observed elsewhere.

When you read about how poorer countries can become more prosperous part of the reforms often suggested include building up culture, legal institutions and standards that allows business to work.  In other words set things up so others trust you, trade and lend money.  You export and then get wealthier.  Countries that have some success making stuff cheap reach a maturity and develop standards and become better credit risks as they develop (eg Singapore). 

This difference in outlook seems to be on display in this thread. 

You're far better off being financially secure and paying tax than boasting how you're evading it because you're both dodgy and poor.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 09:14:03 am by vk3yedotcom »
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2013, 09:16:10 am »
That is never ever going to happen, as any import is a matter between the importer (the customer) and their local customs authority. Do you really think a foreign customs authority is going to come over to investigate and prosecute someone in a foreign country?

No, but they could potentially tell the local authorities, and they might investigate you if they think you are worth the trouble.
But that of course is beside the point of running a legitimate business and following the law.
You either chose to operate under the laws of your home country, or you chose to ignore them, knowingly act fraudulently, and accept any potential consequences. Those consequences, and the likelihood of getting caught might be low, but that doesn't make it right. Fraud is still fraud.

Quote
One problem is the USA has a quite high threshold before duties get charged ($200 -ish ISTR), so they often don't appreciate  that on even quite low value packages, buyers will get charged a disproportionate amount due to fixed handling fees.

In Oz the import threshold is a very generous $1000. It used to be much lower and similar to the US.

Quote
Some also don't realise that the importer is charged the declared value plus the amount of postage, and include the postage in the declared value, so the buyer pays too much.

Sure, many sellers might not realise that, but once again, it's the buyers problem, and not the seller who wants to operate within the law.

Quote
US people seem a lot more likely than others  to have a problem with reducing declared values - probably a cultural thing about following rule and fear of authority. Whearas I don't think I've ever had anything from China with the  right value!

Yes, there are huge cultural difference between China and western countries when it comes to this sort of attitude and respect for law etc.

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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2013, 10:30:02 am »
Quote
Asking and expecting are two very different things.  I can understand the temptation to ask a seller nicely if they can lower the value a bit.  Paying more in import taxes/fees than a product cost surely is annoying, and it is a problem.  But more or less expecting that a seller commit fraud to help you out, demonstrates an unbelievable amount of egotistical feeling of entitlement.
My usual request for low-value stuff is something like "I'd appreciate it if you could declare the value as x, as although the tax isn't much,  our Post office charges high handling fees. However I understand if you're not comfortable doing so. In any case please make sure the declared value does not include shipping, as the postage amount gets added to the amount charged at this end" Higher value stuff is less of an issue as most of it is VAT, which I can claim back.
Quote
Yes, there are huge cultural difference between China and western countries when it comes to this sort of attitude and respect for law etc.
China is an extreme example, but even between the US and the UK I think there is a big difference in attitude to such things.

best reply I ever got from a US seller when asking about shipping a manual for an old laser to UK was "No way will I ship to a potential enamy nation"



 
 
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:11 am »
Some also don't realise that the importer is charged the declared value plus the amount of postage, and include the postage in the declared value, so the buyer pays too much.
exactly that! exactly seconded. my first experience is with USA item, the second time is with digikey. tax = f(declared value, courier cost) but i havent get any calculation paper for this digikey yet.

One problem is the USA has a quite high threshold before duties get charged ($200 -ish ISTR), so they often don't appreciate  that on even quite low value packages, buyers will get charged a disproportionate amount due to fixed handling fees.
my digikey order is alot less than that $60 item price. sure next time i think i'll order from them again, but for a very good reason only. each country has their own import and export regulation, sure we cant blame somebody else from another country for this, but time will tell, i always trust that "economy will balance itself". how much this regulation will impact the country, time will tell.
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Offline MrPlacid

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2013, 11:01:13 am »
i always trust that "economy will balance itself". how much this regulation will impact the country, time will tell.

I can tell you now. It is never gonna be fix. You see once government has a way to make money; they are not gonna want to stop taking money.

 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2013, 11:07:46 am »
Can you get around the export price using a repackaging/buying service like comGateway?

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Offline Chasm

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2013, 12:11:22 pm »
Not really. Check your regulations to see what gift actually means.

Customs can and will estimate the value if they suspect that the declaration is wrong. Then it is up to you to prove otherwise and get a new ruling. Usually after you paid.
Estimation is simple today. They definitely have Google. ;)


A correct and legible declaration is the best way to avoid problems.
It is not hard. Item, Value, do not include s&h cost into item value. Enclosing a copy of the actual invoice -and stating so on the outside- also helps a lot. Much less discussion at the customs office that way.

Offering cheaper shipping methods for small and low value items can help the customer a lot.
If you use high end shipping because you can please get you customs declarations and invoices right! It is not very funny when customs officers start to estimate the cost of overnight guaranteed delivery - for a 10 cent sample part....
 

Offline lewis

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2013, 12:13:39 pm »
best reply I ever got from a US seller when asking about shipping a manual for an old laser to UK was "No way will I ship to a potential enamy nation"

That's priceless! Did he spell 'enemy' like that too?
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2013, 12:47:09 pm »
best reply I ever got from a US seller when asking about shipping a manual for an old laser to UK was "No way will I ship to a potential enamy nation"

Some US sellers on ebay, selling some old crap (i.e. some 30 yrs old passive Tek scope probe, or old common computer hardware from 15 years ago), reply to questions asking if they ship to Europe with "no,  they can't" because export regulations prohibit them to sell high performance articles like these without government approval.   |O
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2013, 12:55:04 pm »
best reply I ever got from a US seller when asking about shipping a manual for an old laser to UK was "No way will I ship to a potential enamy nation"

That's priceless! Did he spell 'enemy' like that too?
no - that was my tpyo
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2013, 01:19:09 pm »
best reply I ever got from a US seller when asking about shipping a manual for an old laser to UK was "No way will I ship to a potential enamy nation"

*snort*  :-DD

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Online grumpydoc

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2013, 02:19:42 pm »
Quote
best reply I ever got from a US seller when asking about shipping a manual for an old laser to UK was "No way will I ship to a potential enamy nation"

Probably thought UK meant Ukrane

...or possibly not :)
 

Offline Majes

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2013, 02:22:13 pm »
Odd thread for sure. I wasn't sure the question poised by the op was a joke or even serious.

America isn't a democracy sir, order from China if ya want democracy!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 02:24:04 pm by Majes »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2013, 02:23:48 pm »
Probably thought UK meant Ukrane

I don't know what your idiots are like across the pond, but here, if they're stupid enough not to know what "UK" means, they're stupid enough not to know what Ukraine is.
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Offline jerry507

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2013, 05:24:41 pm »
This thread really is strange. One thing I wanted to add about reclaiming VAT, you guys are lucky. Here in the US taxes on "business to business" transactions vary state to state.

My business is registered in Iowa, and you need to fill out special paperwork to get a tax-exempt form. This allows you to avoid paying sales tax on anything you're going to sell to another business ONLY. If I bought a uCurrent, I couldn't avoid sales tax on that unless I was building it into a product I was going to sell to a distributor or something.

I live in Minnesota, and they're talking about adding sales tax to business to business transactions, which is ridiculous. Double taxation? No thanks!

There is also a "use tax" in Iowa, which is basically sales tax for out of state purchases. Digikey is very good about charging us this use tax, and will automatically apply it because Iowa asked them to. We had to file a tax exempt cert with them from Iowa to avoid it.

I understand the sellers POV, taxes suck. They suck even more when you run a business and get taxed here and there aside from the usual social security/medicare/income taxes that are regularly withheld here. We're used to some things but pitch a fit for others :)
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2013, 05:39:47 pm »
The interesting thing about this thread is that I learned a lot about the taxes applied to other countries. In my home country (Brazil) we face a similar scenario as everybody else, where any finished goods (not only equipment but also assembled boards) are taxed 80% with a sales tax of 25% on top of that.
To top all that, anything that the customs official suspects can be used for resale will suffer a delay of 30~45 days for closer inspection (I really suspect they do this to kill any possibility of resale, as no one would wait that long for shipping/handling...)

Because of all that we had a specific threshold of US$500.00 that balanced out cost and shipping time: if the total cost was below the threshold, we shipped them via a courier (Fedex/UPS/DHL) and paid everything of their express service; if above, we paid a local customs broker that dealt with all the paperwork. At the end we always had to pay the due taxes, but the paper handling made the difference in both cost and time.

For years me and my company tried to convince the local authorities to bring down the import taxes for development boards and JTAG pods, as they are used for development of new products locally (something the local government sees as positive), but they always pushed back on us saying the customs official can't tell the difference between a development board and a PC board (graphics cards, motherboards, etc.). The alternative was to manufacture them locally, but that was a very difficult option due to several reasons well known for anybody that deals with hardware manufacturing.

All in all, I agree with others: figure out how the customs of your country works, try to stay away from the bribe/under the table deals and, if possible, try to get in touch with people that has a possibility of changing this (not an easy thing when corruption is rampant - I know that very well).
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Offline smile

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2013, 07:24:12 pm »
Just a parcel I got today, look at the beloved declaration:



However customs had no questions regarding unreadable declaration. So all I care you can leave it empty or write with vanishing ink.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2013, 12:48:04 am »
Just a parcel I got today, look at the beloved declaration:

IMAGES DELETED

However customs had no questions regarding unreadable declaration. So all I care you can leave it empty or write with vanishing ink.

This merely shows that customs are busy people and don't get to check every item received or sent. Accidents do happen.
It in now way supports your argument that people should deliberately commit fraud for your financial advantage. When are you going to see the difference?
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2013, 01:11:01 am »
When are you going to see the difference?

I think never GeoffS, you know why? Here is the answer:

Yes I'm in this corrupt EU country.

He is expecting same from other countries.

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2013, 01:26:52 am »
He is expecting same from other countries.
me too. thats the norm with every single nation today it will be just a waste of "patriotinism" time trying to be a good guy imho. politics is a "business". even i suspect with USA government, you dont know whats inside, what you know is whats on Fox News. name me any high ranking position that lives in a normal house like yours?
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Offline Spawn

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #72 on: February 15, 2013, 01:36:04 am »
Okay, I didn’t want to go further in to this, what I meant to say with that quote is, he is blaming his country being corrupt in this specific topic, so he is trying to say their customs are corrupt too, but I wonder if the customs of his country call him and say “hey we got a package for you here and the tax is around 150 euro but if you pay me 20 euro I wont charge you with that”

I don’t understand about your house example either. Was it ever different in human history?

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #73 on: February 15, 2013, 01:57:44 am »
I don’t understand about your house example either. Was it ever different in human history?
i mean do you have a governor lives in a house similar to normal people's house? i suspect no. some country's governor (and cronnies) live in a house similar to the "your majesty's castle"

smile's latest post showing he skipped tax proved that its just normal situation, where normal custom workers are too busy with their tasks, ie they wont look up the highest priced table for that blanked declaration item just as other member reported from another country, regulations (corrupt?) cannot be implemented fully. so i believe he's lucky enough his country is not the worst imo.
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Why USA sellers do not want to specify lower parcel value?
« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2013, 02:13:57 am »
This reminds me I'm lucky to live in a country (Australia) where government is only moderately corrupt and extortionate.
Well, at least in the little things.

Oh wait... unless you want to import something they don't like, such as small laser pointers or alternative medicines. Like apricot kernels...  In which case we're out of luck, "we have confiscated your property for your own good."

The funniest thing about this thread, is the OP who is in actuality complaining about his country's import duty extortion, omits to mention which country he's in. And others have to extract this information from him.

Anyway, extortion is not the only risk of buying things via the net and having them posted. Careless idiot sellers are also a problem. Later today I'll post a thread about my latest sad experience (yesterday) with this. A HP 4342A Q-Meter, slightly but very annoyingly damaged in transit due to imbecilic packing.
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