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My Experience Buying From Rakuten

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15 replies to this topic

#1 gkgk

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 10:18

I recently made couple of fountain pen purchases on the Japanese website Rakuten. I bought the following pens from the vendor Pen House:

 

TWSBI (twice by) fountain pen diamond 580 AL brand (9400); Nib size : F; Price JPY 9,400

Pilot Fountain pen Custom Heritage 92 FKVH-15SRS-TB Transparent Black; Nib size : FM; Price JPY 11,248

 

The prices of these pens on Amazon.in are as follows:

 

TWSBI: INR 9,000

Pilot: INR 12,000

 

The communication was prompt - I had made a special request asking the vendor to mark this as gift but the vendor refused. I think it was right on the vendor's part. The vendor did charge me an overseas correspondence fee of JPY 1,651 - this is something that others on this forum have also mentioned. I was charged an additional JPY 1,540 as shipping fee. The total amount I had to pay was JPY 23,839 (INR 14,105) that I paid using paypal website.

 

The package was shipped the very next day after I made the payment, and it reached Indian customs office (Mumbai) within 3 days. I was impressed with the speed of shipping. I received a letter from the Customs office a day later informing me that the shipment exceeds the maximum import quota (INR 2,000 including shipping fee) for personal items and I need to report to Customs office with the bill receipt.

 

I reached the customs office the next day - I was made to wait for around 45 minutes before they called for me. I met a junior officer who told me that the package will attract a duty @41.49%, along with a redemption fee and penalty. The penalty is charged for importing items more than INR 2,000 without having an import license. This was all new to me since many people in this forum seem to have mentioned only the duty charges. The duty worked out to INR 6,117, and the additional charges were to the tune of INR 3,000. A postal fee of INR 100 was also charged. I ended up paying INR 9,217 additional for ordering the items from Japan. The total payout turned out to be more than INR 23,000, which is higher than what I would have paid on Amazon.in. I do not think I will be making any purchases from Rakuten again.

 

While arguing with customs officer, he told me that we should not use EMS as the shipping option as it attracts the highest duty and additional penalties. For using EMS, the maximum penalty free allowance is INR 2,000 for all items, except electronics, which has a maximum limit of INR 50,000. If you need to order from outside India, we should use courier services like Fedex or DHL - somehow they attract less penalty and import duties.

 

I just thought of sharing this for the benefit of everyone who is planning to import pens from outside India. Please avoid EMS shipping if you can.


Edited by gkgk, 27 January 2017 - 10:20.


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#2 deepak23

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 18:24

Makes sense. DHL or Fedex aayi pre pay the duty with the result that there is no penal duty. These guys do charge about ₹750 aad pricing fees. Given that nowadays customs is very strict, this may be cheaper...

A lifelong FP user...


#3 Solarflare

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 06:34

Thanks for the heads up. Do they charge custom on amount exceeding 2000 or the entire amount ? I am planning to order 2 ink bottles of KonPeki the cost of which comes out to be  3872(JPY) (INR 2300/-) including shipping. So will I have to pay 40% on Rs 300 or Rs 2300 ?



#4 niks122

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 05:50

I bought a Century Platinum 3776 from pen room rakuten in October for 9400 Yen (6.3k INR) and it came through seamlessly in 6 days without any customs. This was through kolkata customs. They shipped from Japan directly to Kolkata.

 

However, my recent order (Pilot custom heritage 92) was shipped on Jan 12 and reached Kolkata customs on Jan 15th and is held since then - tracking at India post shows held by customs for unspecified reasons. I am afraid this is not going to be smooth and either they will call me for duty or the package will be lost. The post import customs dont seem to have a customer helpline. 

 

GKGK - In how much time did you receive the letter from customs.



#5 mehandiratta

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 03:37

Custom guys pick random packs and there is no fixed pattern to select the product..

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#6 niks122

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 14:22

There is no news / letter of my shipment.

Tracking shows still the same - retained by customs for unspecified reasons.

 

Are there any options besides waiting? Further, what to do to ensure the package is not lost.



#7 viju

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 15:50

Nikhil, The package will not be lost because it is already updated that it is with customs and held for some reason most probably for assessing customs duty. I have talked to customs officers before and they always said fountainpen is not in the prohibited list for import. It may take some time but they will impose duty and release the shipment and will send through India post and you'll have to pay the amount at the time of delivery to the post man. Or they will send you a letter with details and you can contact them or you can go there to clear the shipment. It may take some time but you will receive your pen.

#8 viju

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 16:19

If you want to call directly, you should call FPO(foreign post office), in your case FPO Kolkata and you can ask the details for your tracking number.
If you want the details from customs you need another number which is assigned to your package by FPO when they send the package for customs clearance. Customs people need that number to identify the package. You can call FPO and ask for the customs number for your package and then call customs office and they will give you the details. I have been in your situation before but always got my pens. You can get the phone numbers by googling but getting them over phone require infinite patience.

#9 niks122

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 08:22

If you want to call directly, you should call FPO(foreign post office), in your case FPO Kolkata and you can ask the details for your tracking number.
If you want the details from customs you need another number which is assigned to your package by FPO when they send the package for customs clearance. Customs people need that number to identify the package. You can call FPO and ask for the customs number for your package and then call customs office and they will give you the details. I have been in your situation before but always got my pens. You can get the phone numbers by googling but getting them over phone require infinite patience.

Thanks Viju for the detailed picture...

 

I think will wait for one more week before calling 



#10 gkgk

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:56

Thanks for the heads up. Do they charge custom on amount exceeding 2000 or the entire amount ? I am planning to order 2 ink bottles of KonPeki the cost of which comes out to be  3872(JPY) (INR 2300/-) including shipping. So will I have to pay 40% on Rs 300 or Rs 2300 ?

 

Hello. The duty is on the entire amount.

 

I had a follow-on order for two Tsuki-yo inks from Rakuten (vendor: Voice), along with a Pilot Con 40 converter and a small Moleskine notebook that I had placed within two days of ordering the pens. The total amount for this order was INR 4,400. This time I was not asked to come to the customs office (I assume the order amount was small); however, I had to go to the local post office and pay INR 390 as fee. I have no clue how the duty was calculated this time.

 

My two cents: you can safely order your inks if the total order is within INR 2-2.5K range and pay an additional 200-500 bucks as duty - assuming each ink bottle in India costs around 2.5K+. You still save a lot of money.



#11 gkgk

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:57

I bought a Century Platinum 3776 from pen room rakuten in October for 9400 Yen (6.3k INR) and it came through seamlessly in 6 days without any customs. This was through kolkata customs. They shipped from Japan directly to Kolkata.

 

However, my recent order (Pilot custom heritage 92) was shipped on Jan 12 and reached Kolkata customs on Jan 15th and is held since then - tracking at India post shows held by customs for unspecified reasons. I am afraid this is not going to be smooth and either they will call me for duty or the package will be lost. The post import customs dont seem to have a customer helpline. 

 

GKGK - In how much time did you receive the letter from customs.

 

I received the letter from customs office within 2 days' of the EMS tracker showing arrival at customs office.



#12 gkgk

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:58

Thanks Viju for the detailed picture...

 

I think will wait for one more week before calling 

 

Did you get your package? I hope so ...



#13 niks122

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 12:59

 

Did you get your package? I hope so ...

Yes got a notice from EMS to come to their office and pay a duty - which is like 35%.

Will plan a visit in a day or two. They didnt even attempt delivery. DHL/Fedex definitely are better.

 

All in all - looks difficult to bypass duty these days - so better off not placing orders on these websites



#14 viju

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 14:57

Nikhil , that is good news that you are going to receive the pen finally. The notice from customs or local post office?.

#15 ak2k5

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 15:44

what i understand from the discussion is anything above rs 2000 has a risk of getting stuck?


There's no such thing as perfect writing, just like there's no such thing as perfect despair : Haruki Murakami


#16 niks122

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:50

Nikhil , that is good news that you are going to receive the pen finally. The notice from customs or local post office?.

Yes, from local post office.

 

Got the package after waiting 20 mins at the PO and paying the duty for which they couldnot issue an invoice (systems down).

 

The pen is b'ful (Pilot CH 92 blue) but the entire process of buying lasted more than 7 weeks - and final price is 10k (thereabouts it can be bought in India I guess). 

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