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What's going on with EU and UK shipping to the US?



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I've bought a few pens from the EU and the UK through eBay and was used to paying $10, at most $20 USD for shipping to the US; I just paid $25 shipping for a cheap pen and another seller is quoting as much as $50 for another... No one is holding a gun to my head but it seems excessive; have sellers simply resorted to using services like DHL or are shipping prices really going up that much? This is without taxes.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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mizgeorge

I suspect you've been stuck by Ebay's Global Shipping Programme. Which I think probably works OK for large, high value items, but is absolutely useless for small stuff. 

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When ebay changed over all sellers to their new payment system Global Shipping was the default shipping method included by ebay in everyone's account settings. Every seller who doesn't want to use it has to go in to their account settings and manually uncheck the box. I guess that's remained unnoticed by lots of sellers.

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Thanks, makes sense.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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Try asking UK sellers if they will ship by Royal Mail International Tracked & Signed instead. :)

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11 hours ago, Dione said:

When ebay changed over all sellers to their new payment system Global Shipping was the default shipping method included by ebay in everyone's account settings. Every seller who doesn't want to use it has to go in to their account settings and manually uncheck the box. I guess that's remained unnoticed by lots of sellers.

Very good to know this, thanks! I have just started using eBay (never much need where I am) and I noticed some very exorbitant rates between EU countries already. Good to know it might be a default setting. I'll be asking the sellers from now on!

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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Another thing worth noting is that liquids are prohibited on the ebay GSP. If you want to buy a bottle of ink, pen flush etc. it needs to be sent using a different service.

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19 hours ago, Dione said:

Another thing worth noting is that liquids are prohibited on the ebay GSP. If you want to buy a bottle of ink, pen flush etc. it needs to be sent using a different service.

 

Good info too, thank you!

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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On 8/28/2021 at 3:15 AM, senzen said:

I've bought a few pens from the EU and the UK through eBay and was used to paying $10, at most $20 USD for shipping to the US; I just paid $25 shipping for a cheap pen and another seller is quoting as much as $50 for another... No one is holding a gun to my head but it seems excessive; have sellers simply resorted to using services like DHL or are shipping prices really going up that much? This is without taxes.

 

I thought that international postal rates were set by agreement between the countries, and therefor should be comparable which ever way the package is travelling. I am still seeing this on current items in the USA:

Shipping: $19.25 USPS First Class Mail International / First Class Package International Service
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On 8/28/2021 at 8:22 AM, Dione said:

When ebay changed over all sellers to their new payment system Global Shipping was the default shipping method included by ebay in everyone's account settings. Every seller who doesn't want to use it has to go in to their account settings and manually uncheck the box. I guess that's remained unnoticed by lots of sellers.

 

The problem Ebay's Global Shipping Programme is that, unless the seller makes it clear on the package that sales tax (VAT/MwSt) and import duty have been paid at source through Ebay, together with the reference number for the specific payment, customs in the receiving country are liable to charge tax and duty again.  This has happened to me several times in Austria and it is not immediately clear, as the two charges are not itemised on the package, and are in a different currency (€€€) from the pre-shipment payment (£££).

 

David

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37 minutes ago, david-p said:

 

I thought that international postal rates were set by agreement between the countries, and therefor should be comparable which ever way the package is travelling. I am still seeing this on current items in the USA:

Shipping: $19.25 USPS First Class Mail International / First Class Package International Service

I doubt that agreement between Countries is what happens now because like you I've seen that it currently costs much more to send ebay items from the US to the UK than it does from UK to US.

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Tom Greene
On 9/1/2021 at 2:04 PM, david-p said:

 

unless the seller makes it clear on the package that sales tax (VAT/MwSt) and import duty have been paid at source through Ebay, together with the reference number for the specific payment, customs in the receiving country are liable to charge tax and duty again.  This has happened to me several times in Austria and it is not immediately clear,

This shouldn't apply to shipments to the US, as the US has a high threshold ($800) before they start charging tax and duty.

I have had a couple of shipments to the EU stopped even though the sales tax has been paid through the EU system (IOSS), and the reference is on the package. Hopefully this is just teething problems with the new systems.

When it happens to my customers I advise them to refuse to pay, and I appeal it with the postal service.

 

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9 hours ago, Tom Greene said:

I have had a couple of shipments to the EU stopped even though the sales tax has been paid through the EU system (IOSS), and the reference is on the package. Hopefully this is just teething problems with the new systems.

 

I'm having this issue (I assume) with an Etsy order of ink sacs from the UK to NL. My package has been stuck in 'customs processing' limbo and unrecognized in the tracking app for nearly a month now, even though it only took two days to cross the channel. Interestingly, the postal service says customs has it and customs says the postal service has it. I'm not certain whether the sales tax is itemized on the label, as I haven't seen the package, but since all the big systems like eBay and Etsy made adjustments I would assume it is. If I understand the postal service website info correctly, all that needs to happen is that they request a payment from me for the 4 euro customs processing fee (<150 euros). But I guess doing this massive administrative processing change for the parcel services right in the middle of the summer (holidays) that is already incredibly busy thanks to a global pandemic was not the most efficient timing for our local postal service. 

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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10 hours ago, Tom Greene said:

When it happens to my customers I advise them to refuse to pay, and I appeal it with the postal service.

If you refuse to pay, the post office will not hand over the package, and presumably it will be returned to sender --  or worse!

 

David

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4 hours ago, DvdRiet said:

If I understand the postal service website info correctly, all that needs to happen is that they request a payment from me for the 4 euro customs processing fee (<150 euros).

It's Interesting that you are charged €4, whereas I am charged €5 as a handling charge for every imported package, and there seems to be no concept of < €150 in the Austrian customs process -- at least in practice. Importing stuff from the UK is a nightmare here.

 

David

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Tom Greene
5 hours ago, DvdRiet said:

I'm not certain whether the sales tax is itemized on the label,

To be exact, the customs data is sent digitally. The label needs a tracking bar code on it, or the order number and seller IOSS number (in this case Etsy's). In theory they look up the customs data from the tracking number and see it's been paid.

If the seller paid for postage through Etsy then it should all be included.

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Tom Greene
5 hours ago, david-p said:

If you refuse to pay, the post office will not hand over the package

I have successfully appealed one item with Belgium post and am waiting for their response on another. You go to their website, enter a code on the card they give the customer and then click on a link that says something like ' revise import costs'. You have to provide proof the tax is paid, e.g. the Amazon invoice. Then they send the package on its way.

Unfortunately it takes at least 2 weeks.

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16 minutes ago, Tom Greene said:

To be exact, the customs data is sent digitally. The label needs a tracking bar code on it, or the order number and seller IOSS number (in this case Etsy's). In theory they look up the customs data from the tracking number and see it's been paid.

If the seller paid for postage through Etsy then it should all be included.

 

Oh, this is very good to know, Tom! Thanks! I was afraid that the problem was just them trying to figure out if the sales tax had already been paid. But apparently it's just inefficiencies in the postal system (what else is new?) and probably a big lack of the right software and personnel to correctly affect the changes needed. They have told me that it can take up to a month 'for customs to release the package' and they 'have no control over it,' so I'm waiting until it has been exactly one month to contact them again. The more informed I am when I do, the better!

 

I was just checking the info on the PostNL site again after a friend in Spain said her postie told her she even had to collect money for a package from NL and no one knows why (their delivery people are now stuck collecting cash payments at the door from unsuspecting customers). Anyway, the PostNL site even says they will collect the fees when it concerns a gift under 45 euros that does not require a customs declaration or duties simply 'because they can only know the value after it arrives' (whatever that means). So, I assume that means we will have to make a claim for every single gift under 45 euros that we receive?? What an absolute mess!

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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5 hours ago, david-p said:

Importing stuff from the UK is a nightmare here.

 

Yes, I have heard loads of stories of the same here, from even before these new import rule changes. I had avoided ordering anything from the UK since Brexit, but I have not managed to find a supplier of ink sacs for vintage pens anywhere in the EU yet. (I just posted in the Repair Q&A the other day asking if anyone else knows a supplier.) My first small order a few months ago went very fast and very smoothly, but now I have bought more vintage pens (of course 😅) and thought I would risk it again. But nope, my little button fillers are still waiting to be resacked.

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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Tom Greene
1 hour ago, DvdRiet said:

 

Oh, this is very good to know, Tom! Thanks! I was afraid that the problem was just them trying to figure out if the sales tax had already been paid. But apparently it's just inefficiencies in the postal system (what else is new?) and probably a big lack of the right software and personnel to correctly affect the changes needed. They have told me that it can take up to a month 'for customs to release the package' and they 'have no control over it,' so I'm waiting until it has been exactly one month to contact them again. The more informed I am when I do, the better!

 

I was just checking the info on the PostNL site again after a friend in Spain said her postie told her she even had to collect money for a package from NL and no one knows why (their delivery people are now stuck collecting cash payments at the door from unsuspecting customers). Anyway, the PostNL site even says they will collect the fees when it concerns a gift under 45 euros that does not require a customs declaration or duties simply 'because they can only know the value after it arrives' (whatever that means). So, I assume that means we will have to make a claim for every single gift under 45 euros that we receive?? What an absolute mess!

It is a mess at the moment. Good luck!

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