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The cheek of it...


John B

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A couple of weeks ago I sold a Falcon Brass T3 kit on eBay.co.uk - to a UK buyer. Reasonable (not extortionate) price achieved. Seller paid within a couple of days, I took a small hit on the postage rate in the interests of giving a flat rate. All good, so I thought...

 

Today I received an email from the buyer asking that I refund the "customs duty" that he'd received a demand for. Last time I looked, that wasn't the seller's responsibility.... :scratchhead:

 

I can imagine the response now:

 

"Dear Johnnie Walker - Please refund the Customs duty for the 50 bottles of Blue Label which I wasn't aware I might have to pay for if customs stuck their oar in"...

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Why on earth was he charged "customs duty" on a uk sale to a UK buyer? Even if sent from abroad to the UK (ie you are in a foreign country) the total is likely to be within the import limits (or was it not).

 

Is the buyer confusing "customs duty" with the charge levied by the courier to handle the goods? I can see his point (though disagree with it) if he was not made aware that the item was originating outside the uk - especially if you had not made that clear in the description.

 

Of course if the item was sold in the uk and dispatched from the uk to him in the uk - he is simply bonkers.

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John's in the States and I would assume his listings show his location. If a buyer can't do their research as to what their duty obligations may be and how the import system works then tough.

 

Thanks for the sale point clarification, Andy. Though it is perfectly possible to list on the .co.uk ebay without showing your country of origin as it is for us to list on the .com site.

 

Assuming that this was clear then 100% I agree with you that the responsibility for the handling charge and also any customs duty payable is for the buyer. Though the buyer should be questioning any "customs duty" if the value of the item is within limits. Though that is something he should pursue with HMR&C or his handling agent. It has nothing to do with the seller.

 

I suspect that this is a case of the buyer not reading the advert and absorbing mentally the location of the seller and its consequences.

 

It is possible to filter out foreign auctions and is something I do all the time, not being interested in having to pay crippling handling charges.

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See comments by a cat and a vulture on the thread re Pollens.

I presume the item went for well over the limit.

Cheeky git.

Ask him for a copy of the receipt, offer to refund him less your handling and administration charges. Then send him an invoice for the difference.

I would have thought that it was common knowledge these days regarding charges imposed on imports, in particular from the USA.

Bernard

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The buyer probably expected you to use the method of underdeclaring the value on the customs paperwork. Though businesses seem to get away with it, I'm sure an individual wouldn't.

 

Its easy to get excited over an apparent bargain and miss location info, but in the end it's the buyer importing the item, soo their responsibility.

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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From the vulture :smile_mini2:

 

I would assume a reasonable figure for a brass kit to be well above the customs limit (I believe this to be £18, but, as you can see here, it is very complicated. http://www.hmrc.gov....ax-and-duty.htm).

It is of course the responsibility of the buyer, unless an alternative agreement has been made. Problems like this are the reason many sellers are reluctant to send goods abroad.

 

I'd tell them to go and take a running jump and risk the negative feedback. The sort of buyers, who wouldn't understand the reason for it, you don't want anyway.

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Bit late now, but if you haven't done so already you may want to think about opening a dispute with them.

 

It's nigh-on impossible to get ebay to remove red marks even if they are totally undeserved. One of the few ways they will, is if there has been a dispute process/resolution/non-resolution.

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From the vulture :smile_mini2:

 

I would assume a reasonable figure for a brass kit to be well above the customs limit (I believe this to be £18, but, as you can see here, it is very complicated. http://www.hmrc.gov....ax-and-duty.htm).

It is of course the responsibility of the buyer, unless an alternative agreement has been made. Problems like this are the reason many sellers are reluctant to send goods abroad.

 

I'd tell them to go and take a running jump and risk the negative feedback. The sort of buyers, who wouldn't understand the reason for it, you don't want anyway.

 

The duty limit is £135 and the limit for VAT is £15. Also when the duty calculated is less than £9 it is waived.

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If it's the item I think it is the location was very clearly stated. The postage details mentioned USPS packages.

 

The buyer looks like a sniper with one bid 5 seconds before finish. His previous item was also in the less than 1 hour category. Sounds a bit careless to me.

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just for info

 

I beleive that Royal mail on behalf of hmrc are clamping down a bit on imports, I have heard of a buyer purchasing a number of items seperatly from a US supplier who shipped the items seperatly. all the items where opened, and the buyer had import duty applied to them as they execceded the £18 limit.

 

Steve

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