Nice shipping trick to avoid customs! [Archive] - Forums

View Full Version : Nice shipping trick to avoid customs!

08-11-2004, 05:19 AM
When I receive goods from outside EU sometimes my parcel gets checked by customs and I receive a very "nice" invoice to pay import taxes. :( Some sellers are very friendly and label my items as "gift", but sometimes items get checked anyway. Especially large items are bound to get checked regularely.

I don't know how regulations in USA, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are roughly the same. Nowadays when I sell things outside EU I state "gift" on parcel. So far so good, but parcel can still get checked. To make sure customs believes it is a real gift I always include a birthday card: "Happy birthday dude! Look what I picked up for you in this retro-shop! Hope you like it....."

In Netherlands you can pick up cards for free at bars and cinemas, so no extra cost or effort for me. There is nothing in it for me by doing this, but I get very nice replies from buyers! :) Hope others will do the same! :D

El Biņo
08-11-2004, 07:14 AM
That sounds pretty good. I've been having the same import tax payments so this may really help.. In my case they only check the really big packagees though, never had any problems with smaller ones. Thanks for the suggestion.

08-11-2004, 10:08 AM
We dont pay import taxes here in the US.

That is a great idea though to insure a package be declared a gift.

08-11-2004, 10:14 AM
On a similar note, a guy at joecustoms figured out how to avoid having packages he sent from Canada to the US opened all the way and sorted through. He put the item in a small box, wrapped it in Barbie wrapping paper, then put that in a slightly larger box for shipping. Customs opened the first box but didn't touch the wrapped box.

08-11-2004, 01:54 PM
I've always marked it as a gift, then marked the insured value on the label in the appropriate spot. I've never had trouble, and my customers have never had to pay fees. Besides, they sent me a nice gift of money, so why
would I do any different with their item? LOL

Patrick A. Riley
08-11-2004, 03:21 PM
For shipping to Canada, I always mark it as a gift and the value as 5.00 USD

08-11-2004, 07:13 PM
I made a trade for my uk cgi a long time ago and I traded for over 200$ of stuff. The guy I traded with checked 'merchandise' and I had to come up with a lot of money. And the guy was one of the most highly reputed with a top 3 collection of joes in the world! Wasn't very pleased with that as it was a trade!

08-11-2004, 08:01 PM
I always mark 5.00 gift when I send out of the US. But all I sell are CD's. Chris

08-12-2004, 09:09 PM
that's is a great idea as a just in case for sending to canada for US shippers.
i have felt a little funny writing gift on packages sometimes.
heck i can make a birthday card.

08-19-2004, 03:51 PM
I think the best way is to send to Canada and overseas is to ensure that the "GIFT" box is selected and low value indicated.

Also saying "used toys" is also good.

Just don't send it UPS, or any courier or they will charge a brokerage fee (for them to handle the package -> anywhere from $5 to $20 in handling fees)

Also if you right "NO SAFE DROP" on the box in Canada - you will get a slip to pick the package up at the post office instead of the guy leaving on your front door step when your not home.

08-19-2004, 04:22 PM
We dont pay import taxes here in the US.

That is a great idea though to insure a package be declared a gift.

Sorry to burst your bubble but....

I have to say yes we do but the limit is much higher than other countries. When I got my life sized Lara Croft from Germany, I got with it a nice bill for customs import tax.

That is the only time I have had to pay though.

08-19-2004, 04:36 PM
Interesting. I have never been hit with a bill. I have had purchases over $1000 a few times. Maybe I have just been lucky.

I stand corrected.
08-19-2004, 05:19 PM
For all the expensive items I buy, I always ask the seller to mark it as a gift with a $10 value. Most have no problem doing it. I have been charge customs fees in the past for an item that was marked as a gift but had the proper value marked on it, and it sucks. It has been very good lately, since I started asking.

Here is another tip I would like to share with fellow Canadians trading within Canada:

Isn't it anoying when you are sending a bubble mailer within Canada, it turns out to be a little to thick and you get charged over $7 to ship it? It is actually cheaper to ship the same package to the USA than within Canada! I get around this by putting $1.80 worth of stamps (I think it is 2 US stamps) on the bubbler and it arrives every time. This is the amount for a non-standard oversize letter to be shipped. It seems they don't check the thickness of the mailer when sorting the mail. I have done this too many times to count and have never had a returned package. Hope this helps out.

08-19-2004, 05:44 PM
Lara didn't cost me over a grand. Maybe it was because it came Fed Ex instead of through the mail. I don't know.

08-20-2004, 04:16 AM
Dock: Spot on!

When you have goods transported via courier, they have a higher chance of getting checked. Expensive goods are more likely to be transported via courier than regular mail.

08-20-2004, 03:11 PM
I've been buying off ebay for a few years now and I had 2 packages opened by customs and charged customs about a dozen times. A few times I was charged when it was marked a gift and the value was overstated, I sent in the refund slip and a copy of the ebay auction and they sent a refund. I then thought what if I sent in a refund request every time they charged me, since then I haven't gotten a opened package or a customs charge in over two years. They have been letting through some pretty big boxes of vehicles too.