A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

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xrayhead
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A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by xrayhead » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:33 pm

First thing I want to point out is I'm not trying to put a company down here, all I want to do is share my bad experiences when ordering from the US this month. However I think the company should have given me a more positive response when replying to the email and not just going for the classic answer!

If you do decide to order from the US the important think to point out to the company shipping the item is, if the item's are only insured for $100 then they should mark the content's value at the same! This way you will be charged the correct import duties and VAT, Parcel force will still rip you off to the sum of £13.50 just to swipe your card but hey thats just good old rip of Britain doing what it dose best.. Make sure you insist they mark the package with the correct insured value!!!

Here's the email below:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Sir/Madam
Just letting you know I received my order # XXX.XXX

However I had some problems with this as it entered the UK, because the contents price was on the front of the box I was charged the total amount of £81 ($135.85) so get it released from UK customs! Usually if I order from the middle east the insurance cost only is listed on the front as this is the value if it go's missing. Most of the time if I buy from the middle east its listed as gift so I don't get charged the ridiculous import duty, VAT on top of that and also the processing fee the local post office decides to rip me off as well!

The items you shipped to me were only insured to the sum of $100 so this should have been the value listed on the front of the package. I'm pretty depressed over the whole situation, as if the above wasn't bad enough the M/L Astral Greenjacket is to small for me so in all its been a bit of a disaster :-(

I know the customs in the UK is out of your hands but I think NRS should look into this and at the very least inform any customers you are shipping to in the UK!

In total I ended up paying;
$259.95 for the products
$59.86 Shipping
$135.85 Import Duty + VAT + Parcel force handling fee

---------------REPLY--------------------

Hello Sir,

Thank you for your email. I am terribly sorry to hear that you ended up paying so much in import duties and taxes. We will try to make it clearer to customers in the future! As far as marking packages as a gift, in our experience this has not been a successful way to avoid duties and taxes, and we are unable to doctor the commercial documentation. Thank you for your input, we will work to make it more clear that our price does not include duties and taxes fees that are assessed upon delivery.

Please reply to this email or give us a call at 001-208-882-6704 if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Kind Regards,

--name removed-- | Customer Service
NRS – 100% Employee Owned

2009 S. Main St. Moscow, ID 83843
service@nrs.com | http://www.nrs.com

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Peter Holgate
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Peter Holgate » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:50 pm

The insured amount is for courier compensation. Goods shipped to and from non EU countries must have a commercial invoice . This is what customs import duty is based on.

To alter this is fraudulent and no company would sensibly do this. If you buy small items that can be sent via normal post you may get away without a charge but high value stuff in big boxes sent via Fedex or other courier... Not a chance as the couriers fill out the customs paper work and make sure the charges are met.

If you by commercial items from America you should expect to pay these fee's on top.

Jon_Brown
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Jon_Brown » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:01 pm

I was also a bit confused by the insurance value bit? From HMRC website- If you're ordering goods online for your own personal use, you may have to pay Customs Duty, Excise Duty or Import VAT on top of the advertised purchase price. What's due, if anything, depends on the type of goods and where they come from.

Asking supplier to put gift on the declaration would be asking them to commit fraud.

Because of the tax gap HMRC are putting a lot more effort into preventing this type of evasion (gift or undervaluing) and fairly likely that in the near future they will be using penalties in addition to collecting underpaid duty/vat (up to 100% penalty).

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/post/internet.htm
Last edited by Jon_Brown on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

xrayhead
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by xrayhead » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:03 pm

Fare point, at the very least then they should point UK customers at this website before they make a purchase:
http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-impor ... lculation/

Also quote the correct return shipping cost if they were to send it back to the US and not add a form in with the shipping stating "FREE HASSEL FREE RETURNS"!!!

xrayhead
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by xrayhead » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:08 pm

Jon_Brown wrote:
Asking supplier to put gift on the declaration would be asking them to commit fraud.
As stated in my email I was referencing this, not stating they follow suite!

I'm posting this so others are aware they could be hit with similarly ludicrous over bloated charges (Plus the UK shipping company taking in the order will also take there cut at around £14 on top of all this).

The thing that hack's me the most is all the hidden charges that are not put in "Black n White" so you know the final cost of an item you are buying. Dam if I put something in the classified section for £100 and after the sale charged a personal listing fee, hourly rate, cost of broadband % based on time spent answering questions and a processing fee I don't think it would be accepted..

I know it would be impossible for any supplier to quote a final vale but the facts should be available in bold when you add you credit card details!!!
Last edited by xrayhead on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jon_Brown
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Jon_Brown » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:14 pm

xrayhead wrote:
Jon_Brown wrote:
Asking supplier to put gift on the declaration would be asking them to commit fraud.
As stated in my email I was referencing this, not stating they follow suite!

I'm posting this so others are aware they could be hit with similarly ludicrous over bloated charges (Plus the UK shipping company taking in the order will also take there cut at around £14 on top of all this).
And I didn't say you'd asked them to, just trying to make others aware.

As for bleeding handling charge couldn't agree more, excessive (just like bank charges for automated letters).

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:27 pm

Clearly you have been lucky in the past with gifts from commercial sources being imported from the Middle East. VAT is chargeable on all goods, and duty depending on the nature of the goods in question. The handling fee, is because there is an admin element, Parcel Force needed to contact you to collect the VAT & duty, plus they needed to look up specifically what duty is chargeable, all taking time. When you purchase goods already imported, these charges, (well normally less, due to economies of scale), are added to the purchase price, hence why the retail price in the USA always looks nice, but the bill less so.

In the end, did you paid more for the item, than you would of been if you simply brought it from a dealer in the UK?

Johito
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Johito » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:25 am

Oddering kokata stuff from the US they include a duty calculator on the website so you can work out the complete cost, good idea for all international websites I think. It's something most people on the US are used to as the advertised price rarely includes tax, as this can very between different cities le alone states.

xrayhead
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by xrayhead » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:13 am

Simon Westgarth wrote:Clearly you have been lucky in the past with gifts from commercial sources being imported from the Middle East. VAT is chargeable on all goods, and duty depending on the nature of the goods in question. The handling fee, is because there is an admin element, Parcel Force needed to contact you to collect the VAT & duty, plus they needed to look up specifically what duty is chargeable, all taking time. When you purchase goods already imported, these charges, (well normally less, due to economies of scale), are added to the purchase price, hence why the retail price in the USA always looks nice, but the bill less so.

In the end, did you paid more for the item, than you would of been if you simply brought it from a dealer in the UK?
I was not looking for a breakdown in cost, nor to the fact I paid more for an item in the long run.

The point of this thread is to give others the chance to evaluate the cost and also remind them of the charges (that have increased massively over the years) we seem to forget about when paying for an item!

Like I said above, I know it would be impossible for any supplier to quote a final vale but the facts should be available in bold when you add you credit card details!!!

I hope this thread has been a reminder to anyone looking at shipping from outside Europe or has provided some information to anyone looking to do so.

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Jim
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:03 am

The problem is that because you didn't do your research properly you are annoyed at a foreign seller who followed all the legal requirements properly.

I have told people time and time again to make sure they factor in VAT, any other applicable duties and the carrier's handling fee for doing all the paperwork for you at the port of entry. And on that basis I agree with you posting a warning about it, but I don't agree with your stance that you were unfairly treated.

You are also correct about handling charges increasing massively - the last time I bought something with duty to pay it wasn't very much but the Royal Mail minimum handling charge had gone up to something like £7 - it was more than the tax I had to pay.
I don't think the carrier have to work out the fees, HMRC do that, but the carrier pays the fees to release your goods so they can deliver them - they do the release paperwork and I guess in a way give you a short term high interest loan for the fees paid....

There is a way to get it all sorted out up front, but it depends on what carrier the sender uses (and most US companies use USPS because they have flat rate boxes where the carriage is for the size of the box and weight is not considered). If your sender has an account with one of the big international carriers like UPS or DHL, it is sometimes possible to pre-pay all the charges - the carrier calculates them in advance and because it is organised through an account holder the handling fees are minimal. I suspect the sender needs a certain level of account for that service because not all seem to be able to offer it even when they use carriers that do it, but it is worth asking about.

Also be aware that HMRC have the power to open any package at random and check that the customs declaration matches the contents and value.

Do you think it is any easier for someone from the US buying from the UK?

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morsey
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by morsey » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:28 pm

Jim wrote:Also be aware that HMRC have the power
above all else in the land!

xrayhead
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by xrayhead » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:31 pm

#


Look, at the end of the day I hope someone reads this thread and is then more aware of what the issues are shipping in and out of Europe! That's all it was intended to do, hence the thread title "A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!"



I quite expected the long reply's...............................yawn

Kayak Mike
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Kayak Mike » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:49 pm

quite aside from the legal stuff, a nice short reply...

Support your local shop(s)?

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morsey
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by morsey » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:58 pm

Kayak Mike wrote:Support your local shop(s)?
Yes ^^^

£195 for a Green Jacket (including postage) from a UK shop

£180 from America (Without tax, handling, import)

xrayhead
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by xrayhead » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:33 pm

morsey wrote:
Kayak Mike wrote:Support your local shop(s)?
Yes ^^^

£195 for a Green Jacket (including postage) from a UK shop

£180 from America (Without tax, handling, import)
Show me where you can buy an Astral Greenjacket LE7 : Hawkeye in the UK at present?? Don't you think I would have purchased it from the UK if I could have!

Why is it when you try to give advise in this country there are so many people trying to pick holes in it? Instead of going to google, looking up some prices and adding a pointless post the more intelligent reply would have been to ask why did you buy from the US?

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morsey
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by morsey » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:09 pm

xrayhead wrote: Instead of going to google, looking up some prices and adding a pointless post the more intelligent reply would have been to ask why did you buy from the US?
Lets be rude hey, your yawn comment was also rude. I put up the price to validate the local shop support. Simples.

gingerballs
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by gingerballs » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:13 pm

Because you have dragged NRS into this, implying they did something wrong by not telling you about the laws of your own country.

Suck it up dude.

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Jim
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:22 pm

xrayhead wrote:#


Look, at the end of the day I hope someone reads this thread and is then more aware of what the issues are shipping in and out of Europe! That's all it was intended to do, hence the thread title "A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!"



I quite expected the long reply's...............................yawn
I agree with the warning, I don't agree with the way you presented it.

(snore)

S.P.
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by S.P. » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:34 pm

By definition,there are no winners in an internet slagging match

Keeby
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Keeby » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:50 pm

Buy British ! But your post will serve as a warning to the un initiated !

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Sickboy
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Sickboy » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:49 pm

My good lady's heading off to Vegas in a month or so and has asked what I want present wise, having looked around I'm struggling to find anything thats really a bargain, especially if she gets tugged on the way back for VAT/duty.
Looks like I'll be getting a Leatherman crunch, £40 from Walmart vs £110 in the UK, comes in under the taxable threshold then.
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

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chicklechives
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by chicklechives » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:23 pm

You had to pay the tax owing on something you purchased?
OMG outrageous.
Have you tried asking a Uk shop to pretend your purchase is really children's clothes or a newspaper? That should sort the pesky VAT out.
Thanks for the warning.

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DaveBland
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by DaveBland » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:39 am

Yeah, it's crappy.
I suspect many folks [me too] have messed up ordering things from foreign climes to try to save a bit.
Good on ya for raising the issue. hope it saves someone some pain.

Don't worry about it, put it down to a bad deal and part of the learning curve and move on...
dave

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:03 pm

This is why I'd almost always use an importer such as Rapid Kayaks:
http://www.rapidkayaks.co.uk/nrs-c51.html
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

Kayak Mike
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Kayak Mike » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:59 pm

xrayhead, it was in no way a personal attack there.

It was simply a short statement, as you appeared to be getting bored of the long responses. There are a few pro's to going local as well.... but maybe best left, given the way this thread is going.

I agree your query on why you were buying from the US is also a good one. I had, perhaps stupidly, fallen into the trap of assuming it was for price given that there is an importer for astral kit, and would also have assumed a shop may be able to procure this item for you through the importer.

No hole picking from me..

Hope you enjoy your purchase on the water, monies aside, and happy paddling!

Yew
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Yew » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:12 pm

Just a thought, but is it possible to get a rebate on the american taxes at all?

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Mark Mulrain
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Mark Mulrain » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:41 pm

I've had a few emails about Immersion Research in the UK that seem to be stemming from this post, so thought I'd just post up publicly and clear the air.

At the moment, we try to keep many of the most popular items in stock in the UK with myself. The website does say this - "We also have Inventory in Europe that is available at a lower shipping cost and faster delivery times. If items are not in stock, you can choose to wait until Mark’s next delivery where you will be offered reduced shipping, or you can choose to have it shipped directly from the US where you will be responsible for paying for all duties and taxes." We have a big list of what's in stock which I keep up to date - http://www.immersionresearch.eu/inventory-in-europe/.

So if an item you were after wasn't in stock; like the site says, you could either order it direct (and have a slight risk of the taxes as its not coming via me) or wait on my next shipment and I could have it included. I get boxes sent every 4 weeks minimum. These days its more like every 2 weeks. They would mark things going direct as gifts to lower the risk of it getting taxed again when it goes to you.

We don't have gear in the shops. The distributor mark up and shop mark up left our products at a very high price and they didn't sell well. This is why for many years system x only brought the union suits into the UK. Now we are doing it all ourselves and keeping the prices low (e.g. the union suit has halved in price). This does mean you are getting more for your money though.
If you got a product from IR and it didn't fit, you'd send it back to me (I live just outside Glasgow). We would get you the other size or get you a full refund.
I suppose some people would argue that this means it might take longer. Fair enough, it might, but I truly believe in the company and products so I would say that they are worth waiting a little longer for.

Don't want to start another huge debate and keep spamming up the UKRGB feed (I'd much rather see good videos or interesting gear mods etc etc) so if anyone does have anything to ask, feel free to PM me or drop me an email.

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Rapid Kayaks
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Rapid Kayaks » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:38 pm

IMO & experience NRS customer service and Rock Solid Guarantee is second to none.

Xrayhead I have contacted NRS and between us we will try and sort this out for you!

Also if anyone ever needs anything from NRS site please do let me know and we will get it in for you (but not Astral products)

best regards

Jon

www.rapidkayaks.co.uk

dhkayaking
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by dhkayaking » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:44 pm

Amazingly its actually cheaper to buy Immersion Research in the UK and EU than it is in America!

Fair play.

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Rapid Kayaks
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Re: A word of warning if buying from the US!!!!!

Post by Rapid Kayaks » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:14 pm

Xrayhead

Can you please contact me via the website please

Best regards
Jon

www.rapidkayaks.co.uk

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