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Topic - Annoyed rant
             
Alien's picture
Alien
  • Class: Alien Invader
  • Posts: 189
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15:43:18 - 27 Apr 2012

It was recently my birthday and so as a treat to myself i ordered a dvd boxset from a web series ive been following for many years www.redvsblue.com the company is based in america and so after u convert the dollars into pounds it came to £23.40. a good price. then theres the shipping onto, to another country it isnt cheap, £10.13 was the cheapest option and i didnt mind the wait. now it seems to have arrived after 2 weeks but do i have the product? no, because according to the note posted through the door its being held at the royal mail branch, conveinantly located at the exact oposite end of the city, because it has inccured a customs charge. the charge seems to be £4.79 which isnt too much and the government needs my money to pay customs officers so that they can charge me money. but the thing that im really annoyed about, is that royal mail have added a "handling fee" of £8 ontop. so not only have they not deliverd my package but they also have the freaking nerve to charge a handling fee!

in total, this £23.40 item has come to £46.32, nearly double! bloody rediculous

edit: i forgot to include the charge the bank gave me for buying something in dollars when i have the audacity of keeping pounds in my bank. an additional £1.03

             
NesCartesius's picture
NesCartesius
  • Class: Inquisitor
  • Posts: 101
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21:03:00 - 27 Apr 2012

Customs charges are always a danger when you are ordering outside the EU. Same goes for the bank charging you for the currency conversion, when the foreign currency is outside the EU. My bank has never charged me for converting euros to english pounds when buying stuff through amazon.co.uk, but that is because i buy from within the eu, even though the UK is not in the eurozone.

The "handling fee" is a bit much, but it means that they got the item through customs themselves (paid the fee, handled the transaction, and picked up the item from the customs office), which is a convenience. If they hadn't, you'd have to go to the customs warehouses yourself, probably in a different town (a harbour or a major airiport). So, if 8 pounds is less than what you'd have paid for the trip and back, you're still better off.

Still, one is absolutely correct to point out here are hidden charges when ordering from outside the eu, and we should all take care (The fact that most people alive these days were born or grew up after the European Communities were founded and tariffs abolished has made as forget, it seems).

PS. The red and blue link (if it is ment to be a link) does not work.

             
Alien's picture
Alien
  • Class: Alien Invader
  • Posts: 189
  • Blogs: 6
21:39:56 - 27 Apr 2012

u can see the airport from the royal mail office so i would have had to travel the same distance, i have calmed down a little now, i simply shall no longer buy physical items from outside the eu which come to greater than £15 (thats where the charge incurs"

as for the link, our great overlord will have to see to that, his site is broken. in the mean time, typing www.redvsblue.com will get u there

edit: seriously broken as this did work as a link even though i mearly typed an address

2's compliment, 3's a crowd

             
jlucard's picture
jlucard
  • Class: Overlord
  • Posts: 219
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00:17:23 - 28 Apr 2012

It doesn't worth buying inexpensive items from the USA unless they are not available anywhere else. Typically when I buy something from there I make it big ($400+) - that way if I pay any additional charges they are small compared to the cost of the items. The tax btw depends on the type of item that you buy - different charges for tabacco, toys, weapons, etc. It makes sense buying certain items but not others. The UK government publishes an absolutely useless online document about that. The info you are looking for might be contained there but you will never ever find it. My advice, ask the retailer if they know (and what delivery charge and extra delay should you expect) before ordering - most USA sites I have contacted in the past were very helpful. Insidentally I expect an order for the states as we speak. If you want I will let you know how this turns out.

On the site issue. I received an email regarding the php and apache versions used by our webspace provider been updated a few days ago. Lets hope this is the only thing that doesn't work anymore (actually it works, but it works differently now). Also fixed your link on the initial post.

Chain smoking makes you thin

             
NesCartesius's picture
NesCartesius
  • Class: Inquisitor
  • Posts: 101
  • Blogs: 5
18:51:57 - 28 Apr 2012

Buying only rather expensive items makes sense. As for the tariffs, they are grouped in categories, and they depend on politics, fiscal policy, or on what the World Trade Organization says on the matter.. (Normally you should pay the same tariff when buying from the USA or from South Africa, but that is not always the case). The relevant documents are usually incomprehensible and the tariff depends on the category the customs officials place your item in. Eg. an imported jedi light sabe could be grouped with toys, electronics, or even sports equipment if it's one built for actual sword practice, a new car may be classified as a sports car or as a normal car, and you might have to pay a different sum for the same item, depending on what is current customs practice.

@Alien: Not all airports or harbors have operational customs offices for merchandise. There might be customs officials IF there are passenger flights coming from outside the EU, but even then it's more probable that cargo-only and postal planes are directed to a different airport, and are redirected from there.

             
jlucard's picture
jlucard
  • Class: Overlord
  • Posts: 219
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11:32:00 - 30 Apr 2012

I promised an update about my order in my last post. Turns out that the company was Canadian and not American - guess should read the about box more carefully. In anycase something interesting happened - I was not asked to pay anything extra at all! Wonder if they paid the tax on my behalf! Either that or there is some weird trading agreement with Canada I am not aware of.

Chain smoking makes you thin

             
NesCartesius's picture
NesCartesius
  • Class: Inquisitor
  • Posts: 101
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16:48:00 - 30 Apr 2012

Canada is actually a part of the British Commonwealth (recently styled "Commonwealth of nations"), along with Australia, New Zealand, and quite a few former colonies of the British Empire. It's kind of an international organization with the Queen of England acting as the head, and free trade is part of the deal, so, yes, it's not surprising if have agreed to pay low tariffs or none at all.

The US, on the other hand, parted violently from the empire centuries ago and are not in the commonwealth. Plus, as far as i know, they force high tariffs on imported goods, prompting other countries to do the same on Us exports. Note, also, that they had at least two trade wars with Britain (banana imports and beaf).

             
Alien's picture
Alien
  • Class: Alien Invader
  • Posts: 189
  • Blogs: 6
20:40:09 - 30 Apr 2012

true, they still wont take our beef claiming its all diseased. pretty sure they destroyed alot of tea shipments in the past also, nothing can make a brit angrier than ruining his tea

2's compliment, 3's a crowd

     
 
 
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