subzero wrote:Iv'e bought the odd collectable here and there from the US in the past and have found one thing, if I buy on ebay.com and the item is being sold via the 'ebay global shipping program', then the customs charge ( which is automatically taken by ebay when you purchase it ) is a lot cheaper compared to the seller sending it through the normal post system via a post office. Funnily enough iv'e just bought a vintage WWF MOC figure on ebay.com this morning and the import cost through the global shipping program was only something like £15, yet if it wasn't sent through the global shipping program then Royal Mail / Parcel Force would have got hold of it and slapped on something like a £12 handling fee alone without the VAT. So I always try to buy from sellers using the ebay shipping program.
I also recently bought a Jedi Luke MOC which came up to about £240 total which included the shipping and import cost, then a week later the exact same one sold in the UK for £390 lol. Some might say that was overpriced but I still won buying mine from the US because I wouldn't have been able to bid on the UK one.
Snaketibe wrote:The downside however is that the ordinary postage charge from the US to the UK is (in my experience), usually much higher than if the seller doesn't use the Global Shipping Program. As with all these things, and as said above, you need to work out the total cost to you before making the purchase and decide if it is acceptable to you.
Robstyley wrote:Some good info there chaps, thanks. I think it could be the case for me that if the price is good, if it's of reasonably high value, if the postage + charges are half sensible and it's something I really do want quite a lot then it will be worth it, every now and then. I know that's a lot of ifs but as people have said you need to weigh it all up and then decide if it's viable. It's prob not going to be worth buying something for a small amount only to find it'll be the same again to send it! I might give it a go with a Moc just to see how it goes.
subzero wrote:Also another cheeky way around the VAT is to ask the seller if they can ship the item as a gift and mark the value under $20, 90% of sellers won't do it for obvious reasons but you can get lucky and get a surprising "yes" from the seller, usually when they just want to get the sale for an item that's taking a while to sell. I bought a He-Man MOC figure this year for £430 with shipping and paid zero import