Well online vapeshops here in Denmark have recently been complaining about unfair competition from China, because an old international postal agreement classified China as a developing country, and allowing them to send packages at only a fraction of the real shipping cost.
Customs has also had a lot of focus on China and tries to open as many packages as they possible can, but they still can’t open them all …
It’s simply a duty charge and as has been already pointed out it’s a lotto whether your stuff get through or not, as most of the Chinese companies undervalue everything so you don’t have to pay the charges. This is part of the reason they can do such good deals. If you use the likes of FedEx or USPS you’re far more likely to have customs investigate what the actual value is, then you will incur the charges. It is very strange to get a bill after your goods have been delivered but the charge does look legit. I’ve had stuff stopped twice and had to provide proof of purchase and then charged 23% on the total value plus €10 handling fee, and then my stuff was released. I’m not quite sure why @R113 thinks this is an issue with gearbest as it’s in their terms and conditions, and the charge is by the US government not GB or ‘China’.
I did a little searching and it looks like fedex actually does pay duties up front and then bills customers after delivery. Which is pretty stupid on their part if you ask me. I read a few accounts of people not paying and having their bill go to collections, as well as people who didn’t pay (sometimes multiple bills) and nothing came of it. @Mizzz_Z_Hobbit, I’d probably just wait and see if they send another bill. If they do, then contact fedex directly to make sure its legit. It sucks but if they’re going to press the issue it would be better to just pay than to have it ding your credit.
I got a delivery of wire from Lightning vapes that came to €31, customs grabbed it and I got a bill for €17.20. Anything over the value of €22 is liable for import duty and they include shipping cost in that. Gift aren’t exempt either if they’re over the value of €45. They seem to be cracking down on it here and I know a few people that had to cough up. For the valuation customs would only accept a screenshot of your paypal or bank transaction.
An american friend off my wife made a quilt for the misses. When she sent it she declared it was a gift and had a value off 100 dollars (the poor thing thought it was for insurance), yep you guessed it my wife had to pay customs to get the gift from her dear friend
Thanks so much to you and everyone else for chiming in. My research also turned up similar information. Like some of you have said, it’s a crap shoot. They don’t check all the packages but when they get you, you get an extra fee and Fedex pays it for you.
I did get the letters out of the garbage and they are directing me to Fedex.com but I’m not giving them my new card. I’ll go into the office here and pay in cash since I’m not mad at Fedex. It’s not even the extra duty of 3$ or the handling of 7$; it’s the FDA charge of 20$ that has me so pissed. That’s not Fedex’s fault.
I’ll edit my original post to reflect all of this for the sake of newer folks who didn’t know this could happen. I’ve been ordering stuff from overseas, China included for many years and never had this issue. From what I gather, the higher value the item, the greater chance it’ll get snagged. It costs them the same amount to inspect a package whether it’s $50 or $500 so they aim for the higher end stuff because the fees will make it worth their while.
Same here. Last time I ordered anything from China it took over a month to come it, and when it did come in it was a counterfeit and didn’t work. They refused to give me a refund or even to repair it. Too much shady shit happens when you deal with some of these Chinese companies.
Hey guys, none of this is Gear Best’s fault. There are a lot of excellent Chinese vendors out there and there are a lot of shit companies in every other country on the globe. These charges come from American customs policy. This isn’t a hate on China thread.