05-14-2021, 04:16 AM
#1
  • Chappy
  • Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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I'm in the USA and several of our sponsor's are in other countries.  Never bought products from someone in a different country from me so how do I deal with currency conversions, VAX, shipping, etc.?

Apologize if in wrong forum but couldn't figure out where best to put it....

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 05-14-2021, 04:20 AM
#2
  • Garb
  • Senior Member
  • Oregon
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I use PayPal and the money exchange is converted for you.

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 05-14-2021, 04:37 AM
#3
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PayPal does the currency conversion and you will pay in USD.  Each vendor will have its own policies on shipping costs.  The vendor's software should charge you a price which does not include the Value Added Tax charged to customers in the EU.

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 05-14-2021, 06:03 AM
#4
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(05-14-2021, 04:16 AM)Chappy Wrote: I'm in the USA and several of our sponsor's are in other countries.  Never bought products from someone in a different country from me so how do I deal with currency conversions, VAX, shipping, etc.?

Apologize if in wrong forum but couldn't figure out where best to put it....

The PayPal or credit card charge will convert currency at the then-current Euro or Pound Sterling exchange rate plus 2-3% currency exchange fee.  Recent weakness in the U.S. dollar means product costs to us in Euros today is 12% higher than one year ago and in Pounds is 22% higher than a year ago.

Legal razor correctly points out that European vendors should subtract the VAT from orders sent outside the Euro Zone, e.g. to the U.S.  VAT is in the 18-20% range so it is significant.  Most vendors delete VAT - as they should - for orders to the U.S. but a few do not, thereby presumably pocketing the VAT collected as extra profit for themselves.

Over several years I have placed and received without difficulty numerous orders from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Ireland and the U.K. with good results.  But be careful to consider variations in exchange costs, VAT, etc. or you may end up paying considerably more than you anticipated.

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 05-14-2021, 06:19 AM
#5
  • Chappy
  • Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Great information!!  Will I see the VAT removed or not charged at least when I check out?  I want to support our sponsors but never bought anything outside of US.

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 05-14-2021, 07:47 AM
#6
  • Chappy
  • Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Pulled the trigger and took advantage of the shave cream/soap sale from one of our sponsors.  Will check on others at a later time.

Thanks all!!   Biggrin

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 05-14-2021, 08:13 AM
#7
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Please be advised that you run the risk of being hit with customs charges. That is not something the vendor can control, that is the US customs. Likewise, I, as a European, will have to pay customs when ordering in the US.

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 05-14-2021, 09:34 AM
#8
  • Chappy
  • Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Really?  Didn't think about that.  Guess there is still a learning curve.  Thanks for the warning!

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 05-14-2021, 10:39 AM
#9
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(05-14-2021, 09:34 AM)Chappy Wrote: Really?  Didn't think about that.  Guess there is still a learning curve.  Thanks for the warning!

Chappy,  FWIW my experience re customs with many orders is that I have never been charged a penny.  But apparently European recipients of packages from the U.S. are charged duties, sometimes substantial amounts.

When sent by postal service (rather than, say, FedEx) the package seems to sit in a USPS customs station in NY or SF for several days and is then forwarded to me.  I assume they x-ray the package to make sure it doesn't look like contraband but I have never had a packaged opened for inspection.

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 05-14-2021, 04:18 PM
#10
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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(05-14-2021, 10:39 AM)Mazama Wrote:
(05-14-2021, 09:34 AM)Chappy Wrote: Really?  Didn't think about that.  Guess there is still a learning curve.  Thanks for the warning!

Chappy,  FWIW my experience re customs with many orders is that I have never been charged a penny.  But apparently European recipients of packages from the U.S. are charged duties, sometimes substantial amounts.

When sent by postal service (rather than, say, FedEx) the package seems to sit in a USPS customs station in NY or SF for several days and is then forwarded to me.  I assume they x-ray the package to make sure it doesn't look like contraband but I have never had a packaged opened for inspection.

Yep, same experience for me as well. Also, I’ve received packages pre-pandemic from UK and Spain that arrived in a week (or in one case 6 days!). Mid-pandemic, a month.

True story. A year or so ago I mailed a package to Norway. That took 3 1/2 ish weeks iirc. In September 2020 I sent the same size pkg to Portugal. It sat in customs for MONTHS. One day it appeared on my doorstep. I took that box and stuffed it another just a wee bit larger and sent it out again, this time with tracking. Approximately 6 months after I originally sent the package it was finally received in Portugal. Lesson learned for me is don’t ship overseas without tracking info.

P.s. sorry for the hijack. Carry on.

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 05-14-2021, 04:59 PM
#11
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I’m US based and have bought from Germany, UK, Italy, and Spain - and haven’t been hit with customs. In general, I’ve had very good experiences purchasing globally - though I have confined my activities to purchasing directly from trusted vendors

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 05-14-2021, 08:24 PM
#12
  • Chappy
  • Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Thanks guys!  The wait has started.....

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 05-15-2021, 08:19 AM
#13
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I live in Russia and I also had the experience of receiving parcels from the USA and Europe. Even at the peak of the pandemic, parcels from Portugal and the Netherlands arrived in Russia in 2-3 weeks. Parcels from Spain took 55-60 days. The longest package came to me from the USA, the delivery time was 90 days, but it was an untraceable package. However, other parcels from the USA were delivered in 3-4 weeks through USPS. This virus is to blame for everything ... When the seller provides a track number, it is very convenient. I’m even always willing to pay for it.

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 05-15-2021, 02:05 PM
#14
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(05-14-2021, 10:39 AM)Mazama Wrote:
(05-14-2021, 09:34 AM)Chappy Wrote: Really?  Didn't think about that.  Guess there is still a learning curve.  Thanks for the warning!

Chappy,  FWIW my experience re customs with many orders is that I have never been charged a penny.  But apparently European recipients of packages from the U.S. are charged duties, sometimes substantial amounts.

When sent by postal service (rather than, say, FedEx) the package seems to sit in a USPS customs station in NY or SF for several days and is then forwarded to me.  I assume they x-ray the package to make sure it doesn't look like contraband but I have never had a packaged opened for inspection.

Technically, you are supposed to self report just as you are supposed to report use tax if ordering from another state.

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 05-15-2021, 02:38 PM
#15
  • Chappy
  • Member
  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Self report, huh?  You bet I'll get right on that.   Angel

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 05-15-2021, 03:44 PM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(05-15-2021, 02:38 PM)Chappy Wrote: Self report, huh?  You bet I'll get right on that.   Angel

Because people don't self report, there is a push to make vendors collect sales tax for states they do not have a physical presence in. There has also been a push to require US vendors to collect VAT from EU customers. I hope it does not come to that as it would be a  PITA. The fact is, states are losing a ton of revenue.

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 05-15-2021, 03:55 PM
#17
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I always ask if the seller can offer an alternative to the Global Shipping Program frequently used by Ebay vendors (without their even realising). It's exorbitant, slow, confusing and just generally a vast rip-off. IMHO. It also doesn't usually indicate that there is more than one charge: from the vendor to the local postal service, then from there to organisations like Pitney Bowes. The tracking is also messy, silly and nonsensical, where items seem to float all around the country (especially if it a US sale) before even leaving shore. Paypal is useful, but currency exchange rates are poor.

I am also now charged 10% tax on items for ALL those charges because it is a tax not only on goods, but on services. 

In other words: I don't buy overseas goods much any more, if ever. The associated costs to me are very often greater than for the cost of the item itself.

Caveat Emptor.

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