eBay Question (paying customs & duty?)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Every now and then I'm tempted to buy MRR items on eBay from international sellers -- mainly from the UK or USA -- but I'm leery about having to pay duty or customs.

    Just wondering if many Gauge members (especially fellow Canadians) have ever bought locos, rolling stock or similar items on eBay from other countries.

    Have you had to pay extra tax/duty/customs fees and, if so, how much?

    I want to buy an old used loco (for parts) that might sell for around $20 to $40.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Ive bought from sellers located in Canada before and did not have to pay anything outrageous, most of the time, the shipping is a bit higher then if i bought something from a seller in the USA but i have never had anytime where i had to pay anything extra besides slightly higher shipping charges.

    I am an active seller on e-bay as well and all my auctions i list that i do ship outside the USA and welcome out of country buyers. I only charge what it takes me to ship the item (s) to them. Ive shipped to Canada, Ireland, Australia, and Singapore. Canada Shipping was not all that bad but the others were quite expensive because they were heavy items traveling over seas. Think the most was a Flat Rate Box going to Ireland and it was $52 including insurance.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Josh. This gives me an idea. I suspect that I'd be OK buying something costing around $20-$60 (from the US or UK) then. As you say, higher shipping costs are probably the biggest expense.
    Cheers, Rob
  4. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

    I have bought from the USA many times and it seems to be hit and miss whether you pay for customs and duty or not. Depending on what the seller classifies the item as. By checking the box marked gift, or samples then there is no duty charged. However if the seller is a business for tax reasons they cant always do this. Then you get charged.

    The time I bought a loco for about $60 I think the duty was $12.

    For the Canada post requirements see section 3.2 of this link http://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/pgcustoms-e.asp#1382755
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks ... I'm checking that website as well. I've bought a few things from the US (a model part for a diesel costing less than $5) and similar items, books and decals from the UK (costing from $20 to $50) without having to pay customs or duty. But it might be different if I buy a loco for $50-$60. Thanks for your help. Rob
  6. WReid

    WReid Member

    I have lost count of the number of times I made purchases from the US via ebay. All you may have to pay is any Canadian taxes ( Ontario would be the PST and GST ). Canada Post will also charge you a $5.00 customs fee. I have never paid any other fees. The good news is about half or maybe a little more than half of the packages I have received from the US have came across the border tax and customs fee free.I just received a $105 order from a hobby shop in the US and paid nothing.No taxes or customs fees.
    One word of caution.Make sure you have anything you buy sent by mail.Avoid auctions where they only ship UPS or any other courrier.You will pay the taxes for sure and get nailed with a brokerage fee.The fees can be $20 and up.I bought a locomotive for $120 once and it was shipped UPS.The taxes were not to bad but the $45 brokerage fee ruined a good deal as did the surprise $30 shipping cost.
    Also if you are buying on ebay always check the sellers feedback.Ones with lots of recent negative feedback can lead to a bad experience.Do not be afraid to ask questions and ask for more pictures if the ones in the auction listing are not clear.If no shipping cost is given ask for a rough cost.That way if you are the winner you are not surprised by a shocking shipping cost.

    Wayne Reid
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Wayne! I especially appreciate the feedback re mailing vs. couriering. I'll ensure that anything I buy is mailed. Cheers, Rob
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I buy train supplies from American manufacturers, and it's usually Canadian taxes only - anything made in the USA or Mexico is duty-free. If they decide to open the package and there's a lot of non-NAFTA produced goods, I suppose they could charge you duty. I had an incident last spring when a friend sent me a loco for repair - I was charged over $70.00 in taxes on it and it took me over four months to get some of my money back. This occurred even though the package was clearly marked "Parts for Repair". I made the repair and mailed it back the next day. :rolleyes: I'm still fighting with them over that one, and they've apparently flagged me, as everything, even low-value packages, is being held for taxes. Forget that container load of illegal immigrants with guns and drugs, get the guy with the choo-choos! :p:rolleyes::curse::curse::curse:

  9. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Wayne ... that would be frustrating. It's crazy when they go after harmless people like MRR folk!

    At least it seems that the only things I might have to worry about are taxes and higher shipping. I've bought a few MRR items from eBay (mostly within Canada) and have done fairly well.

    Cheers, Rob
  10. Don7

    Don7 Member

    If buying on e-bay make sure you check before the bid as to what the S&H charges are. Some vendors insist upon using the highest rates for USPS others cheaper rates. Also, make sure the vendor ships by USPS and not by Couriers. The Couriers such as UPS and FedEx have an expensive fee collected from the purchaser up and above their regular rates (A lot of Vendors are unaware of this practice).

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