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Author Topic: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?  (Read 340 times)

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Online MidnightRarity

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How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« on: January 18, 2018, 02:46:04 AM »
Hey y'all!

So I have never shipped internationally before, and I was wondering, how does the whole process go? I have an idea, but I really just want to make extra sure since I don't want anything bad to happen!

I live in the United States, if that's any help.

Thanks, and I am sorry if i'm being too vague!
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Offline Skeen

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 04:44:17 PM »
It's like all other shipping, you just fill out a customs form saying what's in the box, how much it's worth, and where it's going.  And then pay out the nose, lol!

Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 11:58:50 PM »
Hi there,

The main difference is that you have to fill out a customs form.  They have them at the post office.  :)

Customs forms ask for:

- sender's name and address
- addressee's name and address
- contents of package (not too detailed because they provide a very small space for it--something like "plastic toys" or "toy ponies" is fine)
- the value of the contents
- you check a box to indicate gift or merchandise . . . I check the merchandise box if I'm selling a pony.
- and your signature and the date

That is really the only difference in the process. :)

Bring a pen because sometimes people have stolen them from the post office, ha ha.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 02:11:22 PM »
As an international buyer, I'm going to just go over the gift and merchandise box thing more because sometimes it causes contention and causes sellers in the US to stop selling internationally because of these misunderstandings. The US doesn't charge individuals for importing items, so it can cause confusion when it happens with something being sent out.

In the case of selling an item - you put on the form the price the buyer paid for it, not including shipping.
Customs will factor in the shipping cost but they will do that from the shipping label. Value of item is literally the exact value paid, in $US. It doesn't matter what the currency is of the country it is going to - you need to put it in the currency you sold it in, it's the job of the foreign border customs to figure out the conversion, not you :)

You MUST tick merchandise if you sold the item. In the UK we have an 'other' box as well, still don't know what that is for - and possibly also 'commercial sample', but if it's a straight choice between 'merchandise' and 'gift', the basic rule of thumb is...

If someone paid you for it, it's merchandise.
If no money is involved, it's a gift.


It is illegal to tick gift if it is a sale in which money changed hands. While it's dubious as to whether second hand toys really impact on the national tax revenue, mail fraud is still mail fraud. So if it's a sale, tick merchandise, put the sale value, and you have done your absolute duty by the buyer and the law.

Buyers can still be charged fees for gifts but the threshold is higher which is why sometimes buyers ask.

Sometimes international buyers don't understand that custom fees are their government's fault, not the fault of the seller. Those buyers annoy me because they complain and kick up a fuss and then US sellers get shy of sending abroad. If a buyer has fees and challenges you about them, refer them to their country's border agency for more information (in terms of the UK, that would be HMRC, but I don't know about others). It might be worth stating in your description that buyers are responsible for all custom fees and charges and that you won't tick gift for a purchase because it's against the law.

Overall, this stuff doesn't really cause a problem so long as you know the rules relating to it.
Sellers are not liable for any custom fees BUT you must be accurate with the amount you put on the form. If you received $60 for the pony, then it's a $60 pony. If you received $18.88 then it's an $18.88 pony. ;)

Contrary to rumour, most international buyers are well used to the system, the fees and so on. I've been buying from the US myself since 1998...I hate to think how many custom fees I've paid in that time, but it's a part of getting ponies and things I can't get here, so it's worth doing. And as angry as I get at HMRC and the mail for the custom charges, I'm always grateful to the seller who was willing to ship to me even though I was overseas. :)

Shipping abroad can be expensive but most buyers expect that to be the case. It might be an idea asking buyers to check with you about shipping charges before bidding or making an offer :)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 02:13:52 PM by Taffeta »
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Online MidnightRarity

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 04:54:00 PM »
It's like all other shipping, you just fill out a customs form saying what's in the box, how much it's worth, and where it's going.  And then pay out the nose, lol!

Thank you so much for the help!
Hello! :D

Online MidnightRarity

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 04:54:17 PM »
Hi there,

The main difference is that you have to fill out a customs form.  They have them at the post office.  :)

Customs forms ask for:

- sender's name and address
- addressee's name and address
- contents of package (not too detailed because they provide a very small space for it--something like "plastic toys" or "toy ponies" is fine)
- the value of the contents
- you check a box to indicate gift or merchandise . . . I check the merchandise box if I'm selling a pony.
- and your signature and the date

That is really the only difference in the process. :)

Bring a pen because sometimes people have stolen them from the post office, ha ha.

Thank you! This helped me out a lot!
Hello! :D

Online MidnightRarity

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2018, 04:55:24 PM »
As an international buyer, I'm going to just go over the gift and merchandise box thing more because sometimes it causes contention and causes sellers in the US to stop selling internationally because of these misunderstandings. The US doesn't charge individuals for importing items, so it can cause confusion when it happens with something being sent out.

In the case of selling an item - you put on the form the price the buyer paid for it, not including shipping.
Customs will factor in the shipping cost but they will do that from the shipping label. Value of item is literally the exact value paid, in $US. It doesn't matter what the currency is of the country it is going to - you need to put it in the currency you sold it in, it's the job of the foreign border customs to figure out the conversion, not you :)

You MUST tick merchandise if you sold the item. In the UK we have an 'other' box as well, still don't know what that is for - and possibly also 'commercial sample', but if it's a straight choice between 'merchandise' and 'gift', the basic rule of thumb is...

If someone paid you for it, it's merchandise.
If no money is involved, it's a gift.


It is illegal to tick gift if it is a sale in which money changed hands. While it's dubious as to whether second hand toys really impact on the national tax revenue, mail fraud is still mail fraud. So if it's a sale, tick merchandise, put the sale value, and you have done your absolute duty by the buyer and the law.

Buyers can still be charged fees for gifts but the threshold is higher which is why sometimes buyers ask.

Sometimes international buyers don't understand that custom fees are their government's fault, not the fault of the seller. Those buyers annoy me because they complain and kick up a fuss and then US sellers get shy of sending abroad. If a buyer has fees and challenges you about them, refer them to their country's border agency for more information (in terms of the UK, that would be HMRC, but I don't know about others). It might be worth stating in your description that buyers are responsible for all custom fees and charges and that you won't tick gift for a purchase because it's against the law.

Overall, this stuff doesn't really cause a problem so long as you know the rules relating to it.
Sellers are not liable for any custom fees BUT you must be accurate with the amount you put on the form. If you received $60 for the pony, then it's a $60 pony. If you received $18.88 then it's an $18.88 pony. ;)

Contrary to rumour, most international buyers are well used to the system, the fees and so on. I've been buying from the US myself since 1998...I hate to think how many custom fees I've paid in that time, but it's a part of getting ponies and things I can't get here, so it's worth doing. And as angry as I get at HMRC and the mail for the custom charges, I'm always grateful to the seller who was willing to ship to me even though I was overseas. :)

Shipping abroad can be expensive but most buyers expect that to be the case. It might be an idea asking buyers to check with you about shipping charges before bidding or making an offer :)

Thank you so much for your help! I didn't know a majority of these things, so I am very grateful you took time to help me out! I will refer back to this in the future as well!   ^.^
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: How does Shipping Internationally from the US work?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 05:25:43 PM »
You're welcome. Thank you for taking the time to find out and for being willing to consider shipping out of country :)
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