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'[OT] transaction payments, was are there any issue'
2004\03\10@081358 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Let me tell you about the $4,000 I'm waiting 4 MONTHS so
>far from a "foreigners" company who DESPERATELY needed
>my old stock. BUT it had to be qualified, shipped overnight,
>tested at my site and their site, and they just can't seem
>to get the paperwork right to get me paid!
>After YEARS of this crap, even the slowest of us learn.
>And you bring up OUR implied inherent distrust of foreigners?

So whatever happened to requiring payment in advance - or maybe you have,
you don't actually say you have shipped this stuff yet.

I do remember when I started work some 30+ years ago, I ended up in the
store handling the incoming goods for the factory. All overseas sourced
items were paid in advance with an irrevocable bankers draft that the
supplier had to have in their hands before shipping, but they could not
convert into funds until a specified date, which was far enough into the
future that the delivery had arrived, typically 3 months. Using Paypal or
credit cards gives modern transactions similar payment in advance
facilities, while still giving the purchaser protection.

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2004\03\10@085552 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:12 PM 3/10/2004 +0000, you wrote:
> >Let me tell you about the $4,000 I'm waiting 4 MONTHS so
> >far from a "foreigners" company who DESPERATELY needed
> >my old stock. BUT it had to be qualified, shipped overnight,
> >tested at my site and their site, and they just can't seem
> >to get the paperwork right to get me paid!
> >After YEARS of this crap, even the slowest of us learn.
> >And you bring up OUR implied inherent distrust of foreigners?
>
>So whatever happened to requiring payment in advance - or maybe you have,
>you don't actually say you have shipped this stuff yet.
>
>I do remember when I started work some 30+ years ago, I ended up in the
>store handling the incoming goods for the factory. All overseas sourced
>items were paid in advance with an irrevocable bankers draft that the
>supplier had to have in their hands before shipping, but they could not
>convert into funds until a specified date, which was far enough into the
>future that the delivery had arrived, typically 3 months. Using Paypal or
>credit cards gives modern transactions similar payment in advance
>facilities, while still giving the purchaser protection.

It's called an "irrevocable letter of credit" or just LC. The overhead
costs are high enough that we don't tend to bother unless the risk gets
hard to stomach (over $20-30K). My bank has it automated, it can be handled
from my PC, but they have not reduced their fees. BTW, a friend used such a
financial instrument on an order from Russia and lost $2M. The correspondent
bank was unreliable (ahem, I could have told him how to deal with it, but it
was too late). One has to be careful in dealings with Asia and
Eastern Europe.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2004\03\11@014459 by James Newton, Host

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Watch out for PayPal... I don't know how it works for you shipping into the
US, but for me shipping out of the US, I've been burned more than once by
product that got "lost" in the mail. No amount of documentation will
convince PayPal that I really did send the stuff or that the customer did
receive it. I just have to eat the cost. So I limit the amount I'm willing
to risk, and absolutely require pre-payment by cash, check or money order
for larger orders.

PayPal is great other than that. And they just added the ability to print
and track USPS Priority and Express mail labels, so it really makes it easy.
Unless it has to go out of country... Then I have to do it all by hand.

There is also a sort of wave of paranoia in the USA right now (since 911)
which means that items I could have dropped in a mail box anywhere, for
shipment outside the US, will now require that I go to a post office,
identify myself and hand the package to a clerk. This is, of course, after
waiting in line for x minutes. Almost as bad as the DMV.

And you are right about the customs fee confusion... I really don't
understand how that works: I just fill out all the paper work. Usually that
is three different forms, to be filled out by hand (can't print them from a
computer) each with my address, the customer address and the value of the
item. But I do wish I could know what happens at the other end.

---
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{Original Message removed}

2004\03\11@024848 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> PayPal is great other than that. And they just added the
> ability to print
> and track USPS Priority and Express mail labels, so it really
> makes it easy.
> Unless it has to go out of country... Then I have to do it
> all by hand.

I don't use USPS and the info has to enter my administration system
anyway, so I print my labels from there (actually just another copy of
the invoice, I cut out the adress part).

> And you are right about the customs fee confusion... I really don't
> understand how that works: I just fill out all the paper
> work. Usually that
> is three different forms, to be filled out by hand (can't
> print them from a
> computer) each with my address, the customer address and the
> value of the
> item. But I do wish I could know what happens at the other end.

AFAIK in most countries a CN22 note is OK for small value packets. I
recall reciving packets from PHAnderson with just that CN22, so unless
the USA changed their rules you should be able to do just that.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\03\11@050223 by Mike Harrison

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On Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:44:53 -0800, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

For most items you just need a green CN22 label listing contents and value.
As for the other end, in the UK this is what happens : For items sent USPS : If the declared value is over GBP18 (merchandise) or GBP36 (gift) there is no duty.
If above this, then duty is added (depending on type of goods, a few % for most things), then VAT
(sales tax) at 17.5% on the declared value PLUS the value of attatched postage, then a Post office
handling fee (GBP4 I think). This money is collected before the item will be delivered (you usally
have to go to the sorting office).

There is zero chance of the sender getting into any sort of trouble for under-declaring the value on
the CN22, but the package could be opened and the value re-assessed at the destination. Therefore
declaring a very low value, and/or including an invoice in the package is not a good idea!

For items sent by UPS/Fedex etc., there is no duty-free threshold, and a handling fee of at least
GBP10 is charged. Items are usually delivered, then an invoice is sent. The legal enforcibility if
thses invoices is questionable as the recipient has no contract with the carrier, and if they refuse
to pay, the sender may end up getting charged. Therefore DO NOT USE UPS/FEDEX for international
shipments!!!!

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2004\03\11@050638 by Mike Harrison

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Oops...

>For items sent USPS :
>If the declared value is over GBP18 (merchandise) or GBP36 (gift) there is no duty.

..of course this should read ..under GBP18....

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2004\03\11@053410 by Alan B. Pearce

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>>For items sent USPS :
>>If the declared value is over GBP18 (merchandise) or GBP36 (gift) there is
no duty.
>
>..of course this should read ..under GBP18....

However from my experience having the powers that be actually collect any
duty and VAT is also dependant on the looks of the package. If it looks like
it is from a commercial source then it is almost definitely going to be
stopped and payment requested. If it looks like a privately sent package
there is a very good chance that it will come straight through despite
value. At least these are my experiences as a result of purchasing items on
eBay.com and having them sent to the UK.

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2004\03\11@062055 by Mike Harrison

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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 10:34:09 -0000, you wrote:

>>>For items sent USPS :
>>>If the declared value is over GBP18 (merchandise) or GBP36 (gift) there is
>no duty.
>>
>>..of course this should read ..under GBP18....
>
>However from my experience having the powers that be actually collect any
>duty and VAT is also dependant on the looks of the package. If it looks like
>it is from a commercial source then it is almost definitely going to be
>stopped and payment requested. If it looks like a privately sent package
>there is a very good chance that it will come straight through despite
>value. At least these are my experiences as a result of purchasing items on
>eBay.com and having them sent to the UK.

I've found it to be pretty random, with maybe 1 in 3 getting through - don't you just love our Post
Office..!

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2004\03\11@120620 by Howard Winter

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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 11:14:07 +0000, Mike Harrison wrote:

> > If it looks like it is from a commercial source then it is almost definitely going to be stopped and
payment requested. If it looks like a privately sent package there is a very good chance that it will come
straight through despite value. At least these are my experiences as a result of purchasing items on eBay.com
and having them sent to the UK.
>
> I've found it to be pretty random, with maybe 1 in 3 getting through

Yes, me too.  I've had $180 parcels with no charge and $50 ones where they have charged VAT (not duty though).
And although the Royal Mail charge £4 for collecting it, Parcelforce (stuff sent by USPS Parcel Air usually
comes to them) charge £8 or £13.50, depending on the amount.  And they won't collect it at the door - you have
to go there or pay online and they'll deliver it the next day.

> don't you just love our Post Office..!

It's not them, it's HM C&E - they decide whether to charge VAT etc (they have an office at the Mount Pleasant
sorting office in London, where the stuff comes in to be dealt with).  The Post Office just collect it.

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\03\11@121449 by Mike Harrison

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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 17:03:42 +0000, you wrote:

>On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 11:14:07 +0000, Mike Harrison wrote:
>
>> > If it looks like it is from a commercial source then it is almost definitely going to be stopped and
>payment requested. If it looks like a privately sent package there is a very good chance that it will come
>straight through despite value. At least these are my experiences as a result of purchasing items on eBay.com
>and having them sent to the UK.
>>
>> I've found it to be pretty random, with maybe 1 in 3 getting through
>
>Yes, me too.  I've had $180 parcels with no charge and $50 ones where they have charged VAT (not duty though).

For some things, like computer bits I think, there is no duty.
>And although the Royal Mail charge £4 for collecting it, Parcelforce (stuff sent by USPS Parcel Air usually
>comes to them) charge £8 or £13.50, depending on the amount.  And they won't collect it at the door - you have
>to go there or pay online and they'll deliver it the next day.
>
>> don't you just love our Post Office..!
>
>It's not them, it's HM C&E - they decide whether to charge VAT etc (they have an office at the Mount Pleasant
>sorting office in London, where the stuff comes in to be dealt with).  The Post Office just collect it.

... I've had a couple with customs 'Charge' stickers that the PO have forgotten to collect on.

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2004\03\11@121904 by Howard Winter

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James,

On Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:44:53 -0800, James Newton, Host wrote:

> Watch out for PayPal... I don't know how it works for you shipping into the
> US, but for me shipping out of the US, I've been burned more than once by
> product that got "lost" in the mail. No amount of documentation will
> convince PayPal that I really did send the stuff or that the customer did
> receive it.

Surely if you can prove that the customer received it, they have no claim against you in the first place?

> And you are right about the customs fee confusion... I really don't
> understand how that works: I just fill out all the paper work. Usually that
> is three different forms, to be filled out by hand (can't print them from a
> computer) each with my address, the customer address and the value of the
> item.

As others have said, a CN22 ("green sticker") is fine for small / inexpensive stuff.  I have a package here
from Peter Anderson that has "Electronic parts  $118" on it, and there was no problem.

> But I do wish I could know what happens at the other end.

Well Her Majesty's Customs & Excise will inspect it, and decide whether to:  (a) pass it on without further
ado  (b) levy a VAT charge based on what it says on the CN22  or (c) open it up and have a look.  If they find
an Invoice/Receipt/Whatever they will use the total on that to decide the VAT, and that includes the shipping
cost, handling charges, anything else - they charge 17.5% of the "bottom line".  If there is no documentation
but the contents clearly aren't as described, they can decide what it's worth and charge accordingly.

I've had people think they were helping by ticking the "gift" box (which doubles the tax-exempt floor) and
write a ridiculously low value, and then put an invoice inside with the real figures - if the parcel doesn't
look right, they'll open it up.  If a lot of things like that start arriving addressed to me, it will attract
their attention and if I am suspected of conspiring with the sender to defraud the Customs, I could end up
with free bed and board at Her Majesty's Pleasure!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\03\11@122319 by Howard Winter

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Mike,

On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 17:08:45 +0000, Mike Harrison wrote:

> ... I've had a couple with customs 'Charge' stickers
that the PO have forgotten to collect on.

That's nice - that means the Post Office paid it for
you!

I once had a parcel delivered by DHL (I think) and they
just stuck it through the door.  A week later I got an
invoice from them, for £10 in VAT plus £12.50 for them
to collect it.  I thought that was exhorbitant and told
them so, and after a couple of exchanges they forgot all
about it.

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\03\11@124642 by Mike Harrison

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On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 17:22:49 +0000, you wrote:

>Mike,
>
>On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 17:08:45 +0000, Mike Harrison wrote:
>
>> ... I've had a couple with customs 'Charge' stickers
>that the PO have forgotten to collect on.
>
>That's nice - that means the Post Office paid it for
>you!
>
>I once had a parcel delivered by DHL (I think) and they
>just stuck it through the door.  A week later I got an
>invoice from them, for £10 in VAT plus £12.50 for them
>to collect it.  I thought that was exhorbitant and told
>them so, and after a couple of exchanges they forgot all
>about it.

I think the situation is that you have to pay the duty part, but if you tell them to stuff their
fee, all they can do is go back to the sender. Of course this will piss the sender off, and you may
have trouble getting stuff delivered by them in the future...

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