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Ebay & Customs

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by kiss_the_future, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Im sure there are a few people who have purchased riding gear off ebay. My question is, did you have to a pay customs fee?

    Does anyone know how you can avoid a customs fee?...someone suggested to me that when you purchase the goods dont get a tracking number put on your order, and also have the sender write on the package that makes it sound like its a gift to a loved one overseas. This way customs wont see it as purchased goods.

    Anyone know about this idea..or has some insight on the whole customs fees?
  2. I looked at getting around the whole customs thing a while ago but it isn't easy - not sure how you could package something up as a gift - maybe get someone OS to buy it and then send it on rather than it coming from a store?

    As well as customs fees my experience says you will have to pay GST (10%) as well when it lands. Depending on the value of the goods it may be worth getting a customs agent to do all the dirty work for you - but that is another cost.

    Check out


    Send them an e-mail with all your questions - I found them helpful.
  3. The better option is to mark it as "replacement goods" then customs assume that you have already imported teh item and piad duty the "first time" it landed in Aus.

    Most ebay people that I buy from mark the item as "gift" and I havent had a problerm.
  4. OK the list goes.. Braded lines from the UK no probs
    Tinted screen from the US no probs
    Double bubble screen US no probs
    Books and shoes and clothing US and UK no probs
    Swiss army knife ...Poland no probs
    Plus the SO has purchase over seas from E-bay and had ..no probs.
    Maybe we just been lucky but it seems if you ain't tryin' to bring in quantities you ain't got a problem :)
  5. I bought my jacket from a store in the US...everything was fine until i visited my local post office and there was a fee of an extra $100 waiting for me.

    Im looking at purchasing some boots from the same seller...just looking at options to avoid that customs fee. If i get charged the customs fee for my boots it will work out to be the same price as retail.
  6. Gifts are subject to import duties. Clothing is also subject to import duties. Recently, the missus ordered some secret women's clothing from JC Penney in the US. When it arrived at the local PO, I had to pay $80 duties before the goods would be released to me.

    We've also ordered a heap of DVDs from Amazon and other sources overseas. To date none of them have been intercepted and duties levied on them.

    A mate at work has been purchasing MP3 players from Hong Kong. He usually limits each order to under $1,000, as this appears to be a threshold before charges are imposed.
  7. I've bought cheapish things from overseas and never had any issues with customs/tax.
  8. what was the declared value of the item?
  9. The jacket cost me all up $500 with the customs fee.
  10. also depend wether it comes thru a customs agnt or the postal service, the postal gives you a grand before you cop gst and customs
    and the agent is 250 before you get them.
  11. Going through agents/ commercial freight forwarder means it's a COMMERCIAL import (business to business), they do NOT handle private imports. Tax and a zillion other fees payable from the first $.

    Personal "import" via Post/ UPS etc up to $500 tax-free, above that everything from the first $ is taxable.
  12. This is where my statement came from
    source: http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4376

    This site will give you any info required on customs
  14. Whenever I order stuff from overseas, usual the US, I try and ensure that it's shipped via the US Postal Service, Airmail, etc. and delivered here in Oz via Australia Post.

    A couple of times that I've had stuff sent via UPS or Fedex, it's usually been held up in customs, or I've had to pay duty on the stuff.

    For some reason, when sent via the 2 country's respective post offices, I've never had to pay any government fees on the goods.

    Maybe it's coincidence. I'm not sure. But it seems to reflect what you've said above.

    Oh, and if I can help it, I never have anything shipped domestically using commercial carriers. I've never had one delivery that wasn't delayed, or lost with McPhee's being the worst. They shipped 2 grand's worth of musical instruments down from QLD. A week later they hadn't arrived. I rang the store where we bought the stuff. It was shipped on such and such a date, I was told. I ended up ringing McPhees. Best contact the local depot, they said. OK. Rang them. Sure enough, it was sitting there. They couldn't find my address. So they decided to have it sit there relying on me to eventually chase it up. I drove round to pick it up (they are 2 mins. from home). When I collected the boxes, I noted that my contact details were on the shipping slips. Why didn't you people just ring me to find out where I lived? Duh, dunno....

    Anyway, a stern letter to McPhees and Allens Music was sent off.....

    I notice that McPhees is still in business...
  15. I always order accessories or parts for my Scooter from UK, it's cheaper even with shipping cost. I don't think I need to pay custom for any of them. I think unless you buy a big amount or the value of that item over few thousands A$, then they might charge you custom fees if they found that out.

  16. Hey Guys

    I get stuff from the states all the time cause it's so much cheaper especially the "on sale" items. eg Alpinestars full leather suit $800 shipped. The same suit would cost me around $1500 here. Customs will generally charge you duty for items that are worth $400AUD or more and also undisirable items such as smokes and booze. I always instruct the retailer to put the value of the goods down as $200US no matter what. You do that and you will have no problems.


  17. I received a letter in the mail today saying that my package is held up at customs...at tullamarine.

    I told the buyer to send the item as a gift, but he actually declared the value of the item and it exceeds the $1000 threshold.

    I received info explaining the delay but its just confussing. There are these forms to complete with the title "registering as a client in the intergrated cargo system" which i have no idea about.

    Is there anyone else that has been in this situation and can point me in the right direction?
  18. I used to bring in lots of hard-to-get car parts (for my own use). Once I got caught out because the sender didn't underestimate the value as I requested (or didn't split it up - another option).
    I took the forms in to customs, partly completed and went through an interview type process (takes a loooonnng time, mostly waiting). Basically, they are assuming that you are importing for business purposes. In the end they helped me through the forms, gave me a verbal dressing down for not doing things "properly", charged me duty and gave me my stuff.
    In those days it worked out that if you kept the value of any particluar shipment to under $200 (no doubt the limit has changed), it would go straight through, but if it was over that mount it would get caught up in the system.
    Ring their office and make a time to go in, be patient and schmooze your way through. It's not hard that way, just slow.
  19. This is the last thing i need, to wait even longer. Should i complete the forms sent out to me or just call them up and do it over the phone?
  20. What I would do is fill out the forms as much as you can, take them in to their office (expect this to take a couple of hours, at least) and be polite but just make a general nuisance of yourself asking (relevant) questions until they either help you fill it out or give you your stuff. Expect to pay duty either way.
    Hopefully the letter gives you details of where your stuff actually is. Go there yourself. You won't get anywhere on the phone - they'll just fob you off.