On 2013-10-24 5:25 AM, Dr Rainer E. Lotz wrote:
> Sending USPS International Priority to overseas customers is an enormous
> nuisance:
> While letter post will be delivered straight away, traceable packets
> must go through customs, where both import duties and value added tax
> will be charged.
> One would have to pick up the packet at the customs house, which in my
> case means travelling up to an hour by car during a working day, then
> join a long queue.
> The alternative is to email customs the invoice, and ebay numbers (since
> for some inexplicable reason American sellers tend to never attach the
> invoice on the OUTSIDE of the packet, as required).
> My local customs office (in western Germany) then sends everything by
> mail to a central customs office some 600 km away (at the far end of
> eastern Germany), where it will be processed further. This normally
> requires another fortnight (!) until the goods finally arrive at my home
> -- with a customs invoice which has to be paid cash to the mailman...
> On top of that, USPS Priority Mail charges are about double the charges
> for regular uninsured letter airmail. And the advantage of airmail is
> brought ad absurdum by this bureaucratic delay.
> I therefore always URGE American sellers to send items as letters, not
> packets, and adjust the invoices accordingly. I am prepared to bear the
> risk of not being able to track the item (an alternative would be to
> send by registered mail).
> I just won two items from the same seller. I received what might be an
> automatically generated invoice, charging the postage twice, and
> stipulating USPS international priority mail.
> I then contacted the seller:
> "Could you please check the charges for combined shipping?
> I prefer regular airmail, NOT USPS Priority Mail, because a packet will
> always have to pass customs while letter post is unproblematic, and
> cheaper."
> The seller answered:
> "Here is the message I receive from eBay when I try to invoice your
> transactions -
> "you can't send invoice for this order .
> The item(s) will ship using the Global Shipping Program. As part of the
> program, buyer directly pays international shipping and import charges
> to the third-party shipping provider. The buyer will still be able to
> complete checkout even if you don't send an invoice."
> It sounds like you will be hearing from the Third Party Shipper employed
> by eBay as to the shipping charges owed. Hopefully you will be able to
> work it out with them. Sorry I can't be of any additional help. Thank
> you for bidding."
> This sounds rather strange to me, actually, this never happened to me
> before. Does any one have an explanation? What can I do?

Hello Dr. Lotz,

This MAY be a plus for you in Germany. I know it's a plus for me in 
Canada. Many US sellers (including eBay) have worked with Canada Post 
and other carriers to set up systems where they can collect the HST 
(similar to VAT) and the package sails through customs with no delay.

For example, I just received a package from Mouser Electronics and for 
$20 they covered the import fees and got it to me next day via FedEx.

It has been difficult for the individual to partake of these benefits, 
but it looks as if eBay is offering this to their sellers in the US now.

I purchased several pieces of equipment which came through this way. 
Relatively fast and no Canada Customs issues.

Please let us know how it works in Germany.

By the way, Canada has set up postal outlets (essentially kiosks in 
variety stores) and closed many post offices. If monies are owed, you 
get a card and you go to the postal outlet (which often has extended 
hours because the store does) which is typically only a few km away 
(ours is 1 km away with a generous parking lot) and the lines are 
usually short.

Sending via Canada Post has become the preferred method to the USA. I'm 
seeing packages delivered in four days now using the lower-cost 
"Expedited Parcel" service. It seems that it becomes a "Priority Parcel" 
in the US and is delivered within two days there. Unfortunately, a 
priority parcel to Canada takes up to a week to be acknowledged by the 
Canadian side, but you can watch tracking via both the Canada Post and 
USPS web sites.

Marvelous things appear to be happening, albeit slowly...but prices keep 
going up. It will be interesting to see how this works for you.


-- Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask] 
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800 Quality tape transfers -- 
even from hard-to-play tapes.