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Comments ePacket or EMS for lower custom fees?

  • GodlikeSascha10 days ago#85063771snip
    Wowee, compared to most services I've been using, that sounds excellent all around. Definitely have to try 'em out as soon as I can, sincere gratitude for the elucidation!
    10 days ago
    syuro10 days ago#85062457Interesting stuff, thank you for sharing! Also, you can order through Amazon JP without a proxy now? I recall searching about that like 5 years ago and I was out of luck, had to go with a really expensive proxy instead. Most stuff I want usually shows up cheaper there than on eBay for example, plus pre-charged customs fees sounds holy. I assume you just sign up a JP Amazon account, add your addresses, purchase and then Amazon handles the rest? I'll definitely have to look into it once I'm less poor.

    You can buy without a proxy, but only stuff that ships directly from or is fulfilled by Amazon will ship outside the country, barring any restrictions from Japan Post, your country's postal system, or sometimes Amazon itself (I had one figure that wouldn't ship to Canada out of 10+ in the last couple years so this is rare). Anything from a third-party seller not fulfilled by Amazon still requires a proxy. If you're in doubt the website will tell you if something can ship to your address or not.

    Amazon JP uses a different system for accounts than the other Amazon sites so you do need a separate account there - my regular account that I use for Amazon CA and FR doesn't work for JP. You can use the same email and password though. After that, it's the same as any other Amazon site, you add your address and payment card and you're good to go.

    Pre-charged customs are awesome, as is their low shipping (I paid 1200 JPY to ship ITEM #27602 when Amiami and etc. was asking for 8-9K). Often Amazon actually overestimates customs by a few dollars; if that's the case, you'll get an email a few weeks after delivery saying they overestimated the customs charge and the amount they'll refund. The refund posts to your card after a couple days. The most I recall paying for customs was 2K JPY, and the refunds I got were usually between 200 to 500 JPY.
    10 days ago
    GodlikeSascha10 days ago#85061816snip
    Interesting stuff, thank you for sharing! Also, you can order through Amazon JP without a proxy now? I recall searching about that like 5 years ago and I was out of luck, had to go with a really expensive proxy instead. Most stuff I want usually shows up cheaper there than on eBay for example, plus pre-charged customs fees sounds holy. I assume you just sign up a JP Amazon account, add your addresses, purchase and then Amazon handles the rest? I'll definitely have to look into it once I'm less poor.
    10 days ago
    Canadian here, and I don't recall ever having to pay customs with ePacket. EMS happens often enough that I don't use it anymore unless I absolutely have to, like if it's due to box size or something along those lines. If I order anything larger than 1/8 scale or know the box will be huge, I try to get it on Amazon JP when I can, because their shipping is super cheap and they pre-charge customs fees so there's no surprises when you get your package.

    Typically, the bigger the box and the higher the value, the more likely it is that I'll get a customs charge. Not always the case, though; I just got a ~70 CAD package from France with a customs fee but have regularly received packages from the UK that are worth three times as much with no fees. When I order from Japan, if it's EMS I often have to pay customs, ePacket never, and SAL... maybe once if at all. Highest I ever paid was 85 CAD on a ~600 CAD Amiami order back in 2015 or maybe 2016? - it was about the same amount as the shipping fee. I've stopped combining my Amiami orders partly due to customs, the annoyance of receiving multiple packages at once is worth it to avoid customs.

    In Canada the customs fee is based on the contents of the package (what it's declared as) and the value of the contents in CAD (converted from the original currency), the shipping cost isn't part of the equation. CBSA charges a 9,95$ handling fee for every package, though, which can be annoying for some items. On my recent package from France, half the customs fee was really the stupid handling fee. :/
    10 days ago
    Xenora10 days ago#85059395Austrian here!
    From my countless experiences, shipping methods make NO difference in Austria.
    You pay +20% for everything above 22€ PLUS an additional 10€ post fee.
    If the article costs above 150€, you pay "real" customs as well. They should be 5% or so. (I actually don't know the exact percentage)
    If your article is below 150€ but above 22, it is smart to choose the CHEAPEST shipping method. This is because you pay +20% for both article worth AND shipping together. :(
    Customs are very strict for me. I've never had a parcel go through undetected. Everything above 22€ I've had to pay additional fees for. The extra 10€ for post fees sting the most...
    My best friend from Vienna had a few parcels that she didn't have to pay for, though, so depending on your location, you might get lucky!

    Yeah, customs are frustratingly strict here. A bit off topic, but when I was nearly about to order a bag from a private Japanese seller once which is known for their worldwide shipping and great customer support, they actually informed and heavily advised against me buying from them due to 'extremely high customs in my area'. They didn't charge me anything in the end, but I was honestly baffled they basically recommended me not to buy from them just because of customs.. Maybe they had complaints from Austrians that didn't know about the fees?

    Either way, the figure I ordered was 180€ in total and rather big, around 40cm tall, so ultimately I don't think I'll get away with anything. I'm very broke right now and won't have a job for an even longer time thanks to this stupid world situation we're in, so there's not much for me to do but hope, wait and see haha. Thank you for your comment!
    10 days ago
    Austrian here!

    From my countless experiences, shipping methods make NO difference in Austria.

    You pay +20% for everything above 22€ PLUS an additional 10€ post fee.

    If the article costs above 150€, you pay "real" customs as well. They should be 5% or so. (I actually don't know the exact percentage)

    If your article is below 150€ but above 22, it is smart to choose the CHEAPEST shipping method. This is because you pay +20% for both article worth AND shipping together. :(

    Customs are very strict for me. I've never had a parcel go through undetected. Everything above 22€ I've had to pay additional fees for. The extra 10€ for post fees sting the most...

    My best friend from Vienna had a few parcels that she didn't have to pay for, though, so depending on your location, you might get lucky!
    10 days ago
    Difference is also the administration costs (which is the most awful thing about customs fees in my opinion).
    It could be different per country but here in the Netherlands when using EMS or any other express fast shipping method you pay about 17,50 Euro administration fees and for slower shipping it's about 12,- Euro.

    This is the reason why I like shipping methods such as transi-logistics on Nippon-Yasan (currently unavailable) and amazon shipping with nin-nin games and amazon themselves
    they send stuff in bundles to the EU so this way you save money on those awful administration fees and it's also completely legal.
    And on Amazon they also remove the JP tax which is how it should be.
    11 days ago
    syuro11 days ago#85031035Whoops, forgot! I'm located in EU/Austria.
    What we speak of as "customs fee" here is strictly speaking isn't that. What you are paying in most cases is the VAT, that is Value Added Tax. This is the same tax, that you are paying on top of the price of every goods inside your country. It's determined in a percentage, and it can be different for different kinds of goods, but it's largely the same for most kinds. And then it's different for different countries. For example the base value added tax percentage is 27% where I live (which is actually your neighboring country on the east btw :) ).

    At the moment you only need to pay VAT if the value of the goods exceed 22 Euros. If it's under that you don't need to pay anything extra. This can differ for different EU countries. (For example in Hungary there is a certain legal loophole that effectively raises this limit to 37 Euros.) And it differs too whether you need to count the shipping fee into the value or not.

    And then on top of the VAT there is the actual customs duty, which only applies from a much higher value, which is 150 Euros. And even then it's a much lower percentage than the VAT. If I remember correctly this is just a few percents, I never had the need to pay this.

    You can read more information here: ec.europa.eu/ta...

    (Btw this limit for the VAT will be supposedly abolished from some time next year, and from then on you'll need to pay VAT for everything without exception.)

    As for the shipping methods, you can check availability here: www.post.japanp...

    According to the information here ePacket seems to be belonging to two kind of actual shipping methods. So what's offered in that store must be the kind that is actually Air shipping, because the other one belongs to SAL, which is suspended.

    As for the experience with the methods... I obviously can only speak for what's valid in my country, so you better read the following part just like a fictional story or something :)

    While supposedly you'd need to pay VAT in every case when the value of your order exceeds that certain limit in your country, in practice it's missed frequently. In practice packages for certain shipping methods arrive in such big amount that it's impossible to check and handle each and every of them, or at least something like this. What is certain that with some shipping methods almost every or most packages comes through without the need to pay VAT, while with certain methods it can be assured that they'll check it and you'll need to pay with a 100% chance.
    For example EMS, DHL, and any kind of "Parcel" are such methods.
    With ePacket I only have experience with the "Lite" version, which supposedly was belonging to SAL, and this had something like a 10% chance to be checked/handled in customs. Which didn't necessarily meant that you'd need to pay, because they'd pull in even such packages that were under actually under the limit. But you had needed to fill out a form, and send in copies of documents to authorities about your payment to prove how much you've actually paid for it.

    If it's a new shop, maybe you could ask about the availability of other shipping methods? Because there is a bunch of others that are currently available to the EU. For example Air shipping, which arrives in about two weeks. (Air Small Packet is another shipping method that slips through easily). And then there is Surface which is supposedly shipped by sea, and they arrive in around two months, and this is the cheapest.
    11 days ago
    webwaste11 days ago#85031276i've bought a lot of things and had them shipped using epacket recently and my stuff never got stuck in customs. for ems i almost always have to pay extra.
    as to answer your question the customs fee gets calculated from your order total so the shipping method doesn't really matter if theyre about the same price.

    Sweet, that's great to hear. I keep hearing horror stories of people's stuff getting stuck nowadays, which hasn't happened to me yet either but I've only made two smaller orders from Japan this year. Here's hoping all goes well for another time.
    11 days ago
    i've bought a lot of things and had them shipped using epacket recently and my stuff never got stuck in customs. for ems i almost always have to pay extra.

    as to answer your question the customs fee gets calculated from your order total so the shipping method doesn't really matter if theyre about the same price.
    11 days ago
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