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Old 04-17-2019   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightbenow View Post
Whenever I've bought anything off ebay it's been from a US seller. If I were to buy say a Leica lens from one of these japanese ebayers, how does import and all that work? Do I have to pay customs fees or anything? e.g. Lens I buy is around $3,000 USD shipping from Japan to Washington DC.

As long as the seller uses the EMS mail system, you should have no problem with duties. It's when they use a carrier like DHL that issues arise with duties and fees. That outfit is one step away from being a pirate organization.


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Old 04-17-2019   #42
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Just make sure the shipper uses the correct harmonized code. Freight companies often charge brokerage fees; if this is a problem for you, have the shipper use the post.
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Old 04-17-2019   #43
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I did notice the same drift apart between description and photographs of Japanese sellers on Ebay. Sometimes unfortunately, they are just the only option for certain items. Years back I had zero problems. I recently bought an older 50mm Nikkor pancake lens and while optics are fine, the focus ring was quite loose. Their descriptions are often abysmal and especially the word "mint" seems to translate in Japanese Ebay seller dictionaries to "barely working" now. What a pity. My favourite sentence is: "no problem in the shooting". Yes, please.
Trying seller Fuji-San-ya now with a "Mint in Box" description. The item did not arrive yet. Don't tell me it is a bad one
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Old 04-18-2019   #44
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Just to continue this theme, about 1 month ago I ordered from a Japanese ebay seller a Nikon S2 rangefinder with 50mm f2 lens. The description said body with minor scuffs and the lens had a 'little dust'. The photos seemed to agree with the description so I ordered.

What arrived earlier today was a Nikon S2 rangefinder with 50mm f2 lens, however it was a different camera and lens. The camera and lens serial numbers were not the same as the ebay photos, the body had a nasty ding on the bottom corner, the lens was full of haze, fungus, dust and many scratches. Plus the seller photos showed an included case and filter which were missing. Maybe the seller just sent the wrong camera to me!

I have requested a return and full refund and am just waiting for the sellers response. I suspect that perhaps the photos were a generic set and the seller just sent any camera and lens of the same type.

This is the second problem I've had recently with sellers from Japan, so maybe this will be my last. Recent purchases from Germany have been great, prices may be a little higher but the items I have received have matched or bettered the descriptions and most give a 3-6 month warranty.

Now a miserable Easter without a new camera to play with!!
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Old 04-18-2019   #45
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I'm careful to inspect photos of everything that I buy on eBay. My most recent purchase from Japan was for a NOS 50mm lens for my Mamiya 7. It was as described, but the seller didn't send the lens hood that had been shown in the photos. Several emails yielded no response, so I requested a return. Then they replied, and refunded enough to cover the cost of the hood that I had purchased from KEH.
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Old 04-18-2019   #46
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ebay blues

So many sad stories…
My heart breaks
ebay can be so mean!
ebay can be so cruel

There comes a time
when a man needs to think deeply,
Smell his own cologne
Take counsel of his own thoughts

Ask the questions that only,
His closest friends would ask
“Friend” “what the ****?”
That’s when one knows what

Weather, or is it whether (I get confused)
Digita, film, futuristic mumbo jumbo
3D, or just that 3D like pop!
What is life, the life of a photographer

Anyway, just remember
ebay = bad
Now go forward and live
Or, drop dead!

The, way of the world
Mike
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Old 04-18-2019   #47
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Actually Mike I think ebay is great. I've just had problems with Japanese sellers and you can perform the same search for a Mamiya 6 to see what I mean. I'm batting about .500 with them - recently had to return a Perfect Condition/Like New Pentax 28 3.5 because it had damage to the rear lens element.
I did get a beautiful Fuji TX-2 but that was a couple of years ago, and that was tempered by having to return 2 Fuji GW690s as they definitely were not as described, or what was shown. Ended up buying that locally.

I've bought awesome stuff off ebay and still highly recommend it. But it seems when I base my purchases from the US or EU I have much much better luck.
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Old 04-24-2019   #48
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I've bought a fair amount of stuff from Japan with no issues, but I have definitely learned to ignore the titles. My first issue is: how am I expected to know the different of Excellent+++++++ with Excellent++++++++? What is that one extra +? Also, read the description carefully. An Excellent+++++ sounds great, but in the description it states that there's fungus that effects shooting. How is that excellent+++++?
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Old 04-25-2019   #49
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I have bought many items from Japan and in the US, have never had a duty. What does DHL do differently from all the others, USPS for example, that causes duties? I am wondering because I just bought an M6ttl, and Irohas has shipped it DHL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
As long as the seller uses the EMS mail system, you should have no problem with duties. It's when they use a carrier like DHL that issues arise with duties and fees. That outfit is one step away from being a pirate organization.


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Old 04-25-2019   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
I have bought many items from Japan and in the US, have never had a duty. What does DHL do differently from all the others, USPS for example, that causes duties? I am wondering because I just bought an M6ttl, and Irohas has shipped it DHL.
Twice I had shipments from Japan via DHL just sit in Seattle until I called and asked why the package wasn't moving. They said they needed my approval so the package would continue on from Seattle to my home. This has nothing to do with the seller other then they use that service. Oh, and the boxes both times were damaged.

I'll still buy from Japan. Sometimes it's the only place to find a certain item.
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Old 04-25-2019   #51
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I have bought many items from Japan and in the US, have never had a duty. What does DHL do differently from all the others, USPS for example, that causes duties? I am wondering because I just bought an M6ttl, and Irohas has shipped it DHL.
Duty for shipments inbound to the US depends on the item type, and can also depend on the ship method.

If the shipper uses USPS, and the shipment is to an individual, most of the time even dutiable items can arrive without duties being collected.

If the shipper uses Fedex/UPS/DHL, and there are collectible duties, the shipper may charge a brokerage fee on top of the duties.

35mm film cameras have zero duties to the US.

Search the harmonized tariff codes here:

https://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/index.htm

For those that buy from overseas on a regular basis, ask the seller to use the appropriate codes, this will usually result in faster customs clearance and sometimes can prevent incorrect duties from being collected.
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Old 04-25-2019   #52
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Thanks. I think that the seller in Japan may use DHL or one of the "broker-shippers" if the item is expensive, as the TTL is about $2,300, and may incur duties because it may be above the "threshold" whatever that may currently be.
Thanks for the link to the tariff schedules! Since any 35mm film camera is FREE, how are there reports of DHL (and other shippers) collecting fees on them?
If the item arrives and the guy wants to collect a fee (at other than a nominal amount) what would be the procedure? I know: ask him!
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Old 04-25-2019   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
Thanks. I think that the seller in Japan may use DHL or one of the "broker-shippers" if the item is expensive, as the TTL is about $2,300, and may incur duties because it may be above the "threshold" whatever that may currently be.
If they try to collect duties on your TTL, fight it, as that is a duty-free import. There is no threshold. Tell them to use tariff code:

9006.51.00.40 "35mm film camera"
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Old 04-25-2019   #54
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Thank you very much for this!
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
If they try to collect duties on your TTL, fight it, as that is a duty-free import. There is no threshold. Tell them to use tariff code:

9006.51.00.40 "35mm film camera"
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Old 04-25-2019   #55
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I have heard of instances where UPS charges a "brokerage fee" even when there is no customs duty. EMS seems preferable.
AFAIK there is no duty on any photographic gear coming into the US, not just 35mm film cameras.
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Old 04-26-2019   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottboarding View Post
I've bought a fair amount of stuff from Japan with no issues, but I have definitely learned to ignore the titles. My first issue is: how am I expected to know the different of Excellent+++++++ with Excellent++++++++? What is that one extra +? Also, read the description carefully. An Excellent+++++ sounds great, but in the description it states that there's fungus that effects shooting. How is that excellent+++++?
I'm still trying to understand the difference between 'Near Mint' and Exc ++++++.
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Old 04-26-2019   #57
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I have heard of instances where UPS charges a "brokerage fee" even when there is no customs duty. EMS seems preferable.
AFAIK there is no duty on any photographic gear coming into the US, not just 35mm film cameras.
Yes, that can indeed happen. Customs clearance/brokerage fee.

Some photo gear has duties, as seen in the database I linked above. Like any government publication, it's not very well organized and sometimes ambiguous.

Most gear of interest on this forum will be duty-free, and if shipped by post it will end up being duty-free in nearly every case even if it's technically not.
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Old 04-26-2019   #58
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I'm still trying to understand the difference between 'Near Mint' and Exc ++++++.
'Near Mint' means it has fungus, 'Exc ++++++' means fungus and scratches.

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Old 04-26-2019   #59
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One should check out the percentage positive reviews and how many. If the percentage is less than 99% it is best to check what actual negative reviews were about.
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Old 04-26-2019   #60
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I have heard of instances where UPS charges a "brokerage fee" even when there is no customs duty. EMS seems preferable.
AFAIK there is no duty on any photographic gear coming into the US, not just 35mm film cameras.
DHL does that even tho there is no duty coming into the US. They tried to charge me a huge import fee when I had an F2 sent back from service by Sover Wong.
I fought it, demanding to see the statute they were using to claim the fee. They could not provide one and relented but it was a huge pain. They are a scam operation.
I let Sover know and he said he would not be using DHL again.
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Old 04-26-2019   #61
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Was the fee a brokerage fee, or duties, or both?

Sover should be aware of the proper harmonized codes to mark on the documents.
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Old 04-26-2019   #62
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All the items i've ever bought were shipped through the Japanese postal system & were delivered to my door in Canada in remarkably fast time (under a week)....with no extra charges
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Old 04-26-2019   #63
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Was the fee a brokerage fee, or duties, or both?

Sover should be aware of the proper harmonized codes to mark on the documents.
Sover is/was aware and labelled it as such. DHL just ignored it! Because of this he said he was no longer going to use them.
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Old 04-26-2019   #64
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Sover is one of the best.
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Old 04-26-2019   #65
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Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
I have bought many items from Japan and in the US, have never had a duty. What does DHL do differently from all the others, USPS for example, that causes duties? I am wondering because I just bought an M6ttl, and Irohas has shipped it DHL.

What they did to me was hold the camera for not only a duty, but a fee to process the duty. When I informed them the camera was duty free, they came up with another part of the Code that appeared to say it wasn't, and if I didn't pay up they would return it to the seller.


Having searched far and wide for that particular camera at that price point, I figured it was not worth the chance that the seller would ship it again by another service, or more likely DHL wouldn't even bother to return it to the seller, and dispose of it via salvage brokers. So I caved and payed the duty and fee. It felt just like having to pay a ransom, and I for one will never use DHL for anything, and always request the sellers to not use them either.


I did later on purchase a camera outfit from Europe, and asked the seller to not send it DHL, but they said due to the value of the item they would only ship by DHL. Well, as luck would have it I didn't get keelhauled for another Duty and Fee, so it could just be certain DHL managers padding their profit margins with this scam.


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Old 04-26-2019   #66
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I only buy from my sellers in my own country (Australia); so far, all descriptions and photos have been correct and they seemed OK, plus they all arrived. However (yes, that word), out of 9 high end cameras I've bought 8 have needed CLAs or shutter replacement/repair within a month of receipt.
Luckily, after the 2nd buy (a 111A) I learned my lesson and allowed for a CLA in any offer price.
At least the Summar was good in that buy.
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Old 04-30-2019   #67
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DHL delivered the M6 on time and without any notification of any extra fees. The included paperwork specified "used film camera" and the box was unopened. In searching about DHL it seems the request for extra duties arrives by mail sometimes months after the gear, but I'm hoping for the best.

As an off-topic note, I gathered a lot of information about this on a forum that was for Ebay sellers who get banned, and how to get new memberships and boost their rating.
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