Don't shoot, I'm a book dealer
March 23, 2009 3:51 PM Subscribe
What can I expect from a US border guard if I go into the USA from Canada carrying packages of things I've sold on ebay to mail in the USA?
posted by crazylegs to law & government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been selling things on ebay for many years. I've mailed hundreds and maybe thousands of packages from Canada to the USA. However Canada Post has become so ridiculously overpriced that I'm looking into a new method to save money. I live in Kingston and can drive over the border to Wellesley Island in New York in less than half an hour, mail things at the post office there, and save huge amounts of money. However, something tells me that the border patrol may have a problem with this, even though I can apparently mail things to the USA with no problem. What's the difference between mailing something and taking it over the border in a car? Will the border patrol make me pay duty on these things? Will they require me to have some sort of proof of sale? I'm particularly looking for answers that can be positively backed up with an official source of some sort, ideally the US Border Patrol, or Customs, or whatever. I have three packages of used books that were sold for very little money (US$50, $18, and $10). Is there a minimum limit below which they don't care about it? I could just not tell them about them, or tell them I'm giving them away, or sending them to friends, but I know from experience that you DON'T want to start playing those games with US Customs. If they sense one thing that's a bit funny it gets very weird very fast. So I'd rather be totally honest about what I'm doing, but don't want to pay duty or taxes.
Sorry for being so long winded. Thanks!