Costs associated with ordering clothes from USA to Spain
September 25, 2006 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I am living in Spain and would like to order clothes from online stores in USA and the US version of eBay. How much can I order for without risking to pay any tax or/and import "fees"?
posted by toreo to Shopping (6 answers total)
I'm not sure how much duties are in Spain, but in Canada you need to pay taxes on anything over 20 dollars. And we have a "free" trade agreement with the US.
posted by chunking express at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2006

You can check with the Oficina de Correos. They should have information on tariffs you would have to pay. the best option is to not order things to be shipped directly. Have a friend in the US mail things to you without declaring them as purchases. Bypass customs entirely for the least amount of headaches..
posted by JJ86 at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2006

Often international eBay buyers will ask sellers if they could give the value of the item on the customs form at $20 or that it be designated a gift. Some sellers will do it, some won't. You could ask before making a bid on an item.

Otherwise, yes, it would be a good idea to have them shipped to a US based friend, who can send them onto you without worrying about the repercussions of shipping something marked inappropriately as a "gift."
posted by suki at 1:55 PM on September 25, 2006

I agree, the "mark as a gift" and/or "lie about the price" strategy is what you're looking for. Beware: if the lie isn't at least reasonable (pricing something as used when it's really new will probably work, but pricing a shirt at $1 probably won't, and sending lots of packs as "gifts" with a company name on the return address is definitely bad) the pack might be opened by customs and/or USPS, and then both you and the seller will run into trouble if the contents and invoice do not match what's written on the customs form. The USPS can get quite upset over mail fraud.

So, if you do ask your seller to falsify the customs form, make sure the lie is a reasonable one, and have them falsify the invoice to match!
posted by vorfeed at 3:43 PM on September 25, 2006

suki: that person probably wouldn't be your friend for long. I hate shipping things internationally for people that are too cheap to pay tax and duty. I run a household, not friggin' FedEx. What happens if you have to return the merchandise? Getting friends to do it is always more hassle than it is worth.

to the OP: sorry, but suck up the fees. You can't order much of anything without having to pay tax.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:22 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you for answers. I tried to search the website of Oficina de Correos but could not find any information about costs associated with receiving parcels. Only about sending them..

I do not mind paying fees, but always like to know about it previous to buying so that I can act like the "economical man."
posted by toreo at 3:18 AM on September 26, 2006

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