What do you think of the nerve of this ebay bidder, from Brazil?



#32

I sold something to someone in Brazil, whom you might know. I won't post his name here but if you want to know who it is, send me an email. This was his request:

I told him that I always insure my international shipments and that I can't declare less than true value for 2 reasons. 1) It's actually illegal but more importantly, 2) I can't insure for more than I declare.

His reply:
I am always receiving orders from all the parts of the planet. All help me to avoid the taxes

You can send for EMS but you declare the us$40. I am sure that will arrive in my hands. I assume the risk for the difference ($120 - $40 = $80). If something happens you only return me ($40 + $32 (shipping))

Why should I be expected to assume any risk, let alone $73, especially, since the only package that has ever been lost, was to this very same bidder from Brazil? He's asking me to do something that is risky (because of previous loss to him), simply because he wants to save taxes. To put it another way, he wants me to assume a large risk of loss, to save him some money.


Edited: 29 Sept 2006, 1:20 p.m.


#33

...I've run into this mentality , too. Superficially, it seems like a simple request to help someone out; the merchandise is somewhat subjective in value and who's to say that a lower valuation is any less valid than a higher one?

But the simple fact is that it isn't honest. Beyond the purely moral issues, there are potential legal issues that shouldn't be minimized. It's not very likely that you might get challenged legally, but if you do, it will NOT be a trivial, easily fixed problem... and the liability will be all yours. On that basis alone, any prudent person should refuse to play games. An international buyer shouldn't be in the market unless he's prepared to cope with the issues that accompany export / import, including such things as VAT.


#34

It really isn't likely that anyone would ever challenge the legality of declaring lower value. But there is a "real" cost (risk) in taking that chance. SOMEONE loses, if the item is lost. There are only 3 ways of dealing with this.

1) Insurance assumes the loss
2) The seller assumes the loss
3) The bidder assumes the loss
In this case, the bidder doesn't want the insurance to assume the loss (because I can't declare full value) and he doesn't want to assume the full loss. He expects me to assume the loss, to save him some money. It is especially troubling, in that in over 6 years of selling internationally, I have not lost a single package, except to this particular bidder and that time it happened, I had to assume that loss, so there is a practical (and relevant) example of what can happen.


Edited: 29 Sept 2006, 2:21 p.m.

#35

Quote:
I assume the risk for the difference ($120 - $40 = $80).

The auction ended @ USD150.00 or am I wrong?

Greetings,
Massimo


#36

No, it was for two auctions totaling about $120 + shipping.

UPDATE

I just realized why you said that. The $150 was another from Brazil but NOT the one I was referring to.


Edited: 29 Sept 2006, 7:30 p.m.


#37

My apologies to all your brazilian customers... I shouldn't be so nosey!

Massimo


#38

Non te ne preoccupare, Massimo :-)

Never mind, Massimo :-)

Gerson.

Edited: 30 Sept 2006, 11:01 a.m.

#39

Well, just my opinion about the 1st part (I admit the 2nd point is a risk to the seller).

The value you put for customs, is the value of the unit NOT what it was sold for.

Also, it's not correct (or legal) for the customs to charge according the insurance you make on the package, but in most countries (Southern Europe for instance ... I'm not being xenophobe, I'm from Souther Europe myself) the custom services are corrupt and they try to charge as high as they can to the normal citizen ... when in fact they receive bribes from the companies to let past most of their products with low taxes.

I'll just give you an example:
Imagine you were sending an old watch the belonged to your grandparents with a very high sentimental value but low commercial value to your brother that live in another country.
You would probably put an high insurance in the package since you wanted to minimize the probability of it getting lost.
It's not acceptable that the customs would charge you according to the value of the insurance which in this case was very high, but they should charge you the value of the watch ... which in this case was very low.

Just my 2 cents :)

#40

Hi,

I'm a brazilian! It was not me who bought that item, but let me explain some problems here:

1 - the tax I pay over equipment cost + shipping cost is only 94% !! So, we pay the good twice!

2 - Customs, in my State, at least, are delaying about 3 weeks on Priority Mail and more than one week in EMS. Do you believe a package coming from USA takes 3 days to arrive here and waits one week for someone inspects it?

Well, I have to admit, I sometimes asked for my sellers declare less than I paid, not only for the abusive tax, but for not letting the package in Customs for three weeks. But it is always at sellers decision. I don't believe this is legal or correct, but Brazilian Government doesn't care for our people too ...

I have had two packages lost in Post trafic during more than 3 years of Ebay purchasings. All at my risk.

Now, I have three packages on Post Office/Customs for more than a month! One, I know, is at customs since September, 20!

I believe my nerves have a price too... and I dicount it on good prices ;>)


#41

Olá Artur,

Quote:
I'm a brazilian! It was not me who bought that item,

I am Brazilian too, as you and many here know. I am not the buyer either, as some of you may not know... :-)

Mike is right when complaining about a buyer who's tried to talk him into disobeying his country's law. However, his disclosing the buyer's nationality might induce other sellers to avoid shipping here, I think.

My latest eBay purchase will cost me exactly US$ 105 in tax and I didn't even think about asking the seller to declare a lower price exactly for the reasons Mike has mentioned. However, at least once, buying from a friend, I asked him to declare a lower price, since the obsolescence of the item wouldn't call the authorities attention. In this case, if the item had been lost, the risk would have been only mine, of course.

Quote:
the tax I pay over equipment cost + shipping cost is only 94% !! So, we pay the good twice!

In my State the tax over item + shipping is 60%, not as high as in yours but high. I read your complaint in your site. I just hope they don't have the same idea here... By the way, I've never payed so high taxes as in the latest four years... It's up to us to try to change that... :-)

Best regards,

Gerson.


#42

This buyer has bought before. Here is what he said last time:

NameRemoved
Positive Feedback: PercentageRemoved%
Member Since: Mar-02-04
Location: CityRemoved,Brazil
Registered On: www.ebay.com

Item: Sharp PC-1250A Calculator Computer (ItemNumberRemoved)
This message was sent after the listing closed.
NameRemoved is the winner.
-------------------------------------------------------
I didn't still receive anything.
Did you send for airmail?
I have usually been receiving orders in the period of 30 days.
You could verify what happened for me.
Reply with the tracking number of the package or copy of the
sending receipt. Which the sending date? If I don't hear
from you in 24 hours I will contact eBay
I am waiting your
email asap Thank you
-------------------------------------------------------

This was the response the last time something wasn't delivered. I had to refund the full amount plus shipping, because he didn't want me to insure it.

I'm not going through that again.


Edited: 29 Sept 2006, 7:21 p.m.

#43

Hi, all;

I'm not the buyer, too.

In fact, once I used to read e-bay announcements to dream of having the chance to live somewhere else where I could actually not only dream of having the chance to buy some interest goodies, instead to dream of actually buying them. I'll explain.

I once bought goodies from other countries about ten years ago, mainly books, till the day I was asked to buy about 80% tax fees over... a Linux distribution! I tried to tell them that I was not ctually buying a software, I was paying for transportation and package. Useless...

Living in Brazil is not enough to understand what happens here. I live here and I gave up... We actually know where is the major source of the problems we have he, but if we were able to remove it, we'd need emergency voting, all posts...

Sorry to discuss it here, I am just trying to show something most of you have never seen before, and have almost no idea of what is living with it. And I should not name it, though...

About my first thoughts: I used to dream of having the chance to buy goodies because I knew it would be hard to go ahead doing it officially. So, I could only dream of them, and I actually never even considered the possibility of bidding.

In fact, all of my international business have been made in a trading way: I send something to someone that has a value closer to what someone is sending me. Both can send the goodies as gifts, although declaring correct costs. This has no effect if fiscalization decides to open the packages and overtax them; the fact that it is a gift does not smooth their decision to do so, if they want to. So far I have made good business and had nothing lost since the Linux distribution. But I actually prefer running all risks, as many of the guys I have dealt with may confirm.

Or else, maybe I'm just lucky...

I am sorry for those here in Brazil who want to try international business.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)


#44

Come to Norway :)


#45

Thanks for the invitation, Geir. We might go... but only when Summer comes :-)

#46

Hello Mike,

Since you recommend in your auctions "International sellers don't bid without contacting me first", I think the bidder was aware of your rules...

So far I've sold a few items to U.S.A, Italy, Louxembourg, Japan and Australia. And so far no one has asked me to declare a lower value. That's good because I always include insurance against item being lost on the way to destination (is there a simpler way to say this? :-) After all, it's less than 1% of the declared price.

Just out of curiosity, how high are customs taxes around the world for vintage items like calculators?

Best regards,

Gerson W. Barbosa.


Edited: 29 Sept 2006, 6:32 p.m.


#47

You say

Since you recommend in your auctions "International sellers don't bid without contacting me first", I think the bidder was aware of your rules...

I reply

Not only was he aware this time, he has tried this before and knows from past experience of my rules. I went through all this the last time he demanded a refund, for a non-delivered package. He knows the rules but tries to dictate terms.

I blocked him once already but reinstated his rights to bid, after he said he understood. "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me."

For the record, the person wasn't you, in case anyone is wondering. Your item has already been shipped. It should arrive soon.


Edited: 29 Sept 2006, 7:28 p.m.


#48

Quote:
Your item has already been shipped. It should arrive soon.

It's here already! Really excellent, as advertised. And they charged me only $90 taxes :-)

Regards,

Gerson.

#49

Hello!

Quote:
Just out of curiosity, how high are customs taxes around the world for vintage items like calculators?

The legislation regarding import duties of the Europen Union is far too complicated to be understood by mere mortals...

Theroretically, one has to pay at least the value added tax VAT (which varies between different EEC countries, in Germany it is currently 16%) based on sum of the declared value plus shipping cost. It makes no difference, if the item is new or used!
Portable computers are presently excempt of import duties (to my knowledge at least), so VAT is all you have to pay.

In real life, it all depends on the customs officer who handles your specific parcel. Last week I received a Compucorp Surveyor from the US with a correctly declared auction price of 50$ US and it went straight through customs without me paying anything. Other times, when in doubt about the declared value, they have asked for screendumps of the eBay-auction (they automatically assume eBay for items from overseas) in order to determine the amount of V.A.T.

Greetings, Max


#50

Hello Max,

Quote:
in Germany it is currently 16%

This seems quite reasonable. Here it is 60%, though at least in one state it's up to 95% (I've been told).

Quote:
In real life, it all depends on the customs officer who handles your specific parcel.

Same here. Two HP-6S calculators I received from Hong Kong were considered by customs officers as costing $30.00 each, though correctly declared as $12.00, total price, by the seller. On the other hand, an HP-50G I received later was charged no taxes (not a rule, though).

Best regards,

Gerson.


#51

We had a teaparty just up the coast a few centuries ago over this issue.


#52

I know, the episode was known as Boston Tea Party (Don't know why they taught us that in High School :-)

Two centuries ago there was a rebellion here, on the very State where taxes are higher, because of a 20% tax on gold. As a result, the leader was hung by the Portuguese, his head cut off and exposed on top of a pole as an example. I really find it incredible the way people got so tolerant with even higher taxes over the years...


Edited: 2 Oct 2006, 5:53 p.m.


#53

The article "Scandal, Economy Weigh on Brazil's Election" on page A3 of the Octoer 2 issue of the Wall Street Journal states:

... But Brazil's economy is beset by structural problems. The country's sprawling public sector is sustained by a highly taxed citizenry, and government bureaucracy stifles entrpreneurial energy. ...."

One does want to be careful with what one reads in the WSJ. The editorial "The GOP Record" on page A10 of the same issue states "... Republicans also deserve credit for financing the war ...". That statement ignores the fact that the war is being "financed" by deficit spending such that future generations will be the ones actually paying for the war.


#54

And they are talking about the visible part of the iceberg...

Cheers.

Luiz (Brasil, indeed...)

#55

Hello, Palmer --

You cited:

Quote:
The article "Scandal, Economy Weigh on Brazil's Election" on page A3 of the Octoer 2 issue of the Wall Street Journal states: [...]

One does want to be careful with what one reads in the WSJ. The editorial "The GOP Record" on page A10 of the same issue states...


Amen to that, but you perhaps inadvertently demonstrated something noted by at least one syndicated columnist regarding the WSJ: One should distinguish the content of its fine reportage from that of its, um, shall we say -- questionable editorial section.

In 1914, Henry Ford raised the wage of his assembly-line workers at the Ford automobile plant to $5 per 8-hour day (from $2.34 per 9-hour day). When people questioned his generosity, he responded that if his own workers couldn't afford to buy the mass-produced Ford Model T, who would?

The WSJ editorial page at the time went so far as to call the $5 wage an "economic crime". Anyone who now reads the opinions and editorials published on the pages of the WSJ will find that little has changed. Here's an example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_duckies

-- KS


Edited: 4 Oct 2006, 12:31 a.m.


#56

Don't get me started with that Luckie Duckie Pseudo-Conservative Richboy Apologism. Obnoxious. And that's coming from a rich boy no less.

It is obnoxious when people start to think that their value to society is measured only in their hourly rate, a thought process which ultimately leads to believing that those who are paid less are also less human. *That* is what leads to the destruction of democracy.

There are slackers and thiefs at every pay level. And there are more hard-working unskilled working-poor people in the US than all the Doctors, Lawyers, CEOs CFOs COOs, and Presidents combined.

Edited: 4 Oct 2006, 3:58 p.m.

#57

Quote:
I sold something to someone in Brazil, whom you might know.
I find it quite unfair to make such a statement. You enforced a reaction from all members from Brazil. I have in mind that it could have been a buyer from germany as well. You bet, I would feel enforced to answer in that case.

Thomas


#58

Mike, aside from the moral issue, I don't see how you would be taking a financial risk. He will apparently be sending the payment, $120, in advance. If you insure it for $40, which is what he is asking, and it's lost, he's only asking for $40 back, which you can recover from the insurance claim. In the end you wouldn't have lost any money. Am I not seeing this correctly?


#59

You say

Mike, aside from the moral issue, I don't see how you would be taking a financial risk. He will apparently be sending the payment, $120, in advance. If you insure it for $40, which is what he is asking, and it's lost, he's only asking for $40 back, which you can recover from the insurance claim. In the end you wouldn't have lost any money. Am I not seeing this correctly?

My reply

NO! He's also asking that I refund the shipping. That totals about $80. It's one thing to say they will be responsible but quite another when the something is actually lost. This very same bidder, has already made me issue a FULL refund, for an undelivered package, even though he assumed the risk. And although I would receive payment first, he can simply request a chargeback from PayPal and they will take the full amount from my account.

But here is the real issue

Why must the seller expose himself to ANY risk (even $80), when insurance will protect against any risk? Why must a seller be asked and expected to assume a risk, or commit a crime (even though it's unlikely they will ever be charged), so a buyer can defraud his country?

Edited: 30 Sept 2006, 10:29 a.m.


#60

Quote:
But here is the real issue

Why must the seller expose himself to ANY risk (even $80), when insurance will protect against any risk? Why must a seller be asked and expected to assume a risk, or commit a crime (even though it's unlikely they will ever be charged), so a buyer can defraud his country?


I agree with you, Mike. When I buy anything remotely, unless some deal has been done to the contrary, I expect it to be the seller's job to get the item safely to me. If it doesn't turn up, or arrives damaged, it's their job to put it right without any expense to me, since they chose the method of delivery, and they have the contract with the delivery agent. (*)

If that means the seller wants to include insurance to mitigate the loss when things go wrong, it's the seller's choice. If I, as buyer, decide that I don't want insurance, then some (or all) of the risk must attach to me. But the seller should not be compelled to share that risk if they don't want to, especially after the deal is done.

I would make it clear to the buyer that your terms of business don't allow you to do what they're asking, and I wouldn't debate it with them. Either they go through with the original deal, or it's off, and you'll be looking to them to pay your listing fees.

Good luck with that, by the way. :-)

(*): It's amazing how many seller's don't grasp this, not just on eBay. They seem to think that their responsibility to deliver the goods runs out once they've crammed them into the post box.

We once ordered a large amount of packaging material, which didn't show up. The seller contacted the courier, who said it was delivered, and had a signature, and a name that we didn't recognize. The seller seemed to think that, as the delivery company had a signature by someone, it then became our job to figure out who the mystery signatory was. Needless to say, we did not accept this, and got them to resend the order at their expense.

(We subsequently found out that the courier had delivered the material to a nearby building site, and the site foreman has signed for it because they get deliveries of stuff all the time.)

#61

Oh, I see. He does seem to be asking a bit much. If I were the seller I might be willing to declare a value lower than the sale price but I would make it very clear that the risk is his, including the shipping charge. I would communicate this through ebay mail so there's a paper trail if he tries to make trouble later with paypal or ebay. Even going that far is extending yourself beyond what is reasonable since it could be time consuming if something does go wrong. In the end I think I agree with you that it's an awful lot to go through just to save the guy some money. He certainly shouldn't be expecting people to do him that kind of favor as a matter of course.

Edited: 30 Sept 2006, 11:26 p.m.

#62

You say

I find it quite unfair to make such a statement. You enforced a reaction from all members from Brazil. I have in mind that it could have been a buyer from germany as well. You bet, I would feel enforced to answer in that case.
Thomas

My reply

But, as I stated, this same person has already claimed a package never arrived AND that with the fact that the other time AND this time, he want's me to take again, the risk.

The problem, most assuredly, is because it's going to Brazil, as others (from Brazil) have stated about Brazil customs. I have NEVER had a single incident with Germany. I have sent hundreds of $ in cash to and from Germany without a single incident.

But the question really is about "Why should a seller have to assume any risk, simply so a buyer can save taxes?" and not an attack on Brazil. That's like buying a car and asking the car dealer to pay for half of the damage, because the buyer of the car doesn't want to buy insurance. It's unreasonable!


Edited: 30 Sept 2006, 10:34 a.m.


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