Almost got the 35s...


Well, got a mail from custom: Has to bail it out... Had hoped would not have to pay that since Samsons ensured me had been taken care of. Well, had a feeling that was to good to be true... Gonna cost me another 35 bucks. Have a feeling I will end up paying not very much more than will be in shops next year so more pissed by having to deal with custom to get my hands on a working big enter key than the extra cost...

But if any non eu but eøs fellows are reading this: Belive Samsons think this done deal, but do not think they can keep their promises... Sure it may be custom messing things up, but hey, they are the law...


Umm, what does bail out mean? Hasn't Samson already been paid for the calculator and for the shipping cost by you? If you decline to pay the Customs Fees will Samsons refund your purchase price? Surely they won't refund the shipping costs to Norway since they have already incurred that cost? And won't they now also incur an additional cost to ship the item back from Norway?

And how could Samsons ensure that custom fees would be 'taken care of' other than to collect the custom fees up front from the customer?

And finally, if firms find that a percentage of sales shipped to out-of-US addresses are being returned due to customs non-payment, won't they feel pressure to consider no longer offering their products to customers outside of the US, and thereby avoid the hassle of processing refunds and possibly eating return shipping costs?

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 12:38 a.m.


It was shipped from Spain.

This was a reply I got from Samson when asked them:

We have an affiliate in Europe that does our shipping for us. It is faster and safer. Norway is one of the countries that for shipping and customs purposes is considered part of the EU, so were you to buy from us we'd be shipping through our EU office. I'm attaching below our shipping options and costs that would apply to you.

Bail out I mean paying taxes, what I understood that was part of shipping cost.

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 12:53 a.m.


I think the problem is that Norway is NOT part of the EU. I am not defending Samson's error, but I don't know whether I would trust someone in the US to know which countries are in the EU.

Since Norway is not part of the EU, you have to pay duties.

Maybe you can contact Samson's, and if you have something in writing telling you that Norway is part of the EU, then you can cancel the transaction and get a full refund?

Are you Norwegian? If so, why didn't this sound suspicious to you?

Here is a list of EU countries:


Me, too, was having some discussions with Samson Cables about their definition of "shipping costs". Eventually they got what they had offered me when I placed my order (IMO a reasonable total of 72.99 US$ incl. shipping to Germany) and I paid 10 Euros tax when receiving the parcel.

I'm no merchant, however, I think 20 US$ for S/H may hardly cover postage *and* duties. But it exceeds the postage by far, even from the USA. And an offer is an offer is an offer... Nevertheless, I did not find it worthwile to sue SC, and after all I'm happy with getting my 35s early. You may find traces of these discussions in earlier threads FYI.


As Arne puts it, they didn't say that Norway was in the EU, but

"Norway is one of the countries that for shipping and customs purposes is considered part of the EU"

@Walter B, who said "But it exceeds the postage by far, even from the USA."

Go to and calculate their fees to ship to Germany. 20$ is still in the lower range...


Hi Meenzer,

are you from Mainz? Just kidding ;)

I did quite some business on TAS with vendors from the USA, so I know what the real postage is for Air Mail-ing a calculator properly packed from there to here. And so I stick to my statement.

The point was, however, that SC charge you an amount x for S/H. Unless explicitely stated otherwise, IMHO this shall include *all* the costs for bringing this item from them to you. But as mentioned, I'm no merchant etc.


@Walter B

1) Yes, I am. Good guess.

2) Have a look here Shipping (without handling and customs fees) cost from the US to Germany: Priority $20, Express $30.50

And all customs fees are usually paid by the customer (hence the name ;-), because they depend on where he lives.

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 3:39 a.m.



Danke, diese Seite kenne ich gut. In der *Praxis* zeigt sich aber, was alles unter den Sondertarif xy von USPS fällt. Da gibt es tolle Sachen! Die 20$ hab' ich außer bei SC noch nie bezahlen müssen.

(Explaining the difference between theory and practice at USPS)


[...]Die 20$ hab' ich außer bei SC noch nie bezahlen müssen.

(Explaining the difference between theory and practice at USPS)

Walter, would you share your secret knowledge with the rest of us European residents who sometimes need/want to buy from US sellers and are appalled by those high postage fees? Your effort would be very much appreciated ;-)

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 8:42 a.m.


I don't think there is a secret to it. Large companies may be able to negotiate better rates with various carriers, but the average small retailer is stuck with USPS published rates.

By the way, USPS just recently changed all of its rates, and the previously reasonably-priced "Air Parcel Post" service has now been discontinued. They now offer a Flat Rate Box International service for $37 regardless of weight as long as it's small enough to fit in the box (certainly any calculator).

Here is the problem, though: It's $37 to anywhere in the world, which means that Europeans essentially subsidize packages sent to third world countries with inexistent mail infrastructure.


Air Parcel Post was not discontinued. They just renamed it Priority Mail. It is the surface mail option that seems to have been discontinued, but for that, I say good riddance, because surface mail cost about the same as airmail but took far longer.


You're giving the one pound rate there.

The 35s has to go by the three pound weight, because the package weighs just over two pounds. And you will then see that the Priority Mail price is closer to $30, and the Express Mail price is closer to $40.

For calculating shipping prices on my site, I think you will see that I am making no profit on shipping.


I've paid the additionally requested $15, thus ending up paying $35 shipping & taxes. I think that's ok, since it saved me from driving to the customs.

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 3:32 a.m.


There may be a difference between taxes and paying other stuff to get custom to handle it. There is no error in that SC did say that taxes was included in my price. I dont have those emails on computers using now when travels, but can show later. First time dealing with custom this way, I am not 100% sure what I will end up paying, letter from custom not to clear for a newbie as me. But one thing about the offer from SC was it was rather low in repect to what I think I should pay in tax for such item, so not that suprised if must pay taxes after all.


There is no error in that SC did say that taxes was included in my price.

I suspect that means sales tax (like State sales tax in the US), or VAT (Value Added Tax), which is usually remitted to the seller's Government by the seller. For goods shipped outside their jurisdiction, such taxes are not usually payable.

Any import duty paid by you, to your Government, is your liability.


--- Les



Exactly, what SC says is that shipping inside EU is inside a jurisdiction (they sell from Spain). Norway is not an EU member, but we are a part of the economic zone by special agreement and therefor in this respect makes us an EU country, SC says. I don't think our custom agency agree... But I should shut up until I got it and can look at all the expenses for sure with propper invoice from tax office, perhaps I am paying for some other fees and not tax/vat as such.

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