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View Full Version : Realities of ordering camera from Japan & ship to US



pchaplo
23-Feb-2015, 08:26
I see nice cameras for sale from dealers in Japan especially Toyos--but I wonder about the realities of shipping it to the US and what about any customs, import duties, taxes -- and things I am unaware of in that process. If you are in the US and have ordered a camera recently from A dealer in Japan kindly tell me what you learned and what was involved especially in any extra costs above and beyond shipping per se.

Wishing you great light!
Paul

Dan Fromm
23-Feb-2015, 08:35
You pay, the seller sends.

If the seller sends by mail, no complications at all. If the seller sends by a delivery service such as FedEx, many complications because the delivery service will charge arms and legs for unnecessary customs brokerage services. Ask the seller to ship by EMS (Express Mail Service).

All this if you are in the US. If you are in the EU, you will be assessed VAT and duty.

Bob Mann
23-Feb-2015, 08:36
No extra charges - EMS shipping was fast (about one week) and tracked.

fishbulb
23-Feb-2015, 09:15
I've purchased several lenses from Japanese eBay sellers and never had a problem. Shipping is usually about a week to the states via EMS.

thomasfallon
23-Feb-2015, 10:15
Ditto. EMS.

beemermark
23-Feb-2015, 11:25
If the seller sends by mail, no complications at all. If the seller sends by a delivery service such as FedEx, many complications because the delivery service will charge arms and legs for unnecessary customs brokerage services.

Unfortunately this isn't true. While it seems more likely if you use USPS or FedEx it can also occur using regular mail. There is no custom fee coming into the US from overseas on personal goods. However, Customs employs contractors to determine the custom fees on the inbound package. The contractor then charges you a rather large fee to repackage and ship to you. If you don't pay you'll never see it. even worse last time this happened it was a package from Great Britain. So you get a tracking number from GB and when it arrives at the US PO, you'll get a new tracking number. Unfortunately when customs grabs it, then it just disappears. Customs may have it for a month while you have no clue where it went. Very disturbing. Then one day you'll get an email (make sure the shippers has the email attached) stating to pay up or else. Quite a racket. And I think it hits high priced items more than low cost items.

pchaplo
23-Feb-2015, 14:16
Thanks, I checked -- the seller uses EMS. Good to know; now Im not frightened ;)

Bill_1856
23-Feb-2015, 15:10
Stuff from China and Japan come in 2-3 weeks. I've had half a dozen items since Christmas. I've been 90% lucky so far.
The fly in the ointment is in sending it back if there's a problem, which I haven't had to do. Small problems, and I just sucked it up.

Drew Wiley
23-Feb-2015, 16:41
I once had a near-nightmare with British customs over a vintage camera, but never a problem with any reputable Japanese dealer. Weight will obviously affect
shipping fees from wherever.

Racer X 69
27-Feb-2015, 14:53
I have purchased many items (not just camera related, but also vehicle license plates) from people in Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Sweden, France, Germany, Australia, China, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Korea and Japan. Not once have I had any difficulties, nor have I ever had a second party customs brokerage hold anything hostage for additional fees.

That is not to say there could be an issue concerning customs or import duties, but so far my experiences have bee good.

ImSoNegative
28-Feb-2015, 05:50
I have bought 2 items shipped from japan at separate times, I had both within a week to a week and a half, no problems, they used ems to ship. I was a bit nervous with the first item because I had been reading customs nightmare stories, but no problems at all

pchaplo
28-Feb-2015, 20:53
Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences. I will now consider sellers from Japan and ask that they ship using EMS. Great info!

Michael Jones
2-Mar-2015, 21:19
This has been my global experience as well. There may be shipping delays, but I have never had a problem or shipment (either to me or from me) overseas that went "south" as we say. Lucky? Perhaps, but I think its truly the global economy & the rather small pool of LFer we deal with.

Mike


I have purchased many items (not just camera related, but also vehicle license plates) from people in Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Sweden, France, Germany, Australia, China, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Korea and Japan. Not once have I had any difficulties, nor have I ever had a second party customs brokerage hold anything hostage for additional fees.

That is not to say there could be an issue concerning customs or import duties, but so far my experiences have bee good.

nede
11-Mar-2015, 02:57
I bought a new "8x10 very nice camera", directly from factory, reaching the boss.
Conversion from Euro to dollar is awfull here as they think its the same thing.
Custom stopped my item as they didńt get the invoice, we "made" and printed a "cool" invoice with a low value.
Custom add their fees based on this price and in the end I saved about 1000€ (1200usd)

I was very affraid during 10days while they were processing trough their differents offices...
Itīs up to you!

Shootar401
11-Mar-2015, 15:30
All my dealing with Japanese sellers from the big Bay have been 100% positive and I have my stuff in my hands within a week, usually within 2-3 days via EMS.

Randy Moe
11-Mar-2015, 16:01
I have no trouble importing used from Japan, Korea, Germany, France, UK, Canada and no customs fees.

Nobody falsified anything, actual value paid and declared in all cases.