Customs Tax when buying from overseas.

Okay. I hope I am not breaking the forum rules, and if I am please delete this thread quickly. I am not going to mention any specific store.

Here is my question. I am about to buy a YYR Sleipnir from Japan and I was wondering if anybody on here has ever done that, and if so were you charged a tax from customs? If you were… how much was it?

There shouldn’t be, but I’m sure shipping wasn’t cheap

Shipping isn’t as bad as you would expect to have something sent from Japan to the US, and the staff of this place is awesome. They only had silver and pink sleipnirs and I wanted one that was any color except those two. The guy said that they would be getting 1 and only 1 more orange sleipnir. They got it yesterday and they are holding it for me. Just said to place my order and click silver or pink and they would change it to orange when they ship it.

There wasn’t any tax from customs when I got a YYR from overseas. Shipping wasn’t bad either, came with tracking and got to me in three days like priority shipping. Very reasonable. The only thing was that my bank charged a fee to convert Yen to US dollars and that was only a few dollars, no more than four or so.

Quick answer: no.

Shipping from Japan rocks… It’s almost faster than sending a package two states away… No joke

I’ve bought 4 times from a store that will go without mention that is located in Japan.

One order was over $200, so shipping was free. The other was UNDER $200, so I had to pay shipping, but it was still less expensive than some other stores, mainly due to a promotional sale. That’s how I got the Positron I have.

The next order was around $75. I had to add some extra items in there to make the order justify the $13 shipping.

I recently purchased over $292 of stuff, which arrived yesterday.

I haven’t had to pay any customs tax, pay any duties or anything. The only thing I didn’t like about this order was that the customs officials were rather obvious about going through the packing slip and didn’t bother to make an effort to close the clear window holder back up. The packages have never been opened until I opened them.

I’m sure there’s some magic number where above that you might have to pay some sort of tax or duty on it. I just don’t know what that number is.

As far as shipping is concerned, I’m shocked at how fast it arrives. No offense intended, but it is as fast coming to the USA west coast from Japan as it does for YYE to ship to me from east coast to west coast. I’m rarely concerned about fast timelines when it comes to shipping yoyos. I typically place the order on a Friday, and due to the time difference, it doesn’t go out until Saturday. With YYE, I order whenever I feel like it.

Note that I shop a lot by price, so I factor in “what is this really going to cost me”, and shipping palys a role. Also, if I don’t see what I want with domestic sellers, I go to where I can find it(if it exists).

I believe the limit for avoiding customs tax is $2,000. Anything over $2K and you have to pay a customs fee.

On a trip home from Japan, my friends had me take all of their newly purchased hiking gear with me. It was worth about $3,500 or so. When I claimed it at customs, I was asked to pay $500 before I could leave with it. I had no clue this type of thing even existed so I naturally started to panic… lol.
The customs agent then said to me, “Are you sure this gear was $3,500? It looks like about $1,900 worth of gear to me.” He then waved me through and I didn’t have to pay anything.

I wish I could have bought that man a beer!

Shipping is faster over seas because they are in fact one day ahead of us here in the USA. The future!

I know!

I left Hong Kong at 11:30AM. I arrived in San Francisco at 8:30AM. I was in a time machine!!

On a serious note:
Upon returning, they opted to not check the cooler my wife packed, which was full of frozen squid and a lot of other stuff that I wasn’t gonna eat. I made it clear that I was completely fine with having to have all my crap sifted through if that would have made the TSA and customs folks happy.

I thought food wasn’t allowed to be transported over seas.

It depends. Beef, pork and poultry are for sure no-no’s. Apparently frozen sea food is acceptable. Pre-cooked produce: yes, but frozen, fresh or otherwise non-processed: nope. Odd rules.

I believe some countries in Europe have a tax.

I only had to pay tax once. I usually order just two yoyos, but the time i got charged i ordered three. They charged around 10dlls and the package price was 250.

The new tax is only for buys in the state I’m going to break the bank even more now thanks to the new online tax law.

Customs can be a tricky and complicated process and different countries/territories have different laws.

As an example, I live in South Africa and we have an incredibly high tax of 54% when importing textiles. If someone sends me a box of string and labels it as “Yoyo string” or “Yoyo thread”, I get nailed 54% tax. If you labelled the string as “Yoyo toy accessories” or even “Yoyo toy string”, I would just pay 14% (I’ve learnt this the hard way, a number of times…).

Many countries have a higher duty on importing wood, and in some countries, certain types of wood can be banned outright. Recently someone sent me a wooden yoyo and marked it as “Wood yoyo” on the box. Because of that, I ended up paying something like 33% tax. If they had left out the wood and simply labelled it “Yoyo”, I would have just paid 14%.

When you label and package items, try to make it as simple for someone else to understand (citing my example, I make it clear that string is not a textile, but an accessory you need to play with a toy called a yoyo).

I am also not sure how the Asians do it… Ordering from the US, the parcel typically takes 2 weeks to get to me, I have to fetch it from the local post office and I ALWAYS pay tax, no matter how small the declared amount is. When I order from China, Taiwan or Hong Kong - shipping typically takes 4 days, costs half the amount, gets delivered to my door and I don’t think I’ve ever paid customs tax on something from Asia.

I’ve done some reading up on it, and here in America I think it has to be over 2,000 worth of goods before you must pay an import tax.