Originally Posted by somatoform
Oh yeah, that ridiculous Pitny Bowles import charges crap. I've had to cut back my ebay purchasing by 70% or so because of increasing numbers of sellers who utilize it. Paying import charges doesn't bother me per se, but I'd rather have Canada customs make the decision. That cap, for example, would sale right through customs, I know it would. If the Canadian border doesn't care, why should they? It's just a money grabber for non-existent charges....
I constantly buy things from the US and I never pay import fees. I have bought so many things over the past few years and never once have I paid a cent in import fees. The only time you pay any kind of fees is if the seller uses FedEx or UPS and that is because they are charging you to bring it across the border which is totally just a cash grab for them.
I have had a bit of success directly messaging sellers and asking if they can just send it to me directly. Another option is to change your main eBay mailing address to a US address then once you have purchased the item just message the seller and ask them to send you an invoice with international shipping. I would say that 95% of the time the seller has no idea they even opted in for the Global Shipping Program so they don't even question it. Out of all the many times I have now done this I have only had one seller tell me that they liked the idea of the GSP but once I explained to them how it really works they agreed that it was crap and just sent it direct anyway.
The other thing I have heard about this Global Shipping Program is buyers being charged for the shipping to the eBay shipping facility, as well as shipping from there to the buyer and the import fees, but the seller has no clue about any of this so they just send the item directly to the buyer. In that case you just paid a bunch of money for absolutely nothing. eBay is cashing in big time on this stupid joke of a system. The way I see it, if I am going to be stuck paying 50% of the cost of the item in import fees, plus inflated shipping charges, I would rather just pay the buyer to ship it directly to me using express overnight shipping with signature confirmation. In most cases that would still be a cheaper option and I wouldn't be stuck waiting two or three times as long to receive what I bought.
It makes me mad just thinking about this kind of crap. They are telling the sellers that it is for their own protection so they cant get scammed when all the seller needs to do is send it with any form of tracking and they are good to go.