What to expect when ordering from outside the US.....China, Japan, UK, etc?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by S Barnhardt, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. S Barnhardt

    S Barnhardt Old, Crusty Barn

    I find myself thinking about ordering an item, in this case a brush, from China. Not that I think it's something special, but partly out of curiosity about the process itself and to give me a cheap brush handle to experiment changing a knot on.

    That being said, I've never ordered anything from out of the US and am wondering what to expect, other than an extended shipment transit time? Will I end up with a bill from someone for import duties, or something like that, or any other various and sundry charges? Just trying to keep myself from having one of those "Dang, I wish I'd have known that" kind of moments.

    Douglas Carey, Shaver X, brit and 2 others like this.
  2. PLAla

    PLAla Bit Shy of a Full Puck

    I've ordered from Connaught Shaving in the UK. No problems at all. The shipping takes longer, as you'd expect, but otherwise I paid by credit card on their website and everything was fine. I've never ordered from China.
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  3. S Barnhardt

    S Barnhardt Old, Crusty Barn

    This particular one would be an Ebay sale, so no credit card info would be put on a website. PayPal is a level of insulation in that aspect in that I draw against a balance.
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  4. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Like Perry @PLAla , I've purchased from Connaught. No extra fees when passing through Customs, but it's not an overnight process. There are issues shipping alcohol based aftershaves, too.

    From China, I've had two different experiences. Alibaba & Yaqi treated me well. The product was as listed and arrived on time and in good condition. Not so much for an Ebay purchase from China. The photo and description of the item showed "A" when several of us here at TSD ordered. Before the item, a razor, arrived - The very same ebay listing changed to show a different razor. Item "B" was not what we had paid for but that's what we received. Through our group conversation, the solution was arrived at by everyone stating we wanted the item "A" and NO! We would not pay the shipping to return the cheap, less desirable, bait and switch item "B". In the end everyone either got a refund or the correct item. I think this was the Merkur Futur clone called "Ming Shi 2000s", but I could be wrong. Give me a couple of hours or days and I might be able to find the thread.
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  5. S Barnhardt

    S Barnhardt Old, Crusty Barn

    So, the long and short of it, as applies to any additional import/export/customs duties, is you didn't get billed for anything additional? That was my main concern.
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  6. b1hart

    b1hart Well-Known Member

    In the past 10 months, I've ordered or done BSTs from the UK, Canada, China, Japan and just recently Australia.

    In all cases, no unexpected $ required. I always use PayPal goods and services, and put in any notes to ship only to the PP verified address in case there's something to dispute. Knock on wood....not had to dispute anything yet...did have a semi-unscrupulous seller from the UK with a purchase on Etsy, but not worth the effort other than won't purchase from again.

    Shipping from UK/Canada is quick, 4-5 business days. China a little over 7 business days in most cases, Japan very slow (3+ weeks in my case).

    Haven't used aliexpress yet...been thinking about it for a brush or knot lately though.
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  7. Xring3

    Xring3 Active Member

    I have ordered from Wish. That stuff comes from China. It takes a long time to get here. For what I got I should have ordered from Amazon as the prices were comparable. I did order a switchblade knife from Wish that was really nice. I use it as a letter opener.
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  8. John Beeman

    John Beeman Little chicken in hot water

    From China (through eBay) I've ordered a couple of brushes, razor blades, and a messenger bag. All of the orders shipped surprisingly fast with no extra fees. I ordered blades once from India and they took a little longer but the price was worth the wait and again, no extra fees.
    RyX, Shaver X, brit and 1 other person like this.
  9. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Same here. Shipping from China seems to be subsidized? Not at all the cost of other international fees. In all cases; China, Japan, Great Brittan - no customs fees at my end.
    Shaver X, brit and S Barnhardt like this.
  10. brit

    brit in a box

    i have purchased from ebay uk on many occasions and a couple of shave site as well.i have purchased razors from greece,france,germany and others.same for blades.paypal is good..no issues.shipping takes a while though..
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  11. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Things ordered from China are usually shipped.... on the slow boat from China. That is to say they can take around a month to arrive. Almost all of the items I have ordered from China, done on eBay and Amazon, arrived without a hitch. Only one item I ordered was a scam. I was sent a fake tracking number, and the item, a $4 electronic component, never arrived. For those OK with long shipping times, ordering from China should be no problem.

    The orders I have place from Gemstone Trading and Connaught Shaving in the UK were all processed very quickly. Shipping was a little slower than from retailers in the U.S., but not by much. Both of those online stores are very good, by the way. Note that British prices include sales tax. Orders shipped to the U.S. deduct the VAT (Value Added Tax) from the price. VAT is like a national sales tax in the UK.

    I ordered my Vie Long Epsilon horse hair shaving brush from Gifts & Care in Spain. As with UK orders, top-notch service and shipping took a little longer than from U.S. retailers.

    If you mean ePacket, that is effectively subsidized by the U.S. because the rates charged do not fully cover shipping costs. The rates are determined by the Universal Postal Union, not the country of origin or destination. Shipping rates from China are unusually low because China is still classified as a developing country. It looks like that is about to change: https://www.barrons.com/articles/un...edex-ups-amazon-post-office-china-51569020764.

    Many shopping carts are notoriously insecure. The solution I used was to get a credit card used only for online purchases. If somebody hacks the shopping cart and gets the credit card number, no problemo just cancel the fraudulent charges. Using a dedicated card makes them easier to spot, and your primary credit card won't be affected. Buying a gift card to use is another option, although some shopping carts don't take them for some reason.
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  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I have ordered many times from China, 100+ packages over the years. Once the package was in the tracking system as 'shipped,' the longest a package took to reach me was 35 days. Shortest time was 5 days. On average, most packages arrived between 2 and 3 weeks. That's for someone living on the WEST Coast. It takes about 2 or 3 days to get through customs.

    If you live on the East coast or have your package go through East coast customs, add a week or two. Customs seems to hold onto packages longer out there.

    I also recommend downloading the 17 Track app. It updates more frequently and gives more info than USPS tracking.
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  13. S Barnhardt

    S Barnhardt Old, Crusty Barn

    That app is a new one on me. I've downloaded it and will look at it!
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  14. Douglas Carey

    Douglas Carey Wildman

    It has been my experience that shipping by the postal service of the country you are ordering from saves you a fortune. The only time you may have an issue is if the order is over $200.00. A courier will charge you duty and taxes based on the selling price.
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  15. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    That it does. China will be paying it's "fair share" in short order.

    "China to pay triple for overseas postal deliveries by 2025 in package deal with global union" LINK to article.
  16. Lancre

    Lancre Well-Known Member

    The way it was explained to me, a lot of those gift cards are only for domestic use, as they can't be verified internationally. The vendors won't take the risk of accepting payment from a card where they can't verify the balance. That's in the US. I'm unsure about the situation in the EU. Does the entire EU qualify as "domestic" if you live in one of the member states? I have no idea.
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  17. ghostlife

    ghostlife Well-Known Member

    I've shipped shaving supplies from UK (no tracking slow delivery), and non-shaving supplies from Russia and China (tracking slow delivery) and never paid fees or duties on anything
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  18. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Some cards, such as gift cards and Discover, are for the US only. When checking out, specify PayPal as the payment method, continue as guest, and pay with the card. From what I have been able to gather, this option processes these payments from the U.S. Some retailers don't enable PayPal continue as guest / pay with credit card, but many do. If you buy an item from Amazon, that will also work, regardless of where the item is shipped from.
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