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  1. #1

    Default Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    I just wanted to ask a shipping question. I am from England and I sometimes look at perfumes from the e-bay in America but often notice that they don't wish to ship to England.
    Is this just personal preference, or is international shipping a real pain from there?

    I have seen the tiniest perfume bottle, and I would really like to buy it for the few dollars it costs. The thing putting me off is the the whopping $28 dollars charge for international postage. It is under $3 to send within the USA.

    Is this really what it costs to send something so tiny abroad? I suppose it would be a small padded envelope size with a 5ml type perfume mini bottle inside. Empty too.

    Does anyone send these sort of things regularly or recently. Can anyone enlighten me?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    I sent a bottle recently. It hasn't arrived there yet, hopefully it will. I can tell you it wasn't very expensive at all, less than $10 for a full 50ml bottle.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    I got caught out last year and had to pay customs duties. They made the purchase less than economic and I have not bought from outside the EU since. Very few get caught, but if you do it's a pain in the backside (and purse)!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    I did too. A whopping 18 on something not worth that much in the first place. I think it has to be a gift for it not to get the duties, but it isn't legal for a seller to mark it as a gift either. I'm not terribly sure what they are actually duties for.... especially if they are vintage perfumes and the postage is paid already.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I have seen the tiniest perfume bottle, and I would really like to buy it for the few dollars it costs. The thing putting me off is the the whopping $28 dollars charge for international postage.
    I recently discovered this: International flat rate. If the ebay seller could ship to you using the US Post Office's International Flat Rate (using the post office's own flat rate box), shipping would probably be $13 max. I believe insurance is included, and the person I sent a fragrance to in the UK using this service said he received it record time, too, like 4 or 5 days. Originally, I had packed the box myself at home, and when I went to the post office the shipping was exhorbitant! The clerk didn't tell me about the International Flat Rate, and the board above the clerks' desks didn't list it, so how is anyone to know? The seller may not know about it either. But if you have to pay duties as well, you're right - it may not be worth it. I wrote "souvenir gift item" on my customs form. It was a favor for someone, not a sale.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    I shouldn't think it's in his interest to give me cheap postage... he probably does send it flat rate.

    That sounded rude. I didn't mean it rudely. Thank you.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I shouldn't think it's in his interest to give me cheap postage... he probably does send it flat rate.
    Well, yes, I'm sure you're right at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    That sounded rude. I didn't mean it rudely. Thank you.
    No, I didn't take offense. I thought, "yeah, she's right, I'm forgetting human nature!"
    Last edited by lilybelle; 30th September 2010 at 02:56 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Some sellers really do take the mick with shipping from the US to the UK. I buy a good bit from the US ebay and sometimes if not listed as shipping to the UK I will ask. These are the sellers who will offer excellent ranges shipping wise. I have seen a lipstick with $28 shipping to the UK.

    Customs duty is nothing to do with shipping costs. But the UK customs and import duty, anything costing more than 18 and bought outside the EU is subject to duty. Its all very complicated and to do with import and export from the UK to a non EU country. Even items marked as gifts and over a certain amount can still get charged duty. Plus the money is collected by Royal Mail who also charge for doing this. So the actual duty might only be 3.50 but the Royal Mail add like 5 or 6 on top.
    DONNA

  9. #9
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    If it is a valuable item, I won't ship it to the U.K. from the U.S. without insurance. Also, this makes a good international-shipping precaution, since it can be tracked, and must be signed for.

    The insurance fee is about twenty-five US dollars. That is one consideration.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    If it was valuable, I wouldn't mind paying for expensive postage and expensive insurance....
    BUT
    It's a tiny and empty bottle of Coty Chypre. Less than 5ml and was $6...... You can see my reluctance to pay much postage....
    BUT
    I want it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    I recently discovered this: International flat rate. If the ebay seller could ship to you using the US Post Office's International Flat Rate (using the post office's own flat rate box), shipping would probably be $13 max. I believe insurance is included, and the person I sent a fragrance to in the UK using this service said he received it record time, too, like 4 or 5 days. Originally, I had packed the box myself at home, and when I went to the post office the shipping was exhorbitant! The clerk didn't tell me about the International Flat Rate, and the board above the clerks' desks didn't list it, so how is anyone to know? The seller may not know about it either. But if you have to pay duties as well, you're right - it may not be worth it. I wrote "souvenir gift item" on my customs form. It was a favor for someone, not a sale.
    Lilybelle- thank you for that ! I did not know about the International Flat Rate- nobody ever tells us this stuff at the post office !

    I ,on the other hand, have the opposite problem - I have been waiting 2 weeks now for a parcel to come from the UK. It's been sent International Signed For and I worried it's been caught up in customs.A tiny bottle of vintage Mistouko . *rolls eyes*
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Lilybelle- thank you for that ! I did not know about the International Flat Rate- nobody ever tells us this stuff at the post office !
    I know! They can take in three or four times as much postage if they don't. Actually, there is a commercial running on TV now that advertises the flat rate...but who pays attention to that? Not my local post office anyway. The clerk had to go look in the back for a flat rate box, took the longest time, and then came out with the very last and only one they had. I have no other complaints about our little local PO here, though. They do a great job overall.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I did too. A whopping 18 on something not worth that much in the first place. I think it has to be a gift for it not to get the duties, but it isn't legal for a seller to mark it as a gift either. I'm not terribly sure what they are actually duties for.... especially if they are vintage perfumes and the postage is paid already.
    Me too - 17 charge in addition to over 10 for postage, its not worth ordering from US. Royal Mail also managed to "lose" my last order of samples from TPC. UK mail services are really BAD !

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    It annoys me too. There's no place I can get decants from the UK but the cost of importing from the US is the same as buying a full bottle.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    There is a place called the perfume exchange in the UK. It is a bit Heath Robinson as yet. I will PM you the details.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    There is a place called the perfume exchange in the UK. It is a bit Heath Robinson as yet. I will PM you the details.
    Mumsy, could you please pm me the details as well? Sounds interesting.
    Thanks.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Oh could I please also have the details? I used to get my decant from ebay but then they banned them. Perfume Splits quite a few do not ship outside the US. Then I did email one seller but they never replied.
    DONNA

  18. #18

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Not related to Ebay specifically - where I think that sometimes sellers charge high postage rates to ward off business they consider simply too much hassle rather than expense as such, with which I have some sympathy - but I feel frustrated that US perfume companies (quite properly) mark shipments as commercial. The bottle usually becomes too expensive with another 18 slapped on, and often high overseas postage rates again. So I have taken to using my US-based perfume buddies as "mules" or rather "receivers", whereby I pay for the item and have it sent to them, then they send it on to me (repackaged as a gift). Even with two legs of shipping costs it works out cheaper than one overseas postage rate from the company plus the risk of duty. I have also returned the favour for a US perfumista, only this time I bought the bottle in the UK, she paid me via Paypal and then I sent it on.
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  19. #19

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    Mumsy, i have recently swapped samples with an overseas friend, and I buy my USPS shipping label/customs form and pay the postage online. The least expensive option with a tracking number is $26.60. The smallest flat rate USPS box is $12.78, but that option doesn't offer tracking. If there is a less expensive option to ship, someone please let me know!

    Edit: If there is a less expensive option to ship with tracking, someone ...etc.
    Last edited by coopmom; 2nd October 2010 at 03:14 AM.
    If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    As I said earlier, I recently sent a full 50ml bottle plus a few smaller ones in a well padded envelope for less than $10 to UK. It got there without problems or custom fees. However, I sent it without insurance or tracking number which of course is risky.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    I just shipped from US to Slovinia, this is what happened. The first post office would not eccept the package because I listed it as gift and perfume. They told me the airlines do not eccept flamable items on their planes. So I had to go to another post office and claim it as cosmetics and they did not ask anymore guestions, it was around $12.50 to ship.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Sending perfumes from the US to England - general question

    This question has surely opened up a gigantic can of worms. Perhaps we should organise our own BN perfumista 'mules'. Recently I did the same thing with a very kind and obliging fellow basenotes member. The US seller wouldn't ship to England, so she took delivery for me and then forwarded the package on to me marked gift. It all got here safely enough thank goodness by priority mail. Kind of crazy though in our world of such high technology. I suppose it doesn't get rid of distance and human effort, or error....

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