International shipping BS

It’s worth mentioning that the only reason this is happening is because I was driven by desperation to buy from eBay, who has implemented, in the last year or so, this egregious and borderline-illegal Global Shipping Program, a genius way to overcharge buyers dreamed up by eBay and Pitney-Bowes (yeah, the postage meter guys).
The deal is that they allow sellers to, at no charge to them, opt into the program, and the sellers just need to ship (domestically) to the GSP center. Normally nobody doing this level of business uses carriers like UPS or FedEx because their rates are exorbitant.
But not only does the program force buyers to do business with these pricks (with higher rates and a buttload of ma fan not present in other methods), the real genius is that, on top of the shipping fees, they provide prepayment of customs and duty charges.

Irrespective of whether such charges are actually applied.
Irrespective of whether the buyer wants it.
AND, to cap the whole thing off the charge never shows up on the invoice prior to agreeing to pay.
That’s right, you never see the charge until you’ve made your payment.
I’m not kidding, you agree to pay XX.XX and then receive a receipt for XX.XX PLUS 10 to 30 bucks MORE.
Once again, you have no choice whether to use the “service”.
And yeah, once again, they keep the fee even if no Customs charges are applied.

Sorry, I’m kind of getting my tail in a knot here.

I wrote to them when this whole shit show started and complained, since, like most anyone who’s careful, I never have to pay Customs on International Shipments to Taiwan for personal use.
They said, and I’m not really paraphrasing here, if you don’t like it, go pound sand up your ass.

So I rarely buy from there any more.


I get this document every time with FedEX/UPS unless the shipper knows what they are doing and correctly supplies the information and sometimes fees. Probably should edit the thread title as it’s not a scam.

What do you mean I’m funny?
What do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?
You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
You said I’m funny. How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what’s funny!
Ya stuttering prick ya.

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Get the fuck outta here, Bradley Cooper.

I almost had him. I worry about you @Yang_Gui_Zi. You may fold under questioning.

But seriously, Rock, this whole thing has been exceptionally baffling since you may recall I get monthly international shipments and aside from the occasional snag on import duties - oh, and the “Fuck You Thieves” incident - I’ve never ever seen or received anything like this. And yes, sometimes it comes UPS or FedEx. Usually registered mail, which I think makes things easier, but the fuck do I know? It works for me.

Maybe somebody could educate me. The value of my shipment is $100; it’s for personal use; it’s subject to duty. Why are you getting this bullshit and I’m…not?

Funny looking. No stuttering, trash panda. :wink:

I thought we had established this already? It’s because he’s a talking raccoon! Who wouldn’t be suspicious of a talking raccoon?

Ok, I’ll stop too.

Like @Yang_Gui_Zi said, it’s shipments over 50k NTD. I guess this is something our freight forwards file for us. I would assume I have seen it because our shipments are well well over 50k NTD, but I haven’t even seen this document in my daily responsibilities.

Yessir, Mr. @ranlee, but Bradley Cooper up there said it was a US$30 item. I know Brad, pretty well. If he’s splashing out 50K on a monthly basis and keeping me out of the loop, I guess I don’t know our favorite trash panda as well as I think.

Which is very quite peculiar as to why something worth 1000NT requires this stupid ass document. Hope Mr. Cooper figures it out. Sucks to have to do so much extra just to get your parcel.

I’m still going to go with the talking raccoon reason because nothing else is really making sense to me.

Bad friggin luck?
Or maybe I should say it’s my turn, given that there are months where I receive five or six shipments, and this is only the (sort of) second time this has happened (as mentioned above).

I was going to mention that a couple of times, this one place I get stuff from in China has suddenly, out of nowhere, told me that they NEED my ARC number to ship, despite multiple prior shipments where they didn’t. Any friggin ways, I just told them no, these weren’t the droids they were looking for, and the stuff came though just fine.

Update on this particular situation, since I refused to do any of this bushwah via email, they finally agreed yesterday to send their monkey out to get me siggie and ARC copy, after which they’ll get the shipment “cleared” though Customs.
As noted, so far the process is exactly how it went that other time, when they finally just ended up delivering it, with no special docs or siggie or nothing.
(Please note that, despite repeated requests, they still have yet to provide a document or any other reference showing that it has actually been held up)

This seems a little excessive. Are these the re-ups for your Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs fix?

I’ve never eaten a Twinkie.
I don’t know what a “Ho Ho” is.

And Dong Dong is a hardware dealer I met in Batangas who offers a Buy Four, Get One Free deal on factory second (slight imperfections) Bulgarian AKs.

I was just about to chime in with some commentary about this unfortunate fact. It’s my sworn duty to eventually expose you to the beauteous wonder of Hostess Snack Cakes. Frozen Twinkies are simply the best thing ever.

Frozen Twinkies hit the spot on a hot summer day, but when the weather is cool, it’s best to go Scottish style, deep fried in batter. I guess it’s understandable that the raccoon isn’t familiar with the fine line of Hostess snacks…stuff this good never makes it into the dumpster.

I thought that was colloquially known as Obese Redneck State Fair Style.

Holy shit, I have seen but couldn’t bring myself to eat the deep-fried fucker. I think I appreciate where they’re going with it though. However, I have to say, the seasonal affectation of dietary preference has always boggled my mind. I eat ice cream in December. I drink hot coffee in July. If someone offers me an egg nog, it doesn’t have to be Xmas.

Anyway, I’m sure someone has deep-fried a fuckin’ Ho-Ho or two. Man, I could go for a Crumb Cake or 12 right now. Don’t get me started on the fuckin’ Diabetic Speedball of a blueberry Fruit Pie.

The thing that sucks is that while ebay implemented this BS global shipping program, Amazon USA just flat out refuses to ship almost 99% of their catalog to Taiwan or to international points in general. It is almost unusable outside of the USA

Ebay used to be great as many sellers were willing to ship internationally, but ebay sold them on the GSP program with simplicity and low risk, all you need to do as a seller is ship your shit to their USA location and Pitney Bowes takes all the risk if the shipping goes missing. So now as far as the sellers are concerned, there is no upside to selling directly to the customer. They dont care that you need to pay extra charges.

Then there are the ebay sellers that allow you to buy the item, then they come home and see someone in Taiwan has bought it and they cancel the order immediately and refund the money without even an apology. Ebay is a shitshow.


There are still some ebay sellers out there willing to ship directly to us folks in Taiwan.

Recently I asked if one of them could simply use air mail as that would minimize the chances of the package getting caught up in customs. I was told air mail is fine, but it’s got to be registered, because if the seller doesn’t do that, and then the buyer claims that the package didn’t arrive, the seller is caught out, with no payment or the original goods. This seems fair enough, even though for me registered service is useless when packages cross international boundaries.

And yes, as others have noted, ebay’s GSP program sucks.


Shipping from the US using USPS became really expensive a few years ago. Coupled with the ease of buyers ripping off sellers who don’t use online tracking and it’s easy to see where the global shipping program has a market.

I’ll say this for eBay’s GSP: while it’s awful for cheap hobby items, it’s pretty good for expensive stuff. Two examples:

  1. Asus laptop computer. With shipping, insurance, customs and duties (and this is an item that would indeed be charged import fees) it was still more than $7000 NT cheaper than buying it in Taiwan. And the shipment was entirely worry free as my second example shows…

  2. Set of Star Wars CCG cards ($220 plus about $50 shipping). Arrived partially damaged (this was the fault of Pitney Bowes adding a pack of BOLTS - yes, the metal things that hold other metal things together to the package). The GSP immediately ponied up all $270 for me, the buyer kept the money, and I kept the partial set (so a win for me in the end).

I am following up on this because I teach at a school here and there is a US nonprofit that gives us a “book prize” for our students. Basically they send 30 copies of a book and I give them to one of my classes. In the past, the book usually came from within Taiwan but they also did send a huge box from the US several years ago.

For the first time I’ve gotten the power of attorney/ID forms from DHL. Is there any way to know/guess what the tax rate is? Does anybody have an idea of whether there are any exceptions for non-profits and schools and what I would need to do to have that work? Can you guestimate the cost for $350 of books? Is it possible to deny delivery and what are the repercussions?

You can check this thread for some more info

I think many of us concluded that if it’s not delivered by DHL or UPS, you’ll get lucky and dont’ have to pay the tax.

There doesn’t seem to be an import duty on books, as far as I can tell. You will still need to pay 5% VAT based on the declared value including shipping costs. Thus it should be around $17.50 plus 5% of whatever they wrote for shipping costs.