Beautiful fabric…at a price.

OK, yes, I am sorry, another little moan.  I am writing this post as it might be of use to someone else (and save them a bit of money).

I have been thinking about ordering fabric from the US (through etsy) for a while as it’s so much cheaper, even with postage costs.  I found some nice sale fabric at a site recommended by a number of blogs and sat back to wait for delivery feeling pleased with my saving.

I have just been to our local post depot to claim my parcel and have been charged £10.83, yes £10.83!!!! Now as the fabric was $26.00 (without postage) it fell over the dreaded £18 that customs allow for imported goods (I just did an online exchange and it came to £18.09 so a measly nine pence over) so I got a £2.83 customs vat charge – fair enough, but then Royal Blooming Mail charge £8 for allowing me to come over to their depot and pay them to give me my package.  Apparently (I asked the customs man as there wasn’t a hope of RM answering their phone) and he said this is standard and if my vat had been £100 I would still be charged £8 by RM who say they are acting as my agent, hence the charge.

Just to make is slightly more annoying I drove all the way over there (into industrial no-mans land) and they can’t process a card payment so I had to drive around to find a cash machine.  Wasn’t the poor girl on duty’s fault so I stayed nice and polite but I thought I would wrote a post for anyone else importing from the US.

Nice fabric though…

Royal Blooming Mail

4 thoughts on “Beautiful fabric…at a price.

  1. its is nice fabric. im glad you posted about this because ive come close to buying on etsy a few times now but always get put off by the note about custom charges, its helpful to know just how much you have to spend before any sneaky charges come in.!!!
    enjoy your fabric!

    • hi bex, i guess the trick is to stay below £18 ($26) or buy so much that an £8 Royal Mail fee isn’t such a big deal. glad the post might help someone though as i was not a happy bunny.

  2. Hei. We have exactly the same rules but more stringently imposed in Norway. If the fabric is marked as second hand then I think that will avoid tax unless the loop hole has been changed in the UK. Alternatively, if is marked as a gift the tax limit is higher. Some companies will do this if you ask. Always one to try and find a way around. Lovely fabric though. x

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