China Group Buys & Knowing Shipping & Customs Issues

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China Group Buys & Knowing Shipping & Customs Issues

Post by deVries » Jun 27, 2012 9:31 pm

This thread got too side tracked on shipping issues from China especially concerning "group buys". If the Mods want to move this thread somewhere else, then that's fine with me. I'm starting a new thread for my "revolving" group buy of A123 20Ah cells. I will link to this thread from my Group Buy thread, so this shipping from China info is still covered by those that have an interest to read this thread too.

I moved my A123 Group Buy to the thread linked below to stay focused on its sole purpose. Please continue to post in this thread regarding shipping & customs issues. If you want to buy A123 20Ah cells to USA addresses only, then please post in the following thread at link below:

Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells USA Only!
Last edited by deVries on Jul 02, 2012 10:15 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by deVries » Jun 27, 2012 9:53 pm

Reserved for updating any new ideas or news, etc. :)

Price to my doorstep is about $23 per cell.

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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by ohzee » Jun 28, 2012 8:57 am

GL Devries. Surprised your not getting more hits so far , but it's also possible most the people who wanted these
cells ordered direct once we had a good amount of successful reports.

Anyway nice to see you offering to help people out.

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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by thedarlington » Jun 28, 2012 11:02 am

these are interesting, can you point to any made packs to see how these are put together or soldered? what bms would be good for these? also shouldnt they be a bit cheaper since we dont have any canadian duties on these? good luck on the sale id be interested if i can know enough about these, right now im on headways and although heavy i like knowing that i can readily buy new ones and easily swap them out (screw on to headway main batt frame), also how readily available are these in case something went wrong? i originally wanted a123 but dealing with all the counterfeits put me off, i may be interested again for your order

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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by agniusm » Jun 28, 2012 11:08 am

thedarlington wrote:these are interesting, can you point to any made packs to see how these are put together or soldered? what bms would be good for these? also shouldnt they be a bit cheaper since we dont have any canadian duties on these? good luck on the sale id be interested if i can know enough about these, right now im on headways and although heavy i like knowing that i can readily buy new ones and easily swap them out (screw on to headway main batt frame), also how readily available are these in case something went wrong? i originally wanted a123 but dealing with all the counterfeits put me off, i may be interested again for your order
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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by cwah » Jun 28, 2012 5:35 pm

Is it from victpower?
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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by Ypedal » Jun 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Alright.. i feel the need to pipe up and ask a few questions.

Devries, have you ever imported goods from china before ? ( experience dealing with customs ? )

What equipment do you have and how are you proposing to test for duds ? ( important question, if someone is going to capacity test my new cells, i'd want to make sure it's done properly.. dont want to start a new pack with an over-discharge lol )

Are you financially stable ?.. if shit hit the fan for any reason, are you a broke ass bum ?.. or are you financially responsible type with equity ? ( Dare i mention names of past douchebags gone down that road recently .. urgh.. )

dont take this as me being negative, take it as a good way to prove to potential group members what you have to offer, experience and piece of mind..

testing cells is a TIME SUCK.. like .. major job if you have never done it before, get ready for a big surprise..

How quickly and how much time do you have available on your hands ( retired ? ) to do this process.. ?

I'm seriously going to add a new section to the For Sale area ( again ) to cover some of this stuff.. i had a massive writeup a while back when knightmb was owner and it went poooof after a crash or auto-prune took it away..
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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by deVries » Jun 28, 2012 7:22 pm

Ypedal wrote:Devries, have you ever imported goods from china before ? ( experience dealing with customs ? )
Yes. JRH told me there shouldn't be any customs fees, since this is a very small order. :)
What equipment do you have and how are you proposing to test for duds ? ( important question, if someone is going to capacity test my new cells, i'd want to make sure it's done properly.. dont want to start a new pack with an over-discharge lol )
See the OP. I'm not doing capacity testing unless "the insurance cells" are not enough to cover duds. I've done tons of cell testing with the software that I have with my Hyperion chargers. It does the capacity testing; not me. ;)
Are you financially stable ?.. if shit hit the fan for any reason, are you a broke ass bum ?.. or are you financially responsible type with equity ? ( Dare i mention names of past douchebags gone down that road recently .. urgh.. )
This is a coop-buy at no profit as a courtesy to other ES members from an ES member that has actively participated here since 2008. It's a far different situation that you encountered with a fraud seller recently. ;) I have a lot of understanding about A123 cells having used the 26650 starting in 2008. I have a lot of understanding about the 20Ah cells, and anyone can check my profile & see I've started & managed the most heavily traffic'd or most viewed posted topic regarding these cell types just recently. No one has posted more on this specific topic in the last couple of months, since these cells became available recently. :mrgreen:
I'm seriously going to add a new section to the For Sale area ( again ) to cover some of this stuff.. i had a massive writeup a while back when knightmb was owner and it went poooof after a crash or auto-prune took it away..
Please do and set "the policy" & apply it equally for everyone. If you're going to pop-in here to ask hard questions, then I think you're going to have to do that equally for other For Sale topics too??? I am a long-term active member, so I guess you have to be fair in the way everyone is treated as a Mod too. It can't be arbitrary, random, or sporadic in nature to be fair to all, imo. :idea:

Cwah, yes this "group buy" is from the same source everyone has been buying from including the group buy done by JRH JohnRobertHolmes recently.

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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by Ypedal » Jun 28, 2012 8:28 pm

Yes. JRH told me there shouldn't be any customs fees, since this is a very small order.
Customs involves 2 things, Duties and Brokerage.

Duties are taxes you pay on the declared value on the commercial invoice or proforma invoice that the shipper attaches to the box.

Brokerage is the fee you pay the company ( FedEx, UPS, USPS ) that does the paperwork for you to get the box across customs .

I have been working for a shipping company for 15 years, the stories i could tell lmao... i've also purchased 10's of thousands $$$ worth of goods from the US and from overseas, i assure you anything over 200$ declared value, is subject to this process .

also, insurance on shipping, some things are prohibited, while others are " At Shipper's Risk " and insurance is null and void even if you pay for it ( they will decline the claim, but they will keep the amount charged on top of the shipping cost !! )

If the shipper declares a lowball number ( like many chinese websites will do, like HK for example ) you get away with paying less duties ( edit : Sometimes, none, just like crossing the border and some people get checked while others pass thru, not under your control ) , but if you insure it for a higher amount than you declare on the customs invoice, it looks fishy... however, the shipping company will not compare these numbers usually.... shipping charges are paid electronically, if you add insurance it's tacked on at time of shiping, duties and brokerage are billed seperately. jsyk.

--

regarding treating everyone equally, i try my best, what i'm trying to say and what comes thru the keyboard sometimes come across completely wrong, but i'm used to that .. :lol: .. i have no bad intentions with these difficult questions.. but when a group of forum members get involved in something like this, they should know what type of person they are dealing with.. shit happens.. how you deal with it is what matters most !..

I do tech support for a living, every call starts with " I have a problem " not unlike many threads on this forum, how the answer is provided and in what way it's delivered matters..

I canot possibly read every thread, i try but it's impossible, we have to rely on members flagging threads or stepping in to engage in discussion for the benefit of all.
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Re: Hurry! Wow! Pow! Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells

Post by kevo » Jun 28, 2012 8:29 pm

DeVries,

Thanks for offering this ES community service! :D
Thanks Justin of http://ebikes.ca for your amazing talents, dedication and contributions to ES!
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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by deVries » Jun 29, 2012 7:20 am

Ypedal, thanks for the info about customs & brokerage fees. ;)
also shouldnt they be a bit cheaper since we dont have any canadian duties on these?
This "group buy" is mainly for USA shipping addresses. See the OP for details. I will reship outside the USA for a 16+ cell order, and please see the OP that explains more details & risk involved to do that. This is a not for profit endeavor, but it is also a not for losing money for anyone deal too. :lol: You get my time and work to do this for free, but this "group buy" is at shared expense money-wise. ;)

I have changed the order date to July 23rd, and I will move it to August if we don't get at least 75 cells ordered as a group. Demand is low now, since someone just sold 70 cells & JRH also did a group buy not long ago too.

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by scriewy » Jun 29, 2012 8:32 am

I finished reading the 35pg 7s3p thread after 2.5 days non stop week and a half ago, you guys shot your selves in the leg sooo many times lol my brain was rebooting till today.

what about the englishtaobao, they got low ass prices, not reliable enough for us ?

any 1 tried asking vct for sea postage ? or everybody is so unpatient ?

i will be buying at least 24, but as i said my brain is still coming up from a reboot and i haven't decided from what source to get
Last edited by scriewy on Jun 30, 2012 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
it's a pitty i wont stay to see the world crumble, u jedi Scum

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78v 2ah Vdrop to 58v at max 66kmh.
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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by deVries » Jun 29, 2012 8:53 am

scriewy wrote:what about the englishtaobao, they got low ass prices, not reliable enough for us ?

any 1 tried asking vct for sea postage ? or everybody is so unpatient ?
Sea shipping is cheap IF someone will sell the cells to you within the weight limits of government postal mail service, and you can avoid any customs hassles too. ;) I would only do an order by Sea in Winter or very cool months to avoid possible "heat damage".

No one has posted their experience with other Chinese sellers of A123 20Ah cells. Buying for "low ass" prices may be buying "low ass" quality too! :P I've seen what the lower price range is too, and several I found to be "bogus" crap cells that were either trimmed tabs from defective modules or really old cells that were beginning to swell or just plain strange junk/fake cells. Also, I found at least one seller that was definitely pumping fake ratings from buyers of their products too, so even positive feedback ratings can't necessarily be trusted.

I'm sure there might be another good supplier, but it will take time to find them & confirm the quality and service is good. If someone has done that with actual experience doing it, then please post your information about it. Thanks. :twisted:
Last edited by deVries on Jun 29, 2012 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by Ypedal » Jun 29, 2012 8:55 am

shipping by sea does not bypass customs..

Anything crossing a country border, has to go thru customs, no exceptions... how much you get charged to clear your good however, can vary.. this is where experience comes into play. :wink:
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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by jonescg » Jun 29, 2012 9:05 am

Some countries have a threshold for taxes, and some have thresholds for brokerage/customs fees. Others only add customs if it exceeds the tax limit (like Australia).

It's funny, you can buy cells for cheap (woohoo!) avoid customs and GST (wooho!) but get arse-raped by shipping (boo).

So you buy lots of cells for cheap (woohoo!) pay customs and GST (boo) but get cheaper shipping (woohoo!). And in the end you pay the same.

Sea freight is only worth it if you're moving a couple of palates of cells (loose container loads) or whole containers (big money!). Some places will still ship lithium batteries by air provided the total stored energy is under 5 kWh or something. Hobbyking have no problem sending cells by air and sea freight is only worth it if the air freight exceeds about $800 from memory.

Good luck with the group buy Dean. My advice is to have plenty of your own funds to cover the crap you don't expect.

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by scriewy » Jun 29, 2012 9:17 am

Sea is just to save on postage, i didn't sudgest to bypass customs, can't run from those magots on big orders.

i paid for 15kg 40$, by air it's over 200$.
the guy from that thread paid 2500$ what by sea could be around 500$, and on remaining dough he could get just more packs, if ones time critical & running a bussines then understandeable.

ypedal you got/gonna get some 20ah or be sticking to liPo's ?
it's a pitty i wont stay to see the world crumble, u jedi Scum

clyte 405,
went through battle, bloody resurected Dewalts 4x28v 2s2p usable 2.7ah, 52v drops to 44v at 54kmh
78v 2ah Vdrop to 58v at max 66kmh.
72kg rider + 23kg bike.
keywin 20a 30-70v mod to 6 4110 as methods advised for noobs, shunted 38a
clyte 24-72v 40a mod 4310 to 4110, shunted to 77a
17.5.11 - 5000km
at 78v 4ah 72.7kmh Vdrop to 68v
10.11 - 82.1kmh
30.8.12-17000km

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by deVries » Jun 29, 2012 9:26 am

Ypedal wrote:Anything crossing a country border, has to go thru customs, no exceptions... how much you get charged to clear your good however, can vary.. this is where experience comes into play. :wink:
Hey, you've shown us the carrot; you have years of experience with shipping & support. Please share your hidden knowledge to help us out. Surely, you know most of these "loop holes". :D 8)

We know HK devalues the shipment value, so it can clear customs w/o fees. We know there are certain categories of product that probably import duty free if it can be placed in that category too. Does hobby parts work or toy parts or toys or ??? Also, I know the shipments from some suppliers are using certain cell size notations to avoid some shipping issues too.

Anyway, the key here is to not order in some huge quantities to attract further attention. 75-150 cells seems to be the range where "dud coverage" makes it worth your while and to save on some shipping expenses too. This isn't an attempt to be in the battery business; it's just that these specific cells are now in limited supply & may not be available again. Many other knowledgeable people have suggested A123 may just be unloading these cells during their financial hardship and to cover one potentially bad production run on one of two lines in the USA, yet the percentage of defective cells seems low from the limited amounts bought & posted about on ES.

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by Ypedal » Jun 29, 2012 10:47 am

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by bigmoose » Jun 29, 2012 6:59 pm

scriewy or Y when the shipment comes by sea do you have to set up a freight forwarder to get it onto USPS or UPS or FedX to make the delivery within the continental US from the landing port, or does it "automatically" go from ship to a carrier?
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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by Ypedal » Jun 29, 2012 8:31 pm

All depends how it leaves from the seller's dock, most of the carriers also do sea shipments ( ups, fedex, dhl, etc and can handle the entire transaction ) and some chinese shipping companies use them as agents and can make arrangements for you..

When i got my 2 pallets from crystalyte way back when, they shipped it to the port of Montreal Quebec and i made arrangements with a customs broker to get it here in Moncton, picked it up myself with a truck from the local warehouse ( canot remember the name atm.. ) there are many ways to do it.

I could have gone to montreal and get in line with the paperwork, clear it myself, and take it all home but this was not convenient for me at all.. if i lived near a port of entry.. i would have cleared my own.
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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by scriewy » Jun 30, 2012 1:18 pm

What Ypedal & jonescg said.
ways to save on delivery process, ship by small quantities, declare lower value.
for this we need cooperation from the other side, which we usually don't get because factories or resellers mainly don't want to deal with many singular packages, secondary declare undervalue if it's too legit company.

example of israel :
declared value over 50$ gets taxed by the products group, if quantity over 10 units it is taxed as commercial product.

some ebay shops note they don't ship to israel, italy, brazil, considered infected by the customs plague !

the moment we use privet company as DHL, TNT, UPS we just add more infestation on top of the basic robbery.
they're like another middle man happy to join the robbery frenzy with the gov.

when crystalyte used TNT for me, broker wanted to charge 50$ for paperwork, i decided to check what it is all about, waited 5 hours in line, when i entered there was this huge fat guy in his 50s, just like 1 of the vogans from "hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" continue

sorry,hit the character limit on my phone
- and then he pulled out a disturbingly BIG ancient looking T A X book to categories my motor, that was the end of the world :shock: , even after telling it cost me 70$ i was taxed in 2 types of taxes and with high percentage, overall added around 110% to original cost, seems electromotive equipment gets a SPECIAL treatment, like vehicle parts which taxed by the highest rates of all, instead of supporting the EV cause.
on the other hand if the broker were to do this they might have unknowingly rate it by the lowest tax because the broker would say come on come on move it move it i don got all day and cause he knows the guy, or they might have rate it at even higher tax cause they wouldn't know in what category it is and just choose randomly not as turned out with me giving too much details.

that IRS place is such a dump, the atmosphere reeks with vogan bureaucracy, bLhaaaa.....
Last edited by scriewy on Jul 02, 2012 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
it's a pitty i wont stay to see the world crumble, u jedi Scum

clyte 405,
went through battle, bloody resurected Dewalts 4x28v 2s2p usable 2.7ah, 52v drops to 44v at 54kmh
78v 2ah Vdrop to 58v at max 66kmh.
72kg rider + 23kg bike.
keywin 20a 30-70v mod to 6 4110 as methods advised for noobs, shunted 38a
clyte 24-72v 40a mod 4310 to 4110, shunted to 77a
17.5.11 - 5000km
at 78v 4ah 72.7kmh Vdrop to 68v
10.11 - 82.1kmh
30.8.12-17000km

a place for lasers as ES is for e-vehicles - laserpointerforums.com

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by Tom Tom » Jun 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Devries-

I'm interested in 16 cells and I live in Colorado. If I understand your group buy rules,
I would pay for 18 cells at 23 each = 414 plus shipping from Texas. Is this correct? I would then receive 16 cells with the extra 2 cells
that I pay for covering dud cell insurance?

So roughly I might owe around 450 for 16 cells shipped from Texas to Colorado?

Tom

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by deVries » Jun 30, 2012 7:31 pm

Tom Tom wrote:Devries-

I'm interested in 16 cells and I live in Colorado. If I understand your group buy rules,
I would pay for 18 cells at 23 each = 414 plus shipping from Texas. Is this correct? I would then receive 16 cells with the extra 2 cells
that I pay for covering dud cell insurance?

So roughly I might owe around 450 for 16 cells shipped from Texas to Colorado?

Tom
Hi Tom, yes, what you're thinking seems correct to me. Potentially, if we get no duds, then you could get 18 cells vs 16 cells. This assumes we continue to get a low percentage of duds from same seller. I checked with JRH, he also did a group buy, and this "dud insurance" idea worked well. I have attempted to be sure everyone will at least get their minimum number of cells. For you, that should be 16 cells, at least, assuming we do as well or even almost as well as JRH did with his group buy.

Also, I did some research with US Customs, and if DHL doesn't cover the Duty Tax in their shipping price, then there is an added 2.7% in duties added. According to JRH he did not have to pay any extra fees upon receipt of his DHL shipment, so I'm assuming this was somehow included in the shipping price he got.

We need to get at least 75 cells on order to make sure the "dud coverage" will have a high likelihood of success, so we may have to wait till August if there is not enough interest for July.

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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by Ypedal » Jun 30, 2012 7:41 pm

deVries wrote:Also, I did some research with US Customs, and if DHL doesn't cover the Duty Tax in their shipping price, then there is an added 2.7% in duties added. According to JRH he did not have to pay any extra fees upon receipt of his DHL shipment, so I'm assuming this was somehow included in the shipping price he got.
.
Be very carefull with that assumption..... duties and brokerage are NOT included in any shipping quote, none that i'm aware of anyways.. ( it's not the shipping company that applies this charge.. it's US customs.. )

edit to add : some companies are authorized customs agents, and can broker and apply duties to their own freight, so potentially possible but they need the proforma invoice provided to them before they could provide such a quote .

for example.. when i got my KMX cobra, Fedex delivered it, i signed and the driver walked away.. i was floored.. and kept my mouth shut and prayed.... 3 weeks later i got a bill in the mail from fedex logistix for the duties and brokerage..
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Re: Group Buy A123 20Ah Cells Now July 23rd

Post by deVries » Jun 30, 2012 8:00 pm

Ypedal wrote:
deVries wrote:Also, I did some research with US Customs, and if DHL doesn't cover the Duty Tax in their shipping price, then there is an added 2.7% in duties added. According to JRH he did not have to pay any extra fees upon receipt of his DHL shipment, so I'm assuming this was somehow included in the shipping price he got.
.
Be very carefull with that assumption..... duties and brokerage are NOT included in any shipping quote, none that i'm aware of anyways.. ( it's not the shipping company that applies this charge.. it's US customs.. )

edit to add : some companies are authorized customs agents, and can broker and apply duties to their own freight, so potentially possible but they need the proforma invoice provided to them before they could provide such a quote .

for example.. when i got my KMX cobra, Fedex delivered it, i signed and the driver walked away.. i was floored.. and kept my mouth shut and prayed.... 3 weeks later i got a bill in the mail from fedex logistix for the duties and brokerage..
Well, I can only go by what happened with JRH's USA group buy. The point is there is the possibility of having to pay the additional 2.7% in Duties. Everyone doing this "group buy" will have to assume this shared risk of possibly having to pay another 2.7% in duties plus any other brokerage fees or surprise duties.

Why were you not informed upfront that FedEx could bill you for more fees? Your item came from the USA right? Didn't you know ahead of time you could be hit for these additional fees buying from USA with your shipping experience???

This "group buy" is a shared risk, so any other hidden or unexpected fees we get hit with is an additional shared expense owed by all participants before I ship cells to anyone. That's fair warning! :D

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