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This is primarily a warning for Australians who buy posters valued at over $1000.00 from overseas.
My recent experience has really made me wonder if it is worth it.
I purchased a poster valued at about $1400.00. The seller insisted that it be shipped by FedEx because I paid with paypal. FedEx decided that they would clear the package through customs without consulting me and hit me with a bill for 297.00. This was made up of:
Customs Duty 70.40
Import Charge 40.20
AQUIS Charge 33.00
Whilst it can certainly be quicker if FedEx clears the package through customs they didn't consider that there is a free trade agreement between the US and Australia meaning no duty on the item I purchased. I would have preferred to clear the package through customs myself as it is a fairly easy process. Had I done that I would not have had to pay the duty but still had to pay the other charges. FedEx were helpful in requesting that I get a certificate of origin from the seller and they were able to claim the duty back for me.
So, after purchasing the poster and adding the cost of shipping, buyers premiums, exchange rate and all of the other charges it makes it a very expensive and time consuming exercise - really not worthwhile for purchases over $1000.00.