Etsy Vintage Team What do you do? Customer requested a lower $$ for customs

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Etsy Vintage Team is a moderated team with the following requirements:

Etsy Vintage Team is a moderated team with the following requirements: 

~ Shops must sell vintage items or items made from vintage.
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~ Shops must strive to be professional through excellent photography, clear policies and complete descriptions. 

~ Shops must be willing to attend at least 3 Team meetings a year. They are held monthly and are where we share valuable update information.
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~ Shops must have at least 50 sales before applying to the team
~ Shops must have at least 75 items for sale
~ Shops must have an avatar and completed About and Info page that conveys who the shop owner is and what they and their shop is about

~ Shops will also be reviewed for sense of owner enthusiasm along with uniqueness and range of items.
~ Shops will be expected to make improvements as discussed in the team discussion boards. Examples are: photography/editing methods, policies, tagging, social media.
~ Shops are strongly encouraged to participate in the social promotional activities as they are set up to promote the team and its consistently active members.
~ We reserve the right to remove team members at any time. 

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Original Post

Pat T. says

I just sold a beautiful necklace, and with the shipping overseas the total is just over $52.00..... she has requested I post the total as not more than $49.99.

What would you do? How would you reply to the buyer?

Thanks for your input Pat T.

Posted at 10:46 am Feb 15, 2013 EST


That's odd! I would want to know why? And why she thought I should lose 2.00? I'll tell you! Some of the things people do! I would not, and I would simply say "No, sorry". No explanation needed on your part.

Posted at 2:08 pm Feb 15, 2013 EST

This has happened to me many times with overseas purchasers. I always say it's not my policy to falsify customs forms. It's a good idea to post that in your shop announcement, just so they know....

Posted at 3:55 pm Feb 15, 2013 EST

People ask for that because over a certain threshold, looks like in this case it's $50, then the person has to pay extra taxes.

With etsy's new shipping you can't modify the price of item. I have done this before with customers overseas, and just put the price I paid for the item on the customs form, which is generally significantly less than what I am selling the item for.

They don't always ask for it, but when they do I am generally able to work with them, though I won't outright lie. I.E. recently If I sell something overseas for $1,000 and they want me to put $20 on it, when I purchased it for $250 I wont, but I will put $250 on the customs.

You are under no obligation to do this of course, but it has netted me several return buyers, especially in Russia.


Posted at 4:21 pm Feb 15, 2013 EST

Kari Moore says

ya, I just send along a quote that it is a federal offense...nothin personal but I choose not to take the risk...and Mo is right, can no longer change anything if you are printing labels straight from ETSY so that is an easy way out...i don't think oyu can even change it form merchandise to gift which is another request I get often...
Mo, any problems ever with Russia? I have a pkg MIA, it went first class, has been over two months; our usps says it has left the states, it seems to be floating in international space...

Posted at 1:43 am Feb 16, 2013 EST

Oh, I won't ship to Russia anymore...I've had too many theft problems...but, I hope your package turns up!

I thought that one didn't include the shipping cost in the value of the item on customs forms....

I tell customers that as a small business it is too risky to falsify anything...and recently I've had someone want me to mark something as a gift, as valued at $60.00 (when over $2000.00) or cover about $250.00 in customs duty, admin fee and brokerage fees...I'm always kind of shocked that some people would expect a Seller to do any of these things!!

Posted at 2:10 am Feb 16, 2013 EST

I always put the value of the item (what it sold for), not including the shipping cost. I'm sure this is the right way to do it. With items like ours, value is not easy to determine. Something is not necessarily worth what someone will pay for it. It may be a lot more or a lot less.,

Posted at 10:30 am Feb 16, 2013 EST

Nope, sorry.

Posted at 5:20 pm Feb 16, 2013 EST

Agree with Beguiling and Beth. In fact, I finally put it in my shop policies.

Posted at 5:50 pm Feb 16, 2013 EST

It's a Federal offense and I'm a known shipper. I'm not going to put my shop at risk to lie on customs forms.

Posted at 6:01 pm Feb 16, 2013 EST

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