Has anyone purchased a film camera from Japan on ebay?

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Josh
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Hey guys, as per the title, I'm looking at expanding my film photography gear collection and picking up a new (used) 35mm film camera from ebay.

It's listed as coming from Japan, so I'm not really sure how it works with customs, import fees etc. The camera looks to be in absolutely mint condition, so I'm looking at paying around £150 all in. Possibly a little over priced, but I'm happy to pay that for the condition.

Has anyone on here been in a similar situation and how easy was the transaction?

Thanks

Josh
 

excalibur2

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Brian
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Well I have......easy to buy like in UK and I was lucky as no problems with customs etc maybe it was because the camera (incomplete) was about £60. But some guys are unlucky and have to pay extra. .
 
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Trevor
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I bought one a few years ago now. All went smoothly but from memory it cost me about an extra 25-30%. Can’t remember the exact breakdown. But you’ll almost certainly pay extra.
 
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Kneller
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Josh
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Thanks guys, I thought that may be the case. I'll more than likely order anyway, hoping for the best but knowing there's a very good chance it'll end up costing me more!
 

nandbytes

I owe Cobra some bacon
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it might end up costing you more but the Japanese sellers are very good with their description and delivering on promises. I have ordered from old vintage lenses from Japan in the past and really the quality was great.
I stopped after Brexit vote screwed up the currency exchange rates and everything was like 15%-ish more because of it + taxes on top.
 
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Ian
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I picked up a Mamiya Press lens recently from Japan, and got stung with the customs fees. Sadly, it was quite a bit after it had been delivered too. Formal letter from one of the parcel companies... (Fed Ex IIRC). Easy to pay online, just not particularly happiness inducing.

Also, check the feedback of your seller before buying for any English language feedback. I guess you do this, but mentioned just in case. 100% feedback from non UK buyers isn't always representative.
 
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David
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Technically its around 5% import tax (this can vary on type of technology and whether new or s/h, but for budgetary purposes think 5%), then 20% VAT on the total inc shipping costs (the landed price) - so think 25-30% and you will be about right. If its very low value it may get in without any additional taxes.

Plus their is the importers handling fee (£8 in the case of Royal Mail, but may vary for a courier company ie FedEx, TNT, etc)
 

excalibur2

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Brian
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Technically its around 5% import tax (this can vary on type of technology and whether new or s/h, but for budgetary purposes think 5%), then 20% VAT on the total inc shipping costs (the landed price) - so think 25-30% and you will be about right. If its very low value it may get in without any additional taxes.

Plus their is the importers handling fee (£8 in the case of Royal Mail, but may vary for a courier company ie FedEx, TNT, etc)
Well I didn't get charged by RM either so I was lucky #2
 
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Kneller
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Josh
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Thank you all. From looking around online, I seem to come up with SLR 35mm cameras come in at 4.2% plus the standard VAT rate, so I'm looking at around £39 on top.

The photos and descriptions have it at mint condition, so I'm happy to go ahead with it, just wanted to gauge some opinions on here first.

The feedback is 100% positive, with the large majority of those being in English.

I didn't realise there were importers handling fees, so I'll have to look in to that too.
 
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John
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I bought an old but brand new (in a sealed box) Cosina lens from Japan which arrived very quickly with no extra charges. I then bought a Nikon F2 for about £130 which also arrived quickly (about three days!) but cost me jan additional just over £50 in import duty and VAT.
 
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thomas
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I bought some years ago, sometimes lucky no custom, sometime unlucky and custom charge.
I bought things from japan shortly after the fukushima disaster and I was always a bit worried when I picked up these bit of kit! :-/
 

Asha

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Asha
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Bought a number of items from Japan and other countries outside if the EU.
Yes fees amount to about 25-30% of the initial price paid .
There’s no easy way to calculate exactly what the extra charge will be but if you allow 30% that should more than cover it.
 

excalibur2

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Shame that most or some or all Japanese (or other countries) are honest with the value of the goods as customs can't check every parcel coming into the UK from abroad.
 

excalibur2

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I think it's a point in their favour. After all, if they're honest with Customs, they'll probably be honest in their descriptions. (y)
Good point..but I wouldn't mind a gift from a honest trader erm well if the two go together :shifty::cautious:;)
 
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I buy from Japan, cameras, lenses (and pre-owned watches) and find the online retailers very satisfactory to deal with.

As always it pays to read their listings carefully ask direct and open questions about functionality, condition etc. before committing. I don't rule out the possibility of HMRC having some kind of database which sounds a loud alarm indicating that you've imported purchased goods previously (nothing I buy gets past the Fedex advancement charge or the duty and I long since stopped expecting it to) but maybe if you're a first timer with a low value item you might slip under a net.

I recently received a Mamiya 645 body which did not work even though I had asked specifically for confirmation that it worked correctly and didn't suffer any problems. I raised this as a return request and immediately received a refund in full: they didn't want the defective body back so I gained a paperweight.
 

ChrisR

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Technically its around 5% import tax (this can vary on type of technology and whether new or s/h, but for budgetary purposes think 5%), then 20% VAT on the total inc shipping costs (the landed price) - so think 25-30% and you will be about right. If its very low value it may get in without any additional taxes.

Plus there is the importers handling fee (£8 in the case of Royal Mail, but may vary for a courier company ie FedEx, TNT, etc)
Parcelfraud now charge £12 customs charge for value less than £873 and £25 above that.
 

RaglanSurf

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excalibur2

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Loking at prices for a 180mm lens for RB67 in Japan and they are very cheap (withoutr rip off customs etc), and why was I looking? well as mentioned before my lens was firing after about 11 secs and now has siezed. Anyway have emailed Miles to see if he can repair it and price.
 

excalibur2

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Brian
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Loking at prices for a 180mm lens for RB67 in Japan and they are very cheap (withoutr rip off customs etc), and why was I looking? well as mentioned before my lens was firing after about 11 secs and now has siezed. Anyway have emailed Miles to see if he can repair it and price.
From Miles
Please note I am advising not to send equipment until the new year now due to current level of work.
 
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Well I've ordered a Fotga adapter from China £6 (free post)....hope I don't get a RM handling fee of £12 :eek:
No duties on items under £15 but that includes any postage costs. I've had low value bits from China before with little or no postage costs. I think their postage is heavily subsidised.
 

excalibur2

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Brian
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No duties on items under £15 but that includes any postage costs. I've had low value bits from China before with little or no postage costs. I think their postage is heavily subsidised.
All confusing as it seems only things stopped at customs would incur RM £12 charge ?
 
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John
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Why wouldn't they? It costs them time to process this stuff and the reason that they charge the recipient is that the sender chose not to pay for it. Look here: Customs for import | Royal Mail
When I bought a Nikon F2 from Japan earlier this month, FedEx did not charge me a fee to organise the import duty and VAT.
 

excalibur2

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Brian
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If the item sent has a customs declaration, correctly completed ie not telling lies on value to avoid duties thent it's allowed up to £15 value.

See 2.3 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...tice-143-a-guide-for-international-post-users
Well then we are back to:- customs can't check everything (even with a custom declaration) as my F4 from Japan cost me nothing in extra charges....whether the high cost of the delivery charge (from seller) pays for UK delivery..I dunno
Even more ridiculous is the high delivery cost from the US. :eek:
 
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Kneller
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Josh
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Thank you everyone for your opinions and experiences. I placed my order yesterday and so far the transaction has been very smooth.

I've had a couple of messages from the seller keeping me updated on the progress and it's been dispatched already with an estimated delivery of tomorrow, which I'm fully expecting to change as that seems ludicrously fast when even RM can't deliver that quickly with the majority of my parcels.

I'm fully prepared for the fees I'm likely to be hit with, but still keeping fingers crossed that it may slip through the net.
 

RaglanSurf

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Why wouldn't they? It costs them time to process this stuff and the reason that they charge the recipient is that the sender chose not to pay for it. Look here: Customs for import | Royal Mail
£12 is still a lot for very little work, also they've just increased the fee by 50%, pretty hard to justify in any industry tbh.
 

simon ess

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Err...

so there appears to be a difference of opinion concerning customs costs.

Let's move on eh.
 
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Ian
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I've had a couple of messages from the seller keeping me updated on the progress and it's been dispatched already with an estimated delivery of tomorrow, which I'm fully expecting to change as that seems ludicrously fast when even RM can't deliver that quickly with the majority of my parcels.
You know that after all this we need to see pics :)
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
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Brian
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Well I think there is complete confusion over customs\delivery cost as it seems to me to depend on luck and to add:- thought that countries had an agreement that if the sender from another country paid the postage (in their country) then the destination country would be delivered free.....erm but Peter added this is for items under £15? but then thought there must be a weight limit as if I bought something heavy and bulky (under £15) with free postage say from China, would RM be obliged to deliver this for free.
Also if the parcel from another country says "Gift" who decides what or is it down to luck again.
 
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Nige
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These are the official rules on receipt of gifts from outside the UK:

2.4 Gifts
Goods sent as a gift that are over £39 in value are liable to import VAT, Customs Duty also becomes payable if the value of the goods is over £135.

To qualify as a gift:

  • the customs declaration must be completed correctly
  • the gift must be sent from a private person outside the UK or EU to a private person(s) in the UK
  • there is no commercial or trade element and the gift has not been paid for either directly or indirectly by anyone in the UK
  • the gift is of an occasional nature only, for example, for a birthday or anniversary
Note: if you purchase something from outside the UK or EU to give as a gift to a relative or friend, whether or not addressed to that person, it is treated as a ‘commercial consignment’ for which the import VAT relief threshold in paragraph 2.3 applies.
Taken from the following webpage (which gives details on how duty and tax are applied to all imported goods received by post).

 
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