Expensive mistake on US car part purchase

DeaNZ

CCCUK Member
Been looking for a while for a front splitter (C5R style). Found one that I really like on special from a supplier in the US for USD396.

9365

They only shipped in the US though. On a recommendation I saw elsewhere, signed up to a freight forwarder service, and placed the order. It was delivered to their facility in Florida, and everything was going well. Then I get notified that the shipping charges were a little over USD1000 and the charge was taken from my Paypal account without any prior notice or opportunity to discuss other options with them. The costs were way more than I was expecting, but its bulky (although light) so I wasn't expecting the shipping to be cheap. Ran my own quote with DHL based on the package dimensions and weight; it came out at over USD2,000! So, Ok then. Not happy, but can live with it.

But then I get a bill from DHL for customs and VAT, for GBP347. I didn't realise that VAT (20%) and customs duties (4.5% on car parts) get charged not only on the item value but also on the shipping and insurance costs if the item is worth more than GBP135. So I've now paid c.USD2,000 for a part worth a quarter of that in the US.

I've made a few fair purchases of car parts from the US in the past, and I've never really had any problems. Just going to have to treat this as an learning experience, I suppose.
 

Forrest Gump

CCCUK regional rep
Hi Dean
That's a real shocker, feel for you mate. Who was the freight forwarder?
I can't believe that they just shipped it without giving you prior notice of the cost.

Don't know if you saw a short thread I started on this topic a few weeks ago:

There have been other discussions on here recently about the pros and con of going it alone or using one of our supporting vendors assistance.
 

DeaNZ

CCCUK Member
I've seen other threads on the topic. Have had enough positive experiences doing it alone, that fell into the trap of thinking I had it covered this time. Eating some humble pie right now. I think the freight forwarding service idea would probably work well, for anything not weighty or bulky. Not sure I'll go that route again though. Probably stick to getting shipping quotes before purchase from the vendors themselves.
 

Corvetteville

CCCUK Member
There have been other discussions on here recently about the pros and con of going it alone or using one of our supporting vendors assistance
Have a look at "UK vs USA prices" thread currently showing on home page. There are members who ship parts monthly & give you a fixed price, even if you order it yourself. Eurovettes & EMC.
 

Forrest Gump

CCCUK regional rep
There has been a massive increase in freight costs recently due to a shortage of containers.
.........and no passenger aeroplanes in the sky - besides suitcases, the holds are filled with cargo. That situation is only getting worse in and out of the UK.
I read they're ripping the seats out and converting them to cargo planes, but this is an expensive task too.
 

Nassau65

Well-known user
Wow, that’s terrible. If you need anything bulky sent over, contact Ron at STS imports. They have a container coming into the UK every 6 weeks or so. They will handle everything, and they are cheap. Wheels, body panels, you name it. You have the item shipped to his new warehouse address in California, lots of US companies offer free shipping within the USA, so it will not cost anything to get the item to them. His email is ron@stsimports.co.uk.
 

Nassau65

Well-known user
We did ship a corvette air freight once, it was back in the early eighties. From memory it wasn’t that expensive. Can’t remember why we did it that way.
 

DeaNZ

CCCUK Member
Now that I have the front splitter, would be rude not to keep any eye out for side skirts :whistle:. Will definitely pay more attention to shipping options here on the forum.
 

Corkvette

CCCUK Member
Talk to the guys at Custom Exotics they can supply and fit side skirts and would also have been able to do the same for the front lip.
 

Fishy Dave

CCCUK Member
Hi Dean,
Feeling guilty as it was probably me who sang the praises of this kind of forwarding company? Over the last few years it has saved me hundreds, if not thousands, BUT, I got burnt once, as you've done. That was transporting a pair of Corbeau Evo X seats, subframes and runners. It didn't matter how they were split or packed they were oversized and cost me around $900 in freight alone! Lesson learned, very large items are a problem for MYUS.com, I've since found another service more suitable for larger items. I've found brake discs end up costing the same as buying from the UK in the end, ARB's (despite being long) are cheaper through a freight forwarder. I think you've just been unlucky.
Cheers, Dave
 
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