Furniture on eBay - "on a ship" - any experience anyone?

Found 21st May 2007
Hi,

There's a lot of decent-looking solid oak furniture regularly for sale on eBay, but much of it is advertised as being 'on a container ship heading to the UK'. I take this to actually mean that the UK company is just buying stuff to order from a foreign supplier.

But it also means there's a 4-6 week delay, during which time they've had your money, and you're taking it on trust that you'll ever see anything turn up.

Has anyone had experience of buying from these kind of dealers? Is it kosher, and is the furniture actually any good?

Cheers,
tamper

12 Comments

4-6 what delay ?

I would not buy anything that is still on the water, what happens if the container falls over board, does your purchase price include maritime insurance and at what rate of loss.

If it sounds good, forget it, or give me the money and I will let you know what happened to your furniutre :giggle: :giggle:

Original Poster

oops - that was meant to say "4-6 weeks". Edited now!

stora

4-6 what delay ?

It's 4 to 6 weeks which is the sailing time from HKG, so it has not left yet. I have people in HKG that can source a container load for you.

Original Poster

Crazy1

I have people in HKG that can source a container load for you.



Really?

a few things you should know, taken from my own experiences:

you will have to pay a customs charge (£40 for checking of documents I believe plus duty/ vat on declared value).
If you buy it and therefore own it before it gets here you are deemed as responsible for submitting all the necessary paper work.
You have to pick it up from the dock yard. If you dont want to do this delivery starts at £90 for a small box - so I hope your ordering nothing big and heavy.
4 to 6 weeks is an approximate time. If its coming from China I have had items take as long as 15 weeks!
You are paying for the shipping charges, if it breaks in shipping and you havent paid extra for insurance then theres nothing you can do about it unless you pay out to send it back.
Check out feedback. Do they sell these things alot? Or is this a new venture for them? Are you happy that they are trustworthy?
Even then if someone in a foreign country sends the wrong item as it belongs to you- its your problem. I doubt the company will do much to help you as they wont want to be out of pocket for shipping to England, sending it back and shipping of the new item.
Where are they buying from? Some countries use pictures of other manufacturers products and send out their 'representation' of it. Do the pictures look professional? Then thats probably not what you are ending up with!
If you cant pick it up from the dock yard within a few days you will be charged a storage charge. This starts at £10 a day for small items. I'd hate to think how much a larger one would be!

In my opinion items of this size and expense are not worth taking a chance on if you are not 100% sure where its coming from and every minor detail.

Be careful! There are genuine bargains out there to be had.

Me personally, I would post the picture in a deal request - who knows someone might be able to come up with somethingsimilar at a better price...

angelkelly

a few things you should know, taken from my own experiences:you will have … a few things you should know, taken from my own experiences:you will have to pay a customs charge (£40 for checking of documents I believe plus duty/ vat on declared value).If you buy it and therefore own it before it gets here you are deemed as responsible for submitting all the necessary paper work.You have to pick it up from the dock yard. If you dont want to do this delivery starts at £90 for a small box - so I hope your ordering nothing big and heavy.4 to 6 weeks is an approximate time. If its coming from China I have had items take as long as 15 weeks!You are paying for the shipping charges, if it breaks in shipping and you havent paid extra for insurance then theres nothing you can do about it unless you pay out to send it back.Check out feedback. Do they sell these things alot? Or is this a new venture for them? Are you happy that they are trustworthy?Even then if someone in a foreign country sends the wrong item as it belongs to you- its your problem. I doubt the company will do much to help you as they wont want to be out of pocket for shipping to England, sending it back and shipping of the new item.Where are they buying from? Some countries use pictures of other manufacturers products and send out their 'representation' of it. Do the pictures look professional? Then thats probably not what you are ending up with!If you cant pick it up from the dock yard within a few days you will be charged a storage charge. This starts at £10 a day for small items. I'd hate to think how much a larger one would be!In my opinion items of this size and expense are not worth taking a chance on if you are not 100% sure where its coming from and every minor detail.Be careful! There are genuine bargains out there to be had.Me personally, I would post the picture in a deal request - who knows someone might be able to come up with something similar at a better price...



Very good, I see it from the other side and everything you say is correct, I would never do business that way, you have no control over the goods.

BTW there is no customs duty on furniture but there is VAT payable on the cost of the furniture and the freight element to get it here. Also you will be required to register for a VAT number which takes 4 days to get but does not entitle you to reclaim your VAT back, it's called a Pseudo VAT TURN number. You can check out ]hmrc.gov.uk for all the gory bits. :whistling:

Just make sure the ship isnt the "Cutty Sark" lol

[QUOTE=Crazy1]BTW there is no customs duty on furniture but there is VAT payable on the cost of the furniture and the freight element to get it here.QUOTE]

Yep, bang on! The £40 is the charge for customs checking you documents etc. I think you can actually go down and do it yourself which should be free. But you need to be there on the day the ship is unloaded.

Original Poster

Thanks all. Some interesting information there, and probably enough alarm bells to put me off. However, I should perhaps have explained a bit more up front. The company(s) in question aren't expecting you to act as importer yourself - it's a door-to-door service, with nothing in their T&Cs about loss at sea. See an example listing here:

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/…390

Sorry if that wasn't clear. There's just so much of this on eBay that I wondered if anyone who'd bought from there had first hand experience.

[quote=angelkelly][quote=Crazy1]BTW there is no customs duty on furniture but there is VAT payable on the cost of the furniture and the freight element to get it here.

Yep, bang on! The £40 is the charge for customs checking you documents … Yep, bang on! The £40 is the charge for customs checking you documents etc. I think you can actually go down and do it yourself which should be free. But you need to be there on the day the ship is unloaded.



Not allowed to clear yourself anymore, you have to use an agent or the shipping line might be able to put you in touch with someone. It's also not a 30 minute job and the yards all close at 4pm, if you are not registered in the yard by 3pm you can come back tomorrow.

thanks for that

Just had something come in at Southampton Port and the shipping agent told me I could go down myself (about a week ago). But to be fair everything else that came out of his mouth was erm rubbish.... so I guess he lied about that bit too!

Good job I said no then! lol
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