Importing: costs, confusion, headaches


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Importing: costs, confusion, headaches

Postby ethan » Jun 15th, '14, 21:18

I've often been dismayed by the retail cost of products. In regards to tea, most of it comes from countries that pay people working in the industry less per day than workers get in "developed" countries for an hour.
However, every official hurdle that must be jumped comes at a cost of time etc. which is ultimately paid by the retail customer.
Some countries want reports on what money is coming in-- for what etc. A bill may not be paid by credit card on-line or over the phone. A wire transfer can cost $45 to send; &, fees may be charged to the receiver though the sender was told there would be no additional fees.
Language of the USA's harmonized tariff schedule can be confusing. E.g., black tea is duty-free in immediate packings of content not exceeding 3 kg. Does this mean that 10 kg. of tea sent in one-kg. packs is duty-free? I don't know? Do you?
A customs official can look at an invoice that lists the cost of goods & the cost of shipping; then tax the total (though it is incorrect to do so). To fight mistakes, one applies for a hearing that he may learn of only 72 hours before it is scheduled. If the hearing is missed, the goods are destroyed. A broker may attend on the receiver's behalf & charge his client much more than the money he saved his client... etc.
So, tea seems to cost 3 to 4 times more, but it does not. I am bringing in tea in quantity to save 60% but will save much much less. I will have secured a great tea, a "vintage" so to speak--- good, I hope I have the energy to drink it.
ethan
 
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Postby bonescwa » Jun 15th, '14, 23:01

How much are you buying? I get a package from China at least every other month if not every month and haven't had a problem yet.
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Re: Importing: costs, confusion, headaches

Postby ethan » Jun 15th, '14, 23:28

10 kilograms

W/o problems I've had tea come from Thailand (via DHL) & (by mail) from Hong Kong, Taiwan, & Nepal, but never more than 3 kilograms at a time.

For about 20 international (10 - 25 kg.) shipments of other items, I had problems 3 times.
ethan
 
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Re: Importing: costs, confusion, headaches

Postby JBaymore » Jun 16th, '14, 12:58

ethan wrote:10 kilograms

W/o problems I've had tea come from Thailand (via DHL) & (by mail) from Hong Kong, Taiwan, & Nepal, but never more than 3 kilograms at a time.

For about 20 international (10 - 25 kg.) shipments of other items, I had problems 3 times.


Into Thailand... or into Boston?

best,

......................john
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Re: Importing: costs, confusion, headaches

Postby ethan » Jun 16th, '14, 15:01

Into Boston. I apologize for giving in to the temptation to whine. It's life.
Wording is not always as clear as it could be, jobs don't always get done properly etc. "Tax is for any shipment over 3 kg." would have been clear; the broker did not need to be lazy; the customs could have looked at the invoice carefully.

Part of the purpose of the post was to share a positive thought, that when we pay a price that we think is more than it should be; it does not mean the retailer is getting a whole lot of that money. Customers pay for the problems that cost the retailer time & money.

Cheers.
ethan
 
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Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3

Postby bonescwa » Jun 16th, '14, 15:38

So... are you running a tea house with all that tea? Actually, it would be kind of cool, if "importing" wasn't such a problem, to bulk buy a lot of decent - to - good quality stuff and sell it to folks on here with a bit of profit to make. You'd fund your own tea consumption for sure. The only problem would be access to good stuff without paying wholesale to other middlemen, then it's just an endless chain of middlemen even worse than it already is.
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Re: Importing: costs, confusion, headaches

Postby ethan » Jun 16th, '14, 18:18

bones..., I sell jade figures & jewelry wholesale to a few shops & occasionally retail at festivals. I don't have a shop. I don't have an on-line website. When I had more than 7 kg. of Thai red oolong, I did sell or barter about 1.5 kg. in transactions w/ teachatters. Likewise, I'd be happy to sell or barter some of this black tea once I have it in hand. Also I hope I have the strength of character to post for sale some of my teaware. (I need $ > I need unused bowls etc.)
I doubt that importing tea (or teaware) is good business for the underfunded or minimally informed (e.g., me). I bought a large amount of the red oolong because it is a perfect everyday tea for me, the price was right, & I feared that it would not remain available (which turned out to be true). I was sure it was good tea, but doubtful most tea-drinkers would prefer it to some similar tea (e.g. Mountain Tea's Imperial Pearl).
This particular black tea from Nepal has the most wonderful flavors of other great tea from Nepal & Darjeeling, w/o too much astringency; moreover, the tea announces itself subtlely: its taste builds, lingers; &, then the flavors develop even further in the tea's aftertaste. Very satisfying! (I am giving a bad description but will do better when I drink it as I describe it). I bought the last 10 kg. of a particular flush of 2013 because I cannot imagine this tea being any better in other years.
ethan
 
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Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3


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