Buying from the U.S.

#1 by Robert Crewdson , Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:27 pm

Some people have publicly stated that they don't buy films on Ebay from the U.S., due to the high cost of postage; about $80 or £61 plus customs charges on top, makes any purchase too expensive. For a long time I never looked at Ebay.com when it came to films, but the Global Shipping Service has changed all that, and my purchases over the last 3 years have come mostly from the U.S.. Often the prices have been lower than what I would expect to pay in the UK. I tend to look at those listings with BIN prices. I am currently awaiting a rare English film from the U.S., the BIN price was only £32 ($42), and described as 'Excellent condition and focus'. The seller is probably well known to some of our American members, he is Omer Whayne. I discovered that he sells at film conventions. He has excellent feedback for the quality of his prints and his honest descriptions., With postage and import tax, the total is only £62. You couldn't buy this film in the UK for that price. I looked at his past sales, and he has sold many top titles with the same low price of $42.

Last year I had another bargain from another well known figure in the film world, Julian Antos of the Chicago Film Society. I purchased from him a pristine copy of 'Sword of Monte Cristo', for only £19; total amount was probably about £51. Although film prices see to have risen, there are still bargains out there.



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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#2 by Philip Murat , Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:34 pm

Hi Robert,

This is what I observed too..........
I can not buy anymore from USA by Ebay due to GPS "kind of business" which increases basic price for something up to 30% !!!!

I bought many different things from USA via Ebay 15 years ago . It was more simple and there was no Custom over charge (if below 100USD) , and no goodies lost.....
Ebay is just killing its own business.
Now I prefer to buy (oversea) directly from people "out of Ebay" service. (the only problem is PaYpal protection is missing in this case)
Few month ago , I sent something to USA (below 100 USD and Out Off Ebay) for a forum member , it was recepted quietly without any custom over charge.

I assume people from USA met same problem when ordering in Europe throughout Ebay, assume they have to pay extra fees. Is there any member(s) from USA to confirm ?

At this time , there is no GPS "business" when ordering in China (By Aliaexpress for exemple) , tracking is very good too , so there is a competition ..............



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Last edited Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:49 pm | Top

RE: Buying from the U.S.

#3 by Robert Crewdson , Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 pm

Hi Philip, I have purchased a number of non film items from China, and never paid any customs on them. At one time you could import items up to about £40 without incurring charges, and there were one or two sellers in the U.S, who were willing to put a lower value on the customs documents so that you avoided charges, but now you can pay on anything over £15, and customs take the postage costs in the valuation, which is all wrong.



 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#4 by Erik Schoolcraft , Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:36 am

I live in the USA but I got ripped off so many times on Ebay that I gave it up. Too many people finding junk prints then listing them as 'pristine' or 'complete' and it's just trash. I only trust people I've dealt with privatly. Auction sites are for beginners right now which is sad. I had a lot of people help me in the beginning and I have a library now of super 8-reglar8 and 16mm that has been built on private friends not Ebay. Wish there were better websights to get the younger generations into film.


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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#5 by Robert Crewdson , Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:22 am

Maybe I've been lucky Erik, I only had two issues. Fully satisfied with all my other film purchases.



 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#6 by Eivind Mork , Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:36 am

I have been happy with all films from eBay with a very few exceptions. I have ordered several times from the US, but the eBay international shipping is quite expensive to Norway, so I mostly buy from the UK and other European countries. But once in a while there is a print in the US that can't be overlooked :-)


 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#7 by Maurice Leakey , Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:02 am

If you buy from the well-known dealers in the UK there should be no problem as they usually handle any complaints in a sympathetic way.


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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#8 by Robert Crewdson , Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:01 pm

Eivind; I only buy from those who use the global shipping programme, so not that expensive. Postage has sometimes been cheaper than buying here in the UK, and import tax was between £11 and £16. Buying outside of the GSP, is about £61 postage, customs extra, then the Royal Mail add another £8 or so handling fee. I think that the majority of Ebay sellers are honest people who are only cutting out the middle man; you can sell a feature for £30, see it listed at £100, or try to get the £100 yourself on Ebay.



 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#9 by Eivind Mork , Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:10 pm

From what you say, Robert, it seems like global shipping is cheaper to the UK. That would not be very surprising either as you have a much larger country and they make separate deals for sending to each country (I suspect). Most things I get from the UK has a way cheaper shipping cost. There could be something to save on the tax handling, though.


 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#10 by Robert Crewdson , Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:56 pm

I don't know why, but even from the same seller, the cost of shipping varies. I've seen features with a Global Shipping price of £11. I paid £14 for two seperate features from the same dealer, then I have paid £16. I think the dearest was £19. Classic Home Cinema are now charging £17: I don't know why?; Paul Foster still charges £15. Import tax is only £11 on the one I am expecting by the end of this week. Total price for my film £62. I would expect to pay more than that in the UK, with postage extra.



 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#11 by John Hourigan , Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:56 pm

#4 agree wholeheartedly, Erik. I stopped buying from eBay years ago, as most of it was junk. I dont understand why there are some collectors who constantly complain about eBay, yet they continue to buy/sell via eBay? 🤔🤔 Not as much on this forum, but there are some collectors elsewhere who seem to go to great contortions when it only involves a dollar or two one story I read posted elsewhere by a collector who was getting all worked up over reclaiming a $2.00 shipping charge (!!).

Sorry, but life is way too short for that .......


 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#12 by Robert Crewdson , Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:13 pm

The bad deals seem to relate more to Super 8 than 16mm, such as missing leaders, tails, titles, B&W when advertised as colour, and silent, when advertised as sound. Over on the other forum there was someone who suggested that Ebay was a training ground for con men, yet uses it to buy and sell.



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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#13 by John Hourigan , Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:21 pm

Totally agree, Robert I think its because 16mm has always been considered a more serious, professional gauge, while Super 8 was always intended to only be an amateur, home gauge.

And I dont understand some collectors who always complain about eBay, yet they turn around and are heavy users of it for buying and selling prints (???).


 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#14 by Greg Perry , Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:20 pm

I agree. There are a lot of things that I don't like about ebay as both a buyer and a seller. Some of these are ebay system flaws/changes that no one wants except ebay/excessively high costs etc; while other problems are tied to the con men/ripoff artists that use ebay to buy or sell. It seems like more and more film collectors are getting fed up with ebay over time. Buying and selling via facebook groups or film forums is great and is my preference too. But as of now, ebay still has many more films for sale, more sellers and potential buyers than these other options. The good news is the non ebay options are continuing to grow over time.


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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#15 by Robert Crewdson , Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:12 pm

You're spot on there John.



 
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RE: Buying from the U.S.

#16 by Ian Partridge , Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:21 am

Yes it was fun to buy real 16mm film prints from the US eighteen years ago. Waiting up till 3 AM to last minute bid for "M. Hulots' Holiday" from Harry Moll in Australia, wonderful prints then from Thornhill Entertainment, and Kit Parker prints from Ken in Dallas. Opt for USPS / Parcel Force surface shipping and wait six weeks. Customs surcharge was only ever occasional and usually down to the US seller grossly over-insuring thus incurring high import fees. It is true that these prints can have no true 'commmercial' value, only the price a collector will pay. But these were the best times to build a collection of classic features since many of our British films were to be found in USA. I still possess most of these and derive immense pleasure watching them. eBay was OK and easy in those days and it was possible to glean the most extraordinary insights into eBay users through trawling their purchase and selling feedback which was open then, not hidden.

eBay introduced its Global Shipping scam. A system that milks Customs and handling fees from every single item and introduces middle agents fees companies such as City Link - went bust that did not pay its drivers' wages. It has no vans yet still creams off a fee from every transaction. Delays occur while the item gets passed on amongst carriers until it gets to the dinner lady, pizza deliverer, who finaly drops it off.

I rarely buy features now on eBay.

Ian



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Last edited Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:23 am | Top

RE: Buying from the U.S.

#17 by Maurice Leakey , Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:50 am

I wholeheartedly agree with Ian.
Those were the days of getting excellent prints from the US, and no extra to pay when they arrived. How things have changed.
Twenty years ago there was Golden Era Films run by Charles Vesce of Wanaque, New Jersey, who could supply new copies printed to order. I still have the new prints of:-
Evergreen
The Lady Vanishes
Bulldog Jack
Listen To Britain
Night Mail
They were not cheap, but what a joy to receive brand new prints.


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