Revised Nov. 16th 2011
Ciao a tutti, since 2002 i have been buying costume jewelry in the United States and i see the number of italian ebayer increasing every day. There is much confusion in shipping to Italy and several sellers prefer not to ship. I try to clarify some important points.
- RESTRICTIONS: Costume jewelry is NOT restricted while jewelry is. The problem is that the translation of the word Jewelry, i.e. gioielleria in italian language, means fine jewelry only therefore gold, silver, platinum and these metals are restricted. The exact translation of costume jewelry is BIGIOTTERIA (more similar to the french bijoux) but it seems the clerks at post offices don't know the difference or their guides have a wrong translation. Very often the packages of my sellers are refused because of this word on custom declaration. There is a simply way to avoid the problem: do not declare costume jewelry but the exact content (used necklace or bracelet or whatelse). There is another very important reason to avoid the word jewelry. Italy is not different from any other country in the world.... as it looks so similar to gioielleria somebody can think there are values inside the parcel and may be they want to take a look or more.
- DUTIES AND VAT : this is not a problem of the sellers but may be you want to know what happens to your package when at customs. Up to Euro 22.(about us$ 25) there is tax exemption. In the last times customs are checking much more than in the past and almost all packages with a declared value plus shipping charges over us$ 30 are subject to 4% duties and 21% VAT on declared value plus shipping charges. Customs fees are Euro 5.50. and furthermore you have to consider a stay at customs, few days with Priority or Express but even 15 days for first class. Customs can ask for a copy of the payment receipt or copy of ebay purchase if they do not believe the declared value is the right one.
If buyer never bought in the USA it is better you specify that all customs duties and VAT are for buyers' account.
- SHIPPING: Even if not insured and not trackable First Class Mail is a good way, reliable and not expensive but delivery in 15-30 days subject to customs clearance time. In the last time due to increased volume of international packages there are delays in clearance. Priority mail is the best way, faster , 10-15 days about, more expensive but the package number can be followed up via USPS site and the customs clearance is effected in 2-3 days. There are 2 good options with priority mail if items fit inside: Flat rate envelope a us$ 14.00 abt up to 4 lbs and Flat rate Box a us$ 44.00 abt up to 20 lbs. Registered mail is rather expensive, trackable but it takes about 15-20 days to arrive . Express and Global express are a top service, 7-10 days for delivery, but very expensive. Priority mail, Express and Global express are always delivered by courier, First class and registered mail by Post service, this means they can take one week fm Milan to final destination.
- PACKING: Recycling is appreciated but do not use old foodstuffs, cosmetics, medicines, vitamines or similar things destined to human use packings. These categories are subject to Customs health office inspection. Since 10 days i have a package stopped at customs because jewelry has been packed inside a bathfoam box. I had to send tons of declarations as well as copies of ebay purchase, payment, etc etc. Everything has been cleared but it will take at least another week before i receive my package.
Therefore if you want to recycle such packing material, please wrap them.
Now a few words about Italy. The service of Poste Italiane is not bad. Some years ago it was terrible but now Poste Italiane is a private company and there have been many changements. In 8 years of almost daily purchases and at least thousand packages sent from the States to my address i only lost 8 packages and, if i have to say the truth, i think that at least 3 were never sent. I presume it from sellers' behaviour after sale. Only 1 package arrived open and missing of some content. Since 3 years i never missed one package.
May-be i was lucky but first of all i am honest ;-). A buyer can open a claim declaring item as not received and at that time it is true. then, when package arrives, he/she forgets to inform seller and send back payment..... When giving shipping details specify that package can take even 40 days to arrive.
If buyer's reputation is not good enough I suggest for both parties PRIORITY MAIL BOX. It is not internationally trackable ( if lost is lost) but on USPS site you can follow up when shipped, when out of USA, when arrived at customs and when delivered just to avoid any misunderstanding or any oversight. Giving them your email address you can be informed of the status of your package. Nice service for both seller and buyer and both parties can check if item shipped/received.
a big ciao from Italy !