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A few months ago I sold a GPS unit on eBay to a buyer in Canada. I shipped it via Fedex *at his request* (I would have shipped via USPS otherwise, as I'm aware the customs fees when using a private shipper are much much greater). The buyer reported the item received, and I thought everything was good. But then a month later received a letter from Fedex stating that the customs duties of $55 had not been paid by the buyer and so I was now liable for this.

Apparently unlike USPS which requires immediate payment of customs duties upon delivery, Fedex delivers, and then just sends a bill later. And if the buyer doesn't pay up, they then charge the seller. This seems dumb to me, but it's stipulated in their T&C, so I don't really have a case to dispute it or anything I suppose.

So I tried to get the seller to pay up and he said he would, but then kept delaying and saying he would pay shortly, and then eventually just stopped responding.

In the mean-time I got a letter saying the amount would now go to collections. At this point I probably should have just paid it and been done with it, but I didn't. I think I was frustrated. Then it went to collections, and I know at that point I should've sent the letter by registered mail disputing it within the first month. But I failed to do this. Major mistake, I know. I'm not proud of it.

Now it's been about 2 months, so it's too late to send that letter right? I still haven't noticed it on my credit report yet though--is there still a way to keep it from showing up? I remember one Fwer making the recommendation in a similar case to mail the collection agency a cease & desist letter, and then tell the company (in this case Fedex) that they'll receive payment in full only if they call off the collectors. Would that work?

Separately, is there anything I can do to retrieve this debt from the eBay buyer, besides just pestering him via email? Can I sick a collections agency on him myself?

Thanks for any help.

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I think you should take the hit and pay the $55 to get it out of collections and consider it a lesson learned. Consider yourself lucky it hasn't hit your credit report yet and hoepfully it won't show up on there if you take care of the situation now.

Never trust Canadians!

Honestly though, it is in their T&C which you've obviously read. If the buyer fails to pay, the responsibility falls back on you. The lesson learned would be to use USPS for shipments out of the country.

Send the dispute letter. You dont decide to "forget it" just because its past 30 days.

How about not exporting junk if you are not in the import/export business? That's how I do it. I find more than enough buyers in the good ol' USA.

NEVER EVER USE FEDEX OR UPS TO SHIP INTERNATIONALLY...with one exception: UPS to Canada is ok for you, not for the receiver.

Otherwise use USPS for smaller/lighter items and Bax Global/Schenker for larger/heavier items (there are others too but those are my favorites, although Bax needs a business address).

/I ship internationally for work a few thousand times a year

For instance I wanted to ship a large heavy metal component to Poland. Ups: $1100, Fedex: $950, Bax: $235

Myers215 said: I think you should take the hit and pay the $55 to get it out of collections and consider it a lesson learned. Consider yourself lucky it hasn't hit your credit report yet and hoepfully it won't show up on there if you take care of the situation now.



Just like the OP shouldn't just "forget" the charge, he also shouldn't "hope" it won't show up. OP, contact the collection agency, get a statement in writing that the debt will not go on your collections, and pay the debt.

Just because it's in the TC doesn't mean it's valid ...

wackyrabbit said: NEVER EVER USE FEDEX OR UPS TO SHIP INTERNATIONALLY...with one exception: UPS to Canada is ok for you, not for the receiver.

Otherwise use USPS for smaller/lighter items and Bax Global/Schenker for larger/heavier items (there are others too but those are my favorites, although Bax needs a business address).

/I ship internationally for work a few thousand times a year



Where did you learn your vast knowledge from, a tall short guy?

Always use Fedex express for foreign shipment. they have their own clearing house in canada and once you pay it all from your end, no one will come back and ask you for more. never ever use fedex/ups ground though.

sensia said: Always use Fedex express for foreign shipment. they have their own clearing house in canada and once you pay it all from your end, no one will come back and ask you for more. never ever use fedex/ups ground though.

Fedex express can still get you like this, check your agreement. UPS ground to canada (standard service) is great for the shipper, expensive for the receiver though...really expensive fees.

Have you tried calling eBay and telling them the situation? Usually when a dispute like this happens, eBay takes care of it through paypal by taking money out of the buyer's account.

You might find a slightly different audience who may also have had personal experience with this sort of thing (experiences with getting eBay's help in such a case, for example) in the "Online Auctions" forum here on FW.

agree those darn canadians! trying to get more money always.

How is FedEx going to put it to collections without your SSN? I had this happen to me a few times with FedEx and TNT...items where shipped to me as a gift and they still tried to charge me fees...I never received anything that I was going to go to collections and they sent a couple letters and that was the end of it, and this was 2-3 years ago. Nothing is on my credit report from either of them.

You can put anything to collections with a name and an address.



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