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Proper procedure for buying lenses overseas

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What is the most efficient, safest, yet cost effective way to purchase a set of lenses from Europe while living in Los Angeles? Buying directly from owner. The owner is hesitant about sending lenses overseas without full payment as I am hesitant about having them sent from overseas after I have paid for them. What about insuring them properly, import/export duties, etc? The set is valued at about $17,500 USD.


Any information would be very helpful.


Long time listener, first time caller!


- Ren Bradford

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You could check out Paypal, although they mightn't cover outside ebay. The courier/freight company should have insurance as part of their package, they also deal with customs, although you'll need to pay before the goods are delivered.

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Yes, paypal is good in the sense it protects both the buyer/seller as it holds the money in escrow until both sides approve. There's a 3.9% fee for international transactions/currency exchanges which isn't horrible. However, what to do about dealing with customs, etc. when exporting such a high priced ticket item. I'm told from the seller that the duty could be around 20% or so? Just curious as to what other solutions people have.





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I've imported gear from the US and the freight company handled the duty arrangements. The seller may be thinking in terms of VAT, which is paid in Europe, you could check online about duty payable when importing into the US.

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.....what to do about dealing with customs, etc. when exporting such a high priced ticket item.

Aren't the import tax or duties paid by you on arrival? I don't get how the exporter is involved. If his country charges an export tax then that's a separate issue.


Packaging. A few inches thick of bubble wrap wound around a lens in a sturdy cardboard box with no room for movement has worked for me a few times.


Security and trust in the transaction. There is the paypal option. Also, with credit card one should be able to reverse the transaction ("charge back" or something like that). I did it once here (NZ) because the brocker had not shipped after a few weeks.


A thought I had was...the seller calls your lens tech, ships to him at your cost, transaction is completed if the lenses check out.

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