What Happens When a Buyer Won’t Get a Parcel from Customs?!

What Happens When a Buyer Won’t Get a Parcel from Customs?!

Posted by Big Brand on 12th Dec 2020

If you read our previous article, 15 Reasons a Parcel is Stuck in Customs you already know that most likely it is because the buyer has failed to take action to retrieve the parcel although there are other reasons). “Why would a buyer not get their order from Customs”, you ask; This can be because he/she hasn’t paid taxes / VAT / duties on it or because they have completely refused to cooperate (such as filing the proper forms or responding to a Customs Inquiry). This means the parcel will sit… and sit… and sit… did I mention that it sits? Yes, it sits. And I can assure you that the entire time it sits the buyer is slamming you with “Where’s my order?! Make it arrive or refund me!”

So, the question becomes, “What happens if a buyer refuses to cooperate?” and the answer is generally this:

If the buyer is required to pay tariffs prior to the parcel leaving customs, the package will continue to incur taxes as it sits. After all, Customs is not designed to be a free storage unit, you know? So a parcel that has sat for 25 days could end up raking in monies-due.  When the buyer discovers they have to pay a lot, they are no longer interested in getting their order.  

But what if the buyer refuses to comply completely? Best case scenario is that the parcel is eventually refused and “Return to Sender” is slapped on the box. Hopefully the package eventually arrives back to you. However there is absolutely no guarantee that you will ever see your merchandise again. Generally speaking, it takes no less than 30 days for Customs to start the Return Process for a parcel, however it is not uncommon for the parcel to sit, unclaimed, for 60, 90 or more days…. Or even forever.

IF you are fortunate enough to get the inventory back, you should plan ahead to be billed for Return Transit and possibly even all of the tariffs due on the package. YIKES! Its pretty terrible for a business to have to endure this but, I guess, this is the risk you take to ship outside of the USA. But wait! There’s more...

To add insult to injury; when a purchaser refuses to get their parcel they expect a refund from you, even though your merchandise is sitting in Customs of Brazil and even though they could easily get it at any time. The downside for you is that the credit card company will likely rule in favor of the buyer, even though you can absolutely prove that they are the sole reason for the chaos. This means that it is a very likely scenario that you will spend a fortune to ship your inventory, spend substantial amounts of time corresponding with your buyer regarding “Where’s my order? Why hasn’t it arrived?!” then discover that the entire reason it has not been delivered is because the buyer has no idea what their countries import requirements are, THEN you will have to refund the idiot because they nail you with a “not delivered” chargeback THEN you will lose the merchandise because, somehow, it just “disappears” between sitting and customs and… who knows exactly…

So, if you decide to ship international, this is always going to be a risk you run unless the buyer provides their own postage.

Love this blog post?  Next read:

Where to Next?  Popular Topics:



Other Selling Sites

Inventory Buying

Starting an Online Biz

How to Pack & Ship

Store Returns

Biz Supplies (Online Sellers)

Wholesale Pallets Guide

Upselling Guides

Save Money on Everything

Motivation & Inspiration

Advice & How To Guides

Humor for Online Sellers

Drop Shipping 101

Item Name Cheat Sheets

Return to Blog Home Page

Shop Our Wholesale Listings