sometimes I need plastic raw materials for my projects. The problem is
that in Italy they're difficult to procure in small quantities (an
example: I'd rather not purchasing 20 sqft garolite for my router
So sometimes I found McMasterCarr a convenient way: the problem with
them is they are insanely in love with DHL, which (both for direct cost
and income taxes) makes it much less convenient.
So I wonder If you can suggest alternative online retailers dealing this
kind of stuff (and, may be, they will be more willing to ship by USPS or
even surface mail)... or, if I am going too far OT, readdress me to a
more proper NG.
Well: there is a strange fact: small value packets, when sent by mail,
are not subject to income taxes (probably they're not worth the cost for
the customs to check).
This kind of exemption does not exist whent they're sent by courier, so
that let's imagine I have a 15 US$ value item to be shipped. Probably,
by USPS I could pay about 20 US$ shipment, for a total of 35 US$, and
annoyancess. On the other hand, by DHL I could pay, maybe, also 20 US$.
Then I will have a (probably) 15% income tax the whole value plus 20%
income tax over the new total, so I end up spending 50 bucks, and WHAT
IS WORSE, with the annoyance of forms to compile, declarations to make
I suspect our friend means Value Added Tax, rather than income tax.
Although why, in a country with manufacturing as sophisticated as Italy's
obviously is, there is no source for such materials locally, is beyond me.
Surely they exist, but not in a B2C market. Unfortunately hobbyists are
not considered a valuable target here, so raw materials are hard to find
in small quantities and, in general, for individuals.
Actually the same holds also for wood essences, veneers and whatever you
For international shipments, you are most likely to be stuck with duties, if
its shipped by a U. S. based shipper. I don't know if it will work any
better for you, but you might try www.use-enco.com.
You're right, but I experienced that using USPS or, in any case, a mail
service instead of a courier, there are high chances the item passes
unnoticed through the customs.
On the other side, couriers provide themselves to deal with custom
duties, so that, as custom duties are applied to an amount = to declared
values + shipping:
1) You pay custom duties+VAT >= 100% of item value
2) You have to pick up the packet yourself, in order to pay duties.
Some of the advertisers in the Home Shop Machinist Magazine sell small
pieces of various kinds of materials. They appear to be small
businesses which might be willing to ship by your preferred method. I
didn't see any links to them in the web site,
so you may have to order a back issue if you can't find one in a
library. Or you could write or email the magazine and see if they will
recommend a supplier.
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