Ernie B's

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Ernie B's

Postby charasi-i » Thu May 30, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi , just ordered the Tony Tuff meets Errol Scorcher album from Ernie B's . This is the first time that I have tried getting any records shipped in from abroad and was wondering if anyone has experience of ordering from them before ? Is it worth paying the extra money to get it shipped via Fed Ex or is the service offered by the U.S. postal service o.k. ? My one previous purchase via the internet from the U.S. was o.k. apart from it getting stopped by U.K. customs who slapped a V.A.T. surcharge on me and the Post Office did me for an £ 8 handling charge :!: Any feedback on this would be much appreciated :)
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby jb welda » Fri May 31, 2013 12:34 am

the USPS is 99.99% reliable and the problems you encounter are likely to be from the receiving postal system...like for instance that value added tax bit ("value added"? I never understood what that meant). ernie will not falsify customs forms and I don't know that choosing the more expensive fed ex or whatever will help with any of that. plus ernie packages very very well so I don't think you will have a problem from his end.

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Re: Ernie B's

Postby minidub » Fri May 31, 2013 2:41 am

yep, if i could order a record from anyone--he's tops!

i wouldn't go Fed Ex, but that's me. i never have a problem with ernie b, but i live in US. have been ordering from him for almost 20 years straight. seriously, when he still lived at home, before the big warehouse set up. :shock:

what's out of his control, well...

m.
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby Chaz » Fri May 31, 2013 5:15 am

This is from a discussion on another board and pretty much sums it up:

"[From outside the EU] Goods with a value exceeding £15 (for commercial items including internet/mail order purchases) are generally subject to Customs charges."

"Normally charges are calculated upon the declared value (plus shipping costs and postage for commercial items)".

So it's the 'declared value' the value of the item plus the postage charge. This would pretty much mean almost anything from outside the EU would attract a charge ..
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby yms » Fri May 31, 2013 7:25 am

Haven't ordered from Ernies in a while but can confirm that USPS is 100% reliable to UK. Can also confirm that the custom declaration on the last few batches of CDs I ordered was certainly in, shall we say, the buyers favour ;-)
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby edgar » Fri May 31, 2013 10:40 am

Chaz wrote:This is from a discussion on another board and pretty much sums it up:

"[From outside the EU] Goods with a value exceeding £15 (for commercial items including internet/mail order purchases) are generally subject to Customs charges."

"Normally charges are calculated upon the declared value (plus shipping costs and postage for commercial items)".

So it's the 'declared value' the value of the item plus the postage charge. This would pretty much mean almost anything from outside the EU would attract a charge ..


only morons fill in the real value on a shipping document. When I ship something abroad the value on paper is coincidentally always 5 or 10 bucks..
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby Mark T » Fri May 31, 2013 1:32 pm

Edgar, it's one thing when private individuals ship things and don't declare the true value - but companies who do this can get in a lot of trouble if they are caught. I would be surprised if Ernie B would not always declare the true value, his company seems very professional.
Packages coming into Canada only seem to be subject to our GST (goods and service tax) when the value of the goods exceeds $50 or so and even then they do not include the shipping charge in the value of the goods.
I suppose one way around this would be for members in the EU to have packages shipped to friends which usually only costs $5 or so within the US and then have the friend forward the 'gift' to them in the EU.
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby charasi-i » Fri May 31, 2013 5:55 pm

Thanks for all the feedback , it sounds like the U.S. postal service is reliable . When I picked up my previous internet order coming in from the states I did ask the people at the collection office whether it was possible to pay any V.A.T. up front so as not to incur the Post Office handling charge but none of the staff there knew if this was possible . One of the staff there actually said that items just got pulled at random when entering the country and in the majority of cases they just get through with no additional charge , hope that this proves to be the case with this one ! Certainly looking forward to receiving this from Ernie , just have to wait it out .
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby jb welda » Fri May 31, 2013 8:10 pm

>only morons fill in the real value on a shipping document

do tell. I have an addition to that: only morons post suggestions and statements like that. and here is why: as mentioned if you are an individual you probably will in most cases get away with undervaluing things (not always...I have been caught and the package returned to me twice for just such a situation. turns out customs had some inkling that "auto parts" were typically worth more than 10$. and I then had to resend the item, after a delay of some 3 months that it took to come back to me, all at my cost plus deal with an irate receiver who thought I had ripped him off. so it is not an abstract concept and as it turned out the Porsche 356 bumperettes and overriders I was shipping were "valued" at about 1000$ dollars by customs and that was pretty much their true value on the collector car parts market). But if you are a business you are likely to have packages stopped more often and the contents analyzed and if it happens that they determine you are sandbagging the true value, and particularly if they suspect you do so regularly, they will fine you. big time fine you. (note though: "value" is where it gets sticky. "value" is not always the cost though that is the easiest to determine. say for example you are sending a hand made piece to someone and declare an insurance "value" of $1000. that does NOT mean the customs "value" is 1000$ in fact you could have a good case stating the "value" is near-zero because that is what it cost you to make and the items "value" to you is zero because you could make another one just like you made that one. this has been explained to me by more than one agent of the USPS on direct questioning.

anyway rest easy with ernie b...as also mentioned above he may well put a "realistic" value on things he ships, not the actual retail cost. see for one thing the "value" to him is the wholesale price and he probably skanks around that a bit as well. but overall he has to cover his ass by being more or less honest with values of merchandise he ships abroad.

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Re: Ernie B's

Postby Ade » Fri May 31, 2013 10:35 pm

Mark T wrote:Edgar, it's one thing when private individuals ship things and don't declare the true value - but companies who do this can get in a lot of trouble if they are caught. I would be surprised if Ernie B would not always declare the true value, his company seems very professional.
Packages coming into Canada only seem to be subject to our GST (goods and service tax) when the value of the goods exceeds $50 or so and even then they do not include the shipping charge in the value of the goods.
I suppose one way around this would be for members in the EU to have packages shipped to friends which usually only costs $5 or so within the US and then have the friend forward the 'gift' to them in the EU.
Mark T


No - the 'gift' thing no longer works either. You now have to pay VAT on smaller consignments, both VAT and customs duty on larger consignments plus a handling charge on both, even if they are marked as a gift! The last straw for me now ordering anything other than books from the US.
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby Mark T » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:25 am

Wow! So if I sent my a gift to my brothers or sisters in the UK they could potentially end up paying duty? That's insane!
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby v66ald » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:46 am

Ernie B is in my experience totally reliable and I've never incurred additional charges.

However recently I ordered a couple of LP from another major supplier (non-reggae) and there was a £4 customs charge on it which wasn't too bad but the Post Office then slapped on another £8 admin charge which was a proper pisser.
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby charasi-i » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:43 pm

Finally managed to get a chance to pick this up from the ( not so ) local Royal Mail sorting office after it sitting there for a couple of weeks and top marks to Ernie B .Best packing I've ever seen on records sent through the post , though Marin from Deep Roots Records in France comes a close second . Part of the reason I left it so long to collect was that I was waiting on a copy of Michael Palmer Don't smoke the seed to turn up and I didn't want to make the trip twice ( my postman has an aversion to knocking on doors it seems .) Also didn't get skanked for the V.A.T. and the ludricous £8 handling charge so all in all a success, and I would definately shop from them again if I couldn't source what I was looking for closer to home . Big up Ernie B's :D
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Re: Ernie B's

Postby jb welda » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:50 pm

good to hear! ernie b has to be the top seller around, always dependable.

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