When and When Not to Buy Online: Lessons for Toy Collectors

by • 14 June 2011 • Exclusives, Geekery, Guides and How-To's, Toys and CollectiblesComments (76)

Update (as of 16 May 2014): the Bureau of Customs has updated their Customs Fee Calculator.

When and When Not to Buy Online: Lessons for Toy Collectors

Collectors who buy most of their stuff online fear two only things: 1) lost parcels; and 2) high taxes. Lost parcels are pretty okay on the panic scale, as many online stores offer parcel tracking, and are willing to replace lost items for free.

High taxes, on the other hand, are enough to give nightmares to even the most hardened collectors. That fantastic bargain you spotted at a Japanese toy site or an American eBay shop may not be so great after you factor in taxes. Here are a few tips to save yourself from getting burned.

Buy

– Buy only if it is a Special or Limited Edition. The item is likely to increase in value as it gets rarer, so it will cover all costs even if you paid full retail price, shipping, and taxes for it.

– Buy only if the item cannot be found in Manila and neighboring destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore (where you can ask friends or family on holiday to buy it for you). If you don’t buy it now, chances are you will never find it again (or at least, in the near future).

– Buy only if the item has been marked down by at least 40%. This way, the amount discounted from the purchase can go towards paying your customs fees, and you still get a bit of savings.

Do Not Buy

– Do not buy if your projected savings will be less than PhP 500 compared to retail prices in Manila. The taxes will put you over the top by double the amount, so your PhP 500 savings will turn into a PhP 1000 loss due to customs fees.

To project your possible customs fees, here is a sample calculation: [(Total USD value of parcel) x (10% Customs Dues)] + [(Total USD value of parcel) x (12% VAT)] + [PhP 750 Customs Miscellaneous Fees] + [PhP 40 Philpost Handling Fee]. They may also charge a storage fee of PhP 100 per day if your parcel is not picked up right away.

– Do not buy if the item is too big (and by “too big”, I mean larger than approximately 12 in x 12 in x 12 in). Large parcels look attractive to customs officials, so they are more likely to keep it on hold until you can “bail” your parcel out.

– Do not buy if your parcel can only be shipped via courier (FedEx, DHL, etc.). The courier service will automatically charge you for customs and hold your parcel until you are able to pay up, unlike EMS, SAL, or registered mail where there is a 50-50 chance that the parcel will reach you directly without being taxed.

Thanks to Tabs and Mickey at our customs thread for their input on their most recent EMS experiences.

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76 Responses to When and When Not to Buy Online: Lessons for Toy Collectors

  1. metatron says:

    Awesome tips! 8Db

    The customs is what feared me of buying some limited stuff online. ;A;

  2. add to that the problems of the philippine postal system >.>

  3. PenZ says:

    Aw.. as per my EMS tracker my Hobby Share package worth 30USD (mainly small items) was handed to Customs.
    Is this a clear sign that I’ll have to go there and pay the tax or is there still hope? -.-

  4. PenZ says:

    Just got my package from hobby search at EMS Customs earlier. Arrived Lunch time and had to wait for them to finish eating while the amount of people waiting to claim got larger <.< Really cant picture the sad expressions on the peoples faces leaving the office while mumbling..customs grr.. which really got me worried -.- I was surprised when the customs guy called this cute girl and asked: "sayo yun Louis Vuitton?" (is the Louis Vitton yours?)and I thought.. dead girl walking -.-

    When it was my turn I was surprised because it seems the reason that my package was detained was because hobby search shipped it in an overly sized box. when the customs inspector opened it he was surprised that it only contained…. anime card sleeves and said.. Eto lang? (is this all?) while searching the box full of wrapping paper..just kept laughing inside hahaha, they probably thought they could milk me more.. paid 40php and left with a smile on my face. I was also happy to know hobby search didntt include shipping charges on the shipping paper so the only basis is sales price :)

    Conclusion: Lower sales price on shipment tag and have it shipped in small packages to avoid the evil eyes of the man -.-

  5. andre says:

    Hi magnetic-rose, I’d like to ask for ur insight po because I recently purchased a $67.37 order from china wholesale-dress.net, shipping and insurance included: breakdown of the cost are as follow:

    Total number of items: 9 (clothes only)
    Total cost of items(before discount): $55.94
    Total cost of items(after discount): $40.94 <<–
    Total cost of shipping via FEDEX (insurance included): $26.43

    Total: $67.37 <<

    Is it possible to skip custom with my package in any way? Or how much will the tax be for my package :'( Thanks po!

    • There is no surefire way to know if your parcel will be taxed or not. We only recommend keeping shipments under USD 50 and making sure the boxes are small — shoebox-sized if possible, because these kinds of shipments are the ones that get taxed the least.

      As for calculating your possible taxes, here is a sample tally: [total USD value of parcel x 10% customs dues] + [total USD value of parcel x 12% VAT] + [PhP 750 customs miscellaneous fees] + [PhP 40 Philpost releasing fee]. Thanks!

  6. andre says:

    Thank you Magnetic, I asked my seller if they could declare my package as $40 because it’s the actual price of the order (shipping excluded) after discount hehe

  7. echo says:

    i ordered a shoes, the true value of it is, 300$ but i asked my seller to lower it so he input ($10) so is it taxable?

    last time i ordered a shoes it was declared $135 + $50 shipment get it in d post office theres a letter from custom that i need to pay P1100.

    • again, echo — like we keep saying there is no surefire method to dodge taxes. we only recommend keeping orders under USD 50 and keeping the shipments small since they are the ones that are least likely to get taxed.

      same goes for andre’s question. as for SAL from china, if it’s from hong kong it’s pretty reliable — as for mainland china, not so much so keep your fingers crossed. cheers!

  8. andre says:

    Hi again magnetic, is china post by sea considered as SAL? I asked my seller to declare it $40 and change the invoice so it would appear as $40 hehe, by then do you think it will still go through custom? Hmm is SAL/China post by sea reliable? Thanks!

  9. Tax payer says:

    Why do you guys want to evade taxes? You’re not doing your part as a Filipino citizen. Every imported good that gets inside our country is taxed. You only think you save more when you order online because the prices indicated on the items are tax-free. Just make sure when you go to the customs, you have an official receipt of what you paid. You can file a case against them if they don’t give you an OR.

    • i don’t speak for the other people but personally i have no problem paying taxes — what i have a problem with is the people in the government who either pocket these taxes or misuse them for personal gain. are they using our taxes to make better roads, build more schools, improve public hospitals — heck, even just make it easier for people to get forms, documents, and IDs from the local city hall — most of the time the answer is “no”.

      which is why i don’t blame people for wanting to save a couple of bucks here or there — at least they know that the money is going somewhere like food on the table or their child’s tuition (many questions abnout dodging taxes were put forward by small-time resellers). all this rampant corruption makes dishonest people out of perfectly good citizens — and the government has no one to blame but themselves.

  10. Mickey says:

    I have a question regarding tax imposed on an item you bought overseas through the net.

    Diba, di nakasama sa pag-compute ng tax na ipapataw sa item na binili mo overseas yung shipment fee nia?

    They should just base their computation from the price of your item, right?

  11. Ryuuko says:

    I just came from the Customs Office at Pasay to pick my item up, and man, the tax was as big as the price of my item @_@

    I never really cared about being charged with tax before…
    (not with my salary, not with the VAT they charge on my Happy Meal, on my grocery item, e-VAT…)

    Nope, I didn’t care about tax until I finally felt its impact on me when it directly affected me because of my hobby.

    Now, evading tax doesn’t seem like a bad idea, because of what rose just noted. You can feel it when they’re taking your money, but you just can’t feel where they are using it.

  12. Kanisha Lee says:

    kakaloka mga englisera mga tao d2 sosyal
    im just asking lang poh madam
    i buy gadget .. it cost $46 and free shipping
    ship via china post ( include tracking no )
    and Package Size: is 12.0 * 21.0 * 12.0 ( cm )
    deadma lang naman ako kahit 1 month pa sya dumating keber lang .my big concern is baka malaki yung tax na babayaran ko
    and it possible to arrive here in my house or pick up?
    mostly kasi maliit lang na items pina purchase ko sa ebay
    less than $20 at puro free shipping lang
    i buy the same day pero magkakaiba ng seller
    less than 2 to 3 weeks yung normal dumating yung items sa haouse ko .iba mabilis 8 days lang at pinaka matagal 4 weeks
    binibili ko lang namn yung alam kong
    kahit ikutin ko yung buong divisoria at mall
    bihira at pahirapan bago ako makakita ng kaparehas
    at alam kong mapapakinabangan ko tlga
    do you think madam tama ba ang ginagawa ko??
    minsan kasi dba bussy dahil s work bihira na pumunta sa mall
    kaya buying through online na lang yung naiisip kong
    paraan para kahit papaano updated ako s mga in ngayon
    wala nmn siguro masama madam pinagpapaguran ko nmn
    pinangbibili ko sa mga luho ko ang mahirap magnakaw para lang masunod yung luho sa katawan dba…
    at kung meron ka pang time sana mabigyan mo ako ng mga tips
    at sana reply ka poh tagalog words ah!” REQUEST PO” para mas madali ko poh maunawaan ang mga sinasabi mo ..

    • hi kanisha. we use mainly english on the blog because: 1) the blog has an international audience — many of our readers are from singapore, the US, etc.; and 2) my filipino or tagalog is horrible compared to my english.

      to answer your question: we’re not sure if your parcel will reach you without taxes. years ago, if you kept your parcel small with a value of under USD 50, you were pretty sure you could get it without taxes. lately, the situation has worsened. even small packages containing used items are getting taxed :(

      in short, may 50-50 chance na makukuha mo yung package mo sa bahay ng 40 pesos lang para sa kartero ang babayaran mo, o baka kelangan mo pang dumayo ng pasay para itubos yung package mo sa customs. good luck!

  13. x_tian says:

    hi… i would just like to ask something, although its not related to toys or anything collectible… i hope you can help me.. last month i won a contest on the internet and the prize includes the new samsung tab 10.1… i received a notice card foprm the ems earlier saying that my package is ready to claim but it is subject to customs examination…I was just wondering, do i have to pay taxes for it even though i didn’t buy any of it? if yes how much?

  14. Rae says:

    Good day! I just want to clarify, is registered airmail still subjected to customs inspection (& can be held by the customs office) or do they send it right away to the local post office? Sorry for the bother & thanks for your reply in advance!

  15. hi rae — it depends on the size of the parcel. if it is obviously a document it may get to you without too much trouble, but if it is a large package it may be inspected and taxed. good luck!

  16. Rae says:

    That somehow makes me feel a li’l better about shipping my CDJapan order thru SAL. It’s a CD & a B3-size poster, so it’s big enough to be noticed by those customs people. Now all I have to do is wait & not get too paranoid about it.

    Thanks again!

  17. megamind says:

    Hi! It’s my first time to shop online. I purchased a $105 watch but was declared $60 and marked as a gift from an online shop in Hongkong. It was shipped thru Hongkong Post last Sep.8 and when I tracked it today the status says: Sep.9 Pending Customs Inspection..Does it mean that I have to pick it up at the Customs’ Office or do I have to wait for the Customs to forward the parcel to the QCPO (..I’m from QC) and wait for the QCPO to deliver it in my doorstep? Thanks! ^^

  18. Confused says:

    Hi Magnetic_Rose, what do you think this mean?

    16-Sep-2011 Philippines “Arrived and is being processed.”
    17-Sep-2011 Philippines “Not delivered because no delivery service is avilable for this product or service at the specified delivery point. Addressee advised to pick up the item.”

    I’m from Pampanga and I have not received a note to pick it up yet (will they send a note?). Did this also mean that it already went to customs and wasn’t taxed so I just have to pick it up? I’m confused, my last package that used hkpost and came from the same online store (yesstyle) too, arrived in my house without a charge…

    • hi confused! i got another question like that from another person — it seems that HKPOST no longer delivers to certain locations. the best bet you have is to wait for your package pick-up notice (it looks like a small white postcard) from the local postal office. the notice will give you instructions on how to claim your parcel.

      you will find out during claiming if you have to pay taxes or not (although 90% of the time, you will — that’s why they issue the notice). however, since the reason why you can’t get your parcel is because it couldn’t be delivered — and not because you had to pay taxes, you could get away with just paying the PhP 40 releasing fee. good luck!

  19. Confused says:

    Thank you very much for the quick reply! :)

  20. Confused says:

    Hello again Magnetic_Rose! An odd turn of events, the package arrived at my house today after 3 days of saying that it will not be delivered. EMS tracking status failed. I just paid P40 and the old delivery guy was very nice. :)

  21. congratulations! :D you’re one of the lucky ones, i have to say <3

  22. ivan says:

    hi guys, which do you think is safer to lost parcel or stolen parcel? ems or air parcel(registered w/ tracking)?
    thanks for the advice

  23. ivan says:

    but air parcel offers possibility not to get taxed with?

  24. that i can’t say — there’s a 50% chance that you have to pay tax and 50% chance you don’t.

  25. mangANDOY says:

    hi! i purchased an item that was shipped by HK post..
    after a week of tracking my stuff online,i got this

    ‘Not delivered because no delivery service is avilable for this product or service at the specified delivery point. Addressee advised to pick up the item.”

    im from dumaguete and i dnt know where in hell is ma package!
    hope u guys can help me .. thanks

  26. Irene Sanchez says:

    I just want to ask because my friend sent me a letter that contains Arashi shop photos through registered mail. I was wondering if I will need to claim it at Philpost or it will be delivered to my house? :O Thanks for the help! :D

  27. Carl says:

    I want to but from Plamoya Japan. The item will be sent via Japan Post EMS. I checked Japan Post EMS country list, it includes Philippines but it doesn’t include Cebu area, only Manila areas.
    Is it possible to deliver the item here in Cebu?
    Please help.

    • you’ll have to email plamoya directly about that :( we’ve never had problems asking them to ship to manila, so maybe they will also ship to cebu if you ask them nicely :)

  28. TheMin says:

    I’ve read all the nerve-racking stories of people here and in the last post that is already 2 years of age. I’m very anxious. I ordered a CD from CDJapan. Because I was a J-pop fan, when I saw that it includes a B3-size poster, I didn’t think thrice in ordering it. CDJapan shipped my order last October 12, 2011 through EMS. The CD weighs about 200g and the total cost is about 30USD. As of Oct 14, 14:22 the status of my package is “Arrival at inward office of exchange”. I live in La Union and I’m really nervous because of the tax that I might pay. I’m still underage and I can’t go to Pasay if ever. I’m so worried. Are they delivering packages during weekends? I guess I’ll wait for further notice of my package. I pray and hope that THEY (Corrupt Customs) will not tax me.

  29. TheMin says:

    As of today, my order status is “retention”. What should I do? I’m still a minor and I don’t have any other I.D. aside from my school i.d. and I live here in La union. Help me please!

  30. Carl says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.
    I already email them. They replied: “unfortunately we cannot delivered to where was not included in shipping
    country list.”
    So i think it means even if Philippines was included, still the coverage is on Manila areas only.
    Does anyone knows an alternative solution? or suggestion? I’ll very much appreciate it. Thank you.

  31. esther says:

    Hi just want to ask i have a package from china,20pcs shirts worth $195,but the seller declared it below $50,when i tracked my package it says Your item was handed over to Customs(REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES MNL CMEC EMS) at 2011-11-22 06:19:00 ,and never update until now,so should i still wait for some days?or should i go & pick up my package to EMS?Thanks

  32. Carter says:

    I just ordered an item from YesStyle and now I am more anxious than ever after reading the above comments. My biggest fear is to deal with government people. I just hate it. So much red tape and corruption. Ugh!

    Thanks for this informative post. Now I just have to hope that it will be delivered to my doorstep.

  33. PenZ says:

    I want to share a tip i havent fully tested but seems to work, if you are having small items shipped via ems ask the seller to ship them via ems envelope and not by box if it will fit. havent had a problem with customs ever since :-)

  34. Van says:

    Hello there..I’m just wondering how long does SAL shipment usually takes? I ordered some stuffs From cd Japan about three weeks ago and it was shipped on March 26 since then I still haven’t recieve my package. I’m a bit worried that it might not be delivered to me

  35. Cristina says:

    Hi there!

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog whilst trying to rationalize my extra charges for my packages that were sent abroad (Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Tulsa, Oklahoma). I bought a lighter from eBay from Hong Kong and a CD and plastic card from Tulsa, Oklahoma and was charged (Php 1,067) + Php 40 for EACH parcel. I had the item picked up by my dad’s secretary since she handles all our parcels and she told me that the extra charge was for the tac of the CD since it is considered an electronic. She claimed not to know the computation since it seemed as if they were just randomly typing figures into a calculator and I told her not to worry about it and I just ended paying for the extra fees. My CD was shipped via USPS and in my order slip the breakdown was :

    2012 Member EP & Fan Club Membership $40.00 1 $40.00
    Subtotal $40.00

    Shipping $10.00
    Tax $0.00
    Total $50.00

    I’ve been going through the comments and I still cannot rationalize the Php 1,067 charge. Shouldn’t the Php 40 suffice for Customs Charges? Another reason why this is an issue is because I had others from all over Metro Manila who had the exact same thing shipped, with the exact same breakdown given and one of my friends who had it shipped to Las Piñas had to pay Php 1,077 on top of the Php 40 Customs Charge (same reason, taxes, electronics) however, my friend’s who picked it up in the Makati Post Office said they were not charged anything but the Php 40 Customs Charge! Wtf?!?! The person at the Post Office claimed that these charges varied from Post Office-to-Post Office but why should it vary when all these Post Offices are all located in Metro Manila? I also have an incoming order of Shades and the breakdown is as follows:

    ITEMS

    Name Product Code Quantity Line Total
    HANSON Sunglas HANSON Sunglas 1 $15.00

    Subtotal: $15.00
    Tax: $0.00
    Shipping: $13.71
    Total: $28.71

    BILL TO:
    Cristina Varona
    NCIA 3F BMG Centre Paseo de Magallanes
    Lapu Lapu St
    Brgy Magallanes
    Makati, Metro Manila 1780 <—- Zip Code was inputted erroneously (1780 is Muntinlupa Zip Code, 1232 is the correct Zip Code, however, I can no longer amend the zip code since it is in the sorting system of USPS as per Tracking Number)
    PH

    Am I going to get charged outrageously again for this or will it "get lost" due to the wrong Zip Code? I'm sorry for flooding you with numerous queries but I am really hoping you can help me with a couple of my queries that I have been trying to wrack my brain over but really can't come up with a logical reason for all these charges.

  36. Evanpinoy says:

    Hi,

    Good day. I read that some packages that used EMS delivered to the philippines are sometimes hold in EMS PASAY to pay custom tax. If i were from cavite or any province outside metro manila, will it be forwarded to the nearest POST office where i can pay the custom tax? Or is it all package delivered by EMS to luzon that is hold for tax are payable only in EMS PASAY?

  37. Mel A says:

    Hello Guys!

    Just wanna share my experience. I purchased four items (boots, shades and jacket) on wholesale-dress.net amounting to Php 887.52 plus shipping fee amounting to Php 828.18. At first, I thought it was really cheap and I was happy. After two weeks, someone from FEDEX called that my items arrived already in the Philippines but I need to pay around Php 2,000.00 for custom tax. I was shocked. It was more expensive than my item. :-( I didn’t have a choice but to pay it! So, next time, I will never buy online especially if it is based outside the PH. :-(

  38. Andrew says:

    Hi just wondering if this thread is still alive?

  39. 9202101 says:

    Hello. I know this is a fairly old post but I just want to ask something about private couriers, specifically DHL.

    I’m planning to buy some doujinshi from Mandarake and one of their options for shipping is DHL. They say that DHL is as fast as, or even faster than, EMS and is a little cheaper. I want to try using DHL to get my order within a week.

    Now, you mentioned in your post that “[t]he courier service will automatically charge you for customs and hold your parcel until you are able to pay up x x x” Is this true even for doujinshi which are marked by them as ‘books’? And, as per Florence Agreement, books are free from duty and are exempt from tax. Will DHL still charge fees?

    • ace says:

      @9202101, it would be better to ask DHL about that. I believe they would follow the tariff code of the Philippines, so you can also check that and see if customs fees are levied against those items. Not sure if doujinshi are also categorized as your usual books but also check it as they might categorize it differently. Not that familiar with the agreement but it might only cover the customs tax or tariff. There’s also the 12% vat (.12 x (item cost + shipment cost + tariff tax if any)) so you might still pay for additional fees.

      • 9202101 says:

        Thank you for your reply. I was able to order some doujinshi from Mandarake but shipped them with EMS. Mandarake labelled them as ‘books’. Around three days after my order, the parcel was delivered right at my doorstep. I wasn’t taxed. I only paid the postage fee (P100). Now I wanted to try DHL since it’s cheaper than EMS. I’m worried about the DHL fees. I think I’ll just ask DHL about it.

  40. HK says:

    Ive ordered printer CISS and inks from hongkong and shipped them via hkems. Now, the status is “Not delivered because no delivery service is avilable for this product or service at the specified delivery point. Addressee advised to pick up the item.”

    Any idea if I will be taxed in customs?

  41. Rai says:

    Hi :) Can I ask for help? I’m tracking a package from Japan, and it says on the Japan Post tracker that it has reached the Philippines (Arrival at Inward Office) yesterday early morning. However, I cannot seem to track it on the Philpost’s end. =( It keeps showing “no record found.”

    I’m worried because tracking for packages I’ve sent before have shown up on Philpost while the package is still in Japan or right when the package has reached Philippine soil. While up until now, tracking for this package is still not found on Philpost. ;(

  42. chameau21 says:

    Hi! Can I also ask for help? :) I’m currently waiting for two packages from CDJapan both shipped via SAL (unregistered) last December 11 and January 5. The first one was around $90 and the other one’s less than $20. It’s taking too long and I’m still hoping it’s because they were shipped during the holidays. Do you think they’re already considered lost? I actually told the postman to text me if the items arrive since that’s what he did before with my previous package from Korea.

    Should I call the customs office in Pasay or try checking the local post office? (I’m from Pampanga) My last time visting the PO was around mid-January. I’m really worried T_T

  43. ren says:

    Is it true that anything under $50 won’t be subjected to tax anymore? I’ve read it from somewhere but I just can’t remember the exact site. I’m really worried because I bought a set of rubber straps from Amiami for less than 1500yen (it was a really good deal and I haven’t seen anyone sell it here, so I gave up and ordered it) but I’ve read from other blogs that Amiami likes using big boxes. ;___;
    This is my first time ordering online, so I’m pretty clueless and would greatly appreciate your help. orz

  44. A says:

    Hi, Kagagaling ko lang sa QC post office, JUST NOW. And it ruined my day. Ganito kase un, nung unang beses kong kumuha ng package hindi ako pinagbayad, tapos ngayon pinag babayad ako ng 500+ pesos. Nung kinuha ko pangalan ng lalaking taga release ng package pati yung boos nyang babae, kinuha din nila name ko para ipa blotter daw. Like wtf, anong ginawa ko sa inyo?! and at the end hindi pa din nila ni release package ko dahil gusto nila makuha padin yung 500+ pesos ko. Any comment or reactions guys?

    • I think it’s right that you did not give in to their demands — you did not do anything wrong so they have no right to report you to the police station. I think there is a trend of people pretending to file criminal charges against innocent civilians so they can milk them of money. It’s better if YOU report them instead because they are committing fraud and abuse of authority!

      • A says:

        So what do I need to do to get my package? It consist of 1 jacket and a dress. And they’re asking me for 576.00 pesos to get those. Btw I already paid 200.00 pesos for the freight fee which is fine. But I don’t know how to deal with them. Ang nakakatawa pa, may kasabay akong babae na hinihingian ng 7,000.00 pesos para sa bag na pinadala ng ate galing canada. So pano na yun? Mag ggive in ba ko na magbigay ng 500.00? gusto ko na nga itakbo yung package ko kanina habang kono-compute nung lalake yung tax e. May 30 days pa ko para iclaim yung 2 parcel ko. And tama ba na pag tagged as “gift” ang parcel ang tax free? I need to know kase may dadating pang isang parcel this coming week. Thanks in advance :)

        • Even parcels marked as Gifts can be taxed. The important thing is the calculation is correct (based on existing customs rates) and that you receive an official receipt for the taxes you paid. If they are asking you for a PhP 500 bribe to release your package to you without the official receipt then that is illegal and must be reported to the Ombudsman for investigation. On the other hand, if you try to steal your parcel away from them without paying for your customs fees, then they can have a case filed against you and you will be reported to the police for tax evasion.

  45. Gaozo Semag says:

    Good day~ Hi, I’m planning to buy an anime figure by Alter on mandarake japan and this will be my 1st time doing so. Just wanna ask if I have them shipped to the philippines, do I have to pay custom fees for that or not? Anyone had any experience in buying stuff from mandarake? I see stuff there is cheaper than in our local stores greattoysonline and wasabitoys. Thanks,
    God bless and take care~ :3

    • Hi — it depends if your package is flagged for customs inspection or not. Generally items purchased from Manadarake are cheaper than local shops like GT and Wasabi. I think the only shop that offers similar rates us Hubbyte Toy Store, and that also depends on the item you wish to purchase.

  46. camille says:

    Hi! Hope someone can help me. What are your insights regarding this? My friend/tita’s friend bought me makeups (high end and drugstore). The box weighed in almost 6kg. And I didn’t pay for anything. They declared it as a gift, and wrote that it costs 50$.

    I’m so nervous that I would pay much on this since I don’t have much money. Do you think customs might ask me to pay more than 2k????

    Thanknyou so much

  47. Rei-rei says:

    Hello! I’d like to ask if sending rubber straps and a nendoroid petite via USPS EMS would be flagged down by customs? All of the item’s total cost is 58USD. It’s a present to me by my friend.

  48. Andrew Albert J. Ty says:

    Thanks for posting about all this. It’s helping prepare me for whatever happens next. I just ordered from Mandarake (used SAL however) and it fit all the criteria you cited above…except that it’s a large package. Ah well. Wait and see, hope and pray. Again, thanks for posting this.

  49. light says:

    I want to ask if its alright to send the money via Western Union as payment of the clearing charges at a certain name in NAIA 3 for them to deliver the package.Is it not that I would rather personally pay them at the Custom office.

    • OMG ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! This is very unsafe — you never know if the person receiving your money is actually going to release the parcel for you. It could be a scam — the best and safest method is still to pick up your parcel yourself. Good luck!

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