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Buying region 1 from the USA

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Showing 51-75 of 128 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2011 06:53:11 BDT
I love warped humour and The Goon Show is a great example. I recall Harry Secombe saying, I believe, to Milligan, when they were on an Army guard post, "I've come to relieve you", to which the reply was simply, "You're too late mate", leaving the listener to figure out the rest.

My dear departed dad, who in his younger years was the manager of some of Brisbane's great cinemas, was a great joker and punster and I remember mum telling him, when he was quite old and ill, that Jack Lemon had died. Dad said, " Someone must have squeezed him too hard".

Posted on 3 Apr 2011 10:34:48 BDT
P. G. Croft says:
BEWARE ! I was totally ignorant about such limits, and had to pay over £60 on a 5 disc rare box set from the US. Amazon always try to coax you not to buy on their 'foreign sites' as soon as you log on, without explaining the pit falls. Not exactly helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2011 13:20:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Apr 2011 13:20:51 BDT
Reviewer says:
Just don't expect overseas sellers to mark items as gifts as it's illegal. Some may, most likely will not.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2011 22:00:52 BDT
Alan Marks says:
Same here, from Amazon and Play, no extra charges so far.

Posted on 4 Jul 2011 10:56:01 BDT
As of November 1st 2011, the £18 limit is being reduced to £15.

Posted on 29 Jul 2011 14:02:38 BDT
if you go to the direct gov website it will give you a link to check what the charges will be and you don't get charged on the postage only on the item purchased. Also they are lowering the allowance at the end of the year to £15.00

Posted on 2 Apr 2012 23:08:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Apr 2012 23:23:34 BDT
I'm finding that some dvds are available via but I get a message that they can't be posted to me in the UK; but if I go through not all of those dvds are available. Were the laws changed recently to prevent US to UK postage of dvds via (I vaguely remember hearing something to that effect?)

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2012 23:54:08 BDT
I reside in Australia and can obtain DVDs at very competative prices, inclusive of the postage, from UK and USA. I find the better deals, however, are from UK.

I own a multi-regions DVD player on my TV and the player on my computer has been set up to overide the pestifeous region coding. My Region is 4 and my computer DVD player is now set to Region 7, which is a neutral.

What annoys me however are the offers of DVDs from the sellers 'down the ladder' who have an item at less cost than the main Amazon site. Some of these people state that they export from the UK yet when I select to buy I get a message that says this seller cannot provide his product to me in Australia.

In an ideal world - which we will never have - there should be no such things as Regions and we should be able to buy a DVD from ANY seller in the world at the best possible price to us.

The matter of national differences is, however, nothing new. I own a record player and some of my old vinyls originated from the USA, where the central spindle for the record is much wider. You needed a small plastic adaptor to go in the record's hole to allow use of the narrower Australian spindle.

Why is this so? A 45 speed record is a 45 speed record whether it's played in Australia or America.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2012 00:10:42 BDT
D. Lench says:
i've had this nonsense, not every seller wants for whatever reason to send it to the uk but hopefully theres always someone, i really can't see how difficult it can be , just put it in a secure package and then post it, how hard can that be surely, i really don't get it

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2012 04:32:07 BDT
BreakAway47 says:
YES!!! And also I bought this product and it was not my region!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2012 18:27:46 BDT
R. A. Caton says:
Regarding the 1" spindle on USA and Juke Box 45rpms....
This goes back to the origins of 45/33 back in the late 1940s. The 45rpm record was introduced by RCA as a direct replacement for the 78rpm, an album of 78's would become an album of 45's and the RCA players had an 1" spindle (probably for simplicity with autochangers?!) The 33rpm record was intended as a replacement for albums in total.... Decca radiograms in the early 1950s had 78 and 33 speeds BUT NOT 45! But of course a turntable that would accept 78's had to have a standard spindle so LP's had a standard hole as well. I expect that RCA thought 45 rpm players didn't need 78 compatability.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2012 21:42:02 BDT
I recently had my dad's old radiogramme repaired so that I could once again listen to my vinyls, some of which are 78 speed.

The turntable, which is a Garrard, has facility for 16, 45, 33 and 78 records. The spindle is the pencil slim Australian size with an auto changer fitted, allowing multiple records to be installed for the 'drop' facility. I dont use this, preferring to put just one record on the spindle but still using the auto selector. You can also choose manual and place the needle on the record's tracks yourself.

New speakers, which are one above the other, have also been fitted and the sound, for monoaural, is magnificent. The radio is a Victor unit and has mainwave and shortwave. You can also select a bass, medium or treble listening tone.

The needle on the turntable can be turned over for playing of the 78 speed records.

I remember listening to the old Australian school room programme "Yes, What", when I was about five, in 1957, so dad must have bought the radiogramme new in the early 1950's. Ah, happy days.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2012 01:34:49 BDT
Hello John, I think in the USA you underestimate how much British people are ripped off by our government and all the large corporation companies they support. We are taxed to the hilt on everything we do or buy - and when tourists from other countries come here they are amazed at how expensive everything is to buy and our general cost of living.

For example, petrol (gas) costs £1.38 per litre.... and around 60% of that is taken as tax by our government. If a company can charge us more for anything and get away with it, they do. And being the polite, forlock tugging Brits we are, we all (collectively) keep our heads down and say nothing to prevent it.

Like some other people have commented on here - it is hit and miss with deliveries from abroad. Sometimes customs will slap an extra charge on you; sometimes they won't. You take pot luck. But when they DO charge you, it is often far more than you would think - and sometimes can be as much as the item actually cost you to buy in the first place, therefore doubling the cost to you. It's outrageous, but over here in Britain we just have to grit our teeth and put up with it. Some people don't, and choose to emigrate to Spain, Australia or elsewhere because - like most people here in the UK, we're all fed up with being ripped off.

Getting back to the topic, what should really happen is that the stupid region coding of DVDs should be done away with, and everything released on Region 0. With so many region-free devices being around these days, having region coding is oh-so 1990s. The industry needs to get a grip and get real. You are very lucky that Amazon ships to the USA at very low rates, making purchasing DVDs from here so much cheaper for you.

If our government could tax us for the air we breathe, they would do so.

Greetings from Liverpool, UK, home of the Beatles :)

Posted on 5 Apr 2012 08:45:53 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I remember my Dad splashing out on a fancy new radiogram in the fifties (long before we got a TV - happy days!) After much tuition and dire warnings about what would happen if I broke it, he did eventually let me use it. He had a collection of pre-war 78s, mainly classical and band music, and I can honestly say I've never enjoyed listening to recorded music as much as I did then. O-kay, the sound quality wasn't a patch on today's stuff but it was the music that counted, not all the technical stuff! With music, along with TV and films, we've become so obsessed with super-duper equipment that I think we've forgotten how to really enjoy entertainment. I recall Flanders & Swann sending up this trend in their song "Hi-Fidelity", which ends thus: ".............with a tone control at a single touch I can make Caruso sound like Hutch; then I never did care for MUSIC much, it's the high fidelity!"

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2012 18:48:44 BDT
I too found this was happening to me - I wanted to buy 'The Butterfly Circus' with Nick Vujicic. refused, I subsequently went on to Nick Vujijics' own site (in the US) and bought the DVD - cheaper, quicker and no postal/excise duty.

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 10:24:22 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 2 Jun 2012 11:09:21 BDT]

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 10:36:30 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 2 Jun 2012 11:08:58 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2012 10:47:52 BDT
That amount of VAT implies a package value of nearly 150 quid. Something is very clearly out of whack there! I would email them and ask them to justify that amount.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2012 11:15:56 BDT
A. Deacon says:
Got it wrong. I am not very sure about custom duty charges as this is first time I have been charged them. I thought it related to one of the DVDs I ordered but it turns out I am being charged for a bundle of DVDs sent in one parcel which does total over £150.00. Thanks for your comment. I phoned them up after reading your comment to verify what they are holding.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2012 13:46:01 BDT
Tricky. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes not. Typical customs is ok, but add post office handling charge and you can be talking double the price od your DVD, as i have learnt to my cost.

Posted on 7 Jun 2012 15:52:50 BDT
According to the HM Revenue and Customs website

1. Commercial consignments (ie. goods you have purchased rather than gifts) are free from customs duty and import VAT if the value is £15.00 or less, excluding alcohol, tobacco products, perfumes and toilet waters for some reason I won't bother to go into here as this thread is about DVDs, but if you are planning to buy these or may be recieving them as a gift look up the information as the rules are different. DVDs, Blu-rays, books and CDs and other media recordings are among the things you won't get charged on if they are below this threshold. The cost of postage IS included in the calculation of import VAT and customs duty for commercial consignments. It is against the law to misdeclare (not sure what the proper word is) the value of an item in the customs declaration.

2. The threshold for gifts, which they will not have customs duty or import VAT charged on them if they are valued at or below, is £40 and the cost of postage is NOT included in the calculation of import VAT and customs duty on gifts. It is illegal to falsely state that an item is a gift when it is actually a commercial consignment, on the customs declaration. If your gift is alcohol or one of the other three things I mentioned in (1.) then the rules may be different so check.

3. For goods with a value of £135 or below, no customs duty will be charged (but import VAT may well be as detailed above).

4. The Royal Mail does charge an £8 handling fee when import VAT is charged on your item. Other postal services/companies may charge larger amounts. (This means that even if the import VAT is only £2 you'll still get charged a tenner, and yes it is just greed on the RM's and other postal companies' part).

You know what? I really was going to write out a summary of all the relevant regulations, but I've already exceeded the time I was going to spend on the internet today (my usage is borderline compulsive so I'm trying to limit it), so please just read the page on HMRC:

In my personal experience, it's a bit random/unpredictable whether you will get charged import VAT or not, if you import a big box of DVDs/Blu-rays that costs £100 or some quite large sum like that you're unlikely to escape import VAT, but a fair bit of the time if you buy one DVD boxset then even if it costs, say £30 it's far from certain that you'll get charged, it is always a risk though. If you're going to import goods from the u.s. then make sure you can afford to pay the customs fees for that item (there's probably a calculator for that somewhere online but... must... defeat... internet...).

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2012 16:17:33 BDT
Ive bought A LOT of DVD's and stuff from the website. Everything was fine. The total you see on is the final price. I use to do the currency converstions.

Posted on 10 Jun 2012 13:15:58 BDT
sylvie says:
I also was caught for import taxes Why dont the american firms put gifts on the parcels like other countries do then there would be no charges surely the american firms know they will hit us hard in britain with these taxes the item are dear enough as it is without making us pay more

Posted on 10 Jun 2012 13:21:21 BDT
David says:
Thanks to our wonderful Conservative government the cut-off is now £15 for items shipped from non EU countries. As someone who has ordered from Amazon US recently I can vouch if the total value of goods (NOT INCLUDING SHIPPING) is over £15 you will be liable for import duty. Yes it was £18 previously but the current lot have realised a hell of a lot of people were buying DVDs from abroad and acted accordingly. Pity they couldn't fix the country whilst they were at it...

Posted on 10 Jun 2012 14:35:47 BDT
Mr W says:
Hi everybody, as somebody whos bought dvds imported from the USA regularly since the invention of dvd I have had numerous experiences with these rip off fees, I find the Royal mail fee to be the primary annoyance. as others have said a few years back it was £4 plus any vat owed on items over £18 - this generally worked out at less that the RM fee itself which was unfair to say the least.
In my past experiences small packages generally around the $30/$40 mark were generally ok and got to me unscathed , and I had budgeted to allow for any charge.

Nowadays though, not only has the RM fee doubled, we have the reduction in allowance to only £15 in value, (and I read somewhere in the near future it will be scrapped completely, meaning any import will incur tax) Despite this I still buy from, usually because they sell dvds/blurays not available over here, and they can have good prices when items are on sale, and they do package well.

So what I tend to do when buying from abroad is wait until theres a good few things I want and order the lot at once, taking the RM £8 fee hit only once. or if you use expedited shipping amazon charge the estimated taxes in advance so theres nothing to pay extra when it arrives over in the UK. this isnt cheap, but its well worth it. my latest order totalled over $150.
If however you only wanted to buy one item, there are excellent Amazon UK marketplace sellers I have used (and I'm not associated with them in any way!) all your music and moviemars , theyre pretty quick to deliver (around a week) and because the items are generally less than £15 you dont get stung with any customs or RM fees.
I hope this is of help to anybody and good luck with your parcels if you can avoid the ripoff fees!
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