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On the Economics of Bottom Feeding


Gavin Richardson
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So help me think through some things, folks.

I have my eye on an inexpensive coin or two in the upcoming Roma auction. Let’s say I happen to win the coin at 60 GBP. With buyers fee, that comes to about 75 pounds. Add another 20 to ship to the United States. That’s 95 pounds. That’s about $110 US. I can live with that.

What becomes a dealbreaker is if I’m charged an additional $45 or so for import fees. Then that $70 coin eventually becomes $155. Such  fees may be proportionally negligible for high-dollar coins. But for inexpensive coins, these fees may rival the price of the coin itself. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to bid on a single inexpensive coin in such an auction.

I suppose the bottom line is, “Is that coin worth $155 to me?” And maybe it is. But I would be more aggressive in my bidding if I knew I would not be hit with an import fee.

Does anyone know if UK coins are subject to the $40 and $50 import fees from Europe that I’ve heard Donna and are experiencing?

Any wisdom, economic philosophy, idle speculation, or experience would be appreciated.

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12 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

In my experience, shipments from Roma(UK) to the US are only assessed a fee if they are valued over $2k.

Ah, Maybe that is why I’ve heard others experiencing these import fees. That’s reassuring. 

Edited by Gavin Richardson
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40 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

In my experience, shipments from Roma(UK) to the US are only assessed a fee if they are valued over $2k.

That was my experience -- the only time it happened was the one time I went over that limit. And it wasn't technically a duty; it was some sort of processing/handling fee. 

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