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Old 01-06-2012, 07:17 PM #1
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Default So what happens at customs?

I always hear that if US customs finds a laser, they take it (under whatever circumstances they have) but what do they do with it? I was going to order from Lazerer, but canceled it since i really didn't want to lose $180. Anyway, does customs take it and basically just throw it away? or do they send it back to the seller (which i doubt)? And what are the chances of US customs actually opening my package, and how to lower the chances of confiscation of say, a 100mw 445mw?


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Old 01-06-2012, 07:40 PM #2
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

Well in my case I've had one customs intervention, and the package was returned to me and the money was refunded to the buyer.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:48 PM #3
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

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Originally Posted by Garoq View Post
Well in my case I've had one customs intervention, and the package was returned to me and the money was refunded to the buyer.
You were shipping from the the US though, not to US right?

Afaik if something is confiscated, it's basically just thrown out, unless deemed hazardous.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:12 PM #4
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

In most countries, goods are confiscated and a letter is sent to the recipient requesting further information about the contents of the package.
If they find it does not comply with the rules, it is usually destroyed. In many cases involving lasers, "destroyed" probably means some custom agent got himself a new toy.

If you want to lower the risk of losing a laser in customs, have the company ship you the tail cap and batteries separately from the rest of the laser.

Two companies to avoid at all costs are Wicked Lasers and Boblaser, not only because they have a horrible reputation, but also because they are on a special watch list in the US which means ANY package from either of these companies is confiscated on sight, regardless of the contents.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:15 PM #5
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

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Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
You were shipping from the the US though, not to US right?

Afaik if something is confiscated, it's basically just thrown out, unless deemed hazardous.
Yes, shipping to Singapore from the US.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:45 PM #6
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

Most of the Chinese companies we (the responsible laser enthusiast community) order from tend to mark things in a way that it should not get caught by customs.

I have an order in process (it's just passed through a Chinese sort facility) from Lazerer, and I wasn't concerned that it would be confiscated at all when I placed my order. Besides, if you're worried with Lazerer, you can tack on $1.99 for insurance, and if it does get taken by customs, you get your money back or another shipped for free. I did that anyway so that I get tracking.

I've placed many orders from Laserlands, which many would argue is not at the same level of quality of service as Lazerer by far, and every package arrived timely with no customs issues. Each was marked as "flashlight" or "electronic parts" with an apropriate value to not cause suspicion.

IMO the only things you have to worry about are when the company marks it as a laser or if the company's shipping address has the word laser in it.

That being said, if you are truly worried, just DIY. Order a complete module from DTR, grab a host you like from someone on here, and put the two together. Some hosts don't require any tools at all to work with, especially if you use an all-incusive module. My next laser will be a DTR 405nm module and a Eudaimonium host.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:33 PM #7
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

Thanks for all of the information! I'll keep this in mind for my next laser order.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:38 PM #8
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

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Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
Most of the Chinese companies we (the responsible laser enthusiast community) order from tend to mark things in a way that it should not get caught by customs.

I have an order in process (it's just passed through a Chinese sort facility) from Lazerer, and I wasn't concerned that it would be confiscated at all when I placed my order. Besides, if you're worried with Lazerer, you can tack on $1.99 for insurance, and if it does get taken by customs, you get your money back or another shipped for free. I did that anyway so that I get tracking.

I've placed many orders from Laserlands, which many would argue is not at the same level of quality of service as Lazerer by far, and every package arrived timely with no customs issues. Each was marked as "flashlight" or "electronic parts" with an apropriate value to not cause suspicion.

IMO the only things you have to worry about are when the company marks it as a laser or if the company's shipping address has the word laser in it.

That being said, if you are truly worried, just DIY. Order a complete module from DTR, grab a host you like from someone on here, and put the two together. Some hosts don't require any tools at all to work with, especially if you use an all-incusive module. My next laser will be a DTR 405nm module and a Eudaimonium host.
Thanks! by the way, how would I have lazerer add tracking and insurance? just add in a comment requesting it?
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:28 PM #9
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

It's actually a bit of a pain in the ass if you ask me, haha.

Make your purchase, then go into your PayPal account and send $1.99 USD to them with the note in the payment form that it is for "tracking and insurance" on your order, and give them your order number. Then go to the Lazerer website and use their contact form to tell them that you placed an order and sent them the additional money for tracking and insurance, and again give your order number.

You need lazerer's paypal address to send them money, which took me a bit to find. I'm trying to find it again now, heh. I'll reply/edit back if I find it before you or someone else does.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:31 PM #10
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

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Thanks! by the way, how would I have lazerer add tracking and insurance? just add in a comment requesting it?
Regarding the tracking, I've got a couple of items coming from Lazerer at the moment.(first order). You should get an email with a tracking number when the order has been dispatched - no need to ask for one. I think the tracking number is only good for letting you know when the item has left China, you'll be none the wiser after that until it arrives on your doorstep.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:02 PM #11
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

Interesting, I didn't know they supply tracking without the insurance add on:

From Lazerer's website:
"To let every customer to enjoy shopping at iy more. Here we are offering FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Never worry about the item is too heavy. Costing too much. We bear it for you. Please note that free shipping is for standard flat rate shipping only. If you want to trace your item though the whole shipping process please add 1.99 for registration."

Edit; found their PayPal address: sales@lazerer.com
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:11 PM #12
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

Yep, also found this..
'Take insureance for Registered Airmail just +USD 1.99, with tracking number (optional).
In case item was lost in mail we won't bear any responsibilities if buyer don't take insureance.'

It always makes me laugh when sellers accepting Paypal say things like that (no disrespect to Max). If I put a claim in for 'item not received' and they cant provide a tracking number and prove it was delivered, I WILL be getting my money back - simple as that.

Back to tracking numbers, I read a few threads 'researching' Lazerer before I bought from them and that does seem to be the way they operate (emailed tracking number on dispatch). No ones mentioned having to pay for it. I wonder if anyone who did pay extra got a better service - probably not at a guess.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:48 PM #13
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

Well, I did pay the extra $2, and my order shipped FIVE days after I ordered, during the busiest part of the year (I ordered around midnight, as well!). No idea if it was just luck or the extra $2.

I certainly didn't compile a table, but I think that is pretty short processing time compared to most.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:27 AM #14
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

I once sent a laser to the US declared as a flashlight with a value of $18, nothing happened. And since most laser sellers do this, you shouldn't have to worry.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:48 AM #15
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

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I was going to order from Lazerer, but canceled it since i really didn't want to lose $180.
99.9% there will be no issue ordering from Lazerer.

About Chinese tracking. Pretty much useless on all accounts. I've gotten packages when it said it was still in China.

Dont worry, you'll get your laser.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:54 AM #16
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Default Re: So what happens at customs?

I didn't do any "tracking or two dollar thingy" but they still send you updates via email about where your package is leaving at times, right? thanks.
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