Arjen Schouten
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Bom dia, here are some ramblings/questions from a boardgame-loving estrangeiro living in Brazil since this year!
So excuse my writing in English but my Portuguese is not (yet!) good enough to write these questions in the language of this country.

Over the last months I've ordered some boardgames from the USA and from England. The first two parcels shipped to me (from USA, two differerent eBay sellers) were sent on october 1 and october 4. That's about 9 weeks ago. I'm starting to get a bit stressed about when they finally will arrive here at my Brazilian address (in Gravataí near Porto Alegre). Especially because I've ordered more things after those (from different sellers), and so far the only things that arrived are a small package with some Mayday cardsleeves (from England) and 1 small cheap game I bought from bookdepository.co.uk (also England). Astoundingly, these arrived in only 21 and 15 days respectively! So there's my concern: What's happening to the other things that were sent my way? surprise I know some of these packages are above the 50 USD taxfree limit, but others are not.

My parents sent me some things (not games) earlier this year from the Netherlands (I'm Dutch), and they always arrived within 3-6 weeks.

Most of the things that I get shipped are economy class. But for my last shipment I had the seller upgrade the shipping to Priority, just to see if that makes a difference.

So far my thoughts are:
- Things from Europe arrive faster than things from the USA.
- Do things from the USA even arrive at all?
- Is everything stuck in customs somwhere?
- Are ALL my things lost and did I loose my money? Everything lost seems impossible to me!

I've been looking on google about shipping problems in Brazil and the stories vary wildly: Some people get their things within weeks, others have to wait for 2-3 months, or on person even up to 6 months! surprise Then there was one guy who said the Brazilian postal system is one of the best postal systems in the world. Maybe it's true, as I assume that customs are causing the delays, not Correios.

Any Brazilians here with more experience buying boardgames who can shed some more light on this? Or anyone who has an amusing story to tell?
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Hegel Bessa Jorge
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I have imported many games from the US, and never any of them got lost, and I've ordered about 10-15 times i guess in the past 4-5 years. The majority of them arrive in one month or so. I make most of my purchases from miniature market and some from cool stuff inc, but I almost always pay Priority. Never had anything sent with Fedex, so I don't know about them. DHL (from Barnes and Nobles) was very quick. My last order "only" took 20 days this november.

Once, an order took about 2,5 months, of which 2 were in customs just waiting for it to be taxed. This time of the year the delays are going to bigger.

So, I think your packages aren't lost, but they may arrive after Christmas in the worst case. I haven't got any lost packages yet and Correios appears to be reliable.

Answering to your questions:
1- They DO arrive!
2- They're probably stuck in customs waiting to be taxed.
3- I guess they're not lost.

If I may give you a suggestion, it'd be to only get priority mail or better, to get a tracking code. It always made me less nervous lol
Sorry that this didn't help, but I felt I could just tell you my experience. Good luck!
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Arjen Schouten
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Thanks Hegel. That sounds reassuring... Although most things aren't shipped Priority (though the bookdepository ones are I guess, as I didn't get a choice for shipping options with them). I don't mind paying tax on some of them (though I rather don't, haha! 60% is a lot, but nothing to do about it) as long as they arrive here so I can play them. Playing only Colonizadors de Catan gets a little boring after a while. I really want to introduce some more games to the people here.

By the way, I see you play a lot of RPG style games. Descent 2nd ed. amongst others. Is the extensive use of English not a problem for your gaming group, or do you all speak english well? I really want to get Descent sometime in the future, but as my current gaming group consists of only my wife and sometimes her brothers, it seems a little risky. They are all new to boardgames, and their levels of English are ranging from above-average (my wife) to still have to learn a lot (her brothers).
 
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Leonardo Prunk
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Somethings can take a while because of customs and stuff, but they almost always arrive.

I'm buying boardgames for years and I only had one package lost and it was a free shipping from UK (from bookdepository, and that mail is horrible), but everything else (and from a variety of countries) arrived. Some took a while (3 months in one of them, from bookdepository again), but arrived.

When I order with Priority from USA for example, it takes a couple of days to get to Brazil and than a couple of weeks from Brazil customs to my house. It sucks, but it happens.

Brazil customs receives a lot, I mean A LOT of packages (they even did a TV coverage showing how many stuff brazilians buy from other countries and how the customs warehouse was crowded). So it can take a while for the package to be taxed.

Another thing, if you use a courrier (like DHL or Fedex) your package can arrive A LOT faster since they take care of customs themselves, but it can get so expensive that most brazilians avoid it.
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Arjen Schouten
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Thanks Leonardo. I was under the impression that not so many Brazilians buy from other countries, because it seems the Brazilian government is discouraging this (60% tax...). But if what you say is true I can already picture a chaotic customs warehouse in my mind!

That bookdepository is kind of strange to me. I bought 4 games (2 small, 2 big) from them in one order. They were all shipped seperately. One small arrived within 15 day (I was VERY surprised!). That was last friday. So I expected the other 3 packages from them to arrive saturday or early this week. But so far nothing more has arrived. I assumed at least the other small/cheap game would arrive soon too, and even one of the bigger. Because only 1 game was over 50 USD and thus eligible for taxes.

Well, at least when this is over I'll have more experience with buying things internationally. And "Priority" is one thing I'll keep in the back of my head for my next order for sure.
 
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Alan
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The "50 USD taxfree limit" is a myth. It does not exist for anything, you must forget that you ever heard about it.

I have never had any problem with boardgames, but I had problems with untrackable PS3 games - impossible to blame someone. Everything else always arrives.

Timeframe estimation also does not exist, You must forget about them also.

Edit: Extra example

A simple flat letter from BGG store can take from 1 week and a half to 3 months to arrive.
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Leonardo Prunk
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Vargen666 wrote:
because it seems the Brazilian government is discouraging this (60% tax...).

They are really discouraging this to protect the national market, but it seems it's only getting worse and most of the stuff we buy outside doesn't even sell here anyway...
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Hegel Bessa Jorge
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Vargen666 wrote:
By the way, I see you play a lot of RPG style games. Descent 2nd ed. amongst others. Is the extensive use of English not a problem for your gaming group, or do you all speak english well? I really want to get Descent sometime in the future, but as my current gaming group consists of only my wife and sometimes her brothers, it seems a little risky. They are all new to boardgames, and their levels of English are ranging from above-average (my wife) to still have to learn a lot (her brothers).


Of my main group, which is me and 3-4 friends, everybody can read fairly well in english. Sometimes, other people join (girlfriend, related friends) who have some diffiulties. When playing descent, which has a lot of text, usually one helps the person sitting next to them and it flows well.

We played Lords of Waterdeep, which has some text and after the first two games, all went smoothly. In most games, language barriers don't matter after the first game. Also, I'm always the one who buys and read the manuals and explain to them in portuguese, so perhaps that makes it easier to them.

Unfortunately, you live on the other side of the country, but whenever you're here in the Northeast (CE or RN, as I moved to Natal but frequently go to Fortaleza), feel free to contact me.
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Arjen Schouten
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lprunk wrote:
Vargen666 wrote:
because it seems the Brazilian government is discouraging this (60% tax...).

They are really discouraging this to protect the national market, but it seems it's only getting worse and most of the stuff we buy outside doesn't even sell here anyway...

Yes, I've found that strange too. Of course I can imagine they want to protect their market. But since there's no local production for these products why do they punnish adventuring Brazilian consumers from buying from abroad? The only reason I can think of is that the Brazilian government wants their money-spending citizens to spend money on other products... But I don't see how I could find a Brazilian substitute for one of my favourite passtimes.

Really, I don't mean to be rude to the way Brazilian politics and business works but in my opinion they should open their eyes and realize that the world is bigger than Brazil alone. After all, they want to be a modern economy, right? /rant hehe
 
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Hegel Bessa Jorge
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tequila_j wrote:
The "50 USD taxfree limit" is a myth. It does not exist for anything, you must forget that you ever heard about it.

I have never had any problem with boardgames, but I had problems with untrackable PS3 games - impossible to blame someone. Everything else always arrives.

Timeframe estimation also does not exist, You must forget about them also.

Edit: Extra example

A simple flat letter from BGG store can take from 1 week and a half to 3 months to arrive.


Unfortunately, that's true, I've had items which were cheaper than USD50 get taxed and some didn't get taxed. Items well above USD50 (about 350: eclipse, merchnt of venus 2nd ed, Lords of Waterdeep and Descent 2nd) didn't but some did. I guess it's random.
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Arjen Schouten
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tequila_j wrote:
The "50 USD taxfree limit" is a myth. It does not exist for anything, you must forget that you ever heard about it.

I have never had any problem with boardgames, but I had problems with untrackable PS3 games - impossible to blame someone. Everything else always arrives.

Timeframe estimation also does not exist, You must forget about them also.

Edit: Extra example

A simple flat letter from BGG store can take from 1 week and a half to 3 months to arrive.
Hmm, concerning the 50 USD tax myth: You mean that customs actually random pick items even if they are under this limit and put them up for taxation? Now, that *is* concerning...wow

Edit: Yeah, what Hagel says in the post above this.
 
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Pablo Schulman
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Yep, it is random. Due to the cheer volume of imports, customs samples a percentage of packages.

There are some origins which are more prone to be sampled like China. Europe seems to be (at least for me) the least taxed.

Other factor that might be important is the size of the package.

I didn't know about the $50 being a mythos as well. Well, living is learning apparently.

Concluding: whenever you buy something roll a die and pray for the better outcome.
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Arjen Schouten
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*rolls a die for all the packages*

But if it takes a package to arrive more than, say, 2 months... does this automatically mean it will be taxed or is it just lying around there in the customs warehouse still waiting indeterment whether it will be taxed or not? Because it seems strange to me that that one (untaxed) small bookdepository package actually arrived in 15 days, while all other things take ages.
 
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Alan
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No, there is no relationship between customs time and taxes also. Maybe your tiny box is just laying at the back of another huge box from someone else... who knows.

While I believe I ve saw something about the 50 bucks in some law, I was speaking more in the practical way, after all you should not forget that the guy can give any value for you packet.
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Aha, ok. I'll just try to stop worrying now as it's in the hands of the dice-gods, hehe.

Edit: And guess what got delivered just now! One of the two packages that had been sent 2 months ago! Carcassonne and Bohnanza. laugh Funny thing, to the side of the box they taped an envelope with the second small game (Hey! That's My fish!) from bookdepository. I guess they also bundle things that go to the same address up there at customs or Correios while they're at it.
 
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Leonardo Prunk
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Sometimes they do that, but when that happens almost always it get taxed "What?? This same guy ordered three packages at the same time from different places!?". But it's uncommon.

The law states that all products except books and the like will be taxed, excluding "packages marked as GIFT that, including the shipping cost, are below 50 USD". If that was valid at all times, all my packages should have been taxed, but they were not. So it's really up to the agent that is verifying your packages I guess, maybe he also throws a die...
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Arjen Schouten
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Haha, I guess they were waiting to stick more packages to them but then couldn't find more with my name on them.

Orrr, they will stick the other packages together in the most lucrative way. ninja
 
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Arjen Schouten
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Hegelbj wrote:
Vargen666 wrote:
By the way, I see you play a lot of RPG style games. Descent 2nd ed. amongst others. Is the extensive use of English not a problem for your gaming group, or do you all speak english well? I really want to get Descent sometime in the future, but as my current gaming group consists of only my wife and sometimes her brothers, it seems a little risky. They are all new to boardgames, and their levels of English are ranging from above-average (my wife) to still have to learn a lot (her brothers).


Of my main group, which is me and 3-4 friends, everybody can read fairly well in english. Sometimes, other people join (girlfriend, related friends) who have some diffiulties. When playing descent, which has a lot of text, usually one helps the person sitting next to them and it flows well.

We played Lords of Waterdeep, which has some text and after the first two games, all went smoothly. In most games, language barriers don't matter after the first game. Also, I'm always the one who buys and read the manuals and explain to them in portuguese, so perhaps that makes it easier to them.

Unfortunately, you live on the other side of the country, but whenever you're here in the Northeast (CE or RN, as I moved to Natal but frequently go to Fortaleza), feel free to contact me.


Although I thumbed your post, I completely read over it yesterday. blush

It seems Descent will be too difficult for my "group", also because the mechanics seem a bit complicated for beginners. For me an other problem is that my portuguese is not yet so good that I can comfortable explain how a game works and answer questions about it. At the moment I explain things in english with portuguese mixed in when I know the right words. I guess I could give it a try when my portuguese is a little better. Like you said, when the game is explained well the rest should be ok. Also I'm hoping my family will bring my own copy of Doom with them from the Netherlands (my games are still there) when they visit this month. It uses the same basic mechanics, so I could try this with them first and see how it goes.

Thanks for the offer! Yes, Brazil is biiiig, not at all like NL. I don't think I will be visiting the north-east any time soon, but when I have the opportunity I'd like to join your group for a game!meeple Also I might try to find some more people interested to come game here in Gravataí. Though I'll have to get in more games before I'll do that, hehe.

PS. I see you have RoboRally, but didn't rate it. Did you play it? If not: Play it, it's awesome, especially with max number of players!
 
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Hegel Bessa Jorge
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Actually, i ordered last week from Coolstuffinc, so it should be arriving... in february lol But I'll probably play it with four or five, which is the maximum number of people I can gather. I wanted to play it for about 10 years, but never got the chance, so I decided to buy it on the Black Friday sale. It cost me about 60 dollars with shipping, so I guess it was a good purchase.
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