A friend of mine has a nice little business repairing PC's and (buying and) selling used laptops. He does a good job at reasonable prices.
The other day we were discussing the headaches he was having buying parts from the States; his problem being "how much to quote". It seemed to me that it was all down to whether or not he was likely to be "stung" by import duties and so forth (that is, ending up paying more than he - and his customer - had bargained for).
My advice was that he should simply tell the customer that the price charged for parts would be "cost plus NN%" (that is, the eventual total cost, including delivery, plus his usual mark-up). This idea was rejected, however, as he (or rather the customer) really needed a "fixed price" to be quoted.
In the past, I have bought stuff off eBay that had arrived in a Jiffy* bag a few days later without any bother from various parts of the world (Hong Kong, China, Cyprus are three that come to mind). That is, without any additional demands for extra payment from the Post Office. Perhaps I have just been lucky.
Does anyone have recent experience of bringing parts into the UK from the States? If so, what's the score these days?
Meanwhile, how do larger businesses and (or) "frequent buyers" get on? Do they use an agent (at either end - or both) to take care of everything on their behalf?
* Other soft package pouches are available.