Recently, I purchased a Wii Fit on eBay. I paid a pretty decent price and felt that the shipping quote was adequate. When the parcel arrived however, I was asked to pay a customs and duty fees of over $30! I refused the package and sent an email to the seller to ask if she knew why the fee was so high. I know what you may be thinking — if it were you, you’d tell me to pound sand. However, my POV is to always, always ask. The worst that can happen is the askee says no.
The seller got back to me straight away. She told me that she had declared a value of $125 — the retail price of the games + shipping! Since custom and duty fees are calculated with the declared value of the package, the Canadian government wanted their tax money on a $125 video game. I gave the seller two choices. I could either refuse the package until they returned it to her and then file a complaint with eBay, or I could accept the package and have her reimburse me the custom and duty fees. She excused herself for her error and reimbursed me 30$!
Thankfully, I had the idea to ask for a reimbursement. Oftentimes, people get nickeled and dimed by fees because they do not always ask for a reduction or compensation. The reason that people are afraid to ask is due to our innate fear of rejection. Sure, we could get rejected when we ask a cashier for a discount on damaged merchandise but really, why are we afraid of that?
The worst thing that can happen when you always ask for something is that the answer is no.
No one will laugh at you, or injure you, or harm you in any way. Any answer you receive other than no is an immediate improvement over not asking. In my case, the seller reimbursed me for the entire customs and duty fees but, even if she had only offered a $10 reimbursement, I would be better off than had I not thought to always ask.
Like the saying goes, it never hurts to ask!