Imports Buyer's Guide & FAQ

Imports Buyer’s Guide: All The Info You Could Ever Want & FAQ


A large majority of our bags are imported direct to you from overseas.

Thusthe customer, as the buyer, must be listed as importer on record.

What this means for the buyer: in the rare instance duties would be due, the customer would be responsible to pay the duty at the post office to have the package released.

To be clear: This is highly unlikely based on the items we are selling, their import values, and the everyday shopper that would be buying from The LA Bag Lady. Any duties due would likely be small and are based on item type and import value.

Please read on below to The General Import Process & FAQ for more information and/or be encouraged to write to us at:

with any more questions or concerns about the process or when/if this situation arises.

We'd be happy to help you navigate the situation. 


The General Import Process & FAQ:

Supplier receives order: gets a smile, packs it up with love, marks the tariff code for item type, marks an import value, and ships it off to your eager anticipation.

Arrives at Customs: nearly all packages in handbags/bags category with import value below $800 should fly through without needing a formal customs review. 

Leaves Customs (free of duty): goes straight through to your friendly carrier and into your mailbox! 

Leaves Customs (w/duty): after your package gets a little stop and frisk, it is then marked to alert the local carrier to collect duty. If it's USPS, they alert you, you pay duty, and then you can take your lovely bag home. If it's not USPS, both the process and handling fee(s) are more uncertain. However, shipment with non-USPS carriers is very unlikely - our free shipping program is run primarily through USPS. If you are very concerned about a non-USPS carrier and the fee uncertainty, please email us to ask whether the item you desire would be sent other than USPS before placing your order.

How much is this duty with USPS?:  There is a $6 Customs Handling fee per package and the duty assessed should be around 6-7% of the marked import value.

Here are some links for USPS to explore further should you be inclined:

Why is my customs value so low/marked as gift/as different item?: It is possible the supplier marked it as much lower/as a different item to help the bag make it through customs without incident. While they likely are just trying to be helpful - The LA Bag Lady always requests they not do this. We are just trying to run a transparent and smooth business of selling great bags! It's better for everyone in the big picture if it is marked accurately.

Yes, the value isn’t marked as breadcrumbs but still isn’t my purchase price. What gives?

Alright, alright we’ll let you in on the not so secret, secret - if the supplier marked the package correctly, the difference between the import value and the retail price is the commission we receive to keep running our store and bringing you fantastic bags! It takes a ton of labor hours and more to run a retail operation like The LA Bag Lady so we hope you’ll be happy to help keep us in business :)

Always at your service to bring you the best bags around,

the LA Bag Lady