First, Let me introduce myself. I'm beggining my adventure with vintage cameras. You can say that I'm complete newbie, but I'm also very enthusiatstic and a keen one.
I've inherited from my grandpa 1935 folded Agfa Billy Record and 1928 Agfa Standard 208, and they are my first vintage cameras. I'm willing to go on and create nice collection of pre-war folding cameras.
Second - here is why and I'm asking you, dear users, for help. Few weeks ago i've purchased 2 Kodak cameras on ebay:
Kodak 3a Pocket Model C (1915) Kodak 3a Model B Special Autographic (1921) - serial number 16112
Unfortunatelly they are stuck in customs - I received official letter - I'm to authenticate the collectible value of goods within 10 days, Otherwise I will have to pay full VAT tax, or, even worse, the cameras will be send back to US.
Well, I have some old Kodak catalogs but I'm afraid it wont be very convincing for custom staff. I've already ordered McKeown copy - I know that as collector I cannot go on without it but its still on the way. Im afraid that by the time I will get it, the cameras will be already send back.
Here's my question. I know that copying is prohibited. But... Can any of users help me out, make an exception, and scan for me pages with these cameras? I would be very grateful. I hope that such proof + original Kodak catalogs will do the job with customs and soon i will be able to show you new members of my collection
Welcome to the forum and the best of luck with your new hobby. This is one site that maybe of some help collectiblend.com/Cameras/Kodak-Eastman/. I cannot vouch for it's accuracy though. You could also try looking at finished auctions on ebay for your particular cameras to get an idea of an average price.
I have never heard that the customs is claiming an evidence of collectors values. I thought that the winning bid at the auction is the actual value. Had similar problems some years ago with a parcel from Russia, I`ve sent them a confirmation of the sale price from the seller and everything was fine. There is a 3A Folding Pocket in the book you mentioned, but I am not able to insert a picture in a personal message. Maybe you send me a PM with your email address .
Don't place too much trust in published price guides. They take a long time to compile, and are often based auction prices of some years ago. Market value for old cameras is changing so quickly these days.
As I see it you have two sources. One is the price you paid on ebay, without post and packing. The other is to email the seller and explain the sitiuation. He may have put a value on his customs declaration.
Bob's suggestion is also a good one. Go on ebay, vintage cameras, and click in the box for completed listings. Ask the search engine at the top of the page to look for each of the cameras in turn. Look to see if they attracted any bids at the seller's asking price. If they didn't, that starting price was too high. If they sold, call up that auction to see the final winning bid.
You may be lucky, you may not.
You could also copy and print out the ebay receipt for your winning bid and send a copy to Customs and Excise. Explain that amost all camera collectors follow the on-line auctions on Ebay, and no-one else was willing to bid higher. So your winning bid is an excellent indication of the current collectable value of the camera in the condition it is in.
I had a brain fade when I answered. Both MIK and PeterW have the best idea in that a copy of your ebay sales receipt should be good enough. If I send anything out of country to somebody I have have to put a declared value sticker on the package. At the other end, customs may dispute the declared value and the person receiving it has to prove a value. I am not saying this is the case but you never know with the fine and friendly folks at custom services world wide.
Thank you for your hints, my first thought also was to copy auction content and to print some similar finished biddings. Of course I've got ebay an paypal receipt and sellers original value declaration. All documents are correct (no games with false declarations etc). So, as you said, case should be solved.
I've called them, an was informed that it is "not enough". Professional expertise based on branch catalogs prooving the collectible value is required.... Thats why my idea with quoting McKeown showed up. And of course I've begun studying Kodak 3a history... Thats nice, rough start in vintage cameras topic. Thank you customs;)
Well, Poland is now in UE, but our customs seem to be very niggling and cautious in any case of vintage items going in and out of the country.
I've heard a true, hilarious story of foreigner, who bought fake Luftwaffe Leica in Poland, in 2006. When he was leaving, customs at the airport confiscated his chinese Leica, claiming that it has very high collectible value and owner didnt had proper permisson of heritage conservator;)
So you can see know that I have to deal with team of high class specialists. Hard nut to crack
Don't you just love when a mountain is made out of a mole hill! The vast majority of the time a copy of the paypal and/or ebay receipts are enough over here. Tough nut indeed, be sure and let us know the outcome and good luck.
Hi Xrey! Greetings from New York I certainly hope that you get your problem with customs fixed. Maybe you could have a Polish camera dealer write an appraisal of one for you with it's value, etc. It sounds like the seller forgot to put certain information on the customs form. I've sent several items to the former Eastern Bloc over the years, and have yet to come across a problem like yours.