Buying items on


Nov 15, 2009
Since electronics are so much more expensive here and the choice so limited, it seems that a simple solution would be to buy on ebay in the us and get them shipped to Buenos Aires.

That solution seems too simple to be true. I d like to know if this is legal for new items, for second hand items, for a foreign not residing in Argentina...

Have anybody done the experience before and can report? Is there a risk of the item deseapearing at customs if the value declared can tempt some civil servants?

Naive questions i guess, but i couldnt find the answer by myself.:confused:

I found this article in the forum : but it seems to apply to people with a DNI buying new items.

I m willing to buy a second hand GPS watch of a value of 300 USD and i am not resident, just tourist. Do taxes apply in that case?
If you enter "shipping" in search you will find threads like this: Incredibly High Import Fees

I don't think it will matter if you have a DNI or not if customs opens the package. They will want 50% duty on the watch and probably on the shipping, too.

The only reason I wear a $300 USD watch here is because I bought if for $60 on ebay when I was in the states. It's something I wouldn't miss terribly if I get mugged and is covered by my Argentine insurance policy.

Last time I was in the US I bought a number of small items on ebay (Lumex digital camera, 80GB ipod, Grundig radio, and two more Seiko kinetic watches) and had no problem with Argentine customs. I actually had five (very heavy) suitcases and a carry on but they didn't open anything.
My gps watch just died, and mind you, i do feel safer travelling around the continent on my bike with one. I understand from your message that controls are not automatic, but random. This leaves some hope.
On mail, one trick that I have used is to put $0 value on the box. We often make a HUGE mistake by insuring the package and that in itself tells on yourself. Insuring a package for U$100 tells customs that there is U$100 worth of goods in the box which they deserve U$50. Got it! If you are a tourist and you tell customs that it is yours and your "brother" sent it to you because you forgot it, maybe you will make it through. I have had the best luck with not insuring. Hope this helps!

I had friends who had a camera sent to them while they were staying here. It had got broken and was being repaired. Was clearly used and they sent via DHL. Argentine customs demanded 300 USD to release it, which was around 200 more than it was worth.

I'd avoid shipping. If at all possible get someone to bring you one. Its very easy to bring things into the country in person, and fiendishly difficult via mail.