Its definitely harder now to be a collector in the UK. We have considerably less options than Japan/US etc and yes, our import and customs fees can be pretty pricey.
Cardmarket is OK and can have some good stuff if you don’t mind doing your own research on prices etc first but I still mostly use ebay and buy from the UK whenever possible. It takes longer, but if you are patient you will find what you’re looking for and good deals. The hunt is half of the fun anyway. So much more satisfying to find that rare card when there are less options available!
You’re better off buying from Buyee (Mercari) than through Cardmarket if you’re going to pay customs either way, Cardmarket sellers tend to overcharge for their cards due to their own VAT payments and also because there’s so little for sale in the European market. Buyee has a bigger learning curve but it’s worth it after you get used to it.
I’m not from the UK but I send packages to the UK and they all seem to go through customs, if they’re anything like my home country there’s no way around paying customs fees and whatever is the VAT of the declared value, but I suppose you can always ask sellers to undervalue items, if they’re a professional seller they might not do it though.
You can buy up to £165~ before you get any sort of customs charge, so unless you’re spending over that amount from 1 seller you’ll be fine. I buy a lot from EU sellers and haven’t had any issues in the last few years except when doing a few larger purchases
I’m not a professional seller but even I refuse to undervalue stuff I send internationally. If the package goes missing, you can bet the buyer will be wanting their money back (as you’d expect), and places like ebay expect the seller to refund the buyer BEFORE recovering the cost from the courier, especially since some post services (Royal Mail for us in the UK as an example) will take 6 weeks+ (from my own personal experience) to investigate and pay out (or not) and you can’t stall buyers for that long as a marketplace seller.
Unfortunately, the latter won’t be possible if a package is undervalued. In my own experience, postal services ask for all the evidence from the marketplace of the sale value etc. and that won’t match the value declared for the original shipping. Best case, you will only get what you declared; worst case, they will give you nothing for committing postal fraud.
I would only do this between friends or with a pre-agreed deal of no refunds if the package goes missing.
Yeah, our options are quite limited here in the UK. I have used FromJapan in the past for a case of Vstar Universe and it was a pleasant experience. However, the shipping costs + 20% vat on shipments over £135 do quickly add up. I did at one point also make 3x £120 orders from Plaza Japan and those came through no problem without any added VAT, so that’s something to keep in mind. The alternative is knowing someone who is physically in Japan that can send you stuff and underdeclare it. Do I keep in mind that you won’t receive any insurance payouts if the item is lost, so do this at your own risk. I know a guy who sends whole cases from Japan to the UK this way and he’s never had a problem. Good luck!