|The largest independent, non-commercial, consumer-oriented resource on the Internet for owners, collectors and enthusiasts of fine wristwatches. Online since 1998.|
Vintage Heuer Discussion Forum
The place for discussing 1930-1985 Heuer wristwatches, chronographs and dash-mounted timepieces. Online since May 2003.
You ask some very broad questions, all of them being important topics when someone in the United States buys a watch from abroad and will receive it here in the United States. Key topics include the manner of payment, the choice of shipper, insurance coverage and import and export matters (including Customs). It would be impossible to cover all these topics in a reasonable length posting, and such a posting would take a lot of work to compose, so let me just address one of the topics -- international payments.
In my experience, there are three commonly-used methods of making payments in a foreign currency, as follows:
PayPal is a recent alternative to the traditional bank wire, but they will also kill you on the exchange rate, which may be this same 3 or 4 percent above market. If you send as Friends and Family, there will be no recourse if you never receive the watch. Maybe you have some protection if you send as a payment for merchandise and fund with your credit card, but I'm not really sure about that.
TransferWise is one of the new alternative "payments" companies that attempts to streamline the process of sending international payments. Like the bank wire, when the money is gone, it's gone, but the advantage of TransferWise (and similar services) is that they offer a very fair, market-based exchange rate. I recently used them for a $4,000 payment, and the exchange rate offered by TransferWise save me $150 compared with PayPal Friends and Family.
I hope that this has been helpful in addressing alternatives for international payments. I will try to write another posting about shipping and import / export when time permits.
Good luck, however you decide to proceed.