Expensive package stuck at the Swiss Customs and anxiety

Good morning all,

Let me start by saying that I am a patholigically anxious person, under medication who suffers from heavy panic attacks and that unfortunately situations like these make me more sick. If you only have catastrophic words in mind, I need to ask you to keep them yourself.

I bought a very expensive item (>7K USD) from Ebay (US seller). I tried to cancel the order and the seller gave me a call, we had a small argument and in the end I accepted that cancellation wasn't possible. The seller told me he would declared less " to make me a favor" out of not being able to cancel my order, and I, like a STUPID did not object. Believe it or not, I did not try to take advantage of the situation: one thing I need this item to be legally introduced, plus I know that there was absolutely no chances this would workout. I order such items at least 1 time a month and every single time I had to send the invoices the courier. I was taken by the emotions of the conversation and, in that moment, I considered not relevant to object the suggested approach. 2 hours later I told him to please declare it right but it was too late.

Of course, the parcel is now held at customs for 5 days and I am am slowly getting sick. I am afraid they would seize it / destroy, thinking it's fake and I am freaking out because this is a lot of money, and these items represent investments for me.

My health condition is making everything worse. I read that I may have to wait months before I get to know something. I am off sick from work because my anxiety is causing me a lot of physical pain today. It's hard to explain, only who is in my situation would be able to judge.

At the "custom clearance" phase, I was contacted by Fedex and I had immediately provided the original invoice, copy of the credit card payment and all the possible screenshots. This means that, since at least the last 5 days, Swiss customs have the documentation, which conflicts the seller declaration.

I contacted the Customs Agents by Fedex, I explained the situation, that I suffer from panic attacks and that this situation makes me feel very bad so I need some information, but they only say "we need to wait".

I was thinking I might contact customs directly, but it seems to me like a very ambitious idea, since I will get nothing out of it.

I am ready to pay a fine for my negligence on top of the VAT, I deserve it. But I cannot lose 7K..

I am honestly not sure what kind of answer I am looking for here, I read about similar experiences which ended up well. But never with such expensive parcels.



You don't say what the item is, so hard to know if customs will have an issue with it. I had a similar hold, but on a much cheaper item. Once I sent the invoice and a website link to what I'd bought, it was sent on its way to me. I'm sure it will get moving this week!

The value is not a problem, unless it is incorrect. I have order 15k of motorcycle parts in one go in the past no problem!


Should not be any problem when you have sent the correct invoice to the Customs.

You are not responsible for what the seller writes on the Customs declaration, people often make mistakes.

If the seller claims you agreed to a different amount then it is his word versus yours which is valueless.

I often buy from abroad and sometimes items get stuck in Customs for no reason.

Did you get a tracking code and so can you check the code on the Swiss Post web site to get an update on the status?

It's a watch.

Why would they think it's FAKE and destroy it? If it's a genuine item, then there shouldn't be any problem. You will have to customs duty for expensive items anyway (I think items above 65 chf attract customs). If it was actually a fake item then by now you would have received a mail and they would have sent the item to the brand for verification. There's already a thread on this forum where someone's son imported a fake LV wallet and ended up paying huge fine.

What did you import btw? A luxury goods/ watch?

If the seller gave a value far less than the $7000 you paid for it (say $500) you may have problems, if he valued it at $5000 there shouldn't be too much of a problem. But as others have said, he puts the value on it, not you.

5 days delay at customs is nothing to worry about, sometimes they can get delayed for random checks or just because they are very busy, for 2 weeks or more.

As far as your anxiety/panic attacks, consult a doctor and then try to do some yoga/Pranayam. I had a case of panic attacks 15 years ago and could bring it all under control by doing yoga (Try Veerabhadrasana - warrior pose 1&2, Sarpasana and Vajrasana)

Thank you for your answer. I am lacking objectivity due to my anxiety. I buy often watches from Japan and this was the first time I've chosen a US seller. I have no doubt about its genuinity. The seller has sold more than 16.000 watches with 100% positive rating.

Thank you for your advice. I take medications which are prescribed by my doctor. Problem is, drugs can improve my quality of life, but they do not good when it comes to these exceptional circumstances. I will try Yoga. Thank you

It's not duty usually. It's MWST (and an admin fee). Duty is a separate charge. Like if you bring across the border more than one kilo of meat, you have to pay an additional 17 francs per kill for the excess. The first kilo is still duty free.

I'm also a watch geek. Why do you prefer ebay ove Chrono24?

I actually prefer Chrono24 as I buy all my watches there. Ebay was a first (and last) time experiment

Maximame… I hope your watch arrives to you very soon and you can feel more at ease about your purchase. Sometimes things do get held up at customs for quite a while, as they do have a LOT to process and sort through (just imagine all the stuff that gets imported into Switzerland!). And they may be trying to verify that the watch is genuine // not a fake.

If you don’t mind me saying this… Have you ever tried magnesium for your anxiety issues? Magnesium deficiency is extremely common and anxiety is the #1 symptom of a magnesium deficiency. If you haven’t tried it, maybe mention it to your doctor. I take magnesium glycinate (link below) because it’s the best type of magnesium for absorption and that doesn’t cause any stomach problems like other forms of magnesium can. I can tell a huge difference in how I react to stress, etc. when I take it regularly, each evening (one tablet from the link below). Magnesium also inhibits cortisol (the stress hormone), so it’s great for managing stress and anxiety.


Again, I hope your watch arrives to you very soon so you can feel more at ease.

Not at all! Many thanks for the kind words and for your interest. In the past, I have taken Zinc and Magnesium along with a compound that helped reduce cortisol levels. I agree, they do make a difference, and cortisol is definitely a demon. Unfortunately, I have to fight against cortisol daily. I've been working out very hard for 12 years now, and I am a very bad sleeper (I average between 4 and 7 hours per night, not more). My mom always told me that, since I was a baby, I simply did not sleep.

Back to my anxiety, it is genetic, as it was transmitted to me by my dad. To give you an example, my dad is the typical guy who would tell me " do not to forget to use the brakes when driving " and repeat it around 150 times before I would take the car for a 2km ride. As a kid he would not let me go on the pedal-boat with uncle and cousins, because I could die ecc ecc. The funny thing is that I don't live with my parents since I was 18 (I am 32 now), so these situations only occur when I visit my parents in Italy (and even now, that I am a man). I have been living abroad basically since after university. But at age 18, I absorbed already too much of the negative, and it was too late..

What kills me is that I feel that, as a dad, I will be exactly like him.

My problems have hence deeper roots, and unfortunately, supplements won't do miracles. I did therapy until 6 months ago but was not happy with the doctor. I am seeking another psychologist.

On a side note: my watch has been cleared by customs!!



Great news that the watch has finally been cleared by customs. I hope you’re feeling relieved and much better now!

Yeah, anxiety is awful. I have a close friend (who is actually a psychologist) who has struggled with severe anxiety her entire life. Sometimes I wonder if it might be due to the way someone’s brain is ‘wired’ in cases like that. Maybe there is also a genetic component to it (no idea). I do know that her mother was schizophrenic (which is one of the reasons she later became a psychologist).

Something like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might be really good for you. I once had a really good book on CBT (which I later sent to a friend on the EF), which was written by a psychologist, and basically, CBT teaches you how to control your thoughts rather than letting your thoughts control you. (Sorry if you know all about CBT already). But it is known to be a really good method to treat / combat anxiety, in the field of psychology. So it teaches you how to recognize negative thought patterns and how to reverse them and counteract them by establishing an internal dialogue with yourself, etc. This isn’t the book I had, but it was something perhaps a bit similar to this one, and I know there are many different ones out there:


I hope you can find something that works.