Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Half smuggling

A legal import system according to an urban legend
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There is an urban legend about someone who brought a container of left-foot shoes, allowed it to be caught and confiscated, and waited for it to be put on sale. Since no-one has what to do with left-foot shoes only, he bought the container for a rediculous price.

He then brought in a container with right shoes only.

This could be done systematically by a company called half- import.com. Would it be legal? As long as it was done small scale, would countries counter this?

pashute, Jul 14 2011

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       I think they're on to this. Airports take a very proactive attitude to left luggage.
spidermother, Jul 14 2011
  

       Hmmm...   

       Legally, this could work if an item could be separated into two parts, each of which was relatively valueless without the other ... there'd be no need to smuggle.   

       But the separated items would have to have no other intrinsic value, and be very easy to recombine.
8th of 7, Jul 14 2011
  

       This brings to mind a question as to what do amputees do with the other shoe? (glove, etc)
xandram, Jul 14 2011
  

       I believe there's a website where they can exchange such items.
normzone, Jul 14 2011
  

       It's a good method for smuggling shipping containers. Inspectors get all caught up trying to make sense of the contents.
lurch, Jul 14 2011
  

       I'd think the method of intentionally allowing it to be captured by a government agency and then buying it back at auction would have to constitute some kind of fraud or evasion crime. I'm not a lawyer, that's just my gut feeling.
Alterother, Jul 14 2011
  

       I fail to see how the guy makes money. Where did the shoes come from in the first place? Did he buy them?   

       All I can see is that a container of unpaired shoes would be worthless and not have to pay much of a customs fee. Is that it? Are we dodging import fees?   

       (There are many anecdotes about evading customs. I am sure the customs guys are looking for tricks all the time.)   

       Getting the shoes as lefts and rights could be done at the manufacturers, easily, using cheap foreign labor, but pairing and re-boxing them is going to be done by expensive domestic labor (and as a bunch of one-off jobs). And if you ship them through different terminals to avoid notice, there's more transport. And the travel and hassle of bidding in two places.
baconbrain, Jul 14 2011
  

       lurch :-)
pashute, Jul 15 2011
  

       gloves as well.
VJW, Jul 15 2011
  

       Left handed screwdrivers, left hand drive cars...somehow I never had any success with those.
Ling, Jul 15 2011
  

       Try left-handed comments.
Alterother, Jul 17 2011
  
      
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