I'm surprised by the variety of responses to this topic. While I'll admit that TC's initial request may have come across as a bit suspect, the fact of the matter is we all need a little help sometimes finding those hard-to-track-down items for our collections. He didn't violate any sort of forum TOU (at least, as far as I'm aware) and as others have said, he's a relatively long-term member with a lengthy posting history. I, myself, am not able to help out in this situation, but for his own sake, I hope Verm3 gets what he's looking for.
The best thing about shopping on the Internet is also the worst thing about it - it's easy to find what you're looking for. We live in a day and age where hardly anything is impossible to find, the main barrier to owning it being just how much money you're willing to splurge on it. It bites when you finally track down that final piece for your collection only to find out that the seller refuses to ship it to you, despite how much you're willing to pay for it. So close, yet so far away.
International shipping has gotten outrageous in recent years. Heck, even domestic shipping has gotten more and more expensive. I've been selling on eBay for nearly 20 years now, and I pride myself on offering free shipping on all of my listings. But boy, has that really been biting me in the butt lately. Like The Critic said, some international shippers still offer free shipping, and I, too, have gotten free shipping from Japan recently on a set of items that only cost me about $6. I doubt the seller made any money from the sale, essentially taking the items as a loss in order to build a good feedback score. You do what you have to do, sometimes.
I have an experience similar to Verm3's, as well as Herschie's. One of my personal "holy grail" items is the sky blue PAL version of the Stunner light gun for the Sega Saturn. It's not impossible to find, but most of the time I see it online, it comes from Europe or Australia. I'll see it sometimes for ten euros or twelve AUD, but shipping costs double or triple the amount of the item. Why do I want the blue one? Because I already have the orange US version of the Stunner, and I want the blue one for the variety, as most arcade light gun games have two different-colored guns for player 1 and player 2. It's no fun if every light gun looks the same, amirite?
The Japanese version of the Stunner is black, but that's no fun. No thanks. As a compromise, I bought a third-party gun, the Nyko Cobra, which came in blue and also has a hookup for the PS1. While it works great (and has auto-fire and auto-reload!) part of me is always going to want that blue Stunner. But, since it was never released here in the US, my only option is to import, and hope that the seller is willing to ship to the US for a reasonable rate.
I feel for TC as well as anyone else who has imported something from overseas and rolled the dice on shipping. There's no guarantees your items will arrive from across the pond, and even if they do, you'll likely pay a premium to obtain them. Collecting is a fun hobby, and shopping is part of the experience, but as I've gotten older, I've found it's sometimes better to be "just looking" than actively buying. If I stumble across that blue Stunner in a Goodwill or something, it'll be like I've died and gone to heaven. Until then, I'm left mulling whether or not I want to spend the $50+ to import my own.
So far? Nope, I'm "just looking," and I can live with that juuuuust fine. For now, anyway