i buy games and consoles from japan, and ive been charged before for the person that delivers it, to hand it over to me
at first i thought it was because the person sending it haddnt paid enough postage. but it turns out to be a normal procedure
ways to avoid paying customs are
- on the custom form, get the seller to mark it as 'gift'
- make sure the value is under $30 (about £16.50) because they dont charge for anything under this value, but if the parcel were to get lost in transit, you would be able to claim for the full amount
- get it sent standard airmail, not by ups or similar
parcels from the usa tend not to carry custom charges, but it can still happen
hope this helps you :)