There is no easy answer to your question. I have brought things into the country myself and cleared them myself without a customs broker. And I have used a customs broker. If the amount of the goods coming in is less then $3,000 you can clear them yourself. If so, you will need to sometimes have all the receipts especially if new. If used, an estimated value, this is hard because customs might not agree with your value and will use what they think is the value. The last time I cleared my own stuff, its value was over $3,000 and they wanted to see ever receipt. Customs agents can go online and check value. This last time, they said I had to have a customs broker, I use George Bradley 501-600-4221. I have also, cleared stuff when they didn't bother checking my boxes and just asked for an estimated value. This has worked fine even when the value was over $3,000. If you are bring household items, such as towels, sheets, pots and pans make sure they are used (at least take them out of the wrappers and wash). Their value is very low. Sheets in their wrapper as bought from the store, hard to say they are only worth $5. Bringing stuff in yourself can take a day down at the docks. At Christmas time it can take several days. Most custom brokers are reasonable in their fees. I would suggest to go with one of them. They can better guide you in declaring the value of what you are bringing in. Hope this clarifies everything, because it is as vague as what I have just said.