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The Cost Of Brexit



Uncial

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As of 9 minutes time (at time of beginning to type this post) ordering pens from the UK will suddenly become a lot less attractive to us Europeans, but two days ago I noticed something on ebay that was a bit of a shock. Those in Europe will now have to pay import duties on items and most listings will of course still include the VAT tax rate in the UK, so European buyers are essentially paying twice. But that isn't the reason for this post. I knew this would be the case. What really shocked me though was that as of two days ago 'Global Shipping' was already applying a rate of import duty even before it was set to be enforced. On top of that, the rate was exactly double what it should be, making even a small purchase a very expensive one. I had to cancel a purchase yesterday with Izodspens; an ebay seller I trust and have used many, many times before and I've always been very happy with the price, product and service. It would be lovely to be able to continue to support trusted sellers, but when you run up against this kind of gouging by Global Shipping it simply isn't feasible any longer. That's a real shame. 

 

I guess that Izodspens might have a website given time, for European buyers, with the VAT free option and leave us to pay the duty on arrival (it's usually paid on the doorstep here), but until such times I can't see myself ever buying anything from the UK through ebay and certainly not through any seller that uses Global Shipping. Thought I better put this here as a heads up for bumpy months ahead for sellers and buyers alike.

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Thanks for sharing that info; I’m in the States, and hadn’t really considered the Brexit impact.  Now I will definitely think twice (or make sure I know what I’m getting into) before ordering from the UK.

 

I too love Izods and recently ordered something from them and had to pay customs/import fees upon arrival here, but they were not prepaid.  It was a higher ticket item and perhaps that is why as I ‘ve never paid any type of duty or customs on any orders from the UK in the past.   But I did notice that Izods eBay listings for higher priced items DO add the fees on to the sales price prior to payment so, at least for eBay, it’s prepaid.  I’m wondering now if other UK sellers will be doing that too. 

 

I would imagine there will be some adjustment for European buyers going forward.  It doesn’t seem fair somehow that you would have to pay the VAT now that the EU is separate from the UK — I’ve never had to pay it in the US. 

 

Lots to think about and sort out!

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Harish G

To my surprise, the prices of italix branded fountain pens at mrpen.co.uk were hiked too.

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I think some of the Italix parts come from France so there would be duty to pay and that cost inevitably moves to the buyer. What Mr Pen is doing is normal, sound business practice. What Global Shipping are doing is nothing short of a mugging and for sellers on the bay linked into it, it will make life unnecessarily more difficult.

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twigletzone

Heads-up for UK based vendors, too: I discovered yesterday when I tried to post a PIF pen that it is currently impossible to send *any* international mail from the UK. Royal Mail are just not accepting international items, "until further notice".  And the courier services are *crazy* expensive.

Yay, Britain got its sovereignty back, that's totally awesome RIEGHT??!1!!!!1!. Now how long it is going to take people to learn that we actually need good relationships with our neighbours 🙄

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I have noticed that EBay start automatically charging 20% VAT, from mostly all over the place. But strangely enough, this is not applying equally: vendors from US, some have and some don't have 20% VAT on checkout, From Spain, France,Bulgaria the same thing...

This forced VAT will restrict a lot of sales on EBay from now on. I believe this market will move somewhere else (different platforms) if they will carry on like that. I will never accept to over pay for a product, specially that money goes to gov.

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Karmachanic
14 hours ago, Uncial said:

I guess that Izodspens might have a website given time,

 

 

@Uncializods has had their own web site for quite some time; no need to buy through ebay, unless that is your preference.

 

Most EU/UK vendors have the option for foreign customers to buy items VAT free in the country of sale . One may have to pay VAT in ones country upon receipt. Duty is country dependent.  US - over $800. UK - over, I believe £135.

 

Refrain from cross border purchases for a few weeks, and let the dust settle. It's only rapidly depreciating fiat anyway. Spend it now, while it still has some alleged value 😱

 

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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4 hours ago, twigletzone said:

Heads-up for UK based vendors, too: I discovered yesterday when I tried to post a PIF pen that it is currently impossible to send *any* international mail from the UK. Royal Mail are just not accepting international items, "until further notice".  And the courier services are *crazy* expensive.

Yay, Britain got its sovereignty back, that's totally awesome RIEGHT??!1!!!!1!. Now how long it is going to take people to learn that we actually need good relationships with our neighbours 🙄

 

That surprises me, I thought all the issues had to do with shipments coming into the UK, not outgoing. Perhaps Royal Mail is just too busy figuring out what to do with incoming packages.

 

After a bit of research, I am starting to figure out what is going on, but I'm still trying to decide what to do about it!  Here's what it looks like from a US seller's pointy of view, and I encourage you to correct me if I have something incorrectly represented.

  • Shipments over 135 British pounds are handled the old way, with the recipient paying the VAT when they retrieve the package.
  • Shipments under 135 British pounds have to arrive with the VAT fees pre-paid by the seller.

If you sell via a "marketplace" like eBay or Amazon, lucky you cuz they collect and remit the VAT, regardless if whether is it a "global shipping program" listing.

 

Someone with a website like me has to collect the 20% VAT from the customer if the order is under  135 British pounds, file VAT tax returns in the UK and pay the VAT tax.  Some sellers are going to resort to limiting UK orders to a minimum of around $200 just to avoid this. 

 

Shipments posted before the end of the year fall under the old rules. 

 

But I really do wonder if the UK has all its processes in place and personnel trained to implement the new rules, since they only just kicked in.  I do expect a few rocky weeks. I'm trying to register for VAT and it ain't easy!

 

TERI

 

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twigletzone
1 hour ago, terim said:

 

That surprises me, I thought all the issues had to do with shipments coming into the UK, not outgoing. Perhaps Royal Mail is just too busy figuring out what to do with incoming packages.

 

 

 

But I really do wonder if the UK has all its processes in place and personnel trained to implement the new rules, since they only just kicked in.  I do expect a few rocky weeks. I'm trying to register for VAT and it ain't easy!

 

TERI

 

I'm not surprised about registering for VAT. The mills of the Inland Revenue grind veeeery slowly even for natives. Good luck!

 

Lord knows what exactly it is that Royal Mail are up to right now - but no, it's not just about shipments coming in. Essentially, procedures and potentially charges apply when anything from an EU country enters or leaves the EEA, and as of today Britain is no longer part of that - so suddenly there are border controls on everything. There's going to be paperwork, and in some cases restrictions, on stuff leaving the UK to the EU just as much as there are on incoming shipments.

 

As for having processes and training sorted in time for the go date - have you seen the mopheaded berk who's running our country right now? He's cocked up the COVID response from start to finish and is on track to (bleep) up the vaccination program too. I have not the slightest faith that he'll do any better with the EU. He certainly hasn't so far - they only got any sort of deal at all on the 24th Dec, which is a whole *week* before the end of the consultaiton period. Lots of time for businesses to prepare.

 

Ugh. I'd sell myself as a mail order bride but I don't think the punters would like the beard.

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32 minutes ago, twigletzone said:

I'm not surprised about registering for VAT. The mills of the Inland Revenue grind veeeery slowly even for natives. Good luck!

 

Lord knows what exactly it is that Royal Mail are up to right now - but no, it's not just about shipments coming in. Essentially, procedures and potentially charges apply when anything from an EU country enters or leaves the EEA, and as of today Britain is no longer part of that - so suddenly there are border controls on everything. There's going to be paperwork, and in some cases restrictions, on stuff leaving the UK to the EU just as much as there are on incoming shipments.

 

As for having processes and training sorted in time for the go date - have you seen the mopheaded berk who's running our country right now? He's cocked up the COVID response from start to finish and is on track to (bleep) up the vaccination program too. I have not the slightest faith that he'll do any better with the EU. He certainly hasn't so far - they only got any sort of deal at all on the 24th Dec, which is a whole *week* before the end of the consultaiton period. Lots of time for businesses to prepare.

 

Ugh. I'd sell myself as a mail order bride but I don't think the punters would like the beard.

I'm being told there's someone for everyone, who knows, maybe someone in the EU is desperately looking for a bearded bride! Or start a new trend and be a mail order groom!

 

The mopheaded berk thought he was part of a comedy team and thought his "yer but no" routine would be hilarious, I guess he missed the mark a little bit. The mopheaded berk's mopheaded wife-beater father is applying for French citizenship, so toodles and pip pip to the rest of the foolish plebs, eh!

 

Edit: That said, my shopping habits are definitely changing, which is a bummer, but I'm not putting up with headaches that were non-existent for decades.

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The difficulty with ebay, amazon and global shipping having you pay the vat and import duty up front is that there currently isn't always a system to send that money to the revenue of the countries concerned (not at all helped by the UK's creaking banking regulations and lack of euro collaboration - although, believe it or not, it is better today than it was ten to fifteen years ago). I've bought items from Asia and had to pay import up front and revenue here insisted they didn't get a penny of it and had no system of any kind to collect in that manner (how on earth could they, practically speaking). Three successive purchases from the States, which were shipped via the UK (for some reason) resulted in me ending up paying import duties for both the UK and EU and I was assured I could claim back from the company concerned. But I'm in the EU and the postal company is in the States, so two years of communication has led me on quite the merry dance with only a loss of money to show for it. 

 

Some companies are good and have set up payment systems with revenue in different zones, but not all of them do it, and the sharks that don't take your money and run. I always prefer paying the import on my own doorstep. At least that way, I know it's done and where it's going.

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7 hours ago, Karmachanic said:

 

 

@Uncializods has had their own web site for quite some time; no need to buy through ebay, unless that is your preference.

 

Most EU/UK vendors have the option for foreign customers to buy items VAT free in the country of sale . One may have to pay VAT in ones country upon receipt. Duty is country dependent.  US - over $800. UK - over, I believe £135.

 

Refrain from cross border purchases for a few weeks, and let the dust settle. It's only rapidly depreciating fiat anyway. Spend it now, while it still has some alleged value 😱

 

 

That's good to know. I must bookmark it in case of further temptation and get in touch about how vat and import is worked out. But leaving it alone for a month would certainly be wise until they iron out all the problems.

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3 hours ago, Uncial said:

The difficulty with ebay, amazon and global shipping having you pay the vat and import duty up front is that there currently isn't always a system to send that money to the revenue of the countries concerned (not at all helped by the UK's creaking banking regulations and lack of euro collaboration - although, believe it or not, it is better today than it was ten to fifteen years ago). I've bought items from Asia and had to pay import up front and revenue here insisted they didn't get a penny of it and had no system of any kind to collect in that manner (how on earth could they, practically speaking). Three successive purchases from the States, which were shipped via the UK (for some reason) resulted in me ending up paying import duties for both the UK and EU and I was assured I could claim back from the company concerned. But I'm in the EU and the postal company is in the States, so two years of communication has led me on quite the merry dance with only a loss of money to show for it. 

 

Some companies are good and have set up payment systems with revenue in different zones, but not all of them do it, and the sharks that don't take your money and run. I always prefer paying the import on my own doorstep. At least that way, I know it's done and where it's going.

 

Gosh, I just assumed that if eBay and Amazon were taking care of collecting the tax they would have a clean way of paying the VAT so that packages could flow quickly to the customers!  Very naïve of me.  I hate to discourage sales to the UK that are under the 135 pound cutoff, but I also hate having to correspond with customers wondering when their order will arrive.

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There was much confusion before Brexit to be fair. The packages from the States I mentioned decided to put 'UK' on the bottom of the address line for me here in Ireland 🙄and so it sat in the UK long enough to have a bill slapped on it before it was released for me to pay again on my doorstep. That was annoying. Now though, the confusion will be much greater. Here, as in many other EU countries, the technicality of the law is that the import duties on residential non-business packages be paid in the country and not in the country of origin. Amazon seems to be working fine here because they have a significant base in Ireland, but Global Shipping (linked to ebay) seems to be able to do what it likes and frankly I don't trust them to actually pay the duty here, but I find it really objectionable that they double the cost to their own gain.

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Ebay is applying its Global Shipping Program on UK items since about 10 days. I inquired about that questionably practice on Ebay's message board but have received no response. Not that many UK sellers have yet embraced the Global Shipping Program, fortunately, but I am quite confident that Ebay will force them to do that very soon.

 

The Global Shipping Program is extremely expensive and overcharges on import tax as well as on the actual shipping cost. It may be convenient for sellers but it seems to be designed to make profit on the buyer's expense in addition to what Ebay already charges the sellers. Since the introduction of the Global Shipping Program in the USA, I have cut my US buys with more than 75% and the same will now happen with my UK buys.

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1 hour ago, joss said:

Ebay is applying its Global Shipping Program on UK items since about 10 days. I inquired about that questionably practice on Ebay's message board but have received no response. Not that many UK sellers have yet embraced the Global Shipping Program, fortunately, but I am quite confident that Ebay will force them to do that very soon.

 

The Global Shipping Program is extremely expensive and overcharges on import tax as well as on the actual shipping cost. It may be convenient for sellers but it seems to be designed to make profit on the buyer's expense in addition to what Ebay already charges the sellers. Since the introduction of the Global Shipping Program in the USA, I have cut my US buys with more than 75% and the same will now happen with my UK buys.

They give sellers a choice of whether to choose it or not. As long as you manually change your select button in Account Preferences > Postage Preferences from yes to no then they won't choose it for you

Edited by Dione
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2 hours ago, Dione said:

They give sellers a choice of whether to choose it or not. As long as you manually change your select button in Account Preferences > Postage Preferences from yes to no then they won't choose it for you

 

This!

GSP is annoying overcharge and wherever I see it I skip purchase, however it's not a problem as such as it's not enforced by ebay. Problem is that some sellers choose it.

GSP may be more convenient for a seller, but I am pretty sure that it affect number sales in a negative way.

 

Edited by Saint
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sansenri

If anything, it does give a clear indication of the additional cost needed (although probably pumped up...).

This has always been a problem with import from US, and the reason why I rarely buy from the States from official sellers...

Just as an example, there is a item on sale on the bay now, value is $500 (a Montblanc) sold as used.

Shipping is $23 to Italy.

Tax is $138 !!

a bargain, for a used pen...

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