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Seineseeker
2007-11-06, 02:48
SB3 US: $299
SB3 Europe (from Logitech): 299

Exchange rate = 1.45 makes $299 = 206.

That's just not right!

Or put another way, UK Logitech price is 219.

Exchange rate = 2.08 makes $299 = 144

It's just not right!!! Especially when you can't buy them from the US anymore.

bpa
2007-11-06, 03:28
That's just not right!

You forgot VAT and handling. In the summer I got a SB from US and had to pay euro 75 extra.

There is still a difference but large orgs buy currencies ahead of time so spot exchange rate aren't alid.

jimmy100
2007-11-06, 05:57
Remember you don't have to buy from logitech - most of their existing business comes from resellers. 180 here, which is 153 without VAT, much closer to the US price of 144:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/store/pcw_page.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0405438287.119435345 7@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccehaddmglmfkdgcflgceggdhhmdgmi.0&page=Product&fm=null&sm=null&tm=null&sku=424887&category_oid=

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-06, 05:59
So? The Canadian dollar is now worth $1.07 US. But prices haven't changed here, we still pay a $5 - $15 premium for books, cards and magazines, a ~40% premium for audio equipment, and a car costs about $10 000 more here.

It turns out that the exchange rate has very little to do with pricing. Things are priced at what the manufacturer feels the market will bear. That doesn't make it right, but that's how it is. Europe is more expensive to do business in than the U.S. due to taxes and bureaucracy - so is Canada.

You can get a Squeezebox here off the U.S. website, but the extra charges will easily add $100 to it. The worst is "customs and brokerage", it seems this is a random number - there have been times I haven't been charged anything, but once it was $50 on a $200 US order.

riffer
2007-11-06, 06:21
So? The Canadian dollar is now worth $1.07 US. But prices haven't changed here, we still pay a $5 - $15 premium for books, cards and magazines, a ~40% premium for audio equipment, and a car costs about $10 000 more here.

It turns out that the exchange rate has very little to do with pricing. Things are priced at what the manufacturer feels the market will bear. That doesn't make it right, but that's how it is. Europe is more expensive to do business in than the U.S. due to taxes and bureaucracy - so is Canada.

....

Yes, so true. I love the big hubub here in Canada over this. When the exchange rate was 1.5 and everything was priced at 1.7x the US price, no one complained because they where too dumb to do simple math :)

Same with the cars. The cars being overpriced has been known for years. There is a (as of this morning) 539 page thread on redflagdeals that started in June 2006 on this subject.

Fifer
2007-11-06, 06:39
It turns out that the exchange rate has very little to do with pricing. Things are priced at what the manufacturer feels the market will bear.
That's how free market economics work. :)

That doesn't make it right, but that's how it is. Europe is more expensive to do business in than the U.S. due to taxes and bureaucracy - so is Canada.
In fairness, we (in the UK) do get things in return for those taxes. Cheaper Squeezebox vs. free heart surgery? You (or rather we) pays your money and makes your choice.

You can get a Squeezebox here off the U.S. website, but the extra charges will easily add $100 to it. The worst is "customs and brokerage", it seems this is a random number - there have been times I haven't been charged anything, but once it was $50 on a $200 US order.
Over here, customs charges are fixed and the brokerage fee varies by carrier, but can easily be determined prior to ordering. I order a couple of hundred pounds worth of electronic components from the US recently and quick calls to C&E and Parcelforce informed me of the exact charges before placing the order.

The times we don't get charged are 'escapes' but they are fewer and further between these days as C&E are focussing more on personal imports as the volume has increased with more people ordering on line from aboad.

Of course, we should inform C&E of any escapes and pay the relevant duty and VAT ... ;)

majones
2007-11-06, 07:46
FWIW, I'm told that goods shipped to the UK by USMail are unlikely to be assessed for import duty.

Fifer
2007-11-06, 12:00
FWIW, I'm told that goods shipped to the UK by USMail are unlikely to be assessed for import duty.

That used to be the case but things are much more stringent now. US Mail packages (as opposed to letters) are handled by ParcelForce who charge a standard 8.50 customs clearance fee and add the customs charge and VAT on top. Excise have tightened up things because of the increase in volume of personal imports driven by internet shopping and favourable exchange rates.

amcluesent
2007-11-06, 12:22
>Excise have tightened up things because of the increase in volume of personal imports driven by internet shopping and favourable exchange rates.<

The thief Brown will let no-one escape the tax'n'bungle policies of NuLabour!

BigTony
2007-11-06, 12:34
The only way to avoid import duties is to ensure that the invoice is NOT in the same parcel as the item (get it mailed or e-mailed seperately) as the VAT etc is charged to the value of the invoice - no invoice no charge!

BT

gutted
2007-11-06, 14:31
I thought you had to write the value of imported goods on a label which is stuck on the outside of the package? If not then that's a very cool trick which I'll employ next time I buy something from the US.

I recently bought some bits and pieces from US which cost me something like $200 (which included a FedEx cost of something like $90). On arrival to UK, I was charged an extra 40(ish) for "clearing" and import duty. For goods which cost around $110, I ended up paying an additional $80 (!!) on to the shipping price which, in itself, was already kind of high.

pfarrell
2007-11-06, 14:40
I hear that the Euro is now going for about $1.42 us. On its way to
$1.50 per Euro. That is gonna make a lot of US products look really
inexpensive, and push European products out of my budget.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

kdf
2007-11-06, 15:02
I recently bought some bits and pieces from US which cost me something like $200 (which included a FedEx cost of something like $90). On arrival to UK, I was charged an extra 40(ish) for "clearing" and import duty. For goods which cost around $110, I ended up paying an additional $80 (!!) on to the shipping price which, in itself, was already kind of high.

Customs brokerage and duties can be a killer. Shipping companies are party to blame, incorrect shipping documents are the other part. The wrong Harmonisation code and you, the customer, gets stung with the wrong import fees. At least with travel to the UK you can feel you've made someone work for their money. Canadians get stuck with what can be up to 50% in surcharges for a package that comes from as little as a 30 minutes away by truck. Don't expect much resolution to this, as these fees are there for the exact purpose of limiting/controlling international trade.

-kdf

Fifer
2007-11-06, 15:14
The thief Brown will let no-one escape the tax'n'bungle policies of NuLabour!

I wasn't aware that VAT and duty had changed significantly since TBW's tenure at Downing Street. Or is it the removal of evasion opportunities that's bemoaned?

radish
2007-11-06, 18:57
Or is it the removal of evasion opportunities that's bemoaned?

It's that, and from what I read it's not even their fault. They used to essentially give a free ride to personal packages but there was some case in the european courts where that was deemed illegal and now they have to fully apply the letter of the regulations. I just had to send my mother a birthday present in the UK and it was a challenge figuring out how to mark it to avoid her getting a huge birthday bill.

BigTony
2007-11-07, 02:45
To avoid any bill, just ask the sender to mark it 'Second Hand', and open any relevant packaging.

I once paid 15 bucks for a CD, then 10 pounds for P&P, 8.5 pounds for customs and 1.75 VAT, so a 10 CD ended costing me 30!

I don't make that kind of mistake again.

BT

Fifer
2007-11-07, 03:12
I once paid 15 bucks for a CD, then 10 pounds for P&P, 8.5 pounds for customs and 1.75 VAT, so a 10 CD ended costing me 30!

That seems bizarre. The duty rate on CDs is 3.5%, duty is not charged where the value of the duty is less than 7 and VAT is not charged where the value of the goods is less than 18. It sound like the 8.50 was not duty or 'customs', but a customs clearance charge levied by your courier and that VAT charged was just wrong. I suspect the seller added the shipping charge to the total value shown on the outside of the package, taking the 'goods value' over the 18 limit.

Siduhe
2007-11-07, 03:16
To avoid any bill, just ask the sender to mark it 'Second Hand', and open any relevant packaging.


Within the EU, import duty can and should still be charged, even on second hand goods - but at the value they have second hand (as opposed to new). See here (http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageTravel_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000014&propertyType=document#P115_10821) for example.

So you need to get the person sending it to you to give a written estimation of value second hand with the goods - be warned, if it's way off, the goods may be subject to an exception.

BigTony
2007-11-07, 03:44
Unfortunately VAT is paid on shipping and handling as well as the base cost of the item :-!

The 8.5 charge is the one from parcleforce for collecting the 1.75 VAT !

Seems the one that make the most money out of ebay are the shipping and handling companies.

BT

Fifer
2007-11-07, 05:34
My mistake. You are correct, the VAT is charged on the purchase price including shipping.

obrienk
2007-11-09, 03:42
Still though, to get back on topic - it seems to be standard practice for US companies to replace the dollar sign with a euro sign when selling goods over here. Even with the VAT and duty this is still more expensive & can only be down to the companies greed, and our reluctance to do anything about it.

Fifer
2007-11-09, 05:19
Still though, to get back on topic - it seems to be standard practice for US companies to replace the dollar sign with a euro sign when selling goods over here. Even with the VAT and duty this is still more expensive & can only be down to the companies greed, and our reluctance to do anything about it.

Is there really such a difference? The SB3 is 160 ex-VAT in the UK and $300 (which is around 143) in the US. I think 17 can easily be explained by shipping costs, the admin and other charges associated with exporting and by the economies of scale enjoyed servicing a massive local market versus smaller foreign markets.

In any case, greed is a somewhat pejorative word. Companies operate in free markets and every company charges what any local market will bear. It's how free market capitalism operates and companies owe that obligation to their shareholders (the owners). We don't have to like it, but it is how things work.

MelonMonkey
2007-11-11, 09:26
Customs brokerage and duties can be a killer. ... Canadians get stuck with what can be up to 50% in surcharges for a package that comes from as little as a 30 minutes away by truck. Don't expect much resolution to this, as these fees are there for the exact purpose of limiting/controlling international trade.

There are no duties on goods coming from the US and made in any preferred nation, including US, Mexico, Japan, China and so many others that you're unlikely to ever see a duty charge. Every piece of electronics seems to come from a preferred nation so you'll just pay the federal tax of 6% and the provincial tax, which in Ontario is 8%.

Customs fees depend completely on who clears your package through customs. The post office charges $5 for items under about $1000 and approximately $15 for items above. UPS charges some flat base amount and then seems to apply some random factor to it. FedEx charges $15 flat for items at least up to $1000.

I had UPS show up at my door trying to deliver a MAGAZINE ($5) and wanting to collect $37 in brokerage. I refused the delivery of course (it wasn't something I ordered anyway).

You can arrange for your own customs broker or even go broker it yourself.

Overnight and other premium shipping options generally include brokerage cots (such is the case with UPS's higher-priced options and FedEx).

If someone is getting stuck with 50% charges it's likely the shipping documentation was improperly filled out and the customs value over-specified.

I ship 20 to 100 packages per week to all points around the world. They're typically valued between $25 and $50 Canadian and I have yet to hear of anyone having to pay any import tax or duties into their importing countries, including the UK. Canada post classifies these packages as "samples" and this coupled with the low (but correct) valuation must be the reason why.

UPS lost my SqueezeBox last year. But still tried to collect tax and brokerage on it. When SlimDevices shipped a replacement (which only happened after a UPS-induced lengthy delay) they processed it such that they would cover all costs for shipping and ancillary charges. UPS collected all these funds from Slim and still tried to collect them AGAIN from me. Luckily they delivered the package and tried to collect later, not at delivery time. I told them (and later the collection agency) to take a hike.

I generally avoid all shipments via UPS, because it's not so much Canadian taxation policies that will get you in fees, but the carrier. Canadian service companies have a long track record of abusing public ignorance. Just look at the telecom and cable industries in this country.