Tomas Engström
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As promised by me after last year's incident when I had to pay over a hundred bucks for redeeming my Christmas present (which was still totally worth it! No hard feelings towards my Santa), I hereby make a plea to all the Secret Santas out there to take into calculation where your target resides before purchasing and shipping any gifts! For there is one authority whom can turn your charity into an unnecessary expense: the custom.

Many countries will charge the receiver with a fee (VAT, value added tax, or similar) for any packages passing the border - depending on where it came from. As a general rule: packages entering the European Union (EU) are all subject to VAT. So if you live in the US, for instance, and your randomly chosen target resides somewhere within the EU - sending that person a gift from your country will most likely end up costing him or her anything from $10 to $100, all depending on the content of the package (the more valuable the game or games are, the higher the fee).

So what can you all do to stop this from happening? Purchase your gifts not from a local store in your area or even country, but some place close to the recipient! I know that Thought Hammer is a popular choice for Americans, but if you really must chose them as your provider of a Christmas present, then don't have them ship your gift directly to your target. Instead, deliver the game/games to your place and then head for the nearest post office and send it yourself - using Economy Air Mail or something like that (no courier such as DHL or UPS because they will charge extra). This means paying twice for S&H, though, which is why I’ll say this again: it is better to pick a store that is close to the target’s country than your.

Don’t know where to start? How ‘bout we let everyone know of a few good webshops in different parts of the world which sells board games - and are in English! Or there might be a problem understanding how to actually place an order ^^

Edit: here's a most excellent thread which lists game stores all over the world, as provided by Mike aka Reprint a few posts down!

Remember, you’re helping yourself as well by doing this - since the shipping costs can be quite steep if you want to have something delivered to another country. But if the store you pick is located in the same country as your target or is at least closer to it than your own country...

Thank you for your time.
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J. Atkinson
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Yes, please post good places to ship in other countries. Let us know if they speak English which is almost a universal language, and also if you know if they take VISA, American Express, PayPal, etc.

I could very well be shipping internationally in about 3 weeks when my lottery is done!
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Fritz Mulnar
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www.magierspiele.de is fine in germany, although they cost about 3 euros shipping. until you order for about 100euros, then its free.


www.12spiel.de has a 40 euro margin. is a little more expensive than magier.

most expensive is www.spiele-offensive.de but their margin is 15 euros.

happy santaing!!
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Michael Barlow
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What? Christmas time again?!? We've not hit Thanksgiving or Remembrance Day yet!


Here's the big list of game stores everywhere. I've "QuickBar"'d it. I suggest you do the same:

worldwide game shops
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Tomas Engström
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Reprint wrote:
Here's the big list of game stores everywhere. I've "QuickBar"'d it. I suggest you do the same:

worldwide game shops

Excellent! Thanks Mike, I had a faint memory of seeing that list before and I'm glad someone who knew where to actually find it showed up

It's now a part of the first post!
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Chris Geggus
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I will echo Tomas. I have just received 2 games directly from GMT off their P500 list (1805 and PQ17). Great deals on cost plus postage until the UK Customs got their hands on the packages. Too small to engender Import Duty, both did however get hit with VAT. A reasonable GBP3 something charge on each. However, because our Customs are legalised thieves they also levied an administration charge of GBP8 on each parcel, so my total additional billing was over GBP22, on top of base cost and postage from the US.

With leeches like these on the game, any foreign retail imports are a killer. Gifts are excluded, but US companies seem to be wary of stating an untruth on the custom's form. Why can't a game be a gift?

I will offer a Secret Santa again this year and will definitely make sure I purchase from a local market supplier. It works out cheaper - end of story.
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Wulf Corbett
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Ahiksking wrote:
However, because our Customs are legalised thieves they also levied an administration charge of GBP8 on each parcel, so my total additional billing was over GBP22, on top of base cost and postage from the US.
Interestingly enough, that's actually marked as a Post Office handling charge, not Customs...

(Yes, I've had a few lately too cry I fully expect another shortly as my massive Avalanche Press package arrives, but the 25% off Gold Club deal should make it worthwhile...)
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I solve these kinds of problems by just keeping my Secret Santa activities limited to US BGGers. Much easier, less hassles for everyone that way.
 
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Giles Pritchard
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It's really not very difficult to send a game from a store close to someone in another country. All my Secret targets (ahem santas) have been in places outside Australia, it was not difficult.

Crazily last year my US secret santa bought me a gift and sent it to me from a US store, it would have been cheaper for her to buy it for me from an Aussie store - such as one on the list above.

I personally find it odd - deciding to keep it in my own country - and the pressure exerted on the organisers to provide this option was a little sad all things considered, but I figure after a few years of seeing localised threads and arguments pop up I must be on my own in this. Anyways.

Cheers,

Giles.
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Michael Barlow
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Ditto. I've no qualms about sending to another country. And I do try to find a store close to my target. Of course, I think I've managed to get Americans both times now, but I always choose international fun.
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Bruce Murphy
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jgatkinsn wrote:
Yes, please post good places to ship in other countries. Let us know if they speak English which is almost a universal language, and also if you know if they take VISA, American Express, PayPal, etc.


Almost a universal language eh? Spell colour.

B>
 
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Bruce Murphy
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It was suggested in another thread that relevant language-speaking folks from each country could volunteer to help out-of-language-comfort-zone folks order their Secret Santa gifts from a local-to-target online game store.

I think it's a terrific idea.

B>

edit: victim, perhaps a little strong.
 
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Sven
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ConraDargo wrote:
sending that person a gift from your country will most likely end up costing him or her anything from $10 to $100, all depending on the content of the package (the more valuable the game or games are, the higher the fee).


Of course you have to declare it as a gift. As far as I know (and I have done it a few times, though not within the Secret Santa framework) you have to fill out a customs declaration when you are sending a package abroad. You have to state what you are sending and what it's value is.
And there is a box "gift" that can be checked. Customs normaly only apply to purchases - if you buy something, you have to pay taxes. If you get a gift, you shouldn't. And if you actualy have a nice greeting card and stuff in that parcel, chances are, that the guys at customs will believe you - after all, it is acutaly really a gift!
The only problem I ever had with customs, was when someone in a maths trade did *not* declare the parcel as a gift.

Of course, using a shop in the targets country might still be a good idea. Saves a lot of shipping costs in any case.

Edit: Not correct on the general exemption of gifts. For regulations in theEU, see my other postings further down.
 
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Tomas Engström
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Tanakor wrote:
Customs normaly only apply to purchases - if you buy something, you have to pay taxes. If you get a gift, you shouldn't. And if you actualy have a nice greeting card and stuff in that parcel, chances are, that the guys at customs will believe you - after all, it is acutaly really a gift!
The only problem I ever had with customs, was when someone in a maths trade did *not* declare the parcel as a gift.

Of course, using a shop in the targets country might still be a good idea. Saves a lot of shipping costs in any case.

Well I wouldn't exactly advice people to take their chances on this one - sending people games that have been marked as "GIFT" rather than "MERCHANDISE" thinking "there, that'll save my target from any custom duty!".

It all depends on where you live, it seems. Maybe you Germans are safe as long as Santa ticks this box on the declaration note, but it works differently here. I've had to pay for parcels even when they were shipped as gifts, because what really matters is the declared value.
Now I don't know the exact rules here in Sweden, but what I know is that any items worth less than 200 Swedish crowns (28 dollars, 19 Euro) will pass right through the custom. If it's more than that - then they make you pay for it. With gifts, however, that cap is raised, but I dunno by how much (I think it's been changed from last time I checked, which was a few years ago).

So ticking the "Gift"-box is not a safe bet here. It'll definitely lower the risks, but it's still there. Same goes for undervaluing stuff - something that companies often refuse to do for you since it goes against their policies.

Just stick to picking a games store close to your target, everyone.
 
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Sven
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Ok, I looked it up for the EU: If the value does not exceed 45 Euros and both the giver and the receiver of the gift are private persons, there is no duty or tax. You can find the official info here:
http://www.zoll.de/english_version/faq/c0_postal_traffic/pos...

I guess, that 45 Euros should cover most Secret Santas.

Edit: I'll add the following info too, just because I found it now and have been looking for it for quite some time. Maybe somebody else can use it too:
If the value of *any* shipment (private or commercial) does not exceed 22 Euros, there are no duties or taxes to be paid at all. For up to 150 Euros there are no duties but you have to pay taxes (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer).
I know for sure, that this applies to germany. Unlike the regulations for gifts, I am not sure, wether it is valid for all EU countries - but I assume so.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Of course, it turns out that Customs are very suspicious and lots of people mark things incorrectly as 'gifts' to get around customs. So, if you're sending something from a store which happens to include any paperwork, you're basically doomed.

Much /much/ better to just use a local store. Contact someone else from the same country for help if you're unsure how to go about it.

B>
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Nicolai Broen Thorning
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Tanakor wrote:
If the value of *any* shipment (private or commercial) does not exceed 22 Euros, there are no duties or taxes to be paid at all. For up to 150 Euros there are no duties but you have to pay taxes (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer).

May I ask where you found this information?

Thank you.
 
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Sven
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Taibi wrote:
Tanakor wrote:
If the value of *any* shipment (private or commercial) does not exceed 22 Euros, there are no duties or taxes to be paid at all. For up to 150 Euros there are no duties but you have to pay taxes (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer).

May I ask where you found this information?

Thank you.


I went looking and that information is also available in english:

http://www.zoll.de/english_version/faq/b0_customs_procedures...

A broader overview:
http://www.zoll.de/english_version/faq/c0_postal_traffic/ind...
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Bruce Murphy
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Tanakor wrote:
Taibi wrote:
Tanakor wrote:
If the value of *any* shipment (private or commercial) does not exceed 22 Euros, there are no duties or taxes to be paid at all. For up to 150 Euros there are no duties but you have to pay taxes (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer).

May I ask where you found this information?

Thank you.


I went looking and that information is also available in english:

http://www.zoll.de/english_version/faq/b0_customs_procedures...

A broader overview:
http://www.zoll.de/english_version/faq/c0_postal_traffic/ind...


It's usually the case that the minimum interesting value is set by some minimum interesting tax amount. As VAT(or local equivalent) tax rates vary from one EU member state to the next, I'd expect the minimum safe amount to vary as well.

Disclaimer. While completely surrounded by the EU, I don't live in it.

B>
 
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Simon Lundström
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I made a little list-up of Swedish shops for all those who will send something to a Swede. Not for personal gain, though. I don't have the money to participate in any Secret Santa this year, so… ;_;

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/448968
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Tomas Engström
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Time to bring new attention to this problem now that all the Santas are getting busy!
 
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Tomas Engström
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One last bump. I've personally already sent my gift, but seeing as how there's almost a whole month left, I'm sure that many Santas (including mine) are still planning their purchases ^_^

Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone! May you have a wonderful Christmas Day with lots and lots of fun, playing the board game(s) which you have received.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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I've been uniformly lucky to get targets in the US (Which granted, is international to me), but I'm surprised there weren't more non-international-shipping-happy people there who could have been given US targets and left me to cope with the language and other difficulties inherent in some European target.

But I'm sure it's all under control

B>
 
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Wulf Corbett
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I was Santa 3 times, in 3 different non-UK countries over 3 different continents. Fortunately, one was within the EU, so I had little problem dealing with that one. Local suppliers did the trick for the others, but, sadly, neither seems to be in a terrible rush to deliver - unless, of course, my targets simply aren't telling us all they got their present angry

You know who you are. Sitting there with your present, keeping it secret. Get posting! I know your name. I know where you live! I actually do, too... ninja
 
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