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Subject: Buying in the US (living in the Netherlands) rss

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M@tthijs
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Crossposted

Ordered a $30 game expansion in US. Arrived last Saturday. As expected, Dutch customs added 21% VAT. But the real bummer was the Dutch shipping company. They added another $14,80 for S&H.

Apparently in Dutch law (googled) this is allowed, even though I paid shipping already to the firm where I bought the game and never had an agreement with the (Dutch) transporter. This robbery is only allowed for 'outside Europe purchases'. Some shipping companies advertise with "all costs included", others, like this one, just add a flat rate, regardless of order size, increasing my purchase price with 49%! However, ordering at an US shop, I have no influence whatsoever on what shipping companies will be used.

So
game expansion : $ 30.00
Shipping and handling (shop) : $ 10.00 (5000 miles?)
Shipping and handling (NL) : $ 14.80 ( 100 miles)
VAT (over $32, somehow) : $ 6.72
---------
TOTAL : $ 61.52


So apparently it's a lot cheaper to transport stuff the 5000 miles from the USA shop to Amsterdam Airport, than it is to ship them the last 100 miles to my front door.

I think the message is clear. Don't buy in the US.
And that message sucks, greatly.
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Knock knock open up the door it's Riel
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You'd think shipping means to your door, not to the border.

They could've hit you for another €12,50 "inklaringskosten" (clearance charges), which is a little more than the $14.80 they charged you for S&H in the Netherlands. VAT seems too low too, so I think you got "lucky".
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M@tthijs
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purplewurple wrote:
You'd think shipping means to your door, not to the border.

They could've hit you for another €12,50 "inklaringskosten" (clearance charges), which is a little more than the $14.80 they charged you for S&H in the Netherlands. VAT seems too low too, so I think you got "lucky".
€12,50 is what they charged me.

They do call it inklaringskosten, which they define as:
1. costs for paperwork for customs : would've loved to do that myself, but I've not been given the chance, just a bill.
2. advance payment for tax etc : which is bull, because any payments will (and have) eventually be paid by me (so that would be double)
3. costs for 'potentially' writing the recipient, in case of errors: I would gladly take that risk, no need to write me.
4. establishing product and worth : which means looking at the parcel and invoice.
5. Storage and preserving costs : Don't. Sent it to me. Directly.
6. collection costs (?) : since you're forced to pay cash at your front door or you won't get the parcel, no costs there.
7. Administrative costs: I think that's already under 1,3,4 and 6

Freaking robbers. You should pay (and know about it) at the buying start, not the receiving end.
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Ken Shogren
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_Kael_ wrote:

I think the message is clear. Don't buy in the US.
And that message sucks, greatly.
angry



This isn't a US problem, its a Dutch one. The extra charges were not incurred because of the US or the US company, it was Dutch law. The fees stem from tariffs and such, and are aimed to 'protect' Holland. I'm sure the Dutch government would be happy to see that the protection has resulted in the message "Don't buy in the US." as that is exactly what they want you to think / do.

Maybe the clearer message should be 'Don't live in a country with high tariffs'. Or maybe the more appropriate message might be 'undisclosed charges are really unfair.'
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M@tthijs
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Audacon wrote:
_Kael_ wrote:

I think the message is clear. Don't buy in the US.
And that message sucks, greatly.
angry

This isn't a US problem, its a Dutch one.
The extra charges were not incurred because of the US or the US company, it was Dutch law. The fees stem from tariffs and such, and are aimed to 'protect' Holland. I'm sure the Dutch government would be happy to see that the protection has resulted in the message "Don't buy in the US." as that is exactly what they want you to think / do.

Maybe the clearer message should be 'Don't live in a country with high tariffs'. Or maybe the more appropriate message might be 'undisclosed charges are really unfair.'
I totally agree with you.
(And never said it's a US problem, by the way)
However, it still means I pay a 100+% increase over my non-Europe purchases. Still, the Netherlands are great, and emigrating because my games are too expensive is not an option.

I would love to help solve the crisis worldwide by spending money as a consumer. These tariffs and taxes are a curse for world economics, I fear.
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Pieter
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Also a problem is that it is pretty random. I have ordered loads of stuff in the US, and only twice I suddenly got huge extra charges for those "inklaringskosten". It seems to depend on how the mood strikes customs.

Anyway, I am not ordering from the US anymore, because I don't like those nasty surprises. Instead, I order everything from the UK. You can get most of the stuff that would be ordering from the US, with the added bonus that it takes only 2-3 days to get to your front door without those extra costs.
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M@tthijs
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Also a problem is that it is pretty random. I have ordered loads of stuff in the US, and only twice I suddenly got huge extra charges for those "inklaringskosten". It seems to depend on how the mood strikes customs.
Apparently customs work pretty random. Sometimes games are charged VAT (as entertainment stuuf) other times not (educational).

The 'inklaringskosten' however, are dependant on the (Dutch) shipping company. Some charge 12,50, other nothing. The problem is, ordering abroad you don't know which Dutch shipping co. they'll use.
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_Kael_ wrote:

The 'inklaringskosten' however, are dependant on the (Dutch) shipping company. Some charge 12,50, other nothing. The problem is, ordering abroad you don't know which Dutch shipping co. they'll use.


I think this depends on the US shipping company, company X usually uses the same company Y in another country to fulfill their end of the deal for shipping.
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