Buying from the EU with E bay?


Link Posted 18/12/2021 - 14:29
In a word - don't! ...... Unless it is something you desperately want.

I made an offer to a Dutch seller of £100, which was accepted (expecting 20% VAT on top). They changed the Euros to US dollars for the calculation, charged a fee for it and put VAT on that too. Then they charged VAT on the postage ( !! ) Is that legal? and for some reason I don't know at all, they added an extra £4.18 fee in sterling.

My £120 (incl VAT) purchase ended up costing £156.34. I now don't even bother looking at anything from outside the UK. Brexit, coupled with E bay's greed has put the tin lid on it - firmly.
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Link Posted 18/12/2021 - 15:31
I recently purchased an LX from Greece no issues whatsoever, in fact I still think I got a bit of a bargainÖ. Especially as it came with a 24mm f 2.8 too! All for less than £500
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Link Posted 18/12/2021 - 17:11
VAT on postage is legal - VAT is charged on services as well as goods and the postage charge is to pay for the postal service. Within the UK, the postal service that is covered by Royal Mail's 'universal service obligation' is VAT exempt, hence no VAT on stamps for postage within the UK. Cross an international border or buy add-on services, though, and VAT is applied. It's complicated but explained on Royal Mail's website.



Link Posted 18/12/2021 - 17:21
We made a few friends while living in Spain but were asked not to send any presents out there as they are being charged a set amount of duty on everything coming from the UK no matter what the value.

Apparently they are even having to pay a couple of Euros on Christmas cards from here.
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Link Posted 18/12/2021 - 17:30
A useful thread, thanks for starting it davidwozhere.

I've bought from Japan a couple of times, varying experiences, one good, the other meh. As for the EU, one experience similar to davidwozhere has stopped me from wanting to do it again. Same goes for trying to sell to others in the EU, must be frustrating for them as well.

That but especially eBay's greed has been the final nail in the coffin for me. Actually, I don't sell on there now. They really do have a monopoly and are using it. Of course they have times when the cost of selling is either reduced or zero but it's a monopoly that needs someone to come in and take them on. (Rant over...)
Be well, stay safe.


Link Posted 18/12/2021 - 19:38
Agree 100%
Wouldnít sell on eBay but will occasionally buy
Things I canít find elsewhere😟
A few bits & Bobs


Link Posted 19/12/2021 - 08:37
Sorry to hear of some bad experiences here.

My own personal experiences of buying photography kit and large musical instruments on eBay has been mostly excellent. Iím in the EU and have bought from the EU, UK, USA, Japan and elsewhere without any huge surprises on the import charges. It may have some disadvantages but the eBay global shipping programme (GSP) gives some idea of the import charges before purchasing and also means the taxes etc. are handled by eBay so things generally donít get held up for ages in customs.

For non-EU eBay items not sold through GSP, I always bid on the assumption that about 25% tax will be charged. Sometimes Iím pleasantly surprised and it is less or waived, if under a threshold. Itís unfortunate that taxes are also payable on used items from outside the EU so although I may bid on such items my budget is lower and ultimately I Ďwiní less items than if I didnít have to consider tax.

For non-eBay cards and small gifts from the UK Iíve never yet been charged, perhaps this is handled differently in each EU country but in Germany there seems to be a common sense approach (surprising for a German authority, this is not always the case).

As a seller, Iíve sold mainly trombones and accessories nationally and internationally on eBay. Iíve always taken care to fill out the customs forms correctly and so far had no problems at all. It was a bit of a pain the first couple of times but now Iíve got it figured out and it only takes a couple of minutes. I actually quite like the recent changes to the payment system where all payments are handled through eBay and are released within a couple of days of payment. Before, I sometimes had to wait for weeks until items had been delivered in the destination country. As for eBay seller fees, I mostly sell during eBay seller offers which are pretty generous, the last few items I sold cost practically nothing in fees. Iíve been able to sell items internationally at a much better price than I could get locally so even with seller fees, I would end up with more money in my pocket than selling in the local classified ads. Some sellers have a concern that the eBay rules are perceived to favour buyers in case of a dispute so I always take care to photograph items as I pack them with a copy of the postage label and package everything well just in case. I only send items with insured postage. There may still be the chance of being scammed but I feel the risk is low enough to justify the better selling prices. If you sell enough items, you can take the attitude that the risk is priced in to the selling price and you are self-insuring against scammers.

A bit more competition to eBay would be nice, thereís always Amazon marketplace and some product-specific ones e.g. Vinted. Is there any suggestion that eBay is actively limiting competition rather than just being very successful at what they do?
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