Post Brexit import experiences

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Marc mndt, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the input, Bat. Sounds pretty convincing to me and I fully agree.

    VAT should be deducted but isn't, that's bad.

    But Aero does, according to that 2021 invoice of yours, mark their products as UK made, that's good! Hopefully they're using the correct codes on the customs form, and not just the invoice (that little detail went through the press often enough).

    Shame they don't say so in their shipping policy, though. It would be great advertisement and all it takes is adding one sentence to the shipping policy.
    All that assuming and messaging to Aero on that latter topic for nothing - I'd expect they did get enough messages asking about that!
     
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    True that. I was thinking just the same today what you wrote in the first sentence.

    Question to the U.S. buyers: I'm not sure but doesn't the U.S. have a pretty high threshold for customs to hit you? Or is it perhaps just sort of hit-and-miss with U.S. customs?
    Just wondering. I only know that EU countries like Germany, France, Netherlands are fairly thorough in hitting us recipients, and at thresholds way below the cost of an Aero.
     
  3. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    1,525
    I agree Carlos and that’s what all online shops I use are doing.

    What I’m saying is that if current Aero prices are set based on profiting a certain amount from foreign sales (you’d think it’s mostly US as Brexit just happened and EU profit was equal to UK profit) and then they switch to a more correct approach of deducting 20% on exports, then that 20% must come from somewhere else, i.e. raising the price excluding tax. So everybody will pay a bit more but still it’ll be cheaper for people in EU and US.
     
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  4. Bat02

    Bat02 Familiar Face

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    Location:
    Paris
    I agree with you and here's the reason why: if we're trying to map the current revenue streams for Aero, it probably goes something like:
    • Local direct sells:
      • Brick and Mortar.
      • Online.
    • International sells: online.
    • Exports to third party vendors (Epaulet, TheRake, Thurston...).
    • Manufacturing for third party brands: I don't know if they still do this but I believe they did in the past.
    Now, looking at potential Brexit impacts per stream goes something like this: everything but Local sells gets impacted because working with UK companies is now costlier and harder. On top of that, I venture that the EU was the top grossing region for International sells because of the absence of duties and taxes before Brexit. And that EU sells will tank if the current pricing model doesn't change:
    • Aero jacket no longer represent good value if there's a 20% upcharge.
    • First buyers could remain high but returning customers are likely to decline as a result of the current pricing policy.

    This makes the likelyhood of changes rather high for more reasons than simply the whole legality of their current pricing to international buyers which we asserted is already debatable.
     
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  5. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    Yes exactly. I wouldn't call it foreigner tax, but profit maximization.
    Comparable to branches in different countries.
    In the UK, for example, the goods cost 770 GBP and in the Aero branch in Germany (assuming they existed) 1050 EUR (770 GBP + 19% rounded in EUR). Nobody would get upset. This is even common in the car industry.

    For UK end customers, prices may not be displayed excluding VAT. For B2B or customers outside the UK, yes.

    Bildschirmfoto 2021-04-24 um 20.37.43.png

    I agree with this.
    Many EU rules expired with Brexit (and that was also the aim of the Brexit supporters).
    I assume that the only important thing to the UK government is that it works correctly within its own boundaries. The market regulates everything outside of it. For example, I will not order another jacket from Aero as long as I feel that I have been treated unfairly.

    That would definitely be the cleanest and fairest solution and is usually done that way.

    I think we have to differentiate between "proper way to behave" and "illegal".
    Aeros website has been developed for the UK market and the prices shown there are legally compliant for UK end customers including VAT. This means that Aero is legally on the safe side in its own market.
    Everything that happens outside the UK can at best be regulated through trade agreements. However, I have not yet read of any agreement that stipulates that the same price should be quoted for UK exports as for domestic trade.
    So it may be morally reprehensible, but not illegal.

    And yes, I understand all of your outrage about Aeros practice, but just to think that it has to work differently is not enough as long as it is not legally supported.
    No more buying there, complaining, shit-storm is probably the only thing that non UK customers can do at the moment.

    It is important to understand that Aero (or any other company that acts in this way) does not collect the VAT, but simply demands a 20% higher price without VAT from us non UK customers.
    It's one and the same for us, but legally something completely different.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  6. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    By the way ... since my order was still in 2020, but the delivery was in 2021, Aero reimbursed me for the VAT that I had to pay when I received the package. Everything went perfectly and it was agreed that way.
     
  7. Bat02

    Bat02 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Paris
    Taken from the UK Consumer Protection Act (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/2705/made?view=plain):
    "Part 2: Actual price to consumer
    2.1. Indicating two different prices
    2.1.1. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 makes it an offence to indicate a price for goods or services which is lower than the one that actually applies. You should not therefore show one price in an advertisement, website, window display, shelf marking or on the item itself, and then charge a higher price at the point of sale or checkout. In addition, specific regulations apply to particular types of sales and ways of selling—eg retail sales (including the Internet), sales of food and drink which involve service, distance contracts, resale of tickets, package travel, etc. Your local Trading Standards Services or Home Authority will be pleased to advise you on the current regulations that are relevant to your business and of any good practice guidance which is also relevant.


    2.2. Incomplete information and non-optional extras
    2.2.1. Make clear in your price indication the full price consumers will have to pay for the product. The consumer should always be fully aware of the total cost including eg postage, packing, delivery charges, insurance, etc. before they commit themselves to the purchase. Some examples of how to provide this information in particular circumstances are set out below.
    --------------------------------------------
    Value Added Tax
    (i) Price indications to consumers

    2.2.7. All price indications you give to private consumers, by whatever means, should include VAT."

    The Act goes on to detail how prices must be non-ambiguous and VAT can’t change between the start and end of the buying process.
    So that's UK law here. I hope this closes the debate about legality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  8. Mandarin

    Mandarin A-List Customer

    Messages:
    464
    FWIW, here's my experience: I bought a jacket from the SB sales page. The order was placed dec 28 2020 and payment was sent the same day. I received a confirmation by mail indicating the total amount (sale price plus shipping). There was a mention of "Taxes" (without any further precision), which amounted to 16.6% of the total. Because of the holidays, it took a few days for the package to be processed and shipped. In the meantime, Brexit became effective. I received the package some time later (mid january) with no hassle from the customs. I thought I had passed through the drops until 2 months later, I received an invoice from UPS asking me to pay customs fees (6% of the declared value) , which probably isn't VAT, as I first thought.
    Not sure it answers the question, since the order was placed 2 days before brexit, and SB must've handled it like they used to pre brexit.
     
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  9. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    As I see it, these guidelines apply within the UK to the local market. Not a word is said that this also applies to markets outside the UK.
    Seen in this way, Aero seems to be doing everything correctly. at least legally.
    You could take Aero to court. if it were illegal to do so, your prospects should be good.
    Of course I know that this is not in your interest.
     
  10. Bat02

    Bat02 Familiar Face

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Those apply to companies selling goods in the UK. The Act actually details all the cases and is consistent with everything else we found, meaning as a company:
    - Your price can't be ambiguous.
    - It can't change between the start and the end of the buying process.
    - The applicable VAT should be clear, reflected in the invoice and deducted to show the company has fulfilled its VAT collection duties (full price including VAT, zeroing it in case of an international sale) .

    We've established they're not doing that, the law say they should.

    You're right that I think no one intends to send them to court over that but it doesn't make what they're doing right. We alerady know they're working to correct it that's also an indicator they know they're doing it wrong and if you want other indicators than Law and what we've found so far, see in that thread examples of plenty other companies doing it right. If they could get away with doing it the Aero way, don't you think they would ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  11. Tom71

    Tom71 One Too Many

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    Exactly the same as Aero.
     
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  12. Turnip

    Turnip One Too Many

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    My Barbour order from UK finally arrived last week after getting stuck for full two weeks at customs.

    Last order from (amazon) US took four days to be delivered...:rolleyes:
     
  13. I-Jusa-I

    I-Jusa-I New in Town

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    12
    I ran into some confusion with the UK VAT and prices as well.

    As far as I was aware, the UK listed prices on websites almost always include VAT, if not stated otherwise next to the price. I wrote an email to the UK based online shop asking if they would refund me the UK 20% VAT when ordering to the EU, and they informed me that all their prices are excluding VAT, even tho the website nowhere states that the prices are excluding VAT...

    I wonder if they are simply doing the same foreigner tax as some other businesses.

    Stuff like this really makes me want to not order from the UK at all anymore.
     
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  14. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    ^^
    Not everyone does it that way.
    Urban Rider and Lewis Leathers adjust the price as soon as it is recognized that it is to be shipped to the EU. VAT is then deducted.
     
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  15. I-Jusa-I

    I-Jusa-I New in Town

    Messages:
    12
    Exactly, which is why I wish there was a uniform way this was done. As a customer it is quite frustrating to have to wonder what the price actually is.
     
    Tom71 likes this.
  16. Tom71

    Tom71 One Too Many

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    Iron Heart have their own webside for customers shopping from EU now. Dundas (the footwear manufacturer from Norway) has always done it that way. This is the neatest way to go about the VAT issue, IMO.

    I am most impressed by IH yet again as of lately: I ordered some shirts last week, and delivery to my doorstep was the very next day. No customs proxy or the like was required by me nor did the courier wanted any money. IH must have made some sort of "clearing" agreement to be able to offer "gross" prices again.
    Last time I ordered was months ago, and the parcel was held up at customs for two weeks.
     
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  17. nattevagten

    nattevagten One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    161
    Does Aero still charge UK VAT on EU orders? The last bit of information I have is from April when they were apparently still working on the new pricing.
     
  18. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    I'm afraid nothing has changed there. I recently looked at the Aero page myself and it still looks the same as it did in the spring.
    I think it's just too attractive to earn 20% more. And as long as the order books are full...
     
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  19. hjv2

    hjv2 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    EU
    Yes, it is still incorporated in the net total. I don't like it but it didn't stop me from making a purchase.
     
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  20. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,737
    If they were to subtract VAT for European customers, they should also subtract VAT for American customers. Which they didn't do pre brexit. It will result in 20% less revenue from their American market. Moreover, it will make buying directly from them much cheaper than buying via Thurston Bros. I'm sure their American agency wouldn't be too pleased with that.

    Considering the above I think Aero has done the calculations: the potential loss in revenue from the American market outweighs the decline in sales to European customers.
     
    MrProper likes this.

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