Buying from outside of the UK

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

Tonym

Member
Hi Guys, does anyone have any experience of buying gear from outside of the UK , particularly since Brexit ?? Would be interested to see what you've experienced in terms of cost. About this time last year I purchased a complete Hoyt Satori Feild set up through Ebay from a legit company in the USA, thought I had a great bargain when compared to the UK cost. How totally wrong and naive was I, nothing to do with the Seller, they were spot on. As soon as my package hit the UK my Parcel was kept at a depot then I received a letter wanting a sum for Import costs etc, etc and could only receive my package when these additional costs were paid, and were not talking a few quid, more like a couple of hundred plus, in short what I thought was a bargain cost me considerably more than what it would had I purchased in the UK. I for one did not see this coming, and after a little bit of research I'm sure it's the same if you purchase anything in Europe, in short you'll get clobbered. My main issue going forward is that I haven't a clue how much extra I'd pay if I ever did purchase outside of the UK. Pretty chap situation in my eyes, kind of limits what you can purchase. Tony M
 

Timid Toad

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Import from the EU is £130 before duty etc starts to come in. So you can get odds and sods but not much more.
 

Stretch

Well-known member
Buying from abroad is now unlikely to yield any gains. US has not changed - you pay VAT and Duty depending on value - HM gov site has most up to date info. Usually the postage cost is ridiculous too.

With EU it is now the same as the rest of the world. Which doesn’t always mean more if the seller does not charge local VAT but most do So you pay VAT in both countries. But then the courier recovery fee for the VAT or import charge usually pushes that over too. Recovery fees vary but typically at least £10 on low value items escalating with cost of the item.

As I understand it, UK gov rules say EU companies have to collect and pay UK VAT if they sell into the UK and big sellers do that. Most small sellers don’t jump through the hoops and just send it to you with a duty unpaid courier stamp/declaration of value.

Ebay is a bit of an exception - any import or VAT charges should be listed on the platform, you still pay, you just know what it will be. Ebay recovers the charge as part of the transaction so no astronomical courier charge for recovery or nasty on arrival bills.

Whatever you are buying read the rules carefully at that price point. It is horribly complicated now.

Stretch
 

Tonym

Member
Totally agree with all you've said Stretch, as I've already stated I got caught out with this myself and resulted in what I thought was a bargain being anything but and actually cost me more than if I'd purchased in the UK. Bottom line is that no matter what the cost an item is it simply isn't worth buying anything from overseas. Tony M
 

LittleSkink

Active member
Done this a fair bit over the years, the rules are *mostly* pretty clear (IMO)

If you import from EU now (since Brexit) the seller needs to be registered with HMRC in UK and pay the VAT correctly for you - a lot of smaller sellers haven't bothered to do that. In which case there is Duty, VAT and handling charge to pay when the parcel arrives - you definitely need to check the small print of the seller!

The US (and RoW) was always an expensive place to import higher value items from, don't think Brexit has changed that. China/ HK can be good because they will often "adjust" the customs value. Japanese definitely wont
 

albatross

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I brought an item from the U.S. once. The custom demand was more than I paid for the item so I contacted the supplier. They sent me the amount demanded. Not many suppliers would do that.
 

Shirt

Well-known member
It's still worth buying some things from overseas, but it depends exactly what it is.
Ten years ago, bows, sights and release aids from the US were an absolute bargain as long as the person was willing to ship.
These days, not so much.
It's definitely not worth the effort for anything new, but if you're after anything specific second hand (anyone with a three finger Stainless Scott Longhorn, get in touch) then you should definitely look but have your eyes open on what will get caught for.
 

Geophys2

Active member
AIUK Saviour
I have just received a package from ZBros in California, spare parts for my scope light system. Yes, the postage was high, but the service was superb, they had arrived at Heathrow in four days, of course they then took nine days to get from Heathrow to Hereford, but that is Parcel Force. The parts, cost $49 and are not available in the UK, so no choice but to get them from the states. No additional charges by customs or PF.
 

Stretch

Well-known member
I have just received a package from ZBros in California, spare parts for my scope light system. Yes, the postage was high, but the service was superb, they had arrived at Heathrow in four days, of course they then took nine days to get from Heathrow to Hereford, but that is Parcel Force. The parts, cost $49 and are not available in the UK, so no choice but to get them from the states. No additional charges by customs or PF.
His Majesty’s Customs and Excise will be knocking on your door shortly.

Sender must have listed as warranty parts or declared the value below the minimum threshold… which is a lot less than $49 and includes the postage cost. I have bought stuff where the retailer has declared the value at much less than the purchase cost.

But yes, if you have to buy from abroad to get what you want then so be it… if you are prepared to pay the price.

Stretch
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
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I've bought quite a bit from abroad over the years; mainly America, Europe and China.

It's usually forecastable how much you will pay when the parcel arrives - the thresholds for payment and percentages for import duty and vat are on the government websites. But check the couriers' websites too - they will often charge you for the privilege of collecting the payment from you. You pretty much never get a bargain but you may decide that the final price is still worth paying for something otherwise unavailable in this country.

However, occasionally you just don't get charged and the item just plops on your doormat. I've never figured out why and I've never subsequently been chased for the money. It's like a little lottery win. There was a credible rumour that some couriers just regarded all the paper work as too much overhead and instead just paid HMRC fines, this being cheaper than all the admin. The fines became part of the cost of doing business for them.

Chinese suppliers usually just lie on the customs declaration so that you don't pay duty.

Something to bear in mind it's that UK retailers will generally get you unusual stuff that's not normally in their inventory. You just need to ask.
 

Geophys2

Active member
AIUK Saviour
His Majesty’s Customs and Excise will be knocking on your door shortly.

Sender must have listed as warranty parts or declared the value below the minimum threshold… which is a lot less than $49 and includes the postage cost. I have bought stuff where the retailer has declared the value at much less than the purchase cost.

But yes, if you have to buy from abroad to get what you want then so be it… if you are prepared to pay the price.

Stretch
No, correctly detailed customs slip. In my past experience of buying a lot of stuff from the USA, Parcel Force always charge for customs clearance and any VAT payable, and payment has to be in before delivery takes place. This package, shipped USPS, to UK and PF inside UK, was just delivered without handling and VAT charges. The USPS tracking information is very detailed and gives information as the parcel moves, even within the UK, It simply went from depot to depot.
 

Stretch

Well-known member
I guess I am just habitually unlucky with buying from abroad. Almost everything I have ever bought - or been sent - which over time has been quite a lot, has come with a collection fee or in the old days a VAT invoice you could pay at the post office. That is split across FedEx, DHL, UPS and USPS into Royal Mail. Sender can of course pre-pay the VAT but it would be a rarity.

The important thing here is that anyone thinking about it understands that they are LIKELY to get 20% plus significant collection fee charge or worse if it is expensive enough to attract import fees.

I did get some badminton rackets from Malaysia that were shipped with a very low value to avoid charges but technically that is illegal (For them, not for me).

Looking at current prices both home and abroad I am glad I have a well stocked archery cupboard.

Stretch
 

Centrehit

New member
I have bought yew staves from Ravenbeak in Canada ,what gets me is you pay for the stave and the carriage then when it arrives in UK, import duty then Vat on all of that total. Also paying in $C there is a credit card charge for conversion. I also used to buy from Fairbow in Holland but that is too expensive now☹
 

Tonym

Member
I was watching a YouTube Vid last night on this very same subject, there's a Aussie on there who owns a Archery store out in Australia and he stated that a container of gear that used to cost him 3000 Aus dollars in Import duties has shot up to 15,000, in short this additional obviously gets added to the products however he is now in a position that he is struggling to afford bringing any imports in and is definitely now no longer in a position to help his customers out with getting hold of items for them from outside the country. Tony m
 

alan t

New member
I bought custom made arrows from Dutch Bow Store (Netherlands) in 2020 (before brexit) and again in 2021 (after brexit).
Before brexit 69.20 plus 14.50 postage
After brexit 62.80 plus 23.00 postage. (cheaper points)
prices in Euros
No problems with delivery by PostNL and Royal Mail
 

jonUK76

Member
Really Brexit shouldn't have made any difference to imports from Chinese sellers like Alibow. I'm not sure who AF are though. VAT & duty has always been payable on imports from China above certain thresholds, but often the documentation provided by sellers in China is questionable at best...

The double VAT issue on EU imports people mention above is not acceptable. It's a clear barrier to international trade. As I understand it you might be able to claim it back, although it's going to be a pain in the proverbial because you have to claim it from the sending country in the EU, not via UK customs. So possible language barriers, documentation confusion and so on means most are not going to bother...
 
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Tonym

Member
I bought custom made arrows from Dutch Bow Store (Netherlands) in 2020 (before brexit) and again in 2021 (after brexit).
Before brexit 69.20 plus 14.50 postage
After brexit 62.80 plus 23.00 postage. (cheaper points)
prices in Euros
No problems with delivery by PostNL and Royal Mail
I bought custom made arrows from Dutch Bow Store (Netherlands) in 2020 (before brexit) and again in 2021 (after brexit).
Before brexit 69.20 plus 14.50 postage
After brexit 62.80 plus 23.00 postage. (cheaper points)
prices in Euros
No problems with delivery by PostNL and Royal Mail
Alan, I get that, however it's when you spend a significant amount that you get clobbered, try laying out money for a top end Riser for example, then you will see where I'm coming from, an additional 40% is not uncommon, and I'm afraid to me that's unacceptable. Tony M
 

Timid Toad

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Unfortunately it's perfectly legal, and a consequence of having no agreement on tariff. This is not new - every item has had different rates coming from the US, for example, sometimes bizarrely high or weirdly low. It's just we've been shielded from a lot of it by being part of the EU.

Now, when you buy from a UK supplier, they have already worked their way through all that hassle, paid the tax, excise, import etc, on your behalf, and all of a sudden perhaps you might seem to be getting a good deal?
 

Gavin Eisler

Supporter
Supporter
I have Bought stuff from Alibow, arrows, quivers, bows, since brexit, no probs, same for Ali express, however buying from USA, , brace yourself, 60£ for an Rcore grip, OOF!, in the last few weeks, prices from the East have changed, things are about 10% dearer
 
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