Online Purchases: EU vs Non EU – What’s the Difference?
With being able to grab your phone out of your pocket, make a few clicks and buy some product that is 10,000 miles away the world has become far more connected, but also a bit more confusing as international law and taxation have now become involved. And not everyone understands it. So allow me to explain what many have been confused by in the hopes to shed some light and make your shopping experience a bit more pleasant (or at least try to).
Okay so on some EU product sites you might see this pricing system of EU vs Non EU. This is generally on smaller sites that don’t have regional settings or either multiples URL’s with dedicated currency structures. You might ask yourself why are there two prices. You probably especially do this when you are the EU price paying that extra 20%.
Okay, so these two prices have to do with taxation. The EU has an agreed tax of 20% for online sales of goods between EU countries. This is apart of the single market as opposed to having to pay import duties on everything you buy outside of your country. If you are in the EU, you HAVE to pay this. This is not a company’s decision, This is a governmental tax imposed by the EU and collected by the country (i.e their tax man) where the company is based. So that EU price has 20% that goes straight to the tax man without exemption. If you want to blame anyone for getting one over on you, then blame the tax man as this has NOTHING to do with the company charging you.
Now for those who do not live in the EU, you, of course, do not pay the EU tax and thus pay the Non-EU price. Some of you are very fortunate, i.e. those of you in Hong Kong (who have no import duties at all) or those of you in the US or AU who have certain exemption values that are quite easy to fall under. Now for those of you in the EU that think that they have it so bad, maybe study up on the countries that really have it bad, like Canada, and most countries in Asia and South America. In Brazil, there is 100% import duty imposed as a way to protect their economy from over importation of international products. Or not to mention crooked countries where if you are unlucky you will be extorted by the custom’s department.
So, for those of you that have been curious about this subject, I hope that this clears most of that up for you. Unfortunately, this is just the way the world is and you kind of just have to accept it or don’t buy online.
Justin, ‘The Shoe Snob’
P.S. For those interested, my brand’s Winter Sale ends in 4 days and there are still some great deals to be had of up to 50% of at www.jfitzpatrickfootwear.com