Importing PC Components from the USA

  Tinkey Winkey 11:33 03 Apr 05
Locked

PC components from the US are slightly cheaper (no surprises there then)so I was wondering if it would work out cheaper to ship things over to the UK as some US etailers ship worldwide ?

If you have ordered pc gear from the US was it worthwhile ,or were the total cost differences negligable ?

I am in the dark regarding import taxes or any other hidden costs?

I would be interested to hear your experiences please.

  pj123 11:52 03 Apr 05

If it is only slightly cheaper there may be no advantage at all. There will probably be shipping charges and, as you say, import taxes depending on the item. I have ordered and received Programme CDs from the US with nothing more to pay than the price asked with no problem.

Also if the item is electrical the voltage in the US is different to ours, so may not work without an adapter/transformer.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:52 03 Apr 05

If you get hit for import duties + VAT you might as well buy here. There is also the problem of returns as you will have to invariably pay the return postage which can be considerable. I have bought a lot of stuff from geeks.com, they charge $20ish shipping by Fedex and the parcels arrive in about 18-21 days. You can get quicker delivery but boy! do you pay.

In spite of all the content details being plastered all over the parcels and all the relevant export forms attached I have never been charged import duty or VAT which leads me to believe that either my father is Satan or it is a lottery (and as far as I'm concerned HM Customs can naff off as I have kept to my part of the deal;-)) ). However many of my friends have been charged duty, so make of it what you will.

For more expensive items freight charges can be up to $100+ and you will get a get rogered for import duty and VAT .........................and I would never consider buying a camera from the States as many of the 'incredible deals' are 'grey imports' with little or no warranty....even the Yanks will not buy them, you have been warned.

G

  pj123 11:54 03 Apr 05

If it is only slightly cheaper there may be no advantage at all. There will probably be shipping charges and, as you say, import taxes depending on the item. I have ordered and received Programme CDs from the US with nothing more to pay than the price asked with no problem.

Also if the item is electrical the voltage in the US is different to ours, so may not work without an adapter/transformer.

  Forum Editor 12:15 03 Apr 05

If importing goods from abroad was as simple (and as lucrative) as some people would have you think we would all be doing it.

That we're not is an indication that there are a few pitfalls, and one of them is definitely H.M. Customs and excise. Customs duty may be payable on your order, and VAT as well, and by the time that little lot is added on your good deal may not be looking quite so good.

Apart from that, there's the problem of what you do when things go wrong - American companies aren't bound by UK consumer legislation, and taking any kind of action against an American supplier isn't recommended if you want to remain sane. By law, any company based outide the EU must charge VAT on anything that they deliver to a country insidxe the community. The VAT rate may either be at the rate ruling in the country of destination, or the company may choose any EU country and register itself for VAT in that country. Orders will then have that country's VAT rate applied to everything that comes into the community. Many companies simply ignore the rules and ship into the UK anyway, and it's up to Customs and Excise to slap the VAT on top at the point of entry. You can expect the rules to be tightened up in future, and nobody will get their goods until the VAT (and import duty if applicable) has been paid.

  keith-236785 15:17 03 Apr 05

i enquired about shipping an item for a mobile phone (item was $9) from the usa to britain and it was going to cost $30 (about £13 at the time) for p&p.

definitely no advantage unless your item is small and you can get someone who lives there to buy and post it for you.

  Chegs ® 16:45 03 Apr 05

I bought a PCI ADSL Modem(very cheaply)from USA,including shipping it was still cheaper than the same item bought here(then anyway)I was looking thru a few items on USA Ebay,and the number of suppliers prepared to ship this way is down compared to a few years ago.As for the HM Customs & Import Duty,if they ever ask me for it,I will grudgingly cough up.It just really narks me that USA(or anywhere else really)can sell stuff so much more cheaply than their UK counterparts.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:10 03 Apr 05

....you ahve to pay sales tax at point of purchase in the States so this adds to the advertised price.


G

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