Why are so many people afraid to buy something online from another country?
I have to be honest before I took the courage to order in other countries I was also very afraid about several things that could go wrong. The Instasave
Let us discuss them systematically:
1. Can I have problems with Customs and Tax authorities?
First custom duties and import-VAT only apply if products are shipped outside a country or free trade zone (like European Union or NAFTA)
In most countries custom duties need to be paid when the product is shipped into a country. There is always a minimum amount that you can ship custom duty free. Check it for your country. If it is above that minimum amount you have to inform Customs and a normal fee needs to be paid. It differs per type of product. The website of your customs can give you all the information. Always keep in mind that the value is based on the price as it is in your country and not the price you paid to the supplier. But in practice often the price you paid is used for calculating custom duty and import-VAT.
Even if the amount is above the minimum lots of people do not inform customs and take the risk of paying a penalty. Sending it as a gift is often used for that.
Import-VAT always needs to be paid and the freight forwarder most of the time takes care of it. No action from you needs to be taken.
Free trade zones
Within the European Union or NAFTA there is free trade (of most products) and you have not to worry at all about Customs or VAT.
2. How do I know if the supplier is reliable? Will the goods be shipped and what about guarantee?
My suggestion would always be: Try first to find a very well known reliable company like amazon etc.. If you cannot find one and you are not sure about the supplier only order products if they are of very low value. For myself I ordered several products directly from China and it appeared to be very reliable suppliers. I even order now products from China of higher values without any problems. With respect to guarantee don’t be afraid I never had problems when sending back products and always got a refund of the money or a new product was send to me. Only the extra shipping cost could be a point f discussion, normally you have to pay for it.
3. What kind of payment should you use
For myself I never use the money transfer method.
I try to avoid credit card payments but if the site really looks very reliable I also use my credit card. What I always prefer is direct payment from my Bank account and PayPal.
4. How do I know what country is cheap for a certain product?
Before looking for a supplier you first need to get more information about price differences between countries. Poor countries do not necessarily have low prices for brand products.
Very important is to know if recently there has been a decrease of the value of a certain currency. That is often an indicator prices could be low. We all know the low exchange rate of the Dollar against the Euro and for European people it is more and more interesting to look at prices in the UK. The value of the British pound dramatically decreased since late 2008.
Ricky G. invites you to visit his website Comparing Prices between Countries. [http://www.comparecountryprices.com].
This website is unique, it provides prices of a product in different countries and all calculated into your own currency. Cars, phones, shoes, videogames etc. it’s all on this website.