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UK retailer not deducting VAT for non-UK customers

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I am trying to buy a nice umbrella. I quite like the whangee one's from Fox and sent them an email asking whether the prices shown on their website include VAT, and to confirm my assumption that VAT would be deducted upon checkout.

This is the response I received:

Quote:
The prices shown on the website are the prices charged and I confirm that we
do not deduct VAT from the price. However, we do only charge £40.00 for
shipping to Australia which helps offset the VAT, as the true cost of
shipping is much higher.

So, they are either charging me for VAT, even though I am not in the UK or the EU (I'm in Australia), or NOT charging me VAT and simply raising the price and pocketing the extra.

Either way, not cool.

I don't think 40 pounds is particularly cheap for shipping either, so I don't feel like it's a wash.

Has anyone else encountered retailers who have similar policies? If so, were you able to convince them to deduct VAT correctly?

Or is this a fairly standard thing that retailers often do?

Thanks.
post #2 of 21
I ordered a tie from Michelsons last year and they did not deduct VAT from it. Then again it was free shipping and the tie cost AU$23 so . By the way my Michelson's tie was ass.

40GBP is far from cheap, unless it some UPS guaranteed 2 day delivery or something.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stateless View Post
So I am trying to buy a nice umbrella. I quite like the whangee one's from Fox and sent them an email asking whether the prices shown on their website include VAT, and to confirm my assumption that VAT would be deducted upon checkout.

This is the response I received:



So, they are either charging me for VAT, even though I am not in the UK or the EU (I'm in Australia), or NOT charging me VAT and simply raising the price and pocketing the extra.

Either way, not cool.

I don't think 40 pounds is particularly cheap for shipping either, so I don't feel like it's a wash.

Has anyone else encountered retailers who have similar policies? If so, were you able to convince them to deduct VAT correctly?

Or is this a fairly standard thing that retailers often do?

Thanks.

Some do, some don't.

Not that it necessarily changes things (in the ethical scheme of things), some that don't deduct VAT (some, not all) mark the shipment as a gift so that you don't pay customs. I actually had one retailer say that I pay VAT and they ensure that no further charges are incurred on my end. Of course, in an ideal world you would pay neither VAT nor customs, but when customs amounts to greater than VAT, it can be a trade off.
post #4 of 21
The Armoury carries Fox umbrellas and you might be able to save (somewhat) on shipping given that you're in Oz and they're based in HK.
post #5 of 21
Plenty of UK retailers either automatically deduct VAT at POS or refund upon request for non-UK sales; unless the product is somehow unique, I'd just use one of them rather than try to persuade a reluctant one.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfrege View Post

Not that it necessarily changes things (in the ethical scheme of things), some that don't deduct VAT (some, not all) mark the shipment as a gift so that you don't pay customs..

So much for ethics.
post #7 of 21
You should try living here, mostly people convert $-£ 1-1 then call it the UK price. It's often cheaper for me to buy from abroad and have it shipped here, mad as that sounds.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stateless View Post
I don't think 40 pounds is particularly cheap for shipping either, so I don't feel like it's a wash.

It's not cheap, but it's not a sham either. Umbrella's have unusual dimensions, so it's costly.

As for "mark as gift" option, usually only available from individual sellers not established stores.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
...mark the shipment as a gift so that you don't pay customs...
In Australia we don't have to pay customs or taxes, in most situations, for item's with a value of less than $1,000 - so marking as a gift is of no benefit. The obvious solution is to buy from another UK retailer that does deduct VAT, but I can't seem to find many. The few I've found have a very limited selection. It's disappointing that a company with the reputation that Fox enjoys would conduct itself like this - but it seems there is little to be done. Thanks for the input, gang.
post #10 of 21
On internat sales in the EU officially the place of supply is where the seller is located. They are required to charge VAT and it is the buyers duty to prove that the product is for export and claim the VAT back. It sucks I know but those are the rules
post #11 of 21
I'm with you stateless, I think this is reprehensible, and would certainly put me off purchasing an umbrella from them. Fortunately, I acquired mine from The Armoury - you might like to do the same?
post #12 of 21
Hey listen I might be wrong but I think the OP got the wrong end of the stick on this one, to be fair it seems that whoever wrote the email from Fox did not make themselves very clear.

I think what Fox was trying to say was something along these lines...

The prices on the website are inclusive of VAT. Because we do not normally cater to individual customers on a tax free basis we will take the equivalent tax saving off your postage to Australia (and make the tax claim ourselves at a later date/at our convenience).

So instead of your new Umbrella costing GBP98.00 + GBP66.00 postage, it will cost GBP120.00 + GBP40.00 postage (or there abouts)

I grant you the postage seems pretty lumpy, but I'm no posty. Suggest you see if you can email them to see if they can do better on postage.
post #13 of 21
Willing buyers and willing sellers.....

If people are happy to pay then good luck to them, presumably they balance that against those who do not in deciding if they are bothered about overseas sales.
post #14 of 21
Quite possibly due to a computer system in the office that is not set up to deal with overseas sales. Unless it is decided to go after international sales and invest in the upgrade required they cannot deduct VAT.
post #15 of 21
Try contacting Mark (YFYF) or Alan (Toilet duck) at the The Armoury, he sells Fox umbrellas, I bought one in Whangee but not sure if he is is going to be any cheaper.
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