Originally Posted by eHaberdasher
OK - so if you EU guys have to pay the VAT when buying from within the EU, how, if at all, is that more advantageous than purchasing from our US website and having to pay duty? You EU guys don't have to pay duty AND VAT, do you (when we ship from the US)? OR is duty and VAT one in the same?
Also, if we're based in the UK, there are different VAT rates for non-UK consumers and presumably different thresholds for which the VAT kicks in, correct (or does the VAT apply to all purchases regardless of amount)? How does that work and impact you, the end consumer? Are you able to somehow apply for a refund of the VAT?
I kind of touched on this in PMs, but I know what makes me hesitant to buy from US-based stores is the uncertainty: the actual final cost is unpredictable, as is the amount of time necessary for items to arrive, as is the amount of BS you'll have to go through in terms of trips to post-offices, arguments with customs officials, and paperwork/receipts necessary, and so forth.
Also, duty and VAT are not the same, and depending on the amount of the transaction (and perhaps also depending upon the country), you must pay either VAT only or duty and VAT, which can become very expensive.
Although VATs differ among EU countries, the EU is an open market and there are no customs controls between EU countries. The VAT you pay is the VAT of the country of origin, and it's usually included in the price. The differences are usually not significant between EU countries anyhow.