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Does this ship to Europe? 6$ shipping seems way too cheap for Europe from the US.
It's via DHL bulk shipment from New York to Frankfurt and then via regular post so yes, the price is correct. I got some things delivered for lower than 5.75 USD if I remember correctly.
Hm I see. Would it still go through customs like this?
Yes, obviously. Anything that comes from outside the EU goes through customs. You need to inform yourself about your country's taxes in this regard.
If they ship in bulk to Frankfurt and then from there via regular post, it would make sense that Massdrop pays the customs for the bulk import and the end buyers don't having to worry about customs since it shipped inside EU.
That's how many sites operates. Like the most famous keyboard site.. ships from their Chinese hq to their "place" in the UK (that will have to change...) and from there to the buyers. No customs.
If the seller doesn't collect VAT itself (and MD doesn't), then you as the person that imports the products are responsible for any taxes that might apply. There are differences from EU country to EU country here, for example some countries don't tax products under 10 Euros, others don't tax below 30 Euros, others collect just VAT up to a certain amount and then they also start collecting an import tax according to TARIC3, some have their own additional tax on top of VAT etc. You need to consult your country's legislation on its official customs website for exact details on this.
I bought plenty of things that were shipped from China to an EU country with an intermediary courier and then reshipped to mine via various national posts (such as the Dutch, Swedish or Hungarian to name a few) and all of them had a yellow sticker that clearly states that the package comes from outside the EU and the sender didn't pay the import taxes. So, the way the products are shipped has nothing to do with taxes, sending them from NY, USA to Frankfurt, Germany in bulk is just a cheap and convenient way to get stuff to Europe as Frankfurt is one of the largest post sorting hubs in the world.
If you bought from a Chinese site and they didn't specify anywhere on the invoice that taxes are included, then they simply got the products into EU without paying taxes. Or maybe your product was below a certain amount and was free of taxes. Or they declared an absurdly low amount such as $10 and nobody bothered to check if it's true or not (happens quite a lot on Chinese websites to under-declare the product(s) value, I might say it's the norm). Or you simply got lucky and the person sorting the packages let it slip by.
Next time you buy stuff from China look out for two things:
- did the seller actually declare the correct value on the invoice?
- does the package have the yellow sticker mentioned above ("Goods not fulfilling the conditions laid down in Articles 28 and 29 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union")?
Yup. But in my scenario - it would be Massdrop importing to themselves and then selling me something from within the EU. That's on their end. No different than if they'd have an actual warehouse here in Europe, just that they send one product at a time to their European location.
Technically, I'd be the receiver from a package shipped within the EU. I'm not importing anything, the vendor is.
I'm not going to comment what I think about them paying taxes... All I can say is, for me - technically, I purchased something from Germany (or England). Not China. The logistics stuff is on their end. Me, the receiver is getting something from Europe, not China.
From company in China to company in Germany to me. In a new package, new labels. I really don't see the difference. It's like if I buy something from Microsoft. An American company. They are big, so they can ship lots of stuff and stock it in Europe. These companies are small, so they ship "on demand" to Europe and from there to the customer.
Next time I'm "buying from China" it's going to be as usual, I'm in practice buying something from Germany. The sender is a German company. There is nothing that says "China" anywhere, except if the package is open and there is the original invoice left. But that's internal to the company. Nothing that has anything to do with me. The sender would be like "Company Name, Shenzen" and the receiver "Company Name, Frankfurt".
The only difference is that we happen to know that this is how they operate.
Well, there is how you think things work and then there's the law...