Buying Jeans Outside The EU – Counting the True Cost
Global shopping has never been easier. With a few clicks, we can hop from one continent to the next hunting down every last opportunity to buy delicious raw denim online.
Make no mistake; there are some serious savings to be made when buying denim online in the USA and elsewhere.
Everyone knows that it can take a couple of weeks or more for their jeans to make it across The Pond but do you really know what the “final price” is going to look like?
A handful of dollars can soon add up to a fistful, especially if we a talking about bringing denim in to the EU from America.
The reasons for this are two-fold; American prices do not include sales tax (Vat, MwSt, etc.) and there is a little-known trade tariff of 12% levied by EU governments on every single stitch you bring in.
Just in case you’re not really feeling the pain, they even whack sales tax on the shipping and the trade tariff, and that means that you could easily be paying a cool 40% more than you originally bargained for. See how it all mounts up?
|Customer In Germany||Cost||Customer In The UK||Cost|
|Selling Price||$100.00||Selling Price||$100.00|
|Trade Tariff @ 12%||$15.00||Trade Tariff @ 12%||$15.00|
|Total $||$140.00||Total $||$140.00|
|Total EUR||€127.27||Total GBP||£98.00|
|Total inc. 19% MwSt.||€151.45||Total inc. 20% VAT||£117.60|
*Currency conversions correct as at Feb 2015
Feeling a bit queasy? There’s one more sting in the tail. Post offices and customs depots everywhere are under pressure to ramp up their revenues while keeping a tight lid on costs.
That means that these b@$tards, sorry, our “friends in uniform,” will often charge you for the privilege of waiting in line for hours on end before they treat you like the biggest bandit since Pablo Escobar while, all the time, your boss is howling down the phone over the fact that you said you would only been out of the office for an hour. Fat chance!
Go For It But Read The Small Print
There is something about owning true American selvedge denim. It is like owning a small slice of the modern era; honest toil, rock ‘n’ roll culture and a design classic that has changed little since those first patents were filed back in the early 1870s.
No wonder it is so easy to get carried away and hit the “Pay Now” button.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread so read the “terms and conditions.” Do they accept returns or exchanges? Who pays the return shipping? What if your jeans fall to pieces three months down the road? How would you even begin to claim all that lovely tax back?
Why Don’t I Just Wing It?
Fair point. There is a chance that your imported jeans will slip in under the radar and that you will avoid paying taxes, customs duties and fees. May the Gods of Indigo be smiling on you that day.
The problem is that that chance is dwindling by the hour because, as more and more guys buy from online stores, Etsy or eBay and ship their denim from the USA, Japan and other parts of the world, the authorities scent rich-pickings. And they’re not letting up.
The Choice Is Yours
Our advice, as our back-of-a cigarette-packet example shows, is that it always pays to do the maths. Is it really worth the chance of being caught and dealing with all that expense and hassle or would you be better off and so much safer buying from a retailer in the EU?