Any reason to avoid

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  • It is nice to hear the perspective from the EU side, thanks for persevering! I am still really keen to shop from the EU, some thing used to be cheaper as frankenbike said, but also you get different brands / better stock levels, especially for skis but also other climbing/outdoor brands and presumably most things too. What's your shop?

    I know what you mean about the lack of guidance, I was really surprised there was not at least a single page cheat sheet to help us through it. Most of the news stories about it seemed contradictory and not helpful. Which is what set me off trying to get my head around it, and there's still more to learn (I updated my post above with your point about surcharge vs VAT). It must be worse from your side with even more hoops to jump through. Presumably HRMC are inundated and have a backlog to clear - not helped by January being tax return season?

  • A groupset must be more than £135? in which case for me this is one of the situations that need more digging before ordering because you could be heading for the double-VAT situation and a job to claim it back.

    I just had a look, initially I could get to checkout with VAT still added on, as you say. But then I seemed to set a country somewhere and suddenly items were not available for UK GB shipping - I saw the attached screenshot, despite the cheerful banner at the top saying UK shipping was open:

    If they are shipping items >£135 with VAT still attached I could guess a few things...

    1 - They are set up for the <£135 scenario but still charging VAT for >£135 - my understanding is this leads to double-VAT and a job to claim it back

    2 - They have a UK subsidiary and can import via that (a bit like UK companies are scrambling to set up EU subsidiaries for the reverse direction) and so can indeed charge VAT for >£135 and the transaction will be hassle free. They are no longer Wiggle are they, if they were maybe that would do it. I think the new owner - Riverside - is German but could still have UK subsidiaries set up already?

    3 - My understanding is still wrong and there is something else going on...

    Also, that point 2 about importing via a subsidiary is similar to the rule about marketplaces like ebay and amazon - they are allowed to do the VAT for all transactions regardless of its value. The definition of a marketplace was reasonable, something that does more than just sell their own stuff, but also collects money on behalf of other retailers. So buying through amazon and ebay should be straightforward.

    UK / Great Britain / England is not listed on this page, which defines their VAT (I would have thought footnote 2 applies to UK) - ... can't find anything else on their site apart from they sound confident about shipping to the UK

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  • I am still really keen to shop from the EU, some thing used to be cheaper as frankenbike said, but also you get different brands / better stock levels, especially for skis but also other climbing/outdoor brands and presumably most things too.

    Same here, end of a new bike build, I had to shop for a seatpost last week (in the end I got one from eB**) and I can see the limited stocks and brand availability being an issue in the UK. Stocks might be Brexit related, but the variety of brands doesn't match what you can get from the EU.

  • TL:DR. I ordered almost £300 worth of drivetrains a few weeks ago from bike discount. Took five days to come to UK, hefty £13 of postage but nothing extra on top of it. Prices were amazing so more than makes for it.

  • .

  • I also went ahead and placed an order after I posted before (mainly because it was the only place I could find the brakes and kneepads I wanted).

    Package showed up around 10 (nervous) days later because of delays in Germany. No customs charges to pay, and no VAT. I do wonder if this is a temporary glitch though, and that at some point we will be stung.

  • What parcel?

  • say what?

  • I don't know if Bike24 have changed their minds again. It's saying groupsets aren't shippable to the UK again after being able to put one into my basket (with UK as country) 18 days ago.

  • Seems as though Northern Ireland is the closest they’ll ship too

  • Ya think having a pal in NI would basically solve the problem?

    Bit of a faff but if needs must, send it to them, they send it to you.

  • I've had good experiences with, who seem to be in Germany despite the website suffixes... parcel said they are in Stuttgart, but there was also a Bury St Edmunds address on a sticker on the parcel, so maybe they've figured out a UK business in parallel to German, and move shipments between them. I really have no idea what I am talking about of course.

  • That’s what I did in regard to my bike24 order, it’s just been handed off to parcelforce so hopefully in a day or so I’ll see if I’ve been stung with customs!

  • My mate just did a Bikester order and had no issues in regards to customs either so maybe what you’re saying is right!

  • Also have recent positive experience from Bikester. No customs issues and package was delivered considerably quicker than their estimate.

  • I'd suspect that some companies imported a lot of stock into the UK before January and they can now still sell that to the UK from a UK address. It may be different when that stockpile runs out (but then they'll probably import stuff by the containerload to simplify the process). It's probably not just in cycling where that's the case.

  • Seems as though Northern Ireland is the closest they’ll ship too

    I do have a brother in law in NI, but then Bike24 are quoting 4-5months for Campagnolo groupsets and won't ship Shimano or SRAM to NI.

  • bikester are indeed internetstores. everything comes from stuttgart but we have been working super hard to get stuff to the UK quickly with the help of a third party company that is dealing with brexit border shit. there is no arm in the UK yet but it is being worked on afaik. source - I work for internetstores!

  • Ah! I see. Interesting.

    The Bury St Edmunds sticker seems to be a red herring.

  • it could very well be a freight forwarding sticker, as I believe that is what is happening at the moment. but it all seems a nightmare at the moment and i think a permanent structure is being put in place for the UK.

  • Looks like has removed UK/GB from their country list, so no love from them any more. bike24 is also done, that leaves r2-bike and bike-discount I suppose.

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Any reason to avoid

Posted by Avatar for rusty @rusty