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Member since Jun 2012 • Last active Apr 2021
  • 22 conversations

Most recent activity

  • in Current Projects (non-bike)
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    yep! the cladco is all done, but a bit more to go on the rest.

    January - finished off the Cladco for the roof and 2 walls
    February - gutters and water butt for the garden, found an electrician to wire it in properly to the house and built a wood cladding detail around a window to work out what to do, then took it all off again...
    March - Window trims/linings done last weekend, then I started the wood cladding itself just this weekend. It will be slower going than Cladco, so am glad it is only 2/5ths of the surfaces.
    April? last few jobs... finished!

    Back in December once it became apparent that both lots of cladding would be slow to arrive we finished off the inside and began using it - 'moved in by Christmas' - Grand Designs classic - so that has taken the pressure off a bit to get the outside done.

    The cladco looks great and it all went on just as discussed above so again, glad to have coincided with your project and learnt from it. One thing I learnt was to think about the placement of fixings with respect to bargeboards in advance - I did the sheets, then found the bargeboards would overlap the fixings at the edge, which distorted the shapes a bit. I moved some around, but left some as a bodge, mostly you cannot tell from ground level, but I look out it from the garage window, which is up and behind the shed, and then you can see the wobbly apex bargeboard whenever I look out of the garage window...

  • in Classifieds
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    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) - https://www.bike24.com/shipping.html ... can't find anything else on their site apart from they sound confident about shipping to the UK

  • in Classifieds
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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?

  • in Classifieds
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    That's interesting, does it imply retailers will also be looking at the £135/euro150 split and then choosing to do >£135 only, probably because of not wanting to register with HMRC? Also that maybe they too are confused about exactly what is included in the £135 so they set a nice margin of error to be sure of being above it?

  • in Classifieds
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    Right! thanks ... I will update sum above just in case anyone relies on it...

  • in Classifieds
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    We've bought a couple of things from the EU recently. Our understanding/experience is below... but massive caveat that this was all done based on some hasty internet research before buying so is probably full of mistakes...

    If the value of the entire shipment (regardless of number of in items and possibly including shipping costs, not sure) is under euro150 / GBP135, no customs charges apply. Then,

    • if the retailer is registered with HMRC for VAT then the retailer collects a 20% surcharge from you, which it then sends directly to HMRC as UK VAT, and the item arrives with no bother at all (in this case, some shoes from Hardloop in France that were euro80). The retailer does not need to pay VAT in their own country, so does not lose out. (I updated this to clarify 'surcharge' vs actual VAT, see atz comment below)
    • if the retailer is not registered with HMRC or if the item is shipped without documentation showing that UK VAT is paid, then ??? you might get stung at customs for UK VAT and pay VAT twice? or admin hassle.

    If the shipment value is over £135, then charges apply and you are responsible for paying UK VAT. However the retailer should discount the item by their own VAT rate.

    Charges -

    • customs charges, not 100% sure about this but they vary a lot depending on the item. We were buying skis, this table suggests the charge is about 2%, and the resulting charge was about that, but not exactly?! https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/­headings/9506
    • an admin charge from the courier, Royal Mail quote £8, the skis arrived with DPD and I think it was about £10

    UK VAT -

    you have to pay 20% on the total of the item cost AND the above charges. However, the retailer should not charge you their own VAT which in France/Germany is currently 20%/19% so it roughly balances out. Watch out that you don't pay both VAT charges, though:

    • if the retailer clearly knocks off their own VAT (eg you can see a before and after price at checkout) then this is good
    • if the retailer does not clearly knock off their own VAT, then watch out, you might end up paying it twice. In theory you can claim it back from the retailer. In practice this might be an admin nightmare. The above rule about <£135 purchases means that some retailers might be confused about whether and when or not to knock it off?

    We bought ski stuff from Sport Conrad and Telemark Pyrenees and both of these clearly knocked off the VAT at checkout. There was then an email from the courier as part of the tracking link, which went to a form to pay the UK VAT, customs and admin charges. When the courier arrived, he had no evidence of this on his handheld device, but was happy to see a printout of the online receipts from the courier and PayPal.

    We did a rough calculation before buying along the lines of -

    The skis were on sale for euro300
    Knock off 20% VAT = 300 / 1.2 = euro 250
    With pricey ski shipping = euro 275
    About £237 pounds
    Add 2% and admin charge of £10 = £252
    Add 20% UK VAT = £302

    I think it did end up slightly pricier than that, but in the end was close enough. Tijs corrected my VAT calcs so in the end I think this calculation was about right

    Which leads to a nice rule of thumb that at the current exchange rate the euro price (with VAT) ends up being roughly the GBP price you'll pay after all the phaff. Actually I think the ski shipping cost distorts this. Plus exchange rates might vary. So prob best not rely on this rule of thumb, just work it out if needed?

    If any of the above is wrong or anyone can clarify anything, I would be glad to know... so far not put off shopping in the EU but not exactly cracking on with confidence either, I think I'll still buy with caution from shops that seem to say all the right things and even more caution from shops where it is not clear (eg no UK VAT number for <£135 or not obviously discounting VAT for >£135).

    Update - A couple of other scenarios - this all possibly goes away if:

    1 - you buy from a marketplace. They have different rules and are able to collect UK VAT for all items regardless of cost. Ebay and Amazon qualify for this. So buying from them from the EU should be fine, but I have no experience of this...

    2 - the EU company has a UK subsidiary and can import your >£135 shipment via that. In which case their web site can possibly charge you UK VAT up front (as atz said, probably as a surcharge rather than strictly VAT) and then sort out all the paperwork and VAT for you. It has been in the news that UK companies are doing this to export to the EU via new EU subsidiaries, so maybe we might see more of this in reverse?

    Maybe we need a forum list of known good transactions, which will hopefully grow as the various retailers figure it out?

    • hardloop.fr, shipment < £135, arrived promptly (3 days) with no customs hassle
    • Sport Conrad, shipment > £135, they knocked off the EU VAT and customs process with DPD was straightforward and ~1 week
    • Telemark Pyrenees, shipment > £135, they knocked off the EU VAT and the customs process with DPD was straightforward and ~1 week

  • in Current Projects (non-bike)
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    After a little brexit dividend, where Cladco's stock of what we'd ordered (Anthacite 13/3 7mm plastisol-coated) got stuck in a container somewhere, they kindly found us some Graphite Grey in the Prelaq-Mica finish and covered the extra cost themselves, but then the usual Christmas delays, and finally after all that, it arrived this week. I got started today, here's a pic from the back corner of the first sheet up.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Yep, two bikes with 11-42 9sp suntour cassettes, one with an alivio a bit older than that which looks a bit different (older style cable routing) and one with an old deore that looks very similar to that m4000.

  • in Rides & Races
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    I have ridden it a few times recently in both directions, once on a road bike with 30mm tyres and otherwise on my tourer with 40mm WTB nano tyres. As you head up out of Whaley the tarmac runs up to White Hall. From there it is gravel with a ribbon of broken tarmac down the middle up to the top. There's then about 300m that's quite cut up / rutted / muddy from water running down the road (circled on map attached, this pretty much lines up with the blue arrow above) before you rejoin tarmac just below the marked reservoir. I rolled down that slowly on the road bike, the tourer enjoyed it a bit more. As said above because of this it is nicer going towards Buxton, but in the other direction it is doable too. And well worth it to dodge Long Hill itself. I use it to get from New Mills over to Buxton to head into the White Peak so I have mostly ridden it in summer, once in winter. This dodgy section obviously wetter/muddier in winter but it does not seem too horrendous round here at the moment.

  • Avatar for sifriday

    If it is any help, I bought these the year before last:


    First and only time I have done it so I have nothing to compare it to, but they certainly did the job. They sanded up quite light, about the same colour as the few bits of epoxy filler we also used in other places, so a bit lighter than the floor.

    I lacked the skill to chisel them flat, the chisel kept diving into the floorboards on either side and making a gouge. I managed to do it with a multitool cutter in the end.

    Just while I am here, Cupcakes we also sanded the floor after ourselves doing those repairs. We found the same thing - most decorators did not want to do it anymore and the few that did were booked up. If it is any inspiration I found it much more straightforward than many reports on the web suggest. My partner had done it once before so she did the edge sanding, which was definitely harder as others have mentioned above. I did the big drum sander and it was very straightforward, the thing about leaving bigs dents by mistake just did not seem a problem. It generated nowhere near as much dust as suggested. That was from a fairly thorough go at it, sanding off a fair bit of material to level out uneven boards & to shift old residues of the black gunk around the margins. A sheet duct-taped around the door kept the rest of the house dust free.