Amazon price changes mysteriously

Discussion in 'Consumer Issues and Rights' started by dub_nerd, 13 Mar 2019 at 4:16 AM.

  1. dub_nerd

    dub_nerd Frequent Poster

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    I went to order this from Amazon:

    [​IMG]

    Like a lot of people, I have a home address in Ireland plus a Northern Irish parcel motel address to use for items that ship free to UK addresses. This time Amazon offered me the above price of £239.99 and free delivery to either UK or Ireland. I triple checked that the offer was the same in both cases.

    But when I went to check out, although the postage was shown as free, the actual item price had been sneakily hiked by £6 if I chose delivery to Ireland:
    ________UK:_________________________Ireland:___________________
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Anyone know what gives?​
     
  2. RedOnion

    RedOnion Frequent Poster

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    Lovely phone.
    When you give ROI address they charge Irish VAT. Is that the difference?
     
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  3. dub_nerd

    dub_nerd Frequent Poster

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    Doh! Spot on!
    Extra 3% VAT (Ireland 23% vs. UK 20%) would account for it alright.
    It doesn't give any VAT breakdown on the online screen which makes it hard to compare, even though the VAT is shown on the email confirmation.

    I tried it again and noticed a couple more things. The price in my first screenshot above is only wrong if you initially choose UK delivery and then switch address to Ireland. If you choose Ireland up front it shows £245. Seems to be a bug in the Amazon UI.

    Just thinking out loud here ... so that means if I ship to Parcel Motel NI I'm getting cheaper VAT, which in this case would more than cover the Parcel Motel cost? (Didn't do it 'cos I don't want extra risk of a delivery screw-up).
    Might be a moot point after we get our hard border and have to switch to amazon.de :eek:
     
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  4. NoRegretsCoyote

    NoRegretsCoyote Frequent Poster

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    For big purchases Parcel Motel is often better value due to the VAT issue.
     
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  5. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    Why?

    Surely you must pay Irish VAT if you bring it into the Republic?
     
  6. NoRegretsCoyote

    NoRegretsCoyote Frequent Poster

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    It is several years since I did this. The delivery (for Amazon's purposes) is within the UK, to Parcel Motel's address in Newtownabbey. From memory they charged UK VAT.

    Parcel Motel then drive it across the border to one of their pick-up points.
     
  7. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    That is not my point.

    Surely, if you import it into Ireland you should pay Irish VAT?

    Or am I missing something?

    Brendan
     
  8. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

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    No, once VAT is paid within the EU there is no further VAT payable to move an item within the EU. Brexit anyone?
     
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  9. NoRegretsCoyote

    NoRegretsCoyote Frequent Poster

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    You think that I - as an occasional importer of something like a video camera - should make a VAT return for about ten euros?

    Or am I missing something?
     
  10. michaelm

    michaelm Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: 13 Mar 2019 at 11:32 AM
    Orders would need to be €200+ before your save anything given that Parcel Motel or AddressPal charges eat into any VAT saving. In any event, I'd prefer the VAT goes to the Irish exchequer rather than that of the UK.
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2019 at 11:32 AM
  11. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    Thanks mathepac.

    So if I buy something I should get it delivered to wherever in the EU has the lowest VAT rate?

    And that is perfectly legit?

    Brendan
     
  12. SparkRite

    SparkRite Frequent Poster

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    Not really Brendan, VAT is paid at point of sale within the EU regardless of which country within the EU it is being shipped to.

    However as Amazon have a "presence" within Ireland they apply the Irish VAT rate to item being shipped here (uniquely, I think, but open to correction).
     
  13. RedOnion

    RedOnion Frequent Poster

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  14. NoRegretsCoyote

    NoRegretsCoyote Frequent Poster

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    Bear in mind you are also paying (Irish) VAT on the ParcelMotel fee.
     
  15. SparkRite

    SparkRite Frequent Poster

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    However, notwithstanding that, over the years I have dealt with countless online companies, usually relativity small amounts, and have yet to see a price change upon discovering my whereabouts. Maybe this has happened but I can't recall it.
    Unlike Amazon (topic) who regularly do apply the Irish rate.

    I don't get the point you're trying to make, obviously you pay VAT on the services from an Irish company.
     
  16. RedOnion

    RedOnion Frequent Poster

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    I would imagine a lot of small companies struggle with compliance. Just look at the posts here with vat questions, just in an Irish context. Cross border, and self charging for vat registered customers is a nightmare.
     
  17. NoRegretsCoyote

    NoRegretsCoyote Frequent Poster

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    Precisely.