My Valve Store Experience From Europe

So I was checking out all the new Portal 2 stuff they have in the Valve Store and saw this track jacket I had to have. Although the price plus shipping is pretty steep at around $69, I decided to do it anyway due to favorable exchange rates ($70 is about €50) and fast shipping with DHL.
This morning I was rudely awakened by the DHL guy and guess what, I had to pay €23 import tax, f'ing great!

 Nope, these are not portals :(
  This makes the whole thing a lot more expensive (around $100), but still, I had this sweet new piece of clothing and I was still kinda happy, that is, until I tried to open the fucking DHL packaging with some scissors and this happened. FFFUUUU!! So I learned today the hard way that shipping from the US can be crazy expensive and using scissors on packaging is a big no no....
 Not the way to do it...
22 Comments
22 Comments
Edited by blalala

So I was checking out all the new Portal 2 stuff they have in the Valve Store and saw this track jacket I had to have. Although the price plus shipping is pretty steep at around $69, I decided to do it anyway due to favorable exchange rates ($70 is about €50) and fast shipping with DHL.
This morning I was rudely awakened by the DHL guy and guess what, I had to pay €23 import tax, f'ing great!

 Nope, these are not portals :(
  This makes the whole thing a lot more expensive (around $100), but still, I had this sweet new piece of clothing and I was still kinda happy, that is, until I tried to open the fucking DHL packaging with some scissors and this happened. FFFUUUU!! So I learned today the hard way that shipping from the US can be crazy expensive and using scissors on packaging is a big no no....
 Not the way to do it...
Edited by mwng

If it makes you feel any better. DHL delivered my Valve package to the wrong address, I phoned to say "You've delivered my package to an address that wasn't on the package and had it signed by someone who's name wasn't on the package". So they promised to pick it up the next day. Next day rolls around and I get a call from DHL saying the package is no longer at the address they delivered it to. Infact, they don't know where it is anymore, so they'll "Call me back" when they know more.

Posted by blalala
@mwng said:
" If it makes you feel any better. DHL delivered my Valve package to the wrong address, I phoned to say "You've delivered my package to an address that wasn't on the package and had it signed by someone who's name wasn't on the package". So they promised to pick it up the next day. Next day rolls around and I get a call from DHL saying the package is no longer at the address they delivered it to. Infact, they don't know where it is anymore, so they'll "Call me back" when they know more. "
Dude, that does suck, hope you still get your package though. What did you order?
Posted by Lev

I feel for you - the whole EU import taxes are incredibly unjustified and boil down to nothing other than simple extortion. A similar thing happened to me when I had bought a bunch of shirts off thinkGeek - I picked it up at DHL, and had to pay $30 fee as well (when the shirts totaled like 60-70 dollars).

There are some "tricks" to getting around... ehr, I should say *avoiding* those fees. One is always avoid anyone using DHL. DHL will always hit it on you if the value of the item exceeds something like 30 Euro. If you have a friend/family member state-side, you could have it sent to them and they could send it over as a "gift" which would prevent you from having to pay extra.

I read a long while ago that Ebay was on a quest to finally reform these archaic EU customs laws since it dramatically cuts into their business.. I wish they had done more about it than talk about it, because I'd be all for doing anything to get those EU import laws changed. For too long companies have used Europe as a way to exploit differences in currency-exchange and the presence of an import barrier to keep you in place.

/end political rant

Posted by mwng
@blalala: Bought an Apeture mug for home and one for work, least there's no chance of me cutting through them with scissors though!
Posted by blalala
@Lev said:
" I feel for you - the whole EU import taxes are incredibly unjustified and boil down to nothing other than simple extortion. A similar thing happened to me when I had bought a bunch of shirts off thinkGeek - I picked it up at DHL, and had to pay $30 fee as well (when the shirts totaled like 60-70 dollars).There are some "tricks" to getting around... ehr, I should say *avoiding* those fees. One is always avoid anyone using DHL. DHL will always hit it on you if the value of the item exceeds something like 30 Euro. If you have a friend/family member state-side, you could have it sent to them and they could send it over as a "gift" which would prevent you from having to pay extra.I read a long while ago that Ebay was on a quest to finally reform these archaic EU customs laws since it dramatically cuts into their business.. I wish they had done more about it than talk about it, because I'd be all for doing anything to get those EU import laws changed. For too long companies have used Europe as a way to exploit differences in currency-exchange and the presence of an import barrier to keep you in place./end political rant "
Although the fees seems somewhat strange, I mean I had to pay almost the same amount in fee as the actual value, I understand why it's done. On the other hand I'm not buying stuff that is readily available where I'm from. Any idea how much of this stays at DHL and how much of it actually goes to the government?
Posted by Mesklinite


@blalala

 

I live in canada. Just above the states....

 

I got hit with 50$ duties plus the 30$ shipping.

 

Shitty ass service man.... I feel your pain.

Posted by 49th

Ah, I was thinking about importing some stuff from the Steam Store too but this is putting me off.
I'm in the UK, so does anyone know roughly how much it would cost to import it here? Just for like for a few T-Shirts?

Posted by Extreme_Popcorn
@49th: I bought a hoodie and was charged $20 extra for postage. It's pretty good quality
Posted by ZimboDK
@49th said:
" Ah, I was thinking about importing some stuff from the Steam Store too but this is putting me off. I'm in the UK, so does anyone know roughly how much it would cost to import it here? Just for like for a few T-Shirts? "
Depends on the value. If the VAT has been paid when you ordered, there shouldn't be an import tax. If not, it depends on the value of the stuff you buy. If it's under a certain amount, you probably won't have to pay VAT or customs duty. I don't know how high the import duty is in the UK, but the VAT is at 20%.
Posted by blalala
@mesklinite said:
"


@blalala

 

I live in canada. Just above the states....

 

I got hit with 50$ duties plus the 30$ shipping.

 

Shitty ass service man.... I feel your pain.

"
What was the total amount of your purchase?
Posted by Mesklinite

ArounI can't remember, but I'd say  between 100-150.
Posted by Wuddel

The bad thing is usually not the tax, but the absurd fees the delivery company is charging. Once paid 3 CHF tax + 20 CHF handling charge (1.3 CHF = 1 EUR)

Posted by Lev
@Wuddel said:
" The bad thing is usually not the tax, but the absurd fees the delivery company is charging. Once paid 3 CHF tax + 20 CHF handling charge (1.3 CHF = 1 EUR) "
Agreed - most often it's the companies charging an outrageous margin for shipping over what they really pay to have it shipped. I buy stuff off ebay all the time, and 90% of the time I end up paying 3 times as much for shipping as I see they clearly paid when I get the package. :(

But on the subject of the import tax; it is also ridiculous how much it costs (though dependent on each country in the EU; some pay more and some pay less). Since I live in the socialist utopia of Sweden, we have one of the highest tax rates. My ex bought me a DVD film off amazon many years ago for a birthday gift. The film cost $25 (this is back when DVDs were bluray prices), and when it arrived, we couldn't pick it up without paying an import tax. The tax was 25% off the value of the time, plus 50 Swedish kronor as a fee for them being nice enough to rummage through our goods and check it out, PLUS a 25% tax on the 50 kronor fee for them searching the package.

All in all, the $25 DVD ended up costing close to $40 because of import taxes, and a fee for them searching the import, and a tax on the fee for searching the import.

Nahhh... that's not excessive.
Edited by CarpetRemnant

I'm in the UK and I bought the 'I hope you like text' hoody from penny arcade last year, it took about forever to get here and I had to pay about £12 to get it from the post office. Alternately The two-shirts and mug I've ordered from Whiskey Media have arrived in fairly timely fashion with no extra charges.


This thread totally just reminded me I need to order a giant bomb throwback tee, done.
Posted by Geno

I tried to buy a $12 mug in Canada from the Valve store but the shipping was $20 (cheapest option) :/. I buy stuff from the US on Amazon and eBay all the time and the shipping is either free or not exceeding $5, so I don't know what Valve's deal is. 

Posted by Vexxan
@Geno said:
" I tried to buy a $12 mug in Canada from the Valve store but the shipping was $20 (cheapest option) :/. I buy stuff from the US on Amazon and eBay all the time and the shipping is either free or not exceeding $5, so I don't know what Valve's deal is.  "
Yeah I was about to buy a Portal 2 t-shirt for $20 and then I saw the cheapest shipping option was $20 as well...so yeah it's really weird.
Posted by Contro

All the DHL packages I've been sent have a tear-strip.

Posted by blalala
@Contro said:
" All the DHL packages I've been sent have a tear-strip. "
That may or may not have been the case, but it was early in the morning and I had a pair of scissors in my heads, so yeah..
Posted by S0ndor

Now you have a punk Valve jacket.

Posted by AlexW00d
@49th said:
" Ah, I was thinking about importing some stuff from the Steam Store too but this is putting me off. I'm in the UK, so does anyone know roughly how much it would cost to import it here? Just for like for a few T-Shirts? "
I've never had to pay any import tax when buying things from the States. But then I have never bought anything worth more than $40.
Posted by Piririn

@blalala said:

" @Contro said:
" All the DHL packages I've been sent have a tear-strip. "
That may or may not have been the case, but it was early in the morning and I had a pair of scissors in my heads, so yeah.. "


 

Ouch that sounds painful.

Well you have now successfully scared me away from ordering atleast!