Buying online is easy, fun and even addictive, and do it in the middle of Black Week of Black Friday, a madness with so many offers and discounts. If you are a veteran of e-Commerce and Marketplaces websites such as Amazon or eBay, you know that you can buy in other countries, and even on other continents.
Today shipping services cover practically the entire world, and to facilitate customs procedures, Amazon and eBay have additional pricing, a price added to shipping for international transport which assures you that what you have bought in the US or Japan will reach Spain without Customs overcharging you.
Black Friday 2021 off Amazon and eBay
A divisive service because depending on the product / size it can even double the final price, there are those who do not mind paying that extra in the final price and not have a single concern with shipping, or those who prefer to ‘gamble’ and see if Customs will stop them. or not the package and it arrives with a ‘prescription’. But Black Friday is not limited to large online shopping and sales websites, but also applies to physical stores, to businesses in many countries that also sell online.
But it may happen that you see something you want in a third-party store that sells in the Amazon USA marketplace and does not send to Spain. Or that a web page of an English store does not let you enter because you are trying to access it from outside the British territory.
What can be done? Well, use current technology:
Apps to create a VPN and buy in the USA
Of course, there is the problem sometimes of the Regional Restriction, than removing some websites like Amazon or eBay prevents us from buying in the US because we do not reside there and we do not have a physical address to which to send the product.
How can we solve this? Well, if we don’t have a friend there to send what we buy, we can choose to get off apps that hide our location when using the mobile -yes, just like when Pokémon GO was released- and therefore allow us to opt for those discounts and / or exclusive products of the American market buying from the smartphone.
A VPN is a virtual private network that keeps your geographic location a secret and allows access to websites that have been blocked or censored for not being within your geographic scope. By installing an app that allows them to be created, we can avoid websites and online trackers while accessing American sites that have discounts for Black Friday. And also to other websites around the world, also having tools that allow us to ccheck our internet connection to protect the IP address, browsing history and other personal data when we are online, use applications or connect to a WiFi.
Here are the links to three of these apps that allow you to create VPNs easily and quickly with which to skip the regional protection that a shopping website outside of Spain may have:
StrongVPN OpenVPN Client
International shipments through third parties
Now that we have managed to circumvent the regional blockade, we face another problem: shipping, since we do not have an American address and there are many sellers that unlike Amazon USA they do not ship out of the country. Luckily on the Internet we can find several companies that are in charge of this task, receiving the package from the store at their own postal address and forwarding it to us at home.
For instance Shipito, whose slogan directly invites us to buy “on any US Internet page”. To the register for free on your website, the service will provide us with an American address that we can use to shop anywhere. The package will arrive at Shipito’s warehouses and Shipito will send it home to us through the courier company of our choice. As we can see in their price table, we have from $ 10 shipments by agencies such as Airmail Economy to the more than $ 50-$ 76 charged by FedEx or UPSP.
One USA Address and ViaBox are other options that provide similar services. In fact ViaBox is one of the best valued by users around the world for rates, its convenient calculator of amounts and its customer service. This way you can bypass the regional blockade, take advantage of the Black Friday USA deals and have it delivered to your home.
The European user who buys from other countries such as the United States, China or Japan may find things as unpleasant as that your package is stopped at customs and therefore they will inspect it – even more so in the pandemic crisis that we are experiencing – and demand an amount of extra money from us in taxes.
Services like Amazon Global Shipping or those that include eBay sellers fix this, but if you’re shopping outside of these stores then you have to be careful.
New regulations: everything is paid even if it is worth less than € 22
According a new European regulation that entered into force on July 1, 2021, “Regardless of the value of the merchandise you buy, if you reside in the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands from July on, you must pay import VAT for all online purchases you make outside the EU or in the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla. Therefore, the VAT exemption on importing shipments with a value of up to € 22 will be eliminated and from July 1, shipments below € 22 will also pay VAT ”.
Therefore, if you buy something that is only worth 5 euros, it is also subject to VAT. The general VAT rate for imports into Spain is 21%. The general VAT rate for importing products into Spain is 21%, but a reduced (10%) and super-reduced (4%) VAT is applied to certain products. It is calculated on the value of the goods.
Goods over € 150 are subject to payment of customs duties import (Community tax of the European Union). As a general rule, we do not have to pay a tariff for goods valued below € 150, although they may be subject to the payment of import VAT and special taxes.
Procedure with Customs
Some products are royalty-free and some are subject to additional duties, depending on the country of manufacture and the product. In countries like China, bicycles manufactured in the country are levied with an additional tax. The ordinary payment procedure looks like this:
Payment of products worth less than € 150
- Payment of VAT to the Post Office when the merchandise arrives.
- Payment of VAT to the electronic platform at the time of purchase.
Payment of products worth more than € 150
For shipments with a value greater than € 150 euros, this new regulation will not imply any change.: “All the recipients of the merchandise of this modality will have to pay the VAT and the corresponding tariff as they do at present”.
“Correos will contact you so that you can decide if you want us to carry out the procedures before Customs on your behalf or if you prefer to use other channels.
Remember that this procedure also includes shipments subject to Special Taxes (tobacco, alcohol …) or additional security controls (pharmacy, health …) or that the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT) considers for any other reason “.
- Use couriers as indirect representative: the cost would be € 19.19 plus € 4.41 (invoicing – retention in warehouse) plus VAT.
- Carry out the procedure personally: You would have to pay the Correos the invoice (€ 4.41) and carry out the procedure by going personally to customs or through the “Simplified Form for individuals” of the Tax Agency from the web if we have an electronic ID.
- Hire a customs agent or freight forwarder: You will also have to pay the billing of the Post Office and the transfer of documents to another representative who does the work for us, which is 12.84 euros plus VAT.