Understanding the True Costs of Buying Directly from Manufacturers Outside Europe
Navigating the Hidden Costs and Legal Differences in International Online Shopping
As an informed European consumer, you’re always on the lookout for the best deals, especially when it comes to high-quality products. With the rise of global e-commerce, buying directly from manufacturers outside of Europe has become an attractive option. However, what seems like a bargain at first glance can often lead to unexpected costs and complications. Here’s what you need to know before you click ‘buy’ on that seemingly great deal from an international manufacturer.
1. VAT and Hidden Charges: The Price You See May Not Be the Price You Pay
When you purchase from non-European manufacturers, the listed price often doesn’t include VAT (Value Added Tax). In Europe, displayed prices typically include VAT, so what you see is what you pay. However, when buying internationally, VAT, along with other potential fees like processing charges, will be added at the customs stage, increasing the total cost significantly.
2. Custom Duties and Import Charges: Crossing Borders Comes at a Cost
Products purchased from outside the EU are subject to customs duties. These charges are based on the type of item, its value, and its origin. This can add a substantial amount to your purchase, something that isn’t immediately apparent when comparing prices with European-based shops.
3. Import Documentation: The Hassle of Paperwork
Buying from manufacturers directly also involves handling import documentation. This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Inaccuracies or missing documents can lead to delays or additional charges, adding to the overall cost and hassle.
4. Warranty and Returns: Different Rules Apply
One of the significant differences lies in warranty and return policies. European consumer laws are among the most consumer-friendly in the world, offering protections like a minimum two-year warranty and a 14-day return period. When you buy from a non-European manufacturer, their warranty and return policies apply, which can be less favorable. For instance, you might find shorter warranty periods, more restrictive return conditions, or you might need to ship the product back at your own expense for repairs or returns.
5. After-Sales Service: What Happens If Something Goes Wrong?
After-sales service can be another area of concern. Dealing with a foreign manufacturer for repairs or customer service can be challenging due to time zone differences, language barriers, and potentially different standards of service.
In Conclusion: Look Before You Leap
We understand the temptation of seemingly lower prices from international manufacturers. However, it’s crucial to consider the total cost of ownership, including VAT, customs duties, import charges, and the potential complications related to warranty, returns, and after-sales service.
As a European e-commerce shop, we commit to transparent pricing, adherence to European consumer protection laws, and providing reliable after-sales service. While the initial price may sometimes appear higher than international manufacturers, the total cost and peace of mind you get from shopping locally often prove to be the better deal in the long run.
Remember, the best purchase decision is an informed one. Happy and safe shopping!
Best regards, the FEPshop Team – Committed to Quality, Transparency, and Customer Satisfaction.
In the above article we have tried to explain the risk of buying goods directly from manufacturers. We have written this article as we have received numerous questions now that Phrozen has followed in the footsteps of for example Anycubic and Creality by targeting European consumers directly with what seem to be interesting prices. The prices on the website are without VAT and goods are shipped from Taiwan. Importing work and duties are for the customer. Also: there is no European consumer law that you can rely on AND you have to cover costs of return shipping the product yourselves.
In general we won’t be able to match the pricing of manufacturers, as we pay shipping fees and custom duties for the products when we import them to stock up our warehouse. Part of these charges you will see in our pricing.
We feel that we our customer foucs, service mindedness and competitive pricing should convince you to buy from us: your stable European printing partner FEPshop. We are looking forward to welcoming you in our shop and servicing you with our support-team!