Importing / Ebay / Sewatech: Customs & VAT

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by irie ivan, 31 May 2014.

  1. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    I realize this is a controversial subject, and most likely frowned upon by the sponsors and probably not going to win me any popularity contests, but reality is, people are buying direct from Overseas (US, China, Germany, etc.) for whatever reason ;)

    I do understand the lack of accountability, almost non existent after sales service, guarantees not supported by local agents, etc, etc, etc. Not really interested to get into the diatribe about those, just want to know of peoples experiences with regards to time-frames on arrival from different countries, experiences with SARS, post office, etc.

    Also, does anyone know the Duties % on Aquarium Equipment, i.e. which items have which percentages,IF any at all?

    Pumps?

    Lights?

    Supplements?

    Skimmers?

    Calcium Reactors?

    Electronic Equipment?
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    All will have VAT applied. On cost of goods + shipment.
     
  4. irie ivan

    irie ivan Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Keith. So I pay VAT on the shipping cost as well? Or just VAT on top of the customs amount?
     
  5. DeanT

    DeanT Dean

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    Only problem you may have with some of the big brands is they have local agents and therefore they will put you onto them instead of shipping/ supplying you

    I tried once apon a time, even tried to use a local buying agent with no luck
     
  6. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    VAT on total amount. Goods, shipping, insurance, handeling and customers clearance.
     
  7. Andre@ReefAquatics

    Andre@ReefAquatics Sponsor

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    Duties are paid on the shipment value and based on a commodity code, this is generally about 20% of the total value excl shipping (too my knowledge only loose LED's are exempt from duties, LED's in any assembled unit are charged at 20% as its termed as a light). Then VAT is also charged as 14% on the total value excl the shipping amount. so far 34%

    Then whoever ships this to you e.g DHL, they will also charge you a fee for their clearance.

    If the shipment lands at the sorting depot you will be asked for your proof of purchase in the form of a receipt and not a quote.

    Controversial subject indeed and I wont get into discussing further, but the above gives you a guide.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2014
  8. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Two different processes are referred to. I am referring to importing via online stores not commercial imports. Andre is correct for commercial imports which requires a whole load of other permit requirements.
     
  9. Clowning

    Clowning

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    I just ordered a replacement impeller for my skimmer pump. Cost me half the price. Shipped from USA on May 12th and arrived May 28th. No hassels.:thumbup:
     
  10. Verndog

    Verndog

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    If we want to get into controversial, some prices in this industry are controversial and that's why people are starting to import themselves whenever possible.

    I'm not pointing any fingers. I just don't understand why product X can be $200.00 in the states and $210.00 in Australia on the other side of the planet but then be R 4000.00 in South Africa.

    Unbelievable, and I handle allot of commercial and private imports.....
     
  11. Qaiser

    Qaiser

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  12. JS

    JS

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    I also rather import certain stuff, as even with duties and VAT, it normally work out way cheaper than the Local suppliers.

    As for aftersales, i have never had hassles, SEWATEC once sent me the wrong pump, they shipped me a new one free of charge, and I did not even have to ship the wrong one back to them overseas, they just asked me to forward it on to a "supplier" in SA.

    Another time I had a problem with a power unit on a light, the supplier sent me a new power unit no questions asked.

    So, I am happy to import....:)
     
  13. NO3

    NO3

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    @irie ivan i know lights is 20% so you will pay (goods value + 20%) x 1.14

    You do not pay duties on shipping costs unless there is an ISS shipping fee then you will pay on the ISS fee only but shipping is excluded

    If its under R700 there is normally no duty implied on the goods!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. Ryan Wolmarans

    Ryan Wolmarans

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    I have a lady in china that makes LED and they ship it globally, with all the taxes and shipping and cost of the light it is R4000 for 2 and here in SA it is R9000 for one light...
     
  15. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    now since this thread has gone off the rails already and also because the main question has been answered as well I'll derail it just a bit more and put my 2c.
    as a IT and office equipment retailer I get asked the same question over and over again almost every day.. "but why is this laptop 4900.00 rand when I can buy it in SA for R3500.00?" I wish I could just tell the client at that point to get into his car and drive the 600 km to Joburg spend money in food and drinks on the way. get lost few times while looking for the place with the cheapest laptops and then drive all the way back to Swaziland with his new gadget and also pay 14% VAT at the border.. of course I don't do that
    what if the client says "but I don.t need to drive to Joburg .. I can just order the laptop online and have a courier to pick it up" of course you can.. then three months down the line when your laptop hard drive arts making funny clicking sounds just hours before you have to print out a very important document you can call your courier again and task them with taking the laptop back to joburg for repairs ... no printing.. and then you start thinking if only I had bought the laptop locally...
    when you buy a led from china and few months later the led is faulty are you gonna send it back there?
    last year a client ask me to oder a key-transponder duplicating machine... the original from Bosch (local dealer ) was +/- 40k the one from china was about 12000.. so under his instruction the cheaper machine was ordered and everything was going g well until the machine stopped working.. amazingly when we tried calling the factory in china there wasn't a single person any more who spoke English unlike the first time when we were paying for the machine. at mist we could get was... send the machine back and we fix for you...
     
  16. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    I rather buy local even tho the price could be higher but for that you get a warranty from someone who speaks the same language.

    in other instances I've ordered stuff from overseas simply because I faced to find what I was looking for locally. I can provide an example for something I ordered today in the morning.

    d sub 26 pin female solder type | eBay

    I did my best to try and find the item locally but failed.. so my only option was ebay
     
  17. Verndog

    Verndog

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    Hot Sauce I hear what you saying.... I wish the pricing examples you used though were on par with this industry. Most products in this industry at double the international price.

    20%-50% more is understandable. But 100 %? No one can honestly tell me that's justifiable.

    You make some valid points though. Sometimes it's just easier to pay the 100% extra, but I still don't understand why.
     
  18. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    well put it this way.. the importer will pay about 30-40 percent in duties and taxes for the item to land here and then add another 30% markup which is quite reasonable. then you almost have double the international price. also one of the other problems is the cost of international shipping .. the item I made example with ships for free to Swaziland but I'll have to probably wait for 3 weeks before I get it.. then you can choose express delivery and pay 20-30 USD for shipping for a item worth only $4.99. in this case I would have to sell this same five dollar item for 450-500 rands to make it worth my time.
    another example would be computer hardware.. I could order directly from Taiwan for a fraction of what I currently pay in SA but I'll have to order in very large quantities which is risky in case I fail to sell and the hardware becomes obsolete on my shelf
     
  19. Verndog

    Verndog

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    I agree with most of your points hot sauce.... Costs add up quickly...

    However, it's strange then that I can import products and resell them, make a reasonable margin and remain within 20% of international pricing. Might be in a different industry, but still an import.

    Remember, no ones paying retail prices for anything they importing.... Why can I buy product X at retail in the states, ship it here and still manage to pay half..... Even when buying at retail!!!!

    Fact~ someone is taking too much pie !
     
  20. Clowning

    Clowning

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    I would say that it depends on what you are buying and the risk you are willing to take. I work for an online retail company just BTW:p My sicce PSk 600 impeller cracked and pump stopped working. I shopped around for quotes and the cheapest I got was around R1100 I went to E-bay, searched for a replacement impeller and found the original being sold for under $40 add shipping and it came to just under $50 convert to ZAR=R533.something at the time. I received it within 3weeks. Paid half the price and it taught me patience...:thumbup:
     
  21. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Ok, my little worthless two cents based on personal experience too.

    I will never buy a product, from a huge maker, like reef octopus, ecotech or other common name brands from the web when I know you can get them here and there are agents supporting the product, I like the comfort that I can rely on back up service and warranties.
    In terms of profit margins, hey who am I to complain, I am the end user and I keep buying the product and so the suppliers keep on selling.
    I once brought in a Ozone Reactor that was broken on shipment, took me four months to get a new one after fighting with the supplying in the UK.

    Other items, like impellers, replacement LED's, small parts, ect. GO AHEAD.
    If the replacement part is cheaper than here, hey, who is to stop you from buying it?

    In the end, follow what is best for you, spread the news of your purchases and great buys, it's one of the reasons I keep myself glued to the forum, LOTS OF GREAT INFO.
     
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