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Buying Bulk - Abroad versus UK

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  • Buying Bulk - Abroad versus UK

    Hi,
    I was wondering if someone may be able to give me some advice on buying beads in bulk.
    Abroad versus UK?
    So far I have been using UK bead online retailers and so far have not had a problem at all. However I am thinking of buying in larger amounts. I am aware that if I buy from abroad I will be paying Customs and Excise duty (or VAt) when the parcel arrives into the country.
    So what I'd like to know is, is it really worthwhile and can it save you money or am I still better off buying from the UK, saving the hassle from Customs and Excise?
    Also if abroad is the better option, can anyone recommend a good site from their own experience.
    Any help or advice will be gratefully received.
    Many thanks in advance
    Website; www.hannimaydesigns.co.uk
    Blog; www.hannimaydesigns.blogspot.com
    Folksy; www.folksy.com/shops/HanniMayDesigns

  • #2
    I've purchased beads and other craft items from both USA and China and have only ever been asked to pay customs duty once about 6 years ago - that was on a fairly large parcel (although not particularly high value) that was sent surface mail. For small, lower value packages, more often than not they don't seem to bother. Of course there's no guarantee that your order won't be the one they pick on!

    Re a reliable supplier, I've been quite happy with Kylinmore-Gem - based in China but find them on EBay. Also, I'd recommend sunnyenterprise.co.uk for a reliable UK seller.
    Regards, Carol

    http://www.lindenblossom.com

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    • #3
      Hi Carol,

      Many thanks for that. I'll be checking those sites out.
      Website; www.hannimaydesigns.co.uk
      Blog; www.hannimaydesigns.blogspot.com
      Folksy; www.folksy.com/shops/HanniMayDesigns

      Comment


      • #4
        Beads

        Hi, What sort of beads were you looking for?
        Ron
        http://abbybeads.co.uk

        http://www.facebook.com/abby.beads.

        http://abbybeads.blogspot.com/

        My Ebay shop

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        • #5
          I've bought many times from abroad (as well as the UK) and whilst the custom charges do add up, I have found it worth while if you are looking for something unusual that you can't easily find in the UK.
          The sites I would recommend are: www.firemountaingems.com & www.artbeads.com (great for sterling silver findings)
          Website: www.madison-mae.co.uk
          Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php...3654680?ref=ts
          My Blog: http://madison-mae.blogspot.com/
          Twitter: http://twitter.com/MadisonMaeUK
          Misi: http://madisonmae.misi.co.uk
          Wowthankyou.com http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/store/s...p?secondary=76

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          • #6
            It is pretty rare for a package to escape the beady eye of customs these days.

            So, with duty and vat, you need to expect to pay around 20-25 percent of your order total again. Plus a surcharge to whoever brings the parcel through customs for you.

            Also, be aware that if you are selling your jewellery you need to be compliant with EU regulations. That means knowing the nickel laws, hallmarking laws etc. Many overseas suppliers - even the big, well known names, don't really understand our EU nickel laws properly. More often than not, findings bought outside Europe are not compliant.

            As a buyer, you also will not necessarily have the same consumer protection as you would buying from a UK business. If you buy a shed-load of one item and it turns out to be poorer quality than you were lead to believe, it is a lot easier to get your money back in the UK!

            So those are some of the downsides - you need to be sure of what you are buying and do your research. Sometimes when you take into account the hassle factor, currency exchange rates and so on - it can be just as easy to buy from a UK company. Other times not.

            I would still urge anyone wanting to buy beads though to have a really good look here in the UK first. There are sooooo many great bead suppliers now and the variety is extensive.
            Emma
            www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
            www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
            www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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            • #7
              Many thanks for all your help and advise to far. I think I'm going to have to think long and hard about this one as I think there are many pitfalls to buying from abroad.
              Website; www.hannimaydesigns.co.uk
              Blog; www.hannimaydesigns.blogspot.com
              Folksy; www.folksy.com/shops/HanniMayDesigns

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that there are just a number of surprises that can happen when people buy from abroad if they are not aware, that is all.

                So they can place the order and think they did really well. Then the credit card statement arrives and they see the foreign currency charges the credit card company has added on or maybe the rates are not quite so favourable. Then the customs bills arrives, and the handling fee suddenly makes itself apparent and so on and so on. And all of a sudden what seemed like a bargain suddenly isn't quite so much of one.

                But if there are things you specifically want and you do your homework you should be fine. So long as you are aware of all the hidden charges and potential stingers, you are way better placed to see before spending out any money if it is a good deal or not.

                Emma
                Emma
                www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
                www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
                www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I second everything everyone has said but would suggest that you could try 'importing' a small packet first to see how it goes. It used to be that if the total cost was under £18 you did not have to worry about paying VAT etc and it would come straight to your home no probs.

                  If you want to go 'big' time have a look on the Business Link website in the Importing section.
                  Don't freak out at the amount of words. Read it carefuly and you'll find most of it doesn't apply.
                  If you decide you'd like a TURN number the guys on the other end of the email contact thing are very nice. I got one that was quite a laugh. (Cos I didn't understand nada.)
                  Don't faint at the commodity numbers info. If your beads are being posted in a post office or through someone well know like Fedex they do all that for you on the customs form.
                  So the problems you are left with are:
                  if you have no TURN number and your parcel is over £18 the post office will hold it back until you pay £14 handling charge plus the VAT owed(these figures are probably out of date). With a TURN number your parcel is computer crunched and delivered straight to your house. You pay the VAT later.
                  Paying - you're OK if your supplier takes Paypal or credit cards (but be aware of charges) but many countries don't. You can do direct bank transfers (mine charges £25 a transaction) or Moneygrams (start at £12) but I have just been stung by Moneygram. I've always paid in soles in Peru. They suddenly cancelled that facility and would only pay out dollars. Because of the GBP/US dollar exchange rate was so not in my favour I paid £60 more on a £400 parcel than I had anticipated. I expect my supplier is going to loose out too when changing his fistful of dollars into soles. It's really hard (impossible?) to get advance warnings of what you are going to be charged.
                  A new pitfall 'we' have just tripped over is export tax. Senor Geronimo, my man in Peru, (he's just a small guy I met in a market), was charged export tax on our last parcel. It hadn't been charged on the one before so caught him out by surprise. Seeing as I'm trying to trade fairly I will make sure he's not out of pocket but be warned it's a minefield out their and they keep moving the goal posts.

                  (My fruits of my learning curve can be seen on www.chile.co.uk )

                  AnnieAnna

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