How to avoid paying customs duty on Christmas gifts between the UK and Europe.

Frustration due to new customs rules.

What is the problem?

It is now much more complicated to send and receive good between the UK and the rest of Europe.   Britain is no longer in the customs union which leads to a very big increase in red tape and costs. The text below is harvested from forums and Facebook discussions.

Examples of problems?

I’ve just had to pay customs duty of 21% on a second hand book from the UK after a ten week delay in its delivery. I calculated this from the declared value that the Spanish customs  had converted to Euros, then added 4.50 admin costs then IVA at 21% on top of that. I now read that IVA on books was reduced to 4% last year and I also thought that books were free of any duty.

…. My daughters Christmas parcel to us posted air freight ( two to three says delivery quoted) December 16 with well known courier finally arrived today post Brexit. Customs would not release it until! 116 euros charges paid on parcel containing 152 pounds in gifts. The delivery company have refused to reimburse! Thanks Brexit!.

We have stopped people sending from U.K. after last parcel a gift, took two months to clear customs and cost us €42 .

Hi again – still waiting for a parcel sent from UK to Spain on Jan 11th – says stuck in customs – desperate for parcel as start new job on Tuesday

I recently ordered frames for glasses which came from a company outside of the EU (I did not realise that at the time). They had demo lenses only and I will have to have prescription lenses fitted here in Spain. The frames were very expensive… €250. To my horror, I have now been charged €87 for customs fees and duty which I had to pay before they would be released to me. This seems an incredible amount to pay for customs fees… 35% of the value of the item. Is this normal?

The solution to the problem?

Although most of us don’t like Amazon for treating their workers badly and not paying hardly any  taxes the solution is to just go to a website in the destination country.

AMAZON UK

AMAZON SPAIN

To send Christmas cards to any country in the world use companies like moonpig. They send them within the destination country thus avoiding customs. Click here to go to moonpig

Pretending to be be where you aren’t using VPN
Sometimes websites don’t allow you to do certain things if your ip address indicates that you are in certain countries. The best way around this is to use a VPN. It has other advantages such as being able to to watch TV in other countries. EG BBC Iplayer or different versions of netflix.   I use Pure VPN. It works very well. I sign up for the 5 year option and it works out very cheap.
Click here to go the the PURE VPN page.

Note: Most of the links in this page have affiliate tracking codes.  In theory I will get commission if you buy anything. However in reality most affiliate programs find ways of not actually paying anything out.

 

Filling up with Petrol in the UK

The shortage of lorry drivers in the UK has made it much more difficult to obtain petrol in the UK and some people have resorted to extreme measures.

Is Amazon Affilate Program a Waste of Time – Amazon Review

Is the Amazon affiliate program a waste of time ?

I signed up to the Amazon affilate program in 1997.  I am probably one of their most long lived affilliates. Right at the start  the affilate program was excellent, Amazon were still a young company who were not a household name.  Their strategy in those days was to become known and to get as many people to sign up as possible. I remember one Christmas maybe around 1999 when I got a bonus of $2000 for getting new customers to sign up. The bonus was so generous I even got some friends to sign up to Amazon to buy a book and I would pay them for the book.  Amazon afilliate program was the first way just a normal person could publish content and earn some extra cash. This was before blogging and You tube.  Right at the start I would regularly earn over $1000 per month.  I must have sold millions of dollars worth of books and other merchandise on Amazon.

At the time that Amazon was paying out well I had loads of content with Amazon links, book reviews, articles about things that could be bought on Amazon.  A lot of this content still exists on my websites.   This is how I have up to date stats on the Amazon affiliate program.  Many years ago lots of websites had bookshops and many links to Amazon.

Alas, the Amazon bounty years did not last. They because a household name and do not really need afilliates and now pay peanuts.  The income has gone down over the years and it is now derisory.  I still have some content with links to Amazon.  I just logged into Amazon to see how much I have earned this year.  It is now December 16th 2017.

Below is a screen shot of the stats for this year.  (you might have to click on it to see it better)  As you can see  (in 2017) I have sent them 4052 clicks and earned $8.66.  I have just searched internet for the average click through rate on links. It seems that 1% (one in every 100) is a good average.  So my 4052 clicks represents about 405 200 page impressions.  Do you know how difficult it is to get 405 200 page impressions? If that was views of a youtube channel that would earn about $400.  On google adsense that could earn about $500.  Compare that with $8.66 So my friends, in my opinion the Amazon affilate program is a total waste of time and if anyone leaves your site by clicking on a link to Amazon it will almost certainly be a loss of revenue. I am sure that Amazon do not really give a toss if  affilliates exist or not.   They have already won the household name battle.

Amazon Afilliate Program Stats.
Amazon Afilliate Program Stats.

It is no surprise that something that was profitable in the past becomes a waste of time in the present.  Apparently 70% of all jobs that exist now will be taken over by computers or robots within 10 years.  Why am I even bothering to write this article. The google ads on this article will probably take 10 years to make 20 euros if I am lucky.

Are we all doomed to earn nothing while people like Jess Bezos and Mark Zukerberg wallow in stupendous wealth?

Every morning I read the Guardian on my smartphone. They ask for a donation but I never pay anything.

The news is all about Brexit and Trump.

Are we all doomed?