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Ordering from Thomann...

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Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:00 am

I'm just about to place a large order with Thomann (c.£2000) for gear for an install.

Before you ask, no; I can't buy in the UK because no-one else sells the gear or they don't get close to the Thomann-adjusted price.

Before pressing the button I thought I'd better check on the duties situation. Thomann state:

With the new trade agreement between the EU and the UK, new regulations have been applied to all commercial transactions between the two distinct markets.

As of 01.01.2021 all current prices shown on our UK website do not include VAT 20% (Value Added Tax).
According to the new regulations, the VAT (20%) and additional handling fees will have to be paid to the courier upon delivery with the only exceptions being special VAT-free zones (e.g Channel Islands).

Based on the feedback we have received so far, Government Charges will be collected by UPS and they consist of the 20% VAT plus a small amount for the paperwork involved (usually around 2.5%). There is also an additional amount to be paid to UPS for their service, which is a minimum of 11.50 GBP. As not every order has the same customs requirement, for further information we advise that you check the costs and procedures in advance with the courier locally.

VAT will be added and charged by Thomann GmbH after processing an order only if the net value of the order is equal or less than 135.00 GBP or if delivery will be to Northern Ireland. In these cases, no additional fee will have to be paid upon delivery.

For items exceeding 31 kilos, or heavy goods such as PA equipment, pianos, etc., we have to employ the services of a heavy haulage company. As these new regulations only came into effect a few days before the end of the transition period, delivery by this method of transport to the UK is currently not possible. Further information will be included in our order confirmation email.
Please be assured that with more than 20 years of close cooperation with our UK customers, it is our priority to find new solutions that will allow us to provide door-to-door online prices as soon as possible.


Ho hum... we shall see...

Still, we HAVE got back control of our borders and done away with all that pesky EU-related red-tape! :roll:
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Luke W » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:09 am

What a pain, it's all a bit messy at the moment isnt it?

Mike Stranks wrote:Still, we HAVE got back control of our borders and done away with all that pesky EU-related red-tape! :roll:

That's the spirit! :)
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:16 am

Paying VAT on the import is obvious and easily predictable, as is the cost of courier handling/admin fees.

The thing that seems to be catching most people out is the extra cost of customs duty on top of the purchase price and it can be quite substantial -- as much as 25% of the purchase price on some goods!

The duty is on a falling scale related to the declared purchase price, I believe, and different products attract different starting duty percentage levels! I read of a lady who bought a coat from Germany only to find that it was held up at the courier until she paid 12% duty, 20% VAT and a handling charge on top of the price she paid to the retailer over the interweb!

However, I don't think there is currently any customs duty due on audio recording equipment, microphones, speakers and that kind of thing.... although trying to get confirmation on specifics from the government website is a bit of a nightmare!
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:35 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Paying VAT on the import is obvious and easily predictable, as is the cost of courier handling/admin fees.

The thing that seems to be catching most people out is the extra cost of customs duty on top of the purchase price and it can be quite substantial -- as much as 25% of the purchase price on some goods! (it's on a falling scale related to the declared purchase price, I believe).

I think I’ll be trying to buy anything now in the UK, it’s becoming like the duty and tax are almost bringing the price up to unreasonable amounts, so buying from Thomann just isn’t worth it.
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby desmond » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:41 am

Another win for the Brexiteers! :clap:
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:09 pm

OK this is it.
A friend is an antique dealer, he’s still allowed to trade but has to have the right paper work.
He can import from Europe up to £1,500 per trip, in his van, which mustn’t seat more than eight people. All proofs of purchase, destinations, value, must be provided at customs.
No duty will be charged if he adheres to these rules.
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby MOF » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:15 pm

I’ve never bought anything from Thomann, I prefer to buy locally. The few things I’ve bought mail order were from UK companies, the thought of expensive EU postage costs, if they had to be returned, put me off.
Inevitably there will be teething problems moving from EU membership to independent trading nation.
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:23 pm

This subject has been discussed at some length on another, guitarists*, forum. Inevitable it quickly descended into an argument about the merits of Brexit, whether lockdown restrictions should be lifted and eventually whether or not PRS guitars were only played by Dentists, however. In between there were a few real experiences. The ‘facts’ however are not completely clear so it’s fair to say that things have yet to settle down. From what I can make out;

Below £135 the VAT can be paid at the point of sale (19% for Thomann in Germany)
Above £135 the goods are charged without VAT but the VAT is recovered by the courier (20% for UK). VAT is on the full amount which includes goods, shipping, duty (if applicable) and handling charges. Handling charges (by the courier) seem to be around about £11 per shipment.
Duty is less clear. Possibly it is not being applied, or not consistently, in the early days. Expectations, based on importing from US, seem to be around 2.5%.

Returns process needs to be sorted out but, in theory, you should not have to pay duty or VAT twice whether returning or shipping back for repair.

The problems seem to be with the couriers at the moment with, in the very early days, goods being delayed or actually returned to Thomann without making it across the Channel.

Before I retired my Logistics Director for Europe was of the opinion that, when Brexit happed, we’d have 72 hours of chaos before people (business not Government) found a way to make things work – because that’s what we do in business. Thomann have significant sales into the UK and they will find the most efficient way possible to handle this, I’m just holding off ordering until I have to. At the Somme you didn’t want t be the first one over the top. Thanks to uncontrollable GAS there seem to be no shortage of volunteers to be in the first wave when it comes to ordering from Europe (one guitarist on the forum placed an order on New Years Eve!).

* guitarists, guitarists' or guitarist's? A forum for many guitarists or belonging to one or more people who play guitar?
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:58 pm

Music Wolf wrote:... and eventually whether or not PRS guitars were only played by Dentists,
This is the Godwin's law of guitar forums.

P.S. Guitarists' would be correct I think. It is a forum 'belonging' to multiple guitarists.
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby N i g e l » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:10 pm

MOF wrote:Inevitably there will be teething problems moving from EU membership to independent trading nation.

independent trading nations FTFY
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby MOF » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:16 pm

one guitarist on the forum placed an order on New Years Eve
I don’t understand why any guitarist would buy remotely (in normal times) I can undestand technical kit but guitars and keyboards are a personal and tactile thing.
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:24 pm

Music Wolf wrote:and eventually whether or not PRS guitars were only played by Dentists

That's the easy one.

I occasionally play a PRS (such as in this video) and I am most definitely not a dentist! :lol:
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:30 pm

Music Wolf wrote:Duty is less clear. Possibly it is not being applied, or not consistently, in the early days. Expectations, based on importing from US, seem to be around 2.5%.

Duty is dependent on what the product is and what tarrif (if any) has been agreed with the EU. To find out, you need to identify the appropriate 'commodity code', and then look up what the rate of duty is. It's all in here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/finding-commodity-codes-for-imports-or-exports?step-by-step-nav=849f71d1-f290-4a8e-9458-add936efefc5
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby OneWorld » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:54 pm

There must be a song in there some where - Import a geetar or whatever you choose, you gonna end up with the EU Blues
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Re: Ordering from Thomann...

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:56 pm

CS70 wrote:
Music Wolf wrote:and eventually whether or not PRS guitars were only played by Dentists

That's the easy one.

I occasionally play a PRS (such as in this video) and I am most definitely not a dentist! :lol:
I'm down to 3 at the moment, and I'm not even qualified as a Hygienist. I can only think of one Dentist that plays guitar, Mark Bowen from the band IDLES. He’s clearly more of a Fender man.
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