Do we need a flashlight (parts) store in the EU?

74 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden
Do we need a flashlight (parts) store in the EU?

Well, today’s news brought a small but sad headline in Sweden. Because they want to stop the enormous and frankly quite unsustainable inflow of packages from China, our postal service is going to slap a €13 “import declaration fee” on EVERY imported parcel. Plus customs, plus VAT.

This means, for instance, that a D4 which costs $40/€33 would net me $65/€53. But even worse, a SINGLE electronic component worth $0.1 has the same fixed import fee. Same with MCPCBS, drivers, emitters, everything. This will totally kill flashlights as a hobby, and many other electronics hobbies (like IoT stuff) too.

My conclusion: We really need something like mtnelectronics.com in the EU. I’m not often jealous of people living in the US, but this one store makes a huge difference.

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?

sp5it
sp5it's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 26 sec ago
Joined: 12/25/2012 - 07:51
Posts: 1203
Location: Poland

Store bringing stuff from China to resell will not pay tax?
MIke

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin

 Anyone offended by my signature please fill Complaint Form. Thank you.

 If a lot of people listen to Slayer, the world would be a better place to live" - Tommy Wiseau

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17538
Location: Amsterdam

To be honest, I don’t know how Richard manages to sell at those good prices combined with loads of expertise, punctuality, good communication in all directions and as I understand excellent service. He must be a good businessman, works hard and I’m not sure if he gets a decent living out of it.

There’s not many Richards around I fear, and we would be very lucky if one lives in Europe.

Btw, I’m pretty happy that led4power is from Europe, apart from that he makes and sells nice and unique stuff, it makes ordering from his site a pleasure!

mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden
sp5it wrote:
Store bringing stuff from China to resell will not pay tax? MIke

Yes they will, but the fixed fee can be distributed over many items if you order wholesale, thus bringing the completely unreasonable 10000 % markup to a more affordable level per item.

Flashy Mike
Flashy Mike's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2016 - 16:38
Posts: 1222
Location: Germany

Quote:
Because they want to stop the enormous and frankly quite unsustainable inflow of packages from China, our postal service is going to slap a €13 “import declaration fee” on EVERY imported parcel.
I’m curious if this is legal.
TBone
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 01/27/2016 - 16:42
Posts: 346
Location: Europe

There is no tax or fee for packages within the EU. Big shops will just keep sending packages via any other EU country.

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7366
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Quote:
Well, today’s news brought a small but sad headline in Sweden. Because they want to stop the enormous and frankly quite unsustainable inflow of packages from China, our postal service is going to slap a €13 “import declaration fee” on EVERY imported parcel. Plus customs, plus VAT.

That is bad, I wonder if it will affect me. We have the same postal service and they have a problem in Denmark and a lot of politician look like they hope to get a job there when they are finished in politics.
At the current time I am supposed to pay processing fee ($26) and VAT (25%) for all parcels above about $13, but they miss a lot, if this changes to processing fee on all parcels I cannot review as much (I will probably be silly enough to order 10 different items at a time from a vendor, but buying from vendors with one item will be out).

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

mortuus
mortuus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 12/16/2014 - 09:33
Posts: 2940
Location: Sweden

Yea i read that, totally lost interest after that will be in effect.. even small stuff for a dollar or two u will have to pay fees five times more the value, total nonsense….

...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

              つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Agro
Agro's picture
Online
Last seen: 1 min 26 sec ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 6569
Location: Ślōnsk

Will we see Aliexpress Agents specialized in importing from Ali and re-posting to Sweden?

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 19 min ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 6147
Location: Portugal

Today I received an order from MTN, for which I paid USD $65.15 . When it arrived today I had to pay more more 27.44€ …. So, despite everything from MTN is top notch, it will (sadly) be difficult to order from them again due to shipping fees and taxes… Facepalm

So yes, we need something like MTN on Europe!!

Led4power has some things, Lexel and kiriba-ru sell drivers and pills, but there seems to be an increasing community of flashlights enthusiasts in Europe, so we’ll probably need that!

More than that, if it already started in Sweden, soon enough it will prpobaby come down through all european countries!

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7366
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
mortuus wrote:
Yea i read that, totally lost interest after that will be in effect.. even small stuff for a dollar or two u will have to pay fees five times more the value, total nonsense….

If you look at Trump behavior it is reasonable: Do anything you can to protect your country from “cheap” labor in other countries.
The problem with that attitude is that a lot of the welfare today is based on cheap labor or just production in other countries.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Touchofred
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 11/11/2012 - 17:41
Posts: 243
Location: Sweden

Yup, read that to. This really bummed me out..
I think it’s the app ‘Wish’ that has started all this. Because my father never ever ordered anything from china before. And then I downloaded the app, and Now he buys a lot of things, and I think the same goes for a lot of people.

And yes, we would need something like Mtn.

We do have Valostore though, but I mean.. take Olight X7R marauder for example.
280$ on Olightstore.
On valostore they charge 437$. Also it says it’s on sale with 62$ off..

I’m not talking bad about valostore, they are good and have a very good selection, but still..

mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden

I have been thinking of starting a small import business for budget lights, actually. Because it’s the same here as everywhere else: normal people pay overprice for Led Lenser and Petzl and even worse, they don’t know what a good product really is!

stanmore
stanmore's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 01/05/2018 - 20:58
Posts: 16
Location: UK

I would be interested in starting an import/flashlight business myself, however I am still a student and could simply not finance buying things (which may not sell) up front.

Touchofred
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 11/11/2012 - 17:41
Posts: 243
Location: Sweden
mustig wrote:
I have been thinking of starting a small import business for budget lights, actually. Because it’s the same here as everywhere else: normal people pay overprice for Led Lenser and Petzl and even worse, they don’t know what a good product really is!

Sounds like a great idea. What do you consider as a budgetlight?
The flashlighthobby is not very widespread in Sweden I would say. Pretty limited.
As with knives. Especially custom ones, I have a pretty good collection I would say, not so many, but they are very good quality from very good makers.

mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden

Touchofred wrote:

Sounds like a great idea. What do you consider as a budgetlight?
The flashlighthobby is not very widespread in Sweden I would say. Pretty limited.

I think the business case was more like bringing decent lights to normal people, so I’d probably start with some greats like C8, S2+, H03.
Flashy Mike
Flashy Mike's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2016 - 16:38
Posts: 1222
Location: Germany

Quote:
Because they want to stop the enormous and frankly quite unsustainable inflow of packages from China, our postal service is going to slap a €13 “import declaration fee” on EVERY imported parcel. Plus customs, plus VAT.
In germany there is no customs or VAT up to a certain value, and I guess it’s similar in other EU countries. So how can they demand customs and VAT for imports worth $0.1? DHL indeed also demands a fee for handling customs here but you are not obliged to use their service, you can as well go to the customs office and handle this by yourself.
mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden

No customs up to a certain value for personal imports, but VAT must be paid anyway, and for that they charge the import declaration fee which you can’t escape.

DHL is more reasonable; they charge based on the parcel value, but most small-item sellers either do not ship with DHL or it’s prohibitively expensive.

There’s also the fact that sending parcels in and from Sweden is quite expensive, so a SE-based business shipping in Europe would probably not be so attractive to other EU countries. I mean, I get free shipping to Sweden from amazon.de if I shop over €28, but the same order would probably net me about 10 euros of shipping if it were domestic. Free shipping from domestic stores typically starts comes with orders over like €50-70.

luminarium iaculator
luminarium iaculator's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 55 min ago
Joined: 07/07/2013 - 09:09
Posts: 2129
Location: X
mustig wrote:
I have been thinking of starting a small import business for budget lights, actually. Because it’s the same here as everywhere else: normal people pay overprice for Led Lenser and Petzl and even worse, they don’t know what a good product really is!

I never found good out of the box budget light unless I modded it myself and than it is not budget any more Smile
Be careful dealing with China sellers. They can make good hosts but their final touch is Sick

kiriba-ru
kiriba-ru's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 31 min ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 02:34
Posts: 2098
Location: Russia
HKJ wrote:
mortuus wrote:
Yea i read that, totally lost interest after that will be in effect.. even small stuff for a dollar or two u will have to pay fees five times more the value, total nonsense….

If you look at Trump behavior it is reasonable: Do anything you can to protect your country from “cheap” labor in other countries.
The problem with that attitude is that a lot of the welfare today is based on cheap labor or just production in other countries.


What???
You can protect certain goods from foreign substitues if:
- they (certain goods which have same consumer properties) do exist
- your goods are already restricted by other countries
- production is limited by rare resources and can last only if goods will be consumped/recycles not far away from manufacturing
You can check how big manufacturing contribution in GDP of your country (I suppose less than 30%), check growth of international services import/export and get the idea: goods is not greatest sector for such restrictions, actually, protecting 1000 employers you protect 100000 buyers from better goods and lower prices.

This rules wouldnt make big difference for most eu citizens (as I know most chinese stores already have warehouses in EU), but can be a problem for enthusiasts that practice purchasing rare things. So (if this idea will be implemented) it defenetly requires some decision for flashlight modders from EU.

I dont know how this fee (€13) was planned to devided by postage and customs. This are two different problems that we shouldnt mix. I see reasons of increasing shipping rate by national postage servises. International post documents were wrote long time ago but now there are no countries that can live with this rules without big losses. Just compare smallest goods (not letters) shipping rate inside you country with cheapest item youve ever got from ali. National post services cant carry this losses, while number of $1 parcels from ali increases each year.

Flashy Mike
Flashy Mike's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2016 - 16:38
Posts: 1222
Location: Germany

I’ve read somewhere that china isn’t classified a delevopment country regarding postal service any more, starting this year. So the cheap shipping rates from china we have seen the last years shouldn’t apply any more. If this is true I don’t see the need for national carriers to invent new fees, and I still doubt this is legal since there are international contracts between the countries regarding postal service.

Andrew_Debbie
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 11/18/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 708
Location: Isle Of Anglesey

The problem is widespread cheating on VAT and duty from China.

Even companies like UNI-T sell their $200 meters with $10 “sample” or “gift” customs declarations.

This is costing lost tax revenue and is unfair to EU resllers.

Big resllers, who buy 100s or 1000s pay import tax and charge VAT. That is partly why a light or battery sold by Amazon UK is more expensive than one from Gearbest.

If this becomes widespread, we could try and find a volunteer to organsise group buys and pay the import fees. It will cost more than we pay now, but perhaps still be worth doing for low value items.

At the moment the UK Royal Mail charge £8.00. + 20% VAT for anything under £100 but over £15.00 — So far most of my personal items are legally tax free. I wasn’t charged on for my Q8 even thoght the Customs declration was accurate.

Mike C
Mike C's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 51 min ago
Joined: 01/22/2014 - 08:03
Posts: 2485
Location: Sweden

mustig wrote:
I have been thinking of starting a small import business for budget lights, actually. Because it’s the same here as everywhere else: normal people pay overprice for Led Lenser and Petzl and even worse, they don’t know what a good product really is!

I’ve had similar thoughts, but would be offering modded lights with my own drivers and firmware. I have sold a few to fellow climbing and caving/mine explorer buddies but I’ve been so busy with firmware and driver development that I haven’t taken any time to look into starting some kind of business… and it don’t look like development is gonna stop any time soon… So if you do start a business and want to offer drivers designed and assembled in Sweden, drop me a PM.
mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden

Mike C wrote:

I’ve had similar thoughts, but would be offering modded lights with my own drivers and firmware. I have sold a few to fellow climbing and caving/mine explorer buddies but I’ve been so busy with firmware and driver development that I haven’t taken any time to look into starting some kind of business… and it don’t look like development is gonna stop any time soon… So if you do start a business and want to offer drivers designed and assembled in Sweden, drop me a PM.

This sounds really interesting. I’ll keep it in mind.

There’s just tons of legal stuff to research when it comes to import and sale. Don’t know if I have the energy to go through with this…

Flashy Mike
Flashy Mike's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2016 - 16:38
Posts: 1222
Location: Germany

I started a computer business very similar dekades ago as a young man and I actually also thought of doing some flashlight business. But with all the duties and liabilities nowadays for manufacturers and sellers (European Product Liability Act, EC Conformity Mark, Waste Framework Directive, online marceting rules, and many more) I gave up on this idea.

Mike C
Mike C's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 51 min ago
Joined: 01/22/2014 - 08:03
Posts: 2485
Location: Sweden

mustig wrote:
There’s just tons of legal stuff to research when it comes to import and sale. Don’t know if I have the energy to go through with this…

I certainly don’t… not right now anyway… And there’s probably even more legal stuff to research if it comes to design and assembling, not just simply importing. So far I just sell to friends under the radar.
mustig
mustig's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 sec ago
Joined: 11/22/2017 - 14:50
Posts: 68
Location: Sweden

Flashy Mike wrote:
I started a computer business very similar dekades ago as a young man and I actually also thought of doing some flashlight business. But with all the duties and liabilities nowadays for manufacturers and sellers (European Product Liability Act, EC Conformity Mark, Waste Framework Directive, online marceting rules, and many more) I gave up on this idea.

And also now GDPR coming…
yasenf
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 02/10/2017 - 14:33
Posts: 251
Location: Bulgaria

I was thinking of organizing such online store, but so far my calculations show it is not that feasible:

Say you order a Convoy for $20 and another one for $50 from China. If both declared under $20, will be shipped free to my door. If declared with real values, first one also will be shipped free, so total cost $20, second one will cost $50+$10VAT+$8 customs declaration= total $68 and few hours in customs office.

If I open business, I will have to pay $45 (dealer price)+$$$transport+5% duty+20%VAT+warranty+inventrory financing+ administrative for the company (office/accounting, etc.) +store/transaction cost+transport within EU – I guess with no profit the price should go up by minimum 40% from promotional prices of Gerabest and Banggood, i.e. 80-100$.

Everything sold in EU should be offered with 2 year warranty (the flashlights), so some percentage should be dedicated to warranty repairs – it is not feasible to return to China for repair. Here we can add reuirements for packaging disposal, preparation of necessary documents if you have check from consumer protection office or metrology office, etc.

There is VAT law in EU, saying, that if you sell from Bulgaria to Germany, you should register your company with German VAT number and charge German consumer with German VAT and pay it to Germany. This adds enormous cost for administration. The turnaround is to find a German company, who sells to German consumer, but they have to cover their cost, i.e. less administrative cost, but more margin into the price – so cost is still there.

In order to have a good proposal, you have to have quite a good inventory, but flashlights and parts a re not fast moving consumer goods – average inventory should be 3-4 months. If you add up one month of travel from China, you end up with 5-6 months inventory, which is again cost, that has to be put into the calculation (or business will disapear in few months).

On top of these costs is maintaing online store and inventory program, hiring warehouse, etc. – again normal cost if you want to run a business. You can skip the store and go through Amazon/Ebay, but there the cost would be ~ 30% combined listing and payment (Amazon pay or Paypal).

Another topic is the transportation in EU – the smallest part can be sent in postal envelope – this costs 6 EUR from my country to most EU countries. I guess flashlight with size of Convoy C8 would be ~ 10EUR.

If you add all these (necessary) costs to the $20 flashlight, you will reach not so nice amount and I doubt someone will buy it on this price.

If I am wrong somewhere in the calculations, please correct me, I will be more than happy to start this type of business.

FPV
FPV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 07/14/2017 - 12:36
Posts: 575
Location: Traveling on the job

I think for stock lights you’d need decent amount of volume moved and this appears to be difficult with flashlights. Regular consumers do not understand all the technical details, compare against wild competitor claims (look at all the $5 ebay lights with 5,000 lumens), and most people really won’t understand high price points. When I tell my friends that a good light is only 20-30 dollars they ask me why a flashlight would have to be “so expensive”.

Also, consumer flashlights that are used weekly or regularly have a good chance of failing in less than two years. Warranty rules in (most?) EU countries say that in these 2 years the consumer can ask for a repair or a replacement free of charge.

Which brings me to the potential production and sale of custom flashlight products. A custom flashlight product could have advantages of higher price points, a narrower/more focused customer group (hunters, people on expedition, businesses,..) and a more targeted business model. Also, warranty rules for custom-made products are different from stock/mass-volume products. I haven’t run any numbers but could imagine that a local or EU wide custom flashlight store could work for people who don’t want to learn how to mod or don’t have time/patience to buy all the parts/tools.
Margin could work if the amount of custom flashlight enthusiasts is large enough in that market.

ZoomieFan
ZoomieFan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 08/19/2016 - 05:25
Posts: 631
Location: Netherlands & Indiana

Perhaps the Chinese sellers will open warehouses in the EU. (they already have in the USA).
I’m sure the Chinese will do something because if they don’t it’s end of sales to the Europian market.

Chargers: 1xBasen BD01 5/5, 1x Gyrfalcon All-88 4/5, LiitoKala: 3x100 3/5, 2x202 3/5, 1x402 3/5., MiBoxer C4-12 3/5.
Flashlights: DQG Tiny III 26650 5/5, FiTorch MR35 3/5, Haikelite SC26 HD 3/5, Lumintop Tool AA/AAA 4/5, Nitecore LA10, Sofirn C01 BLF 3200k/5600k 2/5, Zebralight H600Fc 3/5.
Powerbanks: EasyAcc 26800 mAh 3/5, Xtar PB2 4/5, Xtar PB2S 5/5
Waiting for: (DQG Tiny) 21700 EDCs.

Flashy Mike
Flashy Mike's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2016 - 16:38
Posts: 1222
Location: Germany

FPV wrote:
I haven’t run any numbers but could imagine that a local or EU wide custom flashlight store could work for people who don’t want to learn how to mod or don’t have time/patience to buy all the parts/tools.
But since this modded lights are often hot rods you have a higher risk to be made liable for damages which can get very expensive.

Pages