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 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?

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

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!

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.

I’m curious if this is legal.

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

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).

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….

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

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… :person_facepalming:

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!

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.

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…

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.