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Thread: Buying 2ndhand from the EU

  1. #1
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Buying 2ndhand from the EU

    Has anyone yet bought a 2ndhand watch from a dealer in Europe since the Brexit deal went live?

  2. #2
    Journeyman
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    I haven’t but have read up on the guidance a bit. It’s not good news. Goods coming in are subject to vat and duties at 20%+ on the full value. Even if the dealer is able to remove the vat they pay locally and make the full value smaller the impact will be small as dealers tend to only pay vat on the spread they make on the sale!


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  3. #3
    Master
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    Seems like UK/Euro used sales are a dead duck now.

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  4. #4
    Craftsman petay993's Avatar
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    That is going to hit the big UK Greys Hard!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by petay993 View Post
    That is going to hit the big UK Greys Hard!
    Why? The big UK greys are also EU businesses. The other UK businesses will just have to get their stock from the UK.
    It's just a matter of time...

  6. #6
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    Exactly the same as buying from the US now. 20% tax on anything about £39 i think? If marked as a gift.

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  7. #7
    Grand Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Just be careful. Ebay charge the vat but carriers are also charging it on occasion. Leads to double taxation - I’ve just claimed some back (successfully)


  8. #8
    Master Plake's Avatar
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    This is not good news.

  9. #9
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    Excuse my ignorance, but what about from a private seller, say on Chrono24... I take it there is nothing to pay?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but what about from a private seller, say on Chrono24... I take it there is nothing to pay?
    Private seller will be 20% VAT

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  11. #11
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but what about from a private seller, say on Chrono24... I take it there is nothing to pay?
    Think of it a Customs Officer's point of view, he checks a parcel and over a certain limit (about 30 US dollars) he charges 20% VAT - end of.

    Doesn't matter if it's new, second hand, came from eBay or Uncle Ted in Japan - the outcome will always be the same no matter how many different ways people ask the same question...

  12. #12
    Master Plake's Avatar
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    I guess we need to try to claw back the mindbogglingly massive annual hit to the exchequer somehow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Think of it a Customs Officer's point of view, he checks a parcel and over a certain limit (about 30 US dollars) he charges 20% VAT - end of.

    Doesn't matter if it's new, second hand, came from eBay or Uncle Ted in Japan - the outcome will always be the same no matter how many different ways people ask the same question...
    How did you know?!?!


  14. #14
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. I'm looking to buy from a German dealer. Their VAT rate is 19%, so if they knock that off and then I get charged 20% on import it wouldn't be the end of the world. But can/will they take the VAT of the full price? I'll have to ask them.

  15. #15
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I'm looking to buy from a German dealer. Their VAT rate is 19%, so if they knock that off and then I get charged 20% on import it wouldn't be the end of the world. But can/will they take the VAT of the full price? I'll have to ask them.
    They take the VAT off whatever the price is to you. (as opposed to RRP etc), BUT - that assumes they can be bothered with all that involves. They may find it easier just to limit sales to EU residents.

  16. #16
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
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    A EU dealer of used watches are likely to pay VAT on their profit only, so even if they can deduct, there would be a VAT cost. Is my understanding correct?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I'm looking to buy from a German dealer. Their VAT rate is 19%, so if they knock that off and then I get charged 20% on import it wouldn't be the end of the world. But can/will they take the VAT of the full price? I'll have to ask them.
    In principle correct except that, under VAT margin scheme rules, the dealer can only remove the VAT element of the profit he makes on the watch. E.G. the dealer buys a watch for €1000 and sells for €1500 all he can do is remove the VAT element of the €500 profit, not the full selling price. The net effect, once UK VAT is added, is the watch will cost you significantly more the the advertised price. Even so, that still may be cheaper than buying in the UK.

  18. #18
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    Short answer - same situation as when I get a watch sent from UK or EU to Australia. Buy used or private sale and I’ll pay GST here on the purchase price; buy new from a European dealer and pay GST on the ex VAT price. Shouldn’t be a hassle for the dealer as he doesn’t have to “ take off” the VAT. He simply doesn’t add it in the first place.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack View Post
    Short answer - same situation as when I get a watch sent from UK or EU to Australia. Buy used or private sale and I’ll pay GST here on the purchase price; buy new from a European dealer and pay GST on the ex VAT price. Shouldn’t be a hassle for the dealer as he doesn’t have to “ take off” the VAT. He simply doesn’t add it in the first place.
    Which can work for the original seller Tongan end customer, but still causes a large 20% increase for any used purchases being sent from the EU. Meaning effectively twice the VAT may have been paid, with one lot in the EU on original sale, and again when posted to the UK. I think a few people in the UK are going to be in for a big surprise when they buy their next product from the EU.

    Is GST still at 10%?
    It's just a matter of time...

  20. #20
    Master
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    Yes GST is still 10%. We’ll see what happens as the govt tries to rebuild finances post COVID. But we also have an exemption from GST when importing items under $1000, though items coming in from Amazon and some eBay sellers don’t qualify for that. So if I buy your SD 16600 I’ll pay GST when you’ve already paid it. If I buy a new X-33 from a UK dealer I’ll buy ex VAT then pay GST on arrival, and if you sell me your used Eddie for, say, £450 = $900 you’ll have paid VAT on the purchase but I won’t pay GST on import.

    Simple, really....

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I'm looking to buy from a German dealer. Their VAT rate is 19%, so if they knock that off and then I get charged 20% on import it wouldn't be the end of the world. But can/will they take the VAT of the full price? I'll have to ask them.
    If it is a new watch then you should be able to get it shipped without VAT. TNT are charging 2.5% to collect the VAT so I would budget on a 20.5% additional charge.

    If it is used or a private sale it will be much trickier/impossible to get the VAT removed at the source.

  22. #22
    Craftsman AKM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oconnorp View Post
    I haven’t but have read up on the guidance a bit. It’s not good news. Goods coming in are subject to vat and duties at 20%+ on the full value. Even if the dealer is able to remove the vat they pay locally and make the full value smaller the impact will be small as dealers tend to only pay vat on the spread they make on the sale!


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    According to an article on the WatchPro website, the margin scheme has ended and it's now import VAT on the full amount not the dealer's spread, at least that's how it works on watches going out from the UK to EU:

    Pre-owned watch sales to Europe “dropped to zero” since Brexit deal killed margin scheme

    https://www.watchpro.com/pre-owned-w...margin-scheme/

    I was unware of the scheme until the article popped up in a feed.

    About 4-weeks ago Paul Thorpe on YouTube, was saying that the trade deal was not going to bring about any changes, though he doesn't seem to be particularly insightful when it comes to international trade.

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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by AKM View Post

    About 4-weeks ago Boris Johnson on YouTube, was saying that the trade deal was not going to bring about any changes, though he doesn't seem to be particularly insightful when it comes to international trade.
    FTFY

  24. #24
    Craftsman AKM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB2 View Post
    FTFY
    LOL

    You certainly did.

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  25. #25
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    There have been a few interesting articles on the BBC News website recently about being people being caught out by the changes, ordering stuff online only to receive a couriers invoice for the duties or VAT when clearly they weren't expecting any.

    My EU buying days are over unless it's something I really want, can't get in the UK and I am happy to be hit with a VAT demand.

  26. #26
    This has created a lovely situation for lots of grubby dealers in the UK many of whom pay very little or no VAT. I know a chap who used to have a shop on Hatton Garden turning over millions. He openly told me he just opens and closes companies at will and had never paid VAT. And pays minimal corporation tax.

    Now, they can register for VAT. But claim they exported all their stock which is easy enough to fake. And now they don't have any VAT liability.

  27. #27
    Not a huge change to Barclays fees, as they weren’t the cheapest to use for EU purchases any way, but still, I see all the main banks are raising their fees/transaction charges:

    “We are changing our non-sterling transaction fee from 2.75% to 2.99% of the transaction amount.”
    It's just a matter of time...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdon View Post
    This has created a lovely situation for lots of grubby dealers in the UK many of whom pay very little or no VAT. I know a chap who used to have a shop on Hatton Garden turning over millions. He openly told me he just opens and closes companies at will and had never paid VAT. And pays minimal corporation tax.

    Now, they can register for VAT. But claim they exported all their stock which is easy enough to fake. And now they don't have any VAT liability.
    Did you blow him up to HMRC? I would have.

    Why would anyone not?

  29. #29
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdon View Post
    This has created a lovely situation for lots of grubby dealers in the UK many of whom pay very little or no VAT. I know a chap who used to have a shop on Hatton Garden turning over millions. He openly told me he just opens and closes companies at will and had never paid VAT. And pays minimal corporation tax.

    Now, they can register for VAT. But claim they exported all their stock which is easy enough to fake. And now they don't have any VAT liability.
    Paying minimal corporation tax is just down to accounting.
    Not paying VAT due would be another thing.

  30. #30
    Apprentice levkov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKM View Post
    According to an article on the WatchPro website, the margin scheme has ended and it's now import VAT on the full amount not the dealer's spread, at least that's how it works on watches going out from the UK to EU:

    Pre-owned watch sales to Europe “dropped to zero” since Brexit deal killed margin scheme

    https://www.watchpro.com/pre-owned-w...margin-scheme/

    I was unware of the scheme until the article popped up in a feed.

    About 4-weeks ago Paul Thorpe on YouTube, was saying that the trade deal was not going to bring about any changes, though he doesn't seem to be particularly insightful when it comes to international trade.

    Sent from my JSN-L21 using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the link, very interesting read. Signed the petition as well

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by AKM View Post
    According to an article on the WatchPro website, the margin scheme has ended and it's now import VAT on the full amount not the dealer's spread, at least that's how it works on watches going out from the UK to EU:

    Pre-owned watch sales to Europe “dropped to zero” since Brexit deal killed margin scheme

    https://www.watchpro.com/pre-owned-w...margin-scheme/

    I was unware of the scheme until the article popped up in a feed.

    About 4-weeks ago Paul Thorpe on YouTube, was saying that the trade deal was not going to bring about any changes, though he doesn't seem to be particularly insightful when it comes to international trade.

    Sent from my JSN-L21 using Tapatalk
    Import VAT (if any) has always been on the full amount.

  32. #32
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    I'm in Northern Ireland and we're still part of the EU single market for goods, so there will no doubt be an influx of goods coming here to be shipped to GB to circumvent the import duty etc.

  33. #33
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    I'm wondering how this new situation is going to affect watches sent to Europe for servicing or repair? My guess is that theoretically they should be exempt, but in practice Customs will slap charges on everything that passes their way...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    I'm in Northern Ireland and we're still part of the EU single market for goods, so there will no doubt be an influx of goods coming here to be shipped to GB to circumvent the import duty etc.
    I'm based in NI too and was wondering about that. What's stopping me starting a small used watch business and servicing the mainland UK?
    I mean other than my less than stellar business skills.

  35. #35
    Master robcuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    I'm based in NI too and was wondering about that. What's stopping me starting a small used watch business and servicing the mainland UK?
    I mean other than my less than stellar business skills.
    I’m sure you’d do a better job than many of those who were awarded multi-million pound PPE contracts ?

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    Did you blow him up to HMRC? I would have.

    Why would anyone not?
    Where do you start with this? There's no end

    The first time I heard of the "export" fraud was from an art gallery owner who used to occupy an incredible painting room near Tottenham Court Road. Someone I know bought a painting from him which was priced at 12k plus vat. Buyer asked for discount. Owner said he could do it vat free if the buyer brought him a postage label to show something had been posted outside the EU. The seller did not post anything himself. Buyer posted a parcel to outside eu, handed over this "proof" to seller, paid his 12k and took the painting away.

    The buyer still owns the painting and it has never been outside the UK during his ownership.

    This stuff is rife and frankly too easy to do. People take advantage of easy to circumvent rules.

  37. #37
    Journeyman
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    If it is a private sale or a dealer which has a physical store, it may be cheaper to fly over and make the trade in person, then import the watch on your wrist. Can get a holiday out of it too...

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by A.T. View Post
    If it is a private sale or a dealer which has a physical store, it may be cheaper to fly over and make the trade in person, then import the watch on your wrist. Can get a holiday out of it too...
    If you import the watch you will pay the VAT although avoid the handling fee. If you bring the watch in on your wrist your are probably smuggling it.

  39. #39
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB2 View Post
    If you import the watch you will pay the VAT although avoid the handling fee. If you bring the watch in on your wrist your are probably smuggling it.
    .
    Last edited by Fender; 28th January 2021 at 15:15.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    What if he flies back into Northern Ireland, sells it to me, then I sell it back to him for the same price.

    A ha!
    Eh?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Eh?
    Edited out loophole chat.
    Last edited by Fender; 28th January 2021 at 15:15.

  42. #42
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    This is a public part of the forum, advocating VAT avoidance and how to best exploit loopholes might not be the best plan.

    Just saying...

  43. #43
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    This is a public part of the forum, advocating VAT avoidance and how to best exploit loopholes might not be the best plan.

    Just saying...
    I’m not advocating VAT avoidance. I’m simply exploring the reality of the potential loopholes.

    Doesn’t even apply to me, thankfully.

  44. #44
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB2 View Post
    If you import the watch you will pay the VAT although avoid the handling fee. If you bring the watch in on your wrist your are probably smuggling it.
    serious question - reverse.

    I’ve bought all my watches in the UK and I’m about to pay for one in the next 2 weeks. How long do I have to own a watch before it is “mine”. I am planning to go and live in the EU permanently this year - so would I be liable to pay VAT on all my watches when I “import” them to the EU. What about all my other goods like a £2K camera with £2K of lenses, computers, furniture etc. - is VAT payable on those??? If I bought a £5K watch the day / or at the airport before leaving the UK would it be any different to a £30K watch I’ve owned for 10years?

  45. #45
    Craftsman
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    if its new, your be liable to duty and taxes (I can't remember the exact time limit)
    As far as your other personal effects, they'll be part of the transfer of residence, and therefore won't be liable to to any duty / taxes
    The rules that apply to transfer of residence for the UK will be similar to Spain, so you can find a lot of detail on GOV.uk...
    For European requirements in English, try revenue.ie (as its all in English)

  46. #46
    Advice please chaps, I have just bought one of Eddie’s watches from a chap in France, he paid Time factors for it and it was then exported to France last year, where he lives. Vat paid I guess and there is the original TF receipt with it on. Where does that leave me with the Vat and bringing it back to the U.K.?


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  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by kibrisjason View Post
    Advice please chaps, I have just bought one of Eddie’s watches from a chap in France, he paid Time factors for it and it was then exported to France last year, where he lives. Vat paid I guess and there is the original TF receipt with it on. Where does that leave me with the Vat and bringing it back to the U.K.?


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    You should have to pay VAT.

    The VAT is on your transaction (effectively a tax on spending), the watch doesn't attain some kind of tax free/paid status because tax was paid on its original purchase.
    Last edited by Kingstepper; 15th February 2021 at 21:12.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    You should have to pay VAT.
    But it’s already been collected once at point of sale, how is that right, I’m struggling to work it out?


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  49. #49
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kibrisjason View Post
    But it’s already been collected once at point of sale, how is that right, I’m struggling to work it out?


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    It doesn’t really matter what feels right.
    You’ll have to pay VAT on price of the watch+shipping costs.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by EJL25 View Post
    It doesn’t really matter what feels right.
    You’ll have to pay VAT on price of the watch+shipping costs.
    Ok and many thanks for taking the time to reply. But hypothetically speaking though, you could buy a watch in Dover, pay the VAT, ride the ferry to France, post it back to the U.K. and have to pay VAT again as an import ? A simplistic view I know but an accurate summary?


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