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Buying on Ali Express

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MickDundee

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for those who've had experience ordering from Kegland on Aliexpress, if ordering a few things do you try and do it as separate orders to keep the value of the package down and therefore reduce your chance of being stung for import fees?
e.g. i notice they've now got Nukataps on there, if you wanted 3 would you order 3 separately or together? They are 21.44 Euro each, so below the 22 Euro cut off mentioned, my thinking is they'd not get picked up for import charges separately, but you have to pay delivery 3 times.
How much is the postage? Is it likely to be more than 20% of the cost of the items?
 

BlackRegent

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for those who've had experience ordering from Kegland on Aliexpress, if ordering a few things do you try and do it as separate orders to keep the value of the package down and therefore reduce your chance of being stung for import fees?
e.g. i notice they've now got Nukataps on there, if you wanted 3 would you order 3 separately or together? They are 21.44 Euro each, so below the 22 Euro cut off mentioned, my thinking is they'd not get picked up for import charges separately, but you have to pay delivery 3 times.
I've bought a lot from the Kegland Store on Ali Express. 11 separate orders in total and 2 or 3 of them were £50-£60 in total. I have never been hit with any kind of import charge at all. I can't comment on whether that is through sheer luck, the way in which they fill out the customs declaration or because UK customs can't be arsed. The thing with Ali Express is that the postage charge reduces if you buy multiple items at the same time so it will be cheaper to buy all the taps as part of the same order. If I were in your shoes and based on my experience, I would buy all the taps as part of one order and take my chances. But don't take that as a guarantee it will sail through customs!
 

obscure

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I am about to receive some stuff from Shenzhen China tomorrow, value about £100.
I'm tracking it via DHL and I have little idea how the duty and VAT will work. I think the duty is exempt.
I'm expecting to get a DHL notification that I have to pay them duty, VAT and handling before they deliver?


Tax and duty
You’ll be contacted by Royal Mail, Parcelforce or the courier company explaining how to pay any VAT, duty and fees for dealing with customs.
They’ll normally hold your parcel for about 3 weeks. If you haven’t paid the fee by then, it’ll be sent back.
VAT
You pay VAT on goods sent from non-European Union (EU) countries and EUspecial territories (eg the Canary Islands) if they’re:
  • gifts worth more than £39
  • other goods worth more than £15
  • alcohol, tobacco products and fragrances (eg perfume, eau de toilette and cologne) of any value
You have to pay VAT on all goods sent by mail order from the Channel Islands no matter what their value.
You’ll be charged at the VAT rate that applies to your goods. VAT is charged on the total value, including:
  • the price paid for the goods
  • postage, packaging and insurance
  • any duty you owe
Customs Duty
You’ll be charged Customs Duty on gifts and other goods sent from outside the EU if they’re above a certain value.
The value includes:
  • the price paid for the goods
  • postage, packaging and insurance
Type and value of goodsCustoms Duty
Anything under £135No charge
Gifts worth £135-£6302.5%, but rates are lower for some goods - call the helpline
Gifts above £630 and other goods above £135The rate depends on the type of goods and where they came from - call the helpline
You will almost certainly not be charged customs fees however you will likely be charged VAT.

DHL will also charge you for paying the fees on your behalf

When DHL pays Duty and VAT on your behalf, an Advance Payment or Disbursement charge will be added to your Duty and VAT statement/invoice for clearing the shipment through customs.

The charge is currently £11.00 or 2.5% of the total Duty and/or VAT incurred, whichever is the greater.

If the total Duty and/or VAT incurred is less than £440 then a flat amount of £11.00 will be incurred as this is less than 2.5%

For example, if the total Duty and/or VAT amount equals £125.80, then £11.00 will apply.

The 2.5% will be incurred if the total Duty and/or VAT is greater than £440.00. For example, if the total Duty and/or VAT amount equals £490.00 then an amount of 2.5% will apply i.e. £12.25.
So you will likely have VAT at 20% so £20 on your £100 order plus an £11 processing fee so about £31 in charges. This is based on the DHL website and is by no means guaranteed you may end up paying more or you may be lucky and pay nothing. I take the approach that if it sails through with no charge great but always assume I am going to get charged when deciding if I should buy locally or from overseas.
 

Thatscold

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I recently ordered a pump from AliExpress but chose a seller located in Spain it was more expensive than China, but free delivery by DPD and I had it in 3 days. £45 vs £85 from Malt Miller
 

BlackRegent

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Another update on the user experience of buying on Ali Express.

I decided I'd try and save myself 30 quid and recently bought the Bucket Blaster off Ali Express. I knew I was taking a bit more of a risk with this as: (a) it's worth more; and (b) it's a much bigger item than the previous bits and bobs I've ordered.

Despite getting stuck in a Belgian black hole for a couple of weeks, it arrived around 5 weeks from ordering (and that includes the Xmas period). The box was a bit battered, but the contents were fine and it works as expected (although I have to say I'm underwhelmed by the product as it didn't do a great job of shifting the krausen line on the fermenter I cleaned with it last night).

You have to laugh at the customs delcaration (see below). This must be why no-one is asking me for any duty when it comes into the country! I should add this is entirely unsolicited and it must be what they do as a matter of routine.

20210112_132753.jpg
 

AdeDunn

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Just to note, buying on AliExpress isn't as cheap any more, and kind of pointless, the savings are much much smaller. Basically with the new rules the UK is under, they have had to register to pay VAT in the UK, and this is applied when you come to check out. I tried it, and on an item costing roughly £30 it added another £12, putting the price very close to the same item ordered from UK suppliers.

So, for us folks in the UK, it's not the bargain venue it once was now.
 

Justin Dean

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Another update on the user experience of buying on Ali Express.

I decided I'd try and save myself 30 quid and recently bought the Bucket Blaster off Ali Express. I knew I was taking a bit more of a risk with this as: (a) it's worth more; and (b) it's a much bigger item than the previous bits and bobs I've ordered.

Despite getting stuck in a Belgian black hole for a couple of weeks, it arrived around 5 weeks from ordering (and that includes the Xmas period). The box was a bit battered, but the contents were fine and it works as expected (although I have to say I'm underwhelmed by the product as it didn't do a great job of shifting the krausen line on the fermenter I cleaned with it last night).

You have to laugh at the customs delcaration (see below). This must be why no-one is asking me for any duty when it comes into the country! I should add this is entirely unsolicited and it must be what they do as a matter of routine.

View attachment 39411
On krausen line, I use a bucket blaster too, just give it wipe with a cloth after 10 mins of blasting and it will wipe off easy
 

dave_77

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I recently purchased 3 inline regulators and maybe 15 different duotight connectors (similar to John guest). Came to £32 quid with delivery from kegland store. No further charges from royal mail in the UK or tax. I ordered it on 23 December and I think it arrived on 6th January. Very impressive.
I will use it again for small items but delivery costs aren't worth it for bigger items from what I can see.
 

BlackRegent

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I wish my order was as smooth. I ordered a stainless BIAB basket.
Arrived in the UK and stuck in customs since Christmas Eve
@chopps Are you sure it's in the UK yet. If you go to the Ali Express website (not the mobile app) and go to "My Orders" in your account. Then hover the cursor over the "Track Order" button (don't click it) you seem to get more info about the whereabouts of the package than just going into the "track order" section (perversely). I thought the bucket blaster was in the UK but by doing the cursor hover thing, I discovered it was actually in Liege, which is where there is a big customs clearance warehouse. It was eventually released from there and delivered to me in the UK about 2-3 weeks later.
 

ssparks

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My order has also been stuck since the 24th, I'm wondering if the whole customs and brexit thing is showing down things
 

BlackRegent

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@chopps That's not what I mean. That is what you get if you click the the "Track Order" button. If you have the cursor over that button a window pops up that seems to give you more specific information. That is how I discovered the bucket blaster was stuck in Liege even though I had received a notification that it had arrived in the destination country. See below for an example of what I mean...


Photo.png
 

BlackRegent

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@chopps That means it's in Belgium, not the UK. I did a bit of research as I didn't know what "Liege Linehaul" meant. Apparently it is a big warehouse in Belgium where they do all the customs clearance and parcels are known to get stuck there for some time. It seems to be unpredictable as to how long they will stay there, but it does seem that they will be released eventually. In my case, it was in Liege for just over two weeks before being released and then it was a further few days before it was delivered to me.
 

Spratt

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I've had 7 orders with them since July. One of them a 4 L growler cost £25 but I then had to pay about £3 duty on it and then £8 handling charge to Royal Mail. 2 other items were returned to sender with no other explanation. The second of these was only sent back on 8th Jan so I 'm not sure about the refund position on that yet, but the refund on the previous one, came through without a hitch.

So, four orders were fine, 3 had problems. As some-one else has said, the difference between their prices and UK ones is reducing, and as I think the Peking government's approach to Hong Hong is pretty grim, I'm happy never to buy anything from them again.
 
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