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New costs of buying from EU-based retailers should be clearer, says Which?

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Consumer watchdog Which? has called on the government and businesses to make new costs of buying from EU-based retailers clearer so consumers aren’t caught off guard be extra costs.

It comes as new import charges and returns policies have made post-Brexit shopping more difficult for Brits trying to buy from European retailers.

Two in five (42 percent) of people who ordered products online between the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1 and February 16 experienced some issues, according to a Which? survey of more than 2,000 members of the public.

Delays were the most common issue (24 percent), while 11 percent say they have been asked to pay additional handling or delivery fees. The average charge was 41 pounds, according to the survey, with some people paying up to 300 pounds.

Which? said a lack of clear information on retailers’ websites since the end of the Brexit transition period has meant these added costs have come as a surprise for many shoppers.

The consumer group said “government must work to make the processes for how these costs are charged as simple as possible for both businesses and consumers”. It added: “Businesses must also be upfront about whether the item is being imported from outside the EU and the charges consumers will have to pay if this is the case.”

Which? said it has regularly published the most up to date information available on the charges consumers can expect when shopping from the EU after receiving multiple queries from consumers.

UK shoppers are currently charged VAT at 20 percent, which is applied to most goods. If the total cost of the order is more than 135 pounds or a gift is over 39 pounds, VAT is often collected at the point of delivery.

And online shoppers who buy items from the EU which originate from further afield – for example from a seller based in China on an EU platform – and cost more than 135 pounds will also have to pay additional customs duties. This is because the product originates from outside the EU and so zero-tariff preference between the UK and EU does not apply.

This is different for shoppers in Northern Ireland because of the country’s unique position of remaining within the EU’s Single Market, meaning it remains aligned with EU VAT rules for goods.

“Many consumers across the UK could have been surprised to learn how often they buy from EU based retailers. After Brexit, many were caught off-guard by the new delivery charges and returns policies for parcels from the EU – and left footing unexpected bills,” said Which? consumer rights expert Adam French in a statement.

French continued: “Which? is calling on the government to make these charges clear for consumers so they are not surprised by the costs or, more concerningly, misled or scammed into paying extra charges. Businesses must also be up front about any extra charges so consumers can continue to shop across the border without any unnecessary complications.”

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Anne Barge has presented its SS22
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Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: VRAI Magazine via YouTube

Photo credit: VRAI Magazine, YouTube

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Fila collaborates with Flock Together initiative on capsule

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Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

Sportswear label Fila has unveiled a collaboration with birdwatching initiative Flock Together in the form of an apparel and footwear capsule, to be exclusively sold through LN-CC.

In a range of hike-wear gear made for urban exploring, the collection intends to bring people into nature and engage with their community. The selection includes a reinvented version of the Fila Trailblazer hiking shoe and two shearling fleece designs.

The colourways of the line are inspired by the Kingfisher bird, with a scannable near field communication (NFC) tag present in the hiking shoe that takes buyers to a dedicated page outlining the best places in the UK to spot a Kingfisher.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

15 percent of all sales of the collection will go towards the Flock Together community fund.

Buying and creative director at LN-CC, Reece Crisp, expressed his enthusiasm over the collaboration in a release, stating: “We’re super excited for LN-CC to be part of this project.

“Flock Together encompasses everything that’s great about community and wellness, two driving forces that are integral to LN-CC too.

“Flock Together’s growth has been both a reaction to, and antidote from, a difficult eighteen months by bringing people together and encouraging outdoor consciousness, so we are honoured to share our platform in amplifying its much-needed positivity while working with Fila in creating this tribute to the Kingfisher.”

Flock Together, founded back in the 2020 covid-19 lockdowns, brings BIPOC together to engage in birdwatching and other nature-oriented activities.

It has previously partnered on an event with Timberland, hosting a range of spoken word presentations at the nature reserve, Woodbury Wetlands. Sponsored by the apparel label, the event aimed to promote the voices in its growing community adjacent to guiding guests through the nature reserve.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

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Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: Jenny Yoo via YouTube

Photo credit: Jenny Yoo, YouTube

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