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28 January, 2005

Tax-free shopping

A new (to me) feature at Amazon UK is that some (only some) items can now be ordered from the Jersey subsidiary of the company.  The advantage of doing so is that UK purchasers won't be charged VAT.
I can't help wondering whether this is exploiting a loophole which the Inland Revenue or Customs & Excise will close eventually, but there may be savings whilst it lasts.

On further examination, perhaps not. Such orders count as 'Marketplace' transactions, treating Amazon Jersey as an independent affiliate, not a branch of the main company. This means postage charges apply to each individual item, and can't be combined - two items, two postage charges. Orders don't count towards 'Special Delivery', either (purchases at the main site with a combined total over £19 qualify for free postage).

This means I probably needn't have mentioned the opportunity. For example, were I to buy the 'League Of Gentlemen' live DVD at Amazon Jersey, it'd cost £5.63 plus £1.24 for delivery, whereas the normal Amazon UK price is £6.97 with free postage if combined with a further £12.03 of items (not a problem!). A saving of 10p is of limited interest, especially if the tax authorities do impose import duty, as Amazon admit could happen.

Comments

Neil, you should know - the Jersey edition of the League Of Gentlemen Live DVD is only for local people

(sorry)

Posted by Siobhan at January 28, 2005 06:02 PM

Tesco also have a Jersey-based store (jersey.tesco.com) and Play.com is based out there. But I think Gordon Brown is intent on cracking down in this.

Posted by Neil T. at January 28, 2005 09:30 PM
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