The one thing that I have some difficulty with is the VAT issues. I believe Decent declare the machine at a very low value of $500. They can get away with this because the argument that the hardware is only worth that and the value is in the software probably holds very true.
United Kingdom - Import Tax
The DE1 is always shipped with all taxes paid up front. The price we quote you here is the total price, delivered to your door.
Later in the sales process once you view your cart, Decent say:
VAT and import duty are charged on the espresso machine hardware, which has a declared value of: US $500. The espresso machine software is sent to you over the Internet and is not part of this shipment. Depending on your country’s tax laws, you may need to self-declare VAT to your government for having downloaded the espresso machine software.
I did this for their cheapest machine and shipped to the UK is £3111.
Shipping is £238, machines declared value is £392…a total of £630 of which Decent pays VAT and import of £105 on your behalf. The vat split is probably around 7% less than that total.
The machine actually costs £2874, but VAT is only paid on £392, leaving £2482 as the value of the software YOU download, and which YOU should be declaring and paying VAT of almost £500. To not do so means YOU are committing VAT fraud.
We live in a very woke society and I have seen many holier than though comments over the years about copying in China, dumping etc.. etc.. from people who later go on and buy a Decent. Whether they self declare, and pay the £500 VAT bill or not depending on the model they bought, I don’t know? It’s also say similar practices is probably true for many products purchased from Chinese companies who are popping up on Kickstarter and being pushed by influencers. Or even the under declaration of value, which means both you and the company are committing VAT fraud (although the VAT man won’t go after them.
Now to finish Decent are doing nothing illegal under this countries law or their own countries law….and they are actually telling you to declare the VAT (of course perhaps later in the process they give you a breakdown of how much VAT you need to declare, I haven’t gone that far? Overall though, the whole thing doesn’t sit well with me and it’s something people never seem to mention.
It doesn’t sit well because it’s slightly unfair competition and any VAT that people don’t pay, basically comes from me and other people who pay tax, thus supporting that model of doing business. Of course, please tell me where I am wrong!