How to avoid import taxes on Ebay orders.


Avoiding is not the same as illegal

Whenever you buy products on Ebay, you run the risk that you have to pay vat and/or import taxes when your packages enter the country.

This can suddenly make a China part a lot more expensive.

For example, here in Belgium (where I live) the import taxes can be somewhere between 5 and 30% , vat is 21% on most products and if you’re unlucky your mail carrier can also charge you around €10 to €15 for the “work” to handle your package through customs.

But…. it doesn’t always have to be that way and mostly it simply is NOT like that.

For example, if you have to buy 3 products that each cost $20 in China and come with free shipping, there are 2 possibilities.

  1. You buy the 3 items at once and let the nice Chinese people ship it for free to your home address. The Chinese already put a lower value on your package, but customs are not dumb. If they “think” that the value is higher than €20 ($22.40) then they charge you all these extra costs. Bad luck… this can be done better

2. You could buy the 3 packages 1 at a time. So on Monday you buy 1 item at $20 and let the nice Chinese people ship it (free of course) to your home. When you get the message that your package is shipped (mostly 1 day later) then you buy another item so you are sure that they don’t send your items TOGETHER in 1 single package. If you repeat that for the 3 items, then your packages arrive in 3 parts (and not at the same time) at customs. In Belgium (and probably in other countries too) smaller packages with a value less than €20 (+- $22.40) are excluded of any taxes because they are not BIG orders. 2 possibilities again

  • If customs think that your item is worth MORE than €20, then you will want to charge you the extra costs, but you can prove (Ebay invoice, Paypal statement) that you did NOT pay more than €20 for it. In that case they can NOT charge you extra costs.
  • Mostly you be just lucky that they do not even ask for any extra money. Asking for legal papers/invoices is a lot of extra work for customs, so if they are in doubt if it is worth it, they mostly just don’t touch it.

So that is why it is always better to buy your product on Ebay / Aliexpress / … in smaller orders and not group them. Do it, it’s your money!

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