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Order Phone from Banggood/Aliexpress/Geekbuying (China) = Vat + Import Duties?


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Hi guys,

What is your experience from ordering a phone from any of the Chinese discount sites? Is vat + duties always applied or is there any way to get around this?

 

"A friend" told me if you use the slowest shipping method it never gets taxed. If you use DHL it always get taxed...

 

Big price difference, that's why I'm asking. Thx!

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I've bought a couple of phones from BangGood and countless things from AliExpress and never had a problem with anything getting stopped by Customs. 

The only package that was ever stopped was sent by FedEx from China. Customs explained that I needed FDA approval, an import agent and then the 200% taxes too. It's still sitting in the FedEx facility in BKK.

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Cell phones HS Code 8517.12.0000 should be zero duty plus 7% VAT on CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) value.

 

BUT

 

As a radio transmitter you need an import licence and type-approval (which you won't get).

 

You may get away with it of course, it depends how it's sent (no couriers).

 

May just be easier to buy the phone here.

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20 hours ago, Crossy said:

May just be easier to buy the phone here.

I tend to just buy here, concerned over compatibility issues with Chinese model phone network band compatibilities with Thai services, mainly because I don't understand/have time to keep up with them all?

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Iv brought loads of phones form Alibaba and never had to pay tax and everyone has been delivered.

What i normally do if i looking for a new phone , checkout the price on alibaba or similar then check on Lazdada, if the price is only 500-1000 more on Lazada i buy it off them, that way dont have to wait 2+weeeks and also worry about the phone getting lost in the post.

As OP friend says, i brought a new football shirt from the fototball club which they send using DHL and low be hold it was like 50% taxt ontop at the post office.

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5 hours ago, 2008bangkok said:

I've brought loads of phones form Alibaba and never had to pay tax and everyone has been delivered.

What i normally do if i looking for a new phone , checkout the price on alibaba or similar then check on Lazdada, if the price is only 500-1000 more on Lazada i buy it off them, that way dont have to wait 2+weeeks and also worry about the phone getting lost in the post.

As OP friend says, i brought a new football shirt from the fototball club which they send using DHL and low be hold it was like 50% taxt ontop at the post office.

That's good advice. If what you want is available on Lazada for not much more baht than the Chinese sites--and ships locally--it's worth it to buy it there.

 

If you buy from the Chinese sites and opt for their standard shipping (can be free or lower-priced) you will get your items here without any 'interception'. Never had an issue with numerous items ordered from ali or geek, including a phone and other electronic devices. They all arrived customs-free. It might take up to 3-4 weeks for your purchases to arrive, though. Which is why the Lazada option is better--locally shipped and not shipped from China--if you want something sooner rather than later.

Edited by rwilem
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Thanks for all the advice. I agree going with Lazada etc. first but when it comes to some of the higher end phones model the price difference gets quite steep, so I'll buy from one of the Chinese sites. 

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7 minutes ago, aldriglikvid said:

Thanks for all the advice. I agree going with Lazada etc. first but when it comes to some of the higher end phones model the price difference gets quite steep, so I'll buy from one of the Chinese sites. 

Based on my experience I would give Aliexpress a VERY wide birth. In my opinion most these sites is a pure luck of the draw. My luck in non existent.

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Over about 3 years, I bought 5 or 6 phones from Gearbest/Banggood and was never charged duty.  Always used the cheapest shipping method, usually China Post though they usually ended up being delivered to me in Bangkok by DHL.  Perhaps DHL does their local fulfilment.  I was never charged any duty/VAT at all.  The only time I had to pay duty was on a tablet that cost $250.

 

The last phone I bought from Gearbest was defective and I have never bought any expensive device from them again. 

Their warranties are essentially worthless.

I had an endless, time consuming back & forth with Gearbest customer service, them demanding I return the phone to them at my expense and they would examine the phone and determine if it was indeed defective and if they decided it wasn't, it would be returned to me, again at my expense.   That useless phone is still in a drawer someplace.  

 

Unless the price locally in Thailand is significantly higher, either retail or online, I'd say leave the Chinese online sellers alone.  They are fine until something goes wrong.   Lazada isn't always great but you do at least have 7 days to return a defective item and that is a huge advantage.

 

 

Edited by dddave
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