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Why Shopping Abroad Costs Less According To PayPal


Through working with PayPal came a great report about why exactly shopping abroad has become so popular. PayPal checked a series of products available in popular online shops in USA, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, China and several CEE markets. According to collected data in 2012/2013 China became one of the most popular online shopping destinations, placing ahead of USA and joining EU. In Europe, UK and Germany gained most credit and became relevant destinations for online acquisitions.

According to PayPal’s data, the biggest increase was posted when it came of payments towards UK stores, up 32% compared to previous year, while the ones made towards Chinese e-stores increased by 28%. The same growth was seen when it comes of payments made through PayPal by Polish users in German stores – up to 28%.

Why shop abroad?

Those who decide to buy online from abroad for the first time are a bit reluctant, among the most common concerns being the shipping costs and the fraud.

Damien Perillat, Managing Director PayPal Central and Eastern Europe:

“We have managed to overcome many of the barriers that stood in a way for international online shopping. Our system is now more convenient as it allows finalizing transaction within just few clicks without the necessity of sharing financial data. It is safe since it doesn’t require entering any personal data or logging to our bank account. And if anything goes wrong with the ordered merchandise, the customers are protected with our full buyers’ support. Besides, many of the online merchants offer PayPal users attractive privileges such as dedicated discounts and promotions”.

Free shipping, turning into a standard

eBay offers buyers looking for different products the option to select only offers with free shipping; moreover, the international e-commerce platform partners with a number of companies like Shipit, Borderlinx or Borderfree to make available shipping to the buyers from the countries which are not on merchant’s shipping list.

Because shipping costs are a problem for the buyers many times, more and more international e-merchants followed the eBay example and offer now free shipping for the products they sell (ASOS, DealExtreme)

According to the European Consumer Centre some of the UE legislations come in handy regarding buyer protection.  Within the whole European Union the right to legally withdraw from an agreement will be due to a fortnight, such form will be consistent to all member countries and the informational responsibilities have been broaden. Such support surely will make consumers feel safe and sound. However, this is not the end. The next move will be to implement the ODR mechanism i.e. online dispute resolution, which is an Internet platform created to solve arguments, especially between foreigners. Such regulations, passed in May 2013, would create a cheaper and easier way to end disputes between consumers and entrepreneurs both from the same country and abroad, without any legal necessity.

Reducing shipping costs

As everyone wants to maximize the benefits of buying online abroad, there’s some things that must be taken in consideration:


When shopping abroad, the buyers must consider that there might be extra taxes adding to the cost of the products they bought, like customs fees and VAT tax. In Poland, one doesn’t have to pay customs fee if the value of the merchandise is less than Euro 150, but he still have to pay the 23% VAT tax. If the value of the product ordered abroad is less than Euro 45, there’s no extra taxes or fees to be paid.

For bigger buys, of over Euro 150, only VAT is paid if they come from EU. If the products come from outside EU, customs fees vary and are regulated by Taric data-base which applies to the whole EU zone. For some items bought from outside EUlike digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones or gaming consoles there are no custom fees. For some of the other most popular items the custom fees are relatively low. For example, for footwear it’s up to 17%, for clothes up to 12%, according to TARIC regulation, depending on product’s specifications.

Text provided by PayPal Pricing Report 2014

Sociologist and researcher, particularly interested in what happens at the interface between individuals and society, nature and culture. Fan of commercials- claims that ads are Art! Admires pure form in any field of art. At PayLane responsible for good visibility, audibility, readability and brand presence. Thinks about new markets, channels and partners. Open to any form of cooperation. After work - follower of the slow food movement. Always finds time to support NGOs.

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