The risks of "cheap" foreign providers

Chinese dropshippers: at your own risk!

Some companies operate in the Netherlands from China / Hong Kong and ship items directly from the manufacturer (in that country) to the Netherlands. This is called dropshipping and because these parties are not based in the Netherlands, they unfortunately do not have to bother much about Dutch legislation and the tax authorities ( although there are plans to tackle this ). The shipments are often imported for a much lower value, so that Dutch taxes are avoided, but you can still pay for this yourself when checking.

In week 48 of 2019, was closed by order of the public prosecutor:

Examples of such companies

Inexpensive as long as it goes well, but ...

Although these parties usually deliver, there are still the necessary risks. Especially when something goes wrong you often hear nothing, it takes a long time and you cannot reach them. Returning and crediting your purchase is also often a hassle (so read their conditions carefully). Repairs are often not possible and warranty issues take a long time because it has to go up and down to China, and the cheapest options (ship) take 4-5 weeks.

Although some customers report that they made a nice purchase for a nice amount, although of course it took 3-6 weeks, there are also a lot of people who experience dull misery and are seriously disappointed. You only have to read the reviews in the links above to find many shrines. There is a more than reasonable chance that this will happen to you.

The disadvantages at a glance

  • Long delivery times (from China, through dropshipping)
  • No Dutch customer service and contact is only possible by email (and often in English).
  • Bad return and warranty conditions that you almost always have to pay (heavily) for.
  • Often no possibility to have your product repaired and warranty issues take a long time.
  • Some brands do not service gray import products from outside Europe (including DJI).
  • High return and administration costs (sometimes up to € 20 + per case).
  • Little substantive product knowledge and support
  • There is no product liability and you as an "importer" are responsible for damage if accidents occur due to technical problems of the product.
  • Risk that you still have to pay tax at the door or that the package will be confiscated.

How do you recognize a Chinese dropshipper?

  • Find the contact and about us page. Here you will often find the business address, a telephone number that starts with +86 (China) or +85 (China) or office hours with a Chinese time sin.
  • Webshops that are often very busy full of flashing banners that keep coming back and are full of mega sales and discount promotions. A bit like the webshops may have looked like here 10-15 years ago.

DJI may not provide service on your purchase!

If you order DJI products from China at a dropshipper, these are almost always gray import products that are actually intended for the "territory" Asia. DJI does not like this and their terms and conditions state that they only provide service bcollect the territory for which the product was created. If you have purchased a Chinese version of a DJI product and are having problems with it, you cannot use the excellent, fast service of DJI in Europe, regardless of whether it is under warranty or not. You then have no choice but to send the product to China at your own expense and risk for repair / warranty.

How do you recognize a DJI product for the EU?

You can recognize DJI products for Europe by (EU) after the product name on the label. DJI products are bound to regions by serial number, and service is provided only in the region for which the product was intended. Dronekenner only sells EU products. If this is not the case, you have bought a DJI product that cannot be repaired or replaced in Europe and you will have to return the product to the relevant region (China) with all the consequences and long waiting times. Unfortunately, we have already had to disappoint several customers because we cannot and cannot take such products back, and cannot provide any service on them.

Tax avoidance (fraud)

What is not stated during ordering is that you are actually the importer and are responsible for any VAT, import duties and customs costs. eGlobal Central effectively avoids (import) taxes that Dutch companies have to pay. Unfortunately, this is due to gaps in international agreements and import controls that use tricks, such as misrepresenting products that usually make them slip through the cracks. Expensive drones are not "toys" and if customs intercepts a drone, you are responsible for the import tax. eGoblal Central will pass this "benefit" on to you, while you run the risk of having to pay for it upon delivery. It is up to you whether you have a moral / fundamental objection to this. Read more about a bill to ban this fraud here .

In week 48 of 2019, was closed by order of the public prosecutor:

No responsibility and liability

These Chinese companies do not or hardly have to pay any attention to Dutch or European laws and regulations. As a Chinese company, they are virtually untouchable and can often circumvent Dutch law with impunity, even if they are regularly caught and parcels intercepted. Hopefully this will change soon.

And of course the questions remain

  • Do you really want to do business with companies from abroad that do not care about the local legislation (no protection) and avoid tax at the expense of Dutch entrepreneurs?
  • How much do these companies value your rights and their obligations?
  • Is the risk worth the savings?

This choice and the risk is up to the customer

The choice is yours, as is the risk. The savings are sometimes considerable, but when things go wrong there is no protection whatsoever, you may run into the lamp yourself and there is no one to complain about and take it up for you, such as the Thuiswinkel Waarborg that all our Kenners webshops are affiliated with. (with independent complaints committee and strict controls).

Abolish exemption for imports of small consignments - COM (2016) 757

Imports of small shipments are currently exempt from VAT. These are shipments with a value of no more than € 10 to € 22 (this amount must be determined by each Member State). The collection costs for such shipments would not outweigh the revenues.

The Internet has made ordering outside the EU increasingly easy. The use of the exemption has increased explosively. EU providers are unattractive for such shipments because they do have to charge VAT. The distortion of competition must end with the abolition of the exemption.

The current exemption also appears to apply to imports of much higher value shipments; outright fraud. Here, too, the abolition of the exemption should have a healing effect.