Postage and Import costs limiting sale of New products.
Why cheaper postage costs are needed as seen on most eBay, AliExpress is that once you use DHL FedEx, who are very good, the cost of the carriage mean that the product cost accelerate in cost due to the Carrier, and in addition the product is immediately inspected for customer taxes as the cost of carriage is greater than the minimum import value level. This mean that the product is then liable for Customs declaration of fees. For samples that are purchased this make them excessively expensive
I thought I would show the effect for purchase of one of the new CubeCell GPs Boards at $19.99 from the Heltec Site, for the EU/UK thought the VAT level will alter per country.
Background on cost. Below £15 (10€-22€) no charges after VAT is paid on electronic good in UK this is 20% other EU countries may be different. Customs duty is payable on top of the other charges when the amount exceeds £135 (150€) after this then in the UK the rate is 2.5% up to £630 when amount is charged based on the goods classification other countries have different amount of taxes.
So, On the Heltec Website the GPS board is $19.80 with current carriage cost DHL is $ 28.20 for the UK and $26.20 for EU, so a total cost of $48 or $46 respectively.
When it is received in the UK, there will be an automatic check in customs as DHL cost in itself will exceed the minimum amount. There will then be, an additional fee of £12 ($15) for DHL customs handelling fee, the fee for VAT of ($9.60). The total cost therefore for the buyer in the UK is £58.08 ($72.60) for a product that cost $19.80 some 367% more!
Compare to with normal postage cost service previousity the customs check is only on the value declared and so in this case it would be unlikely subject to tax and the buyer would have paid around $23 for the product.
I hope that Heltec find this useful and why at present I will not be buying samples with the current cost of carriage until either the Heltec site go back to normal postage or use the approaches for their own AliExpress Sites or Other where the carriage cost is only a few $.