PayPal: Greeks prefer Britain and China  for online shopping from abroad

Britain (24%), China (22%) and the USA (19%) was last year’s the three most popular countries for online shopping for Greek users of PayPal, show the company’s details. Compared to 2012, last year Russia became one of the most popular internet shopping destinations, showing an increase of 68%, while purchases made in Chinese online stores increased by 44%. Significant growth occurred through PayPal by Greek users and to German stores, of the order of 18%.

At the same time, based on the analysis made by PayPal, the prices of the online stores abroad continued and in 2013 to undercut the prices in Greek stores. Checking prices in a range of products available in popular online stores in the US, Germany, UK, Russia, China and several central-Eastern European markets. 

According to data gathered by the company, Greeks buying from the USA can buy electronic products cheaper up to 37%, compared to Greek shops, games and toys up to 52% cheaper, as well as cosmetics 30% Cheaper and clothes about 50% more economical.

In Germany, games are 40% cheaper, compared to Greek stores, clothes up to 25% cheaper, while electronic products and cosmetics are sold at prices from 17% to 31% lower than in Greek.

The UK offers correspondingly competitive prices for clothing, almost 50% below the prices in Greek Online stores and great discounts also on cosmetics (-24%), games (-35%) and electronic products (-24%), while in China buyers can make the most advantageous markets in games (up to-78%) and clothing (44%).

When shopping abroad, buyers must bear in mind that there may be additional taxes added to the cost of the products they purchase, such as customs and VAT taxes. In Greece, no customs duties exist if the value of the merchandise is less than 150 euros, but buyers need to pay VAT 23%. 

If the value of the products is less than 45 euros, there are no extra taxes or charges. For larger markets, more than EUR 150, only VAT is payable if the goods originate in the European Union.

If the products originate outside the European Union, the customs costs vary and are controlled by the TARIC database, which applies to all euro area countries. For certain products purchased outside the European Union, such as digital cameras, cameras, mobile phones or consoles. There are no customs taxes. 

For some other popular products customs taxes are relatively low. For example, for footwear species, up to 17% are formed and for garments up to 12%, according to the TARIC, and depends on the specific characteristics of the product. 

As a few years ago the main obstacle to high-value transactions was a lack of trust and security, PayPal now offers 100% compensation for buyers who have a problem with the items they bought, i.e. if they don’t receive the Object or if the object does not respond to the description or even when buying an online service like filoxenia istoselidon (hosting). At the same time, some of the European Union’s legislation is useful for the protection of the purchaser. Throughout the European Union the right to withdraw from an agreement is legally extended to 14 days, with effect in all Member States, and the communication obligations of online stores have also been broadened, as regards Information they must share. This support makes consumers feel safer.

The next move is the integration of the ODR (online dispute resolution) mechanism, an online platform created to resolve disagreements, especially between different states. These legislations voted in May 2013 will create a more economical and easier way of resolving disputes between consumers and entrepreneurs, both from the same country and from abroad, without legal obligations.

Sally Tolliver

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