Why are American Made Products so expensive abroad (Europe, Australia, etc.): how international shipping, tariffs, Customs, Duties, and VAT Work
What’s in a price?
If you think Qore Performance products are more expensive outside the USA, you’re right. But this isn’t just because we are a bunch of freedom-loving Patriots. No, the costs are real, but we work to keep them as low as possible for our International friends. Here’s the low-down:
The total cost of every product has three general elements:
- The price of the product itself
- The price of transporting the product from our warehouse to the destination
- The cost of any duties or taxes imposed on the sale.
For a pair of IceVents Classic Shoulder Pads shipped to a US location, this looks something like this:
FedEx Two-Day Shipping: $12
Taxes: $0-$5 (we are only obligated to collect tax in certain states)
All-in, this pair of IceVents will cost between $82 and $87 in the US.
Shipping does not always increase with product cost, however. In fact, ordering three pair of IceVents Classic Shoulder Pads will incur the same shipping cost as ordering one, since both get shipped in the same packaging:
FedEx Two-Day Shipping: $12
Taxes: $0-$13 (we are only obligated to collect tax in certain states)
Thus three pair of IceVents will only cost you between $222 and $225 in the US; the unit cost is lower by around 10% due to the lack of additional shipping charges.
As we move overseas, not only do shipping costs increase, but taxes/duties from different countries become a huge part of the cost. For example, in most other European countries the Government levies massive amounts of additional charges on products coming in from the US. Here’s the same pair of IceVents shipped to France:
FedEx International Priority Shipping: $35
All-In Total: $133(!)
You’ll note that only about half of what you are paying goes towards the cost of the product. Unfortunately, the VAT, Customs, and Duties are well beyond our control. Any efforts to lower those would require basically committing International Mail Fraud in misreporting valuation of products shipped, a road we are not willing to entertain (if another company does, have your guard up for where else they are willing to cut corners).
As for shipping: While we continue to negotiate for better International shipping rates (which we pass through at cost), the rates we offer are quite affordable (and expedient) compared to what we have seen elsewhere. Ultimately, these rates are driven by the costs carriers themselves incur - namely acquiring space on flights, fuel charges, and labor. It’s no surprise as fuel costs have increased and the labor markets have tightened that shipping charges have increased commensurately.
On top of that, the government taxes everything not on the value of the product alone, but *also* on the shipping cost. So the more expensive shipping is, the more cost there is for International customers.
We realize this knowledge may be depressing for our International customers, so we are working to bring on elite distribution partners across the globe. How does this lower cost? Simple - shipping cost does not scale directly with weight; larger orders reduce the per-unit shipping cost by leaps and bounds. Instead of paying $35/item on shipping, distributors can place orders that, efficiently packed, lowers their per unit shipping cost as low as $3. (think one pair of IceVents at $35 versus 100 pair in one box at $300).
Since taxes and duties get applied on shipping charges as well as product charges, this can be an outrageous difference in cost - and allows our distributors (at scale) to offer you Qore Performance products for a lower price than you can get directly from us. While it still will be more expensive than getting product directly from us in the US, reaching out to your in-country distributor will likely be the best way for you to get product for the lowest possible price. That, and voting for freedom-loving, Patriotic policies.
Click here for a full list of Qore Performance International Distributors.
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