The “custom taxes” put upon the price (including shipping fee) in Europe when importing goods from non-EU regions is in fact the VAT. The VAT varies mostly between 19-25% between countries. In Germany its 19 and Sweden 25.
The VAT is in fact put on top of the price on most - if not all - products you buy in Europe. But if you buy something from outside of EU, its separately added on the price. And its supposed to be added in the Pimax store checkout, which it accidentally didn’t in this case.
The difference compared to, lets say Oculus store, is that the VAT is automatically added to the sale price within EU, and not seperated from the price. Same as in any local or physical store in EU, VAT is always included in the price displayed.
An Oculus Quest costs 399 USD in US, while it costs 449 Euro in EU. This makes it roughly a 26% higher price i EU (just above 100 USD more) that covers the average VAT and extra fees that someone has to pay of course, and in this case you, as a customer.
Valve charges approximately 21/22% more from EU customers compared to US customers, which covers the average VAT in most EU countries.
Pimax is in no way unique by doing this.
And now you may be thinking:
- “but hey we never had to pay VAT during KS and until orders in mid 2019. Why is it included now?”
Yes. The simple answer is:
Pimax had to pay it. Just to make us, including backers, happy and make it fair for EU customers (as the rest of the world dont pay VAT upon importing).
As far as I understand it, Pimax lost in average 23% on each order in EU. And as you may understand, this is not a good way to keep a sustainable business in the long run.
So yes, VAT has to be paid by the customer, just like on basically any other store (Oculus, HTC, Valve) etc. No matter if you ship it through an EU hub (companies dont pay VAT between eachother). So the end-customer always has to pay the VAT. Which is me and you.
We can only blame the European Union for this nonsense. Or ourselves for still living here…