How Sweden has ruined online shopping from China

Almost 10 years of shopping on eBay has come to an end! From the beginning of March, Sweden started to collect value-added tax, plus a fee of 75 crowns (about 7,5 euros) on each parcel from outside the EU (SvD). This is rather a lot, as most of the items we order from China (or anywhere else in Asia) cost a couple of Euros, and suddenly, instead of 2, you pay almost 10. And if you don’t pay, your more or less precious item will be sent back to its country of origin.

Although, from time to time this has been annoying me, as the new iPhone case costs 5-10 times more at a store in Sweden, compared to a Chinese website, all this makes sense. For one, Postnord, the Swedish postal service has been handling many, many parcels from China during the last couple of years, which has been costly for them. Also, this might support the economy in Sweden (I have no idea how much actually), as instead of ordering from Wish, I’ll now be more likely to purchase that t-shirt from a local store. This has also been a great opportunity for Swedish companies like Fyndiq to sell cheap stuff from China to Swedes and help them avoid the costs.

Finally, being used to be able to order almost anything on a fraction of the price here in the Nordics has lead into many of us ordering a lot of stuff we don’t necessarily need. With all the climate change and the first world people drowning into stuff, this might just be one of the first steps towards a better future. You can, of course, avoid the fees by ordering first to another EU country and have it then shipped to Sweden, but as most of the purchases from China are so called “low involvement decisions”, it doesn’t feel like it would be worth the effort. And personally, I now think twice before placing my order. In the past I wouldn’t waste 15 seconds for consideration.

Movie of the Week: Spirited Away (2011)

Hayao Miyazakis horror film for children (or adults alike) tells a story about a brave 10-year-old girl, Chihiro who gets lost in a ghost town alone and how she manages to escape and find her parents again. I’ve never had a thing on anime, but have become more and more interested on this special genre with fans of all ages and will definitely watch more in the future.

Much like in a dream,  most of the film takes place in a maze with all kinds of weird spirits and monsters with days and nights passing by. Chihiro manages to overcome the obstacles and with courage and kindness get even the toughest spirits on her side. This was one of the major themes of the film, as something for kids to learn from and for some of us grown ups too. Other important themes of the film are the environmental impact of humans and capitalism. The environmental damage can be seen in the scene of the stinky spirit entering the bathhouse, filled with all kind of nasty waste. Capitalism on the other hand is presented as Yubaba taking Chihiros name, thus forcing her to create new identity, as well as presenting how the other humans and spirits work hard for her.

A rather long film (125 min) but for sure, keeps the viewer entertained during the film and leaving a lot to think about afterwards.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5