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.

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