Shipping Talk

Continuing the discussion from Pure Strawberry:

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just out of interest, i wonder if one of you furriners could make like you’re about to order from RainbowVapes instead ? then report back on shipping costs? I ask cos i’d be surprised if they’re not as good as Chef;s for InternationaL shipping, but I can’t tell since I’m in the UK and therefore qualify for free shipping (just so long as i spend more than a tenner . Who wouldn’t? ). And , oddly enough, nobody outside the UK ever seems to mention them.

IIRC, I actually asked them about their International costs once , and they responded with it’s very economical but varies from country to country . But don’t quote me on that; that was a year or two back, and even if i recalled it correctly, it might have changed in the interim. What I really wanted to know, ofc, was "“Do Chefs really offer a better deal on shipping than you guys?”. Still wondering.

Oh! This isn’t a hijack, BTW (honest! :grin:) just following on from my observation further up this thread:

but since postage is very much an issue here, it’s hard to judge how useful that info might or might not be to the OP.



Rainbow are not bad it cost me ÂŁ14.99 to Au I got 4 x 100ml and 2 x 10 ml last time I ordered from them.


To Indonesia


Ah thanks :slight_smile: An actual figure at long last! Still, it’s a lot more than a fiver isn’t it? (Do chef’s still charge just a fiver for a package that heavy?) I wonder how much it costs to ship a similar package (or any size package, come to that) from RV to somewhere closer at hand such as Norway?

By the way, I’ve sometimes checked out the postage on some of your Aussie sites and found that incredibly cheap, even to get it halfway round the world to here. . So there’s another option for the OP to consider , potentially.

I think , maybe it’s only those damned Yanks who charge rip-off prices for postage. What a crying shame that they also make all the best flavors. :cry:


Chefs would charge ÂŁ12 for that. I think the days of the fiver left when the new site came online


Oph, thanks again. Looks like you can save 9p on postage by living in Indonesia, eh? :laughing:
Shoulda just asked you guys long ago, shouldnt I?


Totally off topic but if you use a freight forwarder like myus it will be much cheaper to get flavours out of the usa.
They will combine packages and ship by weight only here is 5 packages combined into 1 (20.4 lb) be aware that if they are flammable it will cost you a little more


Yep, cheaper than to oz. Livin large here…


problem is then again, customs in Norway stop and open those packages, as they have a pretty fair idea of these companies. So lets say i order flavors for $1000 including shipping, use a forwarder to repack it, custom checks it, i get *1,25 in VAT, additional $30 in custom fees, and a ticket for $500 for trying to import goods without declaring them. And they confiscate and destruct my goods, since it was an illegal attempt to get it into Norway.

So that bring my $1000 dollar order up to $1780, and nothing to show for it.

On the other hand, if I declare it first, it would only be $1280, making it 280 dollars more than it costs in US, just to get it here.

If the total value of the package (contents, VAT and sending fees) is below $34-35 (NoK 350), it’s free to import.


Much the same problem in UK. I long ago decided to just suck up the VAT, because the VAT threshold was unworkably low (same as yours , I guess) especially when combined US postal rates (which are all the more extortionate for smaller packages) and put me in a position where the postage would cost more than the goods.

I refuse to pay more for the postage (including tax on the postage) than for the goods! but it’s incredibly tricky avoiding that. If you go above. a certain amount…135 GBP or therabouts, (again including postage, which strikes me as grossly unfair) then you have to pay import duty too .

In any case, unless the vendor is willing to go to the trouble of collecting the VAT and import duties on our taxman’s behalf (some will automatically deduct at checkout;, most don’t even know how to go about it) you’'ré then in a position where your package will be held up at customs until you cough up. I don’t mind the hold up so much as the extortionate handling charge they throw in just for doing you that particular disservice.

I usually do manage to ensure that the price I pay, in toto, goes mostly to the merchant and not to the taxman and the US postal service, but it’s a close run thing , usually. And that’s why I keep an eye on merchants elsewhere in the world. Better postal rates would make that a whole lot less tricky, but truth to tell, I’ve yet to find a merchant outside the USA (except in Britain) who can supply the kind of flavours that i buy (PG-free, and ideally organic) in a wide enough range to make importing from them worthwhile.

Anyway, thanks for the warning re. Wof’s suggestion. If that’s how it goes in Norway. I guess that’s how it would go in the UK too :frowning:

EDIT: That said, I don’t see why Customs would seize the package and refuse to let it go, so long as the package had a proper customs declaration . Woul;dn’t those companies just copy that info from the inner packages, and produce a combined declaration … @woftam ?

EDIT2: seeing as you Norweigians are (sort of) in the EU, you could probably sidestep import duties by ordering from UK…for the time being, at least. Also , the price I see displayed on UK sites already includes VAT (Americans have told me they see a lower price when they browse same sites) so I guess that woukd be the same for you. OFc that only gives you the same choice that I have, unless I order from the USA, but it’s much wider than Norway’s choice, i believe :slight_smile:


They will let it go in Norway, but not of I use a repackaging central that send the package undocumented. Then it’s seen as an attempt to smuggle, and are confiscated.
As long as the original merchant send the package with original documents, I only pay a toll-free and VAT to get it declared. (About 30 dollars + 25% VAT)


Ah. Yes. That’s what I was trying to ask Wof: if these repackaging people will document it properly . So the answer is '“No” then? :frowning_face:

BTW, I was adding a second EDIT when you posted. Rather than boring the board (even more than i already do, that is) by quoting myself, can I ask you to check back?

OH! and PS. I can just see the headlines " EVIL FOOD_FLAVOUR SMUGGLING RING BUSTED"’ :rofl:
(Yeah, i know, i know, they’d call it vaping gear, insofar as it’s packaged as a vape juice flavour and/or bought from a Vape merchant. But, seriously that’s all it is! I read all the fine print on the Government website once and found out that Medicine Flower ought to be exempt (whether from VAT, import duties or both, I can’t recall) cos its clearly just a food flavour extract, which were exempt, or so it said. But Customs don’t know that, apparently, and I just didn’t have the energy to try and argue with them about it. )


Have you ever used these forwarders?
I have (not in Europe but in the Caribbean where customs can be a big pain in the behind too), and I’ve always gotten stuff with original papers. Actually, they seem to have a speed line through customs because it always went a lot smoother than if the original sender sent it.

But when you look at it… it’s kind of ridiculous how these customs rules work. That’s what I like about being in the EU, single market and customs union, everything is so simple (and cheap).
And to think Britain is about to give all that up … I still don’t get it :frowning_face:

In any case, look at it this way. A lot of concentrates you buy in the US are easily 25% cheaper than what you can find in Europe. Even if you have to pay 25 or 30% tax on it, you’ll still be at the same low online prices you find in the EU. All that’s left then is the shipping. It can be a fair amount, but the more you order, the cheaper shipping per concentrate becomes.

If it means you end up with flavors that are good, that you otherwise wouldn’t even be able to get, IMO it’s all worth it. I’ve ordered from the states, I’ve paid duties and shipping and I will do it again. It still beats vaping commercial juice hands down.


huh? I guess you didn’t did you read my post, above, :on the subject? Like I said, Norway is part of the EU…sort-of . Here;s what Wikipedia says about the relationship:

The EEA agreement grants Norway access to the EU’s single market. From the 23,000 EU laws currently in force, the EEA has incorporated around 5,000 (in force)meaning that Norway is subject to roughly 21% of EU laws…
…This arrangement facilitates free movement of goods, capital, services and people between the EU and EFTA members including Norway.

As far as I can tell (comparing TnT’s experience with mine) this results in Britain and Norway being in identical positions with regard to VAT, Customs etc. The mystery is how that translates to

in your experience? :woman_shrugging: Ohhhhh! unless that was meant ironically? :blush: (. Heck. Do I win an Idiot-of-the-month prize for this?)


Well. I will not have the US VAT refunded except if the retailer is extremely friendly and aware of VAT refund for international shipping.
So, at Norwegian customs, I will be awarded norwegian VAT on top of the US VAT. Hooray!
And Norway are NOT part of the EU.
But US do definitely have a better selection of aromas


My x tried it with clothes, and a bunch of other products from US, and it was stopped in customs. She had declared it before it arrived, so it was only about paying VAT. But the customs said that they stopped any package from these companies, declared or not.


Sorry, i know you’re not literally part of the EU, hence the "“sort-of.” The way I understand it, in effect, it’s more as if ypu’re part of what used to be called the "“common market” (way back in the seventies, when Brits voted to join it) but which sneakily morphed into the EU. I mean, you’ve got a different deal from the rest of us, but not very different, if at all, with respect to VAT, Customs etc.

I guess I wasn’t very clear. What i meant was, yup, you’re in the exact same shit that I’m in, with regard to ordering from the USA. But you could take advantage of your relationship with the EU when ordering from the UK…at least for now. That is, you shouldn’t have to pay two lots of VAT, not when you order within the EU. And i think that expands your range of choice in some measure?

As for Brexit. well, we Brits are gnashing our teeth, calling our politicians rude names, and wondering if that’s ever gonna happen for real. I really don’t wanna talk about that, except to remind you that it hasn’t happened yet


Yes they do - that particular company does as well they also will charge you the vat if applicable (here we have GST same thing different name) If I keep the value of the package under $1000 Aud then it just sails through customs. Generally, I provide them with MSDS which also helps the process.

I think I will split off all the shipping talk to another thread since it is way off topic.

Think I got em all


In comparison, the Norwegian “sail through customs” limit are $57.53 AUD… including shipping fees. So that doesn’t leave much for much merchandise