Considerations before buying from abroad.....

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There are many great bargains on ebay, many available from far aware shores...


Are they always a bargain though? Is that digital camera, mp3 player, or other electrical item going to work out cheap if you buy it from Singapore or America or elsewhere and have it shipped to the UK?

You need to ask the following questions before buying, or you may get burnt.


Will it be compatible with the UK mains supply? Does it need a different power supply adapter, or mains plug adapter? Remember the USA and some other countries do NOT use our 3 pin 240v mains, they use other standards. CHECK before buying.


The seller may proclaim NO VAT, but make sure you wont get hit by a big charge from customs, it can and does happen. Also, what if the seller lies on the customs form, if they put the item down as USED and dont provide a receipt, what proof of purchase do you have?


The warranty, will it be valid in the UK, often warranties are ONLY valid in the same country the item was purchased from, so unless you fancy a trip to hong kong to hand over your camera for repair, do your research, and ask the seller first - get it in writing if possible.


Will it take weeks to arrive? Is it insured on route?

More importantly, watch out for sellers that have a really low starting price, and use shipping costs to avoid ebay fees. Whilst this may still mean you get a bargain, watch the small print - often they say in case of a problem they will only refund the item cost, NOT the shipping. So that 1p camera with 99 pound shipping, if it develops a fault, will mean only a 1p refund... BE CAREFUL.


Will you get a proof of purchase/receipt, and will the instructions be in English? Check before buying.


Good luck, and I hope you get a bargain.



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