Originally Posted by Javiero
About price, we will have to add VAT if no one in the US is available to host the buy. In this case, perhaps the right host would be the one among us that lives in the lowest rate VAT country.
Just on the question of where the buy is best hosted, there are some other factors to consider besides the VAT rate:
1) The host will have to have an existing SAFC account
since they are not easy or quick to get (it took me 6 months and a telephone interview to demonstrate I knew what I was doing before they granted mine . . .)
2) The price isn't necessarily the same in each country - currently they are quoting £398.50 for 10mg plus UK VAT and delivery charge = £496.2
- whether that's better than, for example, the Spanish option with a slightly higher VAT rate will depend on the £/Euro exchange rate and whether SAFC charge for delivery in Spain.
3) There will be losses
- I do this sort of thing all the time and you never get quite the full amount when you split something down: with an expensive material like this, great care will obviously be needed to minimise such losses, but nevertheless everyone should expect this.
4) There are other costs
associated with this - bottles & labels of course but the main one is shipping to all the other destinations. Assuming everyone pays the host by PayPal there will also be their fees and currency exchange charges to add, so everyone should expect to pay quite a lot more than 1/10th of the price of the material.
5) The material requires refrigerated storage and transport
. This is significant especially for those destinations outside the Northern Hemisphere were winter will conveniently keep it below 8 degrees Centigrade for us while it's in transit, but also important for the host: we don't want to find the material has evaporated or oxidised away because the vial was left in a warm lab . . .
6) Once in ethanol
the material is technically not able to be sent in the ordinary post because of IATA regulations - I suggest that 10ml of ethanol is such as small amount that this can be ignored in practice - however policies for checking are different between countries so that might be significant in some cases.
7) Anything sent from outside the EU to an EU country will attract VAT on import
(possibly other forms of Duty as well - in the UK no other duty is charged on perfumery materials, but that may not be true everywhere). The only exception (in the UK anyway) is personal gifts under £40 in value and commercial items under £18 in value. You can obviously declare a lower value on the package to avoid that, but that's risky because a) it's fraud and b) if the item is lost or damaged in transit you'll only have a claim for the declared amount.
Everyone should be clear these international joint-buys are a great idea but there are a lot of factors to consider.