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Absinthe.com and VAT, buying from the US

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just wondering if anyone else has noticed this or maybe has some idea... of what might be going on here. i got an email from them about a 17% off deal for black friday and thought maybe i'll buy some jades i don't have. first i noticed the price on the jades since the last time i bought one from there a few months ago, is higher. comparing the site price to my email receipt.


then i noticed that the price on the page says 'inc VAT' for any item there. my understanding is that being from the US, i don't pay VAT. so i thought maybe it removes it during checkout. on the checkout page, after i tell it my address here in the US, it says:

'VAT (Tax free export shipment)- $0'

but yet nothing in the prices of the bottles or the total price has been changed. if the VAT was already included in the prices, shouldn't something be deducted?


then i experimented with the cart page. you can change your country there. i found that if i change it to a country in Europe, the 'inc VAT' message will appear under your cart total. however, the moment you switch it back to United States, that message disappears, and yet, the price remains exactly the same.


now, i'm no alfred einstein, but something seems screwy about that. at worst, it seems possibly shady. at best, assuming that if i place an order at some point the VAT is actually deducted, it seems they may have cost themselves some business by showing inflated prices that people in the US aren't actually going to pay. myself personally being an example. i'm not going to risk actually going to the paypal checkout page just to see if it finally gets deducted. it really should be well before that point. i sent an email yesterday, still no reply, which is still in the acceptable window, but it would've been nice to get to the bottom of it while the sale was still going. i do have the code still in my cart, with the discount still, and have sent another email. but the higher prices if they stand, kind of kills the value of the deal for me.


edit- the 17% off code just got dropped so i'm definitely not buying anything now. but i'm still wondering, has anyone else noticed this? actually, comparing to my receipt from a few months ago, the prices on everything are now higher at the site. so i have to wonder if the VAT price actually did get deducted when i bought last time and that explains the difference. which just makes it annoying to think i may have missed out on a great deal because their site doesn't show me what i'm actually going to pay.

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ok so i got this reply:


"Hello there,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Because we advertise the same prices to customers worldwide, our system automatically adjusts the price and VAT calculation on the checkout so the final price paid is constant.

This means a customer in Hong Kong, in the USA, or in Australia pays the same price for a product as a customer in Italy, Germany or in France.

What we offer as compensation though, is that delivery is free for orders over 250 US Dollars. This costs our company a lot of money to offer.

The prices on our website are always the same in Euro and they are converted to USD according to the current exchange rate."


the first part about something being automatically adjusted in the checkout, to me doesn't make any sense, because nothing gets adjusted in any way. the included VAT is still part of the prices, nothing gets deducted, no adjustment.


the rest seems to basically be saying 'yes you're still paying VAT even from outside of Euro, but we make up for it with free shipping'. and i can understand the idea of there being a tradeoff or whatever but does it really seem right to do it that way? is it just me or is this kind of bizarre? also have to wonder if this somehow explains why the 6 bottles, dripper, and glass i bought just a few months ago show prices up to $10 lower compared to their product page prices now. like maybe this is some kind of recent change to how they're 'handling' VAT.


to me this definitely seems somehow shady. i would rather pay the lower price on each bottle, and face having to maybe pay shipping, than pay a tax i'm not supposed pay and get free shipping.

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The prices on the website are adjusted all the time in accordance with fluctuations on currency exchange and such. Seems to move in .50 increments at a time both up and down depending upon the day. I can't speak to VAT though - no clue.


I will say that I have *never* had an issue with this vendor whatsoever.

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i still think it's shady to state that prices include VAT when the site thinks you're in europe, but then remove that statement when you tell it you're in the US, while still having the same price, and the explanation i got about it being that way to make up for the free shipping they offer over $250 just doesn't cut it with me.


but the real reason i'm posting in this thread again is because i've found a store that actually lowers the price after you tell it you're in the US!


and because of this, i think it seems like the best site online to buy and have absinthe shipped. on top of that i think over around $200 gets you free shipping. the prices on the bottles are in many cases, pretty damn low. for example, 700ml Jades for ~$64.


they also gave me a free 500ml bottle of dupais balance which is pretty nice!


doubtful i'll ever buy at absinthes.com again as long as absinthe.de is around. never suggested they were crooked in how they handle orders or anything like that, but paying a vat tax price when i'm not supposed to doesn't sit well with me. somehow absinthe.de manage to get by without doing that *and* still offer free shipping. i can get european absinthes from there, cheaper than i can get US brands shipped to me here in the US. crazy. but awesome. has to be the best deals on absinthe i've ever found, in 10yrs of buying it.

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