I wanted to buy professional grade training equipment for my dog Away
, biting equipment is not something you easily find in pet shops, I only found a couple of shops selling dog training equipment online in Spain.
I liked the material that what ForDogTrainers.es had in stock and prices were ok, I don't usually buy from online shops that do not list any an address or phone number in the contact page but after researching them I discovered that ForDogTrainers owns the domains ending in .fr, co.uk and .com, they ship bite suits, leather collars, leather harness, bite suits, muzzles and much more, all over the world, together with the fact that they accept Paypal, made me feel more at ease, and I took the plunge on them keeping in mind that I could fill in a claim with Paypal if something went wrong.
ForDogTrainers is ideal for those looking dog equipment to compete in IPO (Internationale Prüfungs-Ordnung) the International auditing rules for protection dogs, they also have agility and other dog sports equipment geared towards professionals.
To note that their online store is full of what spam words to attract SEO traffic, taking google by stupid and thinking that by adding some keywords there google will not notice that they don't make any sense and will send rank them higher, this makes navigation a bit harder for the user, they are also using keyword rich domain names like www.arneses-para-perros.es, www.equipo-para-aprender-perros-y-deporte-canino.es and www.bozales-caninos.es, all long and hard to remember domain names that confuse the buyer since you might not realize it is the same shop.
|Dog bitting equipment from ForDogTrainet|
I spent a total of €163, going above the €100 threshold to get free
shipping, when I made the payment Paypal displayed the name of the parent company, Perzov ADI Ltd, I searched for this name and I came across a
wholesale dog training equipment page listing Perzov ADI as owned by Mr. Evgeny Perzov, with a warehouse in
Israel, 20 employees and worth from 5 to 10 million of dollars, although another exports page gave a different number of employees and net worth, I guess it is approximate.
Two days after placing the order ForDogTrainers contacts me by email and lets me know that he jute bite tug I ordered is only available in French linen at the moment and that if I want the jute version I will have to wait 5 days. I tell them that I will wait 5 days and get the jute tug as I am not in a hurry.
Sure enough, 5 days later I get a new email saying the parcel has been posted and I am given a tracking number, a few days later I get a letter from Spanish customs informing that a parcel from the Republic of Belarus is being held by them and that I must pay VAT and import taxes if I want it delivered. I straight away contact ForDogTrainer via email and let them know about the problem since the price I paid was supposed to be final, including all taxes, by the way, in their favour I will say that they have a ticketing system where all communications are recorded and you are given a URL where what is being done about the issue is tracked.
I receive a phone call from abroad at home and a Spanish speaking ForDogTrainer representative tells me that he is sorry about the situation, that ForDogTrainers.es made a mistake and the parcel should have been shipped from Israel and not Belarus and that if I pay the import taxes they will refund me everything afterwards. I refuse to do it because I know that import taxes are not cheap and I know Paypal will not cover me if I don't get a refund since the payment is not handled by them, then the guy at the other end tells me that he is only the translator and he will have to check with his boss what to do, in a few minutes he gets back to me and tells me that if I let them know how much the import taxes are they will pay me the fees in advance, it sounds reasonable so I accept.
I submit all the paperwork to customs, in Spain this can be done online using ADTPostales.com, proving your identity with your passport, sending an electronic receipt of screenshot of what you have bought, filling in a couple of forms saying what the parcel contains and sign a statement certifying its all true, scan the documents and upload them to ADTPostales. It takes a few days to review and they don't work weekends. Finally they give me the exact amount I have to pay to import the dog training equipment, I send a copy to ForDogTrainers and they send me the amount to my Paypal account, so far so good.
Two days later the postman delivers the goods at home, as I had suspected, I read in the label that the parcel had been declared to customs as a "gift
". A well known trick that some merchants use to avoid paying any taxes at the border, none of my concerns if they want to cheat the tax man but you really have to be a smart ass to send a huge parcel from outside the EU and declare it as gift in the hope that nobody will notice and that x-raying the parcel will not arise the suspicion that newly minted half a dozen items are not really a gift.
|Batura international parcel sent to the EU|
And by the way, when in doubt customs can also send the receiver a letter asking him to sign a statement certifying that the parcel is really a gift, if you lie, unlike a foreign company, you can be prosecuted for fraud. It is not wise trying to outsmart the system this way, the tax man is not that stupid, he knows what online shopping is.
Returning to the parcel, one of the items I ordered, an extra French Linen cover for the bite pillow was missing, nowhere to be found, I contact ForDogTrainers letting them know about this problem, to my surprise this time they do not reply to the ticket in under 24 hours like they have done in the past, this time the ticket remains silent for a few days without anybody saying anything until I update it warning that if nobody replies in the next 48 hours I will fill in a claim with Paypal, a few hours after the warning ForDogTrainer gives me a full refund for the missing bite pillow cover.
Summing my experience with ForDogTrainer.es, since they don't appear to have any warehouse in the European Union at the moment, it is highly likely that you could be charged custom duties, make sure that you pay with Paypal so that if anything goes wrong it will not be you paying for the consequences.
I loved the quality of their products, ForDogTrainer.es equipment is resistant and very well designed to do the job, my dog loves all of it too, he loves biting jute stuff, but until I know for sure that this company ships from inside the EU I would think about it twice before ordering again.
Import duties in Spain
Thanks to this experience I learned how much custom duties you pay for imports in Spain, from outside the EU, it currently stays this way:
- Anything valued under €22 does not pay any tax, not even VAT (Value-Added Tax).
- Parcels valued up to €150 pay VAT (21%).
- Parcels valued above €150 pay VAT(%21) plus import duties that depend on the product and country of origin. (I was charged 5% for dog training equipment)
- The Post Office always charges you €30 for processing your paperwork if you have to pay VAT.