I live in Ireland but often buy things from Amazon in the UK.
Amazon applies the VAT rate at checkout on goods according to the delivery address you select:
- If you use a UK delivery address, the price displayed in the checkout is the advertised price on the site, based on a VAT rate of 20%
- If you use an Irish delivery address, the price displayed in the checkout will be recalculated based on a VAT rate of 23%
This is because Amazon are required by the EU to collect VAT based on the country the customer lives in.
So, for instance, if you want to buy a set of headphones for £299.99, and get them delivered to the UK, then you will pay £299.99. But if you get them delivered to an Irish address, then you will pay £306.48. That's nothing to do with shipping costs – both addresses can get free shipping – that's because of the extra 3% VAT charged to Irish consumers.
When you think that Parcel Motel charges €3.95 at the moment to redirect a parcel from the UK to Ireland, you can still save a couple of quid.
And if you're buying something really expensive, such as a top of the line Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for £1,799.99 it could cost you an additional £45 if it gets delivered to Ireland. But it's worth noting that if you do consider taking delivery through Parcel Motel, their standard insurance only covers parcels up to a value of €100. To increase the insurance cover you need to pay an additional €10.50 to get extended liability cover for €1,500.