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Ray Proudfoot

FSX addon software - big price difference?

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I've been following a thread about the best FSX addons. REX Essential PLUS w/OverDrive caught my eye so I went to their website to check it out.

 

Up in the top left there were links to four retailers selling the product - FlightSim Pilot Shop, FlightSim Store, PC Aviator and SimMarket. I checked the USD price of each of them and 3 were almost identical at 44.95USD. SimMarket is charging 55.68, is based in Europe and the price includes VAT.

 

What I'm trying to establish is whether the other 3 include VAT in their prices but I can't find any info. Does anyone know if the first three charge VAT on the advertised price? I can't go through the purchase routine without registering and don't wish to do that at this stage.

 

Any software priced in Euros is quite expensive for UK customers owing to the poor exchange rate but anything priced in US Dollars is cheaper because of the more favourable exchange rate. If this price difference is simply down to exchange rates then US retailers seem to have a big advantage over European ones.

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My understanding is that any sales tax is paid in the country where the retailer is based. The price you see on the site is the price you pay. If you want to confirm just create an account on the site, add an item to your basket and go to checkout, there you should see the final price you have to pay. I believe the likes of Australia and the US have lower (or none in the latter's case) sales taxes than the EU, hence in many cases you'll find Simmarket to be slightly more expensive.

 

One thing to bear in mind although most of the online stores have the option to display the price in whatever currency you want, the transaction takes place with the retailer's local currency. I know quite a few banks in the UK nowadays charge a fee for processing a transaction in a foreign currency. Any time I buy anything from the likes of Flightsimstore I end up getting a £1.50 charge from my bank because the transaction was in Australian Dollars. Something to watch out for.

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Thanks Engineroom. I thought sales tax was based on the country the purchaser lived in. So US customers would pay their own tax and not VAT.

 

I suppose the only way to know for sure is to proceed through the purchase route until the payment details are required. Even if you add 15% to the other prices it still only comes to 51.69USD or 32.30UKP - 3.23UKP cheaper than SimMarket.

 

I have raised a ticket with Pilot Shop so should know soon enough. And yes, the final price will include a commission for the transaction.

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I decided to buy from Pilots Shop and was charged 28.04UKP with no added tax (hopefully).

 

If there is only a small additional charge for the transaction this represents a big saving on the SimMarket price. :smile:

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Download products from outside the EU are not subject to the EU VAT. So a EU citizen should consider buying downloads from "Dollar" countries like the U.S.A. or Australia. I don't get the sense of this but that is current EU tax legislation ...

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Yes indeed Olli. I wish I had realised that years ago. Big savings can be made if you're able to purchase outside the EU especially when the pound/dollar exchange rate is so much better than pound/euro too.

 

Currently nearing the end of the 8.6Gb download of REX Essentials + Overdrive. A rough calculation suggests I have saved 7.50UKP on this purchase. :good:

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Here's another big saving for anyone in the UK considering Professional Flight Planner X.

 

The converted price at Aerosoft is 41.96UKP but at PCAviator you can buy it for just 34.34UKP.

 

These savings are staggering! :Big Grin:

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Be aware that, for a reason unknown to me, US based feelthere.com applies VAT, if I buy there, residing in Germany. Their quoted prices exclude the VAT, but late, really late in the process of purchasing, the VAT is added. Wondering what they do with the extra money - the EU isn't waiting for it ...

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So a EU citizen should consider buying downloads from "Dollar" countries like the U.S.A. or Australia.

I do compare the prices at simmarket and flightsimstore, but usually it's not worth to buy in AUD for me, the difference is a few (Euro) cents in most cases if I add up the fee PayPal charges me for converting, so I usually my decision is for the IMO more convenient direct debit options offered at simmarket.

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I'll avoid that site, thanks. But shouldn't they be obliged to show the full price up front?

 

I wouldn't put it past the big bad EU to close this loophole at some point but for now not only can UK simmers benefit from zero-VAT on products they also gain with the better pound/dollar exchange rate.

 

I wish I'd spotted this ages ago as I could have saved a fortune. Fortunately as I'm shortly moving to FSX I can save a bundle on things like GEX, UTX and other goodies.

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I do compare the prices at simmarket and flightsimstore, but usually it's not worth to buy in AUD for me, the difference is a few (Euro) cents in most cases if I add up the fee PayPal charges me for converting, so I usually my decision is for the IMO more convenient direct debit options offered at simmarket.

 

 

True, Florian, PayPal charges some 4% on top of the 'correct' exchange rate.

 

Take into account a weak Euro, and a sale by an EU retailer, a shop like Simmarket or Justflight (or even Aerosoft) can be a better place for buying.

 

I include the USD and AUD shops in my research to see what fits best. Justflight was a nice place to get those 4 Holiday Airports the other weekend ...

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Just to confirm the amount I was charged for buying REX from Pilots Shop included a transaction fee of 3% or 0.84UKP.

 

But as I'm also charged a transaction fee and VAT for buying anything in Euros from Aerosoft it's still a better deal buying from US sites. And after the overnight news about the US Govt financial situation the pound has strengthened against the dollar so it's a pretty good time to buy from US retailers. :biggrin:

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And to do some justice to Feelthere's payment provider:

 

One day I double-ordered an item from the Feelthere store without noticing it. Their provider contacted me, asking whether the double purchase was intentional. I answered it was a mistake on my side and they negotiated with both PayPal and Feelthere for my refund getting settled.

 

And at PCAviator.com both FS Captain and the extended Aerosoft Airbus are on sale currently!   biggrin.png

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I've always preferred to use a credit card for payment rather than PayPal as I get a form of cash-back for every purchase. And if they're charging 4% rather than the 3% of a CC company that's another factor.

 

Of course the actual exchange rate matters too but the big difference is no VAT on US sites.

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