Both Revenue and DPD have issued warnings ahead of Black Friday, urging the public to be wary of “attractively low” prices and scammers.
This weekend will be one of the busiest shopping weekends of the entire year, as shops and online retailers slash prices on products, with thousands taking advantage of ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ sales.
However, in a year which has seen a large majority targeted by at least one scammer, consumers are being warned to be alert.
Revenue note that while goods advertised online may seem “attractively low”, there is a good reason for that.
“This may be because tax and duty has not been included in the price advertised, or because the goods may be counterfeit.”
Customs duties and import Vat charges do not apply when ordering goods from Ireland or other EU countries online.
However, almost all goods arriving from non-EU countries will be liable to import tax and duties.
A Revenue spokesperson explained: “Consumers also need to remember that parcel operators typically charge a separate administration fee. Where the price advertised is not inclusive of these costs, additional charges may apply once the goods arrive in Ireland.”
Maureen Dalton, Head of Revenue’s South East Frontier Management Branch, advised: “All goods will be liable to Vat, whilst goods with a customs value of more than €150 will be liable to both Customs Duty and Vat.
On top of the issues surrounding Vat and customs, Revenue are also highlighting how scammers can lure people in via a fake link.
They explained: “An ‘.ie’ domain name does not necessarily mean that the seller is based in Ireland. Shoppers can check where a business is based by reading through the ‘About’, ‘Contact us’ and ‘Terms and Conditions’ sections of its website.”
During the course of 2022, Revenue seized counterfeit goods worth almost €5.8 million.
Commenting on the risks associated with counterfeit goods, Ms Dalton cautioned: “Imitation brand clothing, runners, handbags and mobile devices are among the counterfeit goods most commonly seized by Revenue.
Meanwhile, DPD Ireland has issued a warning to customers purchasing online to be cautious in the lead-up to the busiest online shopping period of the year.
Chief Executive of DPD Ireland, Des Travers, said: “The industry is aware of the increased number of fraudulent scams by text and email that target our customers, purporting to be from us or other parcel delivery companies and we ask all shoppers to be extra vigilant.
“DPD Ireland will never request payment over the phone, by text or email regarding re-deliveries. The exception is when Vat or excise duty needs to be paid and you will receive an official email from us advising of same.”
The company reported its busiest night of the year last Wednesday and expects the numbers to increase from now on.
Mr Travers said: “The volume is projected to exceed last year while we continue to maintain a service level in excess of 99%. Planning, staffing and routing details have been underway for months in preparation for the busiest time of the year.”