Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Commenter simentt at my post Got An Old Hard Drive? tells me about a campaign going on in Norway to reduce the costs of goods imported to Norway.

Do you eBay?

There is a small campaign (Organized by the libertarian magazine 'Farmann', apparently on Facebook) going on to have people eBay all kinds of stuff for 30USD with a 'buy now' option enabled. The reason for this, is that the Norwegian customs service collects VAT for all imports above 200NOK (~33USD), and that this tax is waived for lower amounts.

Thus the above campaign to get a as large as possible market for 'no-tax' imports.

This USB-adapter would thus be tax-free from Amazon, while a device costing 40USD would be taxed (the tax is 25%, and in addition a 'handling fee' of another ~20USD would be applied).

The intent of the campaign is to have people offer up goods from WallMart and other low-price vendors at less than 33USD (depending on exchange-rates) on eBay and similar so that we Norwegians can benefit from low US prices, and US citizens can make a few bucks pr item on reselling them to Norwegians.
Which just goes to show the problem of "no feedback" accounting when it comes to government taxes and tariffs. Citizens will do as much as they can to thwart the efforts of government to steal their money.

If only those passing the laws took to heart the old libertarian slogan:
Taxation Is Theft
we might get some legislators who tried to increase tax revenue by growing the economy rather than just trying to increase the extortion rate.

In general the smartest people go into the sciences and mathematics. Then come the engineers. Followed by businessmen. And who goes into politics and crime? (what's the difference?) The dimmest bulbs on the block.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


linearthinker said...

Good for simentt.

I wish them well, although I refuse to use ebay because of some ornery behavior by paypal.

simentt said...


As the 30USD limit is on the product itself (total for product(s) in a shipment), I'm sure a different payment-system would work similarly. I'd be happy to cover a vendors credit-card expense, if that were to go into the 'shipping and handling' line-item and not the product price.

eBay in this context is the market-place. Any other market-place would of course also work, provided it would supply enough interested people with enough of the goods they are interested in to make it viable.

I'd love to shop at a US 'Norwegian mall' where everything that costs 150USD at home costs 30USD (plus 80USD shipping and handling). This 'mall' would probably make a killing.

Thank you for making a post of this.


M. Simon said...


It is an honor to be able to give your work a wider audience.


linearthinker said...

Similar thoughts crossed my mind as I commented, simentt. The concept is what's important, not my opinion of a particular vendor. I wish the Norwegian entrepreneurs huge success.

Holde Norge rent!

See? I can speak Norwegian! Who'd a thunk that?

simentt said...


This is unfortunately not my project, but as a random citizen who would benefit, I'll support it (and prospective vendors) as far as I can.

I guess that would be my project ;-)


simentt said...


Grammatically correct, politically incorrect. The 'keep Norway clean' -call has been used by our department of Sports and Parks, but has been more closely associated by the racist fringe.

Of course, as a foreigner (to Norway) i presume, you couldn't possibly be racist, so I can only applaud your grasp or our language ;-)