Just had that exact problem. I've ordered 9 books believing I wouldn't have any extra costs other than the books themselves and the shipping, since supposetely books are exempt of taxes in Brazil. However, when the books arrived I was charged an extra US$600 of taxes, which made the whole experience a very bad deal for me. Unless we can find a way around this, I won't be ordering any more books.
Blurb - come to Brazil
I live in Brazil and have been using BLurb to print photo albums of my recent trips.
For brazilians, its been harder each passing time to import goods. Not only we pay outrageous taxes for importing but material that used to be taxfree, like books, is now more and more scrutinized by customs. They now carefully look for words like "album", "photos", "photobook" on the package to exclude this items from the taxfree book category and charge them.
We pay 60% tax for imported goods!!! And thats not on top of sale price, but on whole price, included shipping and handling!!! So, a 100$ book will cost 160$ for someone in Brazil. For this price, its probably cheaper to have it made in Brazil.
That is half the problem. Because they get sopped in customs, they dont arrive in time! When in customs, they´ll send a letter by regular mail to the recepient telling him that his package is detained and will be delivered only if tax payment is due. So figure. A book that might take a 4-6 days to get to Brazil may spend 2-3 weeks to be delivered, if not more, because of this taxation.
So, the problem is two-fold: taxes make it expensive and painfully long to wait.
Here´s my contribution.
Short run: don´t tell them its a photo album or nothig like that. Describe it plainly as BOOKS. Its not deceitful, its the truth. Brazilian law does not make differetiation betwwen literature books and photo books. So that would make it harder for them to tax theses packages.
Secondly: do not underprice it. They know it. They know exactly how much Blurb books cost, so underpricing it only makes them more furious about it, and they will not only tax it 60% but they will issue a fine that is as much expensive as the tax itself. No customer will pay that, and that will be on Blurb account.
On the long run: Open a branch in Brazil. Easier said than done, I know. Regulations and such are probably a nightmare, but it shoud pay out. Photo album market is still unexplored around here. Few companies do it, but they are mostly regional, expensive and low-quality. Settling in a big center would allow to print books here, greatly expand the number of customers, lower prices, and shorter time to arrive. Base here could be a strategic post for printing to the whole South America, as coutries around us usually have lower import taxes than we do.
Well. As a customer from overseas, I pay proportionally much more for a Blurb book than an american does (money and time). So when I do it, I do it for the quality of it and the integration with LR. I doubt that this empty spot will be left open for long.
Hope to have helped. If you like this post and agree with this, say so.
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I have this problem just now. Fedex is calling me to advise that I need to pay more than 100% on the book's price just because someone declared to customs in Brazil that I imported PHOTOBOOK. Everything is BOOK , doesn't matter if you print images or text, and BOOK is not charged to import. It is so stupid, that I will never more buy in Blurb if I can not solve this.
So far, I´ve ordered about 6 or 7 books from Blurb, all topping 170 pages. Blurb, no doubt, deliver great quality for an affordable price. I´m currently ordering books just before friends and relatives go to the USA and have them delivered to them. Even with brazilian custom taxation, it might be cheaper than print them here. Some places in Brazil are charging exceptionally high prices for a few pages. And theres one more thing, for me, to order straight from Lightroom to Blurb without having to worry about format, PDF, files, and so on, is very convenient. And Blurb has never stopped delivering amazing support from their staff, even reprinting boks when they havent arrived in time.
I´m still using Blurb cause there´s no better option locally.
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I'm wondering if this problem has been resolved. Could someone from Blurb answer me on this? Is it possible just to put "Book" on the invoice instead of "Photo book"? If I buy a photo book of Ansel Adam's work from amazon.com in the US I don't have to pay 80% taxes but I buy a book with my own photographs printed in it I have to pay this incredibly high tax.
Has anyone had any luck ordering recently without having to pay this abusive tax?