Play.com follows Amazon.co.uk

I see today that Play.com is now saying

We are sorry, but we can only supply gadgets to UK addresses.
You must choose a UK delivery address for this order. You may click ‘Add new address/edit address’ to create a new UK address now; you may then return to this screen and choose to use that address for this order.”

This suggests that websites have run into some kind of administrative interference- maybe an ill-focused letter from the Department of Environment on WEEE charges or the like?

Though that would suggest that WEEE charges, or whatever other government inspired reason it may be, could be at risk to challenge as a barrier to trade between EU member states.

6 Comments

  • Fence says:

    I’m pretty sure that play always limited their gadgets to UK addresses. It’s just books, games, and dvd type material that the ship over here.

  • Simon McGarr says:

    I’m thinking that this might end up being less interesting than it first appeared.
    Thanks for that Fence.

  • me says:

    Play have definately never shipped gadgets outside of the UK

  • celtictigger says:

    This issue of WEEE charges possibly being the barrier to getting gadgets from the interweb is an interesting one. WEEE charges were introduced on foot of an EU directive. Any directive which runs counter to fundamental principles of EU law can be challenged.

    This goes back to something I commented either here or over on Michele Neylon’s blog – this could be a symptom of a failure to join the dots in the thinking when introducing this type of environmental tax.

    However, just as Amazon and Play are able to calculate the correct VAT amount for Ireland they should be able to modify their processes to collect the necessary funding so that can’t really be the problem. The difficulty I suspect comes from the other side of the WEEE equation – being able to leave your old goods back to the retailer when upgrading them. As Amazon and Play don’t have a physical point of presence the cost of administering that side of the equation may actually make it uneconomical for them to sell gadgets to us anymore.

    There is a potential market niche here for a company such as National Toll Roads subsidiary Greenstar or any other entreprenurial spirit interested in solving the problem of the physical world/internet interface.

  • Michele says:

    What kind of gadget did you try to order?
    I bought a joystick from Play.com only the other week without any issue, whereas Amazon wouldn’t ship it.

  • Simon McGarr says:

    I tried to pre-order the CyrusLink ipod dock. I’ve wanted it for ages now. But it hasn’t appeared anywhere on the internet outside of the Cyrus site and the What Hi-Fi magazine pages.

    Then I went on play.com and they were offering it for €111 or so. I bet I have to pay an extra €30 from someone else.

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