Shops prey on consumer ignorance
  • | Tuoi Tre, | December 15, 2012 08:26 AM

Many people are unaware of tax duties and are often tricked into buying smuggled or fake luxury items.


 Customers buying goods in a shopping centre in HCMC

After buying a VND1.2 million (USD58) dress in a fashion store in Diamond Plaza, HCM City, the customer was told this item was discounted so it wouldn’t have a VAT invoice.

A customer who bought a VND3 million pair of glasses at the Saigon Tax Trade Centre was also refused a VAT invoice. The shop said they would provide the invoice several days later, but hadn’t registered to issue VAT invoice to tourists.

N. D., a well-known model said she has bought many luxury items but never been given a VAT invoice although she certainly paid the added taxes.

Although the laws stated that goods that are worth over VND200,000 must have VAT invoices but only a few shops provide the invoice to the customers. Meanwhile, many buyers don't even know what the invoice is for.

A shop in Dong Khoi Street, HCMC said most of their customers only come to buy the goods quickly and never asked for VAT invoice, so they sent the invoices to the customers' addresses.

Chau Boi Hue, director of the Duy Anh Company which distributes brands such as  Bvlgari, Cartier, Rolex, Ferragamo and Versace shared that there are many ways to smuggle goods.

Because Vietnam is a small market, most of the companies will partner with a domestic distributor. But in reality, the shop may sell both fake and smuggled goods to earn profits. The smuggled goods are often discounted, outdated or faulty items from foreign collections.

Tram Nguyen, a regular customer of shops on Le Thanh Ton Street in HCMC said seasoned buyers would have enough experience to evaluate genuine goods. But even they will not be familiar with all of the luxury items so they'll have to depend on the VAT invoice.

According to the distributors, the luxury market in Vietnam had boomed by 20-30% over previous years. But due to economic downturn and decreasing consumer confidence, the market are slowing down.

Leave your comment on this story