I am an inveterate internet shopper. This is generally because I am an ingrained price-chaser and source stuff from across the world - including knock-off Poulsen luminaires from China, still a third of the cost of the originals even with shipping and customs duties and VAT added. So I am used to the process, which is simple and efficient here. The Post drops you a card with a URL and reference, one logs-on to the website, enters a few details, scans a couple of documents and makes a SOFORT transfer and then the goods are delivered. Not a problem a few times a year - but what about those regular weekly / monthly purchases from UK suppliers or UK eBay?
Well, those regular suppliers, you won't be surprised to know, are already ready for Brexit. Everything bought via the internet from outside the EU needs a customs sticker as the delivery of a couple of memory sticks from 7-day shop yesterday shows -
After Brexit the value will be the critical factor. No VAT is payable on imports under €22, and no customs tariff on imports below €150. UK suppliers who are VAT registered will in future make sales to EU customers free of UK VAT. Thus purchases under €22 will (I expect) be 20% cheaper - like my memory sticks.
One of my other regular monthly buys is from Screwfix (the Kingfisher group's success story). Screws, fixings, blades and discs, sealants, adhesives mostly - much cheaper than local. They offer free delivery to Europe on orders over £50 and looking at my order values over the past year -
There will always be a few exceptions that will no longer be economic. Pallet deliveries, mostly. I've become used to booking my own pallet deliveries online, for as little as £160 a pallet. Stone floor tiles from Italy, a nation whose border is fifteen minutes drive away, cost no less than £65/m2 plus delivery (a minimum of €200 per pallet load) from any of the EU27 but can be bought from the UK for £27/m2 plus delivery. Yes, the exact same tiles from the same quarries. I need another 14m2 for an unfinished bathroom so will have to figure this out after Brexit.
But so far, the personal impact of Brexit looks to be .... nil. Bring it on.