Brexit it hasn't gone away you know and unlike the last two times we came to a deadline only for it to be extended this is one deadline that can't change.
The UK left the EU last January. On the 1st of January, only 8 weeks away the UK will either have a deal or no deal but that date ain't changing.
Unless you're a beef farmer the majority of people in a pandemic are like So What? and to be honest you're right we have bigger things to worry about at the moment, but there are going to be consequences even for the average person in the street.
Some prices are going up because of extra transport and red tape costs. There are going to be winners and a load of losers with jobs lost. A huge change is going happen in our newly pandemic minted infatuation with online shopping. If you like to online shop and use UK based websites then prepare yourself for serious changes.
UK Online Shopping
Any Brexit deal we might get at this stage is going to be so slim it may as well not exist. So prepare yourself for this new online reality.
Purchases off UK based websites are now going to have customs checks, potential tariffs, VAT charges, lack EU consumer protection and custom charges. The deliveries are going to be delayed and in the case of sex toys worse still will have to include a customs declaration.
All Deliveries from UK - Customs Declaration
It will be like purchasing off a Chinese or US website. If you have ever attempted this more then likely once was enough.
First you pay the website price and any delivery fee then wait.
Finally when it arrives in the country it needs to clear customs. This will mean delays and depending on the delivery company used either a phone call or a knock on the door.
There will be charges to pay, nearly always estimated VAT and a customs administration fee. Also potentially a tariff fee depending on the item purchased. The delivery guy will get you to sign the customs declaration which will list the contents of the parcel - you can forget discreet delivery.
OK it'll be dearer - I'll Suck it Up
You're right it will be dearer but that isn't the end of it. All the EU protections a consumer has while shopping online are gone. A UK website can actually just refuse returns or take any responsibility for lost or broken deliveries.
A UK website actually is legally bound to you as an EU customer in any way. Now I'm sure most professional websites will do the right thing but this is absolutely up to the websites themselves - you have no rights.
Shop Local Never Made more Sense
We all love shopping online. It is so easy, no queues, generally cheaper and you actually have more rights in returns then in store purchases. Coupled with modern professional websites offering Free next day shipping and Free returns it just makes sense. In a Brexit situation this all collapses for UK websites. Shipping will be dearer and you have no legal rights in relation to returns.
So what to do? Irish websites are your obvious and patriotic first port of call but there is no need to accept crappy prices or service. Failing that shop in the EU. Shipping will be dearer and longer and returns might be prohibitively expensive but at least you know what you are dealing with.
We've a vested interest so we're Scaremongering
I'll be honest - Possibly a little. We obviously want you to shop with PlayBlue and not a UK based sex shop. But everything I've said is true and looking inevitable. Even the likes of Amazon know this and have moved much of their UK based stock to EU warehouses to avoid this.
This is happening and you should be aware how it WILL affect you. Whatever you are shopping for, have a look at an Irish website first, failing that go to an EU website. Failing that and you choose to purchase off a UK website prepare yourself for the risk, costs, delays and lack of privacy.