If you have kids you may happen to have developed kind of a penchant for decorated melamine kitchenware that usually cost an arm and a leg. Among my favourite ones are those by New York based French Bull (http://www.frenchbull.com/) that makes basically everything: from kitchenware to dog bowls, from wall paper to lunch to scented candles. Their patterns are funny and colourful, suitable to be used for everyday meal and wouldn’t show you up in front of any occasional guest (unless it’s your boss or your mother in law, I suppose. Yours. After an initial bias my mother in law doesn’t objet any longer, but she’s quite unusual as a mother in law).
Now this stuff is not really what I would call cheap, but the good thing about it is that it sells in USD that are still cheaper than Euros, and – and here comes the best part – applying the code GBL15 you’ll get a 25% discount on all the items on sale. That is to say that you save all the VAT that you’re however supposed to pay as soon as your parcel crosses the border.
However be informed that no custom duties are due in case: (i) the goods are despatched from a consumer to another consumer (no b2b or b2c), (ii) the despatch has no commercial purposes, (iii) is made for free and (iv) the value of the despatched goods doesn’t exceed 45EUR including possible shipping fees. In any event it must be crystal clear what the nature of the travelling goods is. In other words if you have your stuff despatched as a gift – provided that all the aforementioned conditions are met – the recipient may be spared the custom duties. This is the theory. In point of fact as a lawyer I can tell that everything is up to the custom officer who actually clears your parcel trough the custom. As usual in Italy every other day tax laws happen to leave far too room to personal interpretation to allow you to precisely state whether or not you’re supposed to pay taxes and how much this is gonna cost you. For further information the web site of the Italian custom office comes in Italian, English and French (http://www.agenziadoganemonopoli.gov.it/wps/wcm/connect/Internet/ed/FAQ/Faq+materia+doganale+accise/).