Originally Posted by Bugsy
for those who have ordered via UK from US Directly, any difference between going through specific shop vs the mail order service at 25 royal exchange, which is also a shop? thanks....
for items like C&J chukka boots, it's generally cheaper to order from the UK 3rd party retailers . . . although prices from C&J Jermyn in London (ex VAT) do appear to be cheaper than C&J NYC. managed to snag a pair of 'cranford' chelsea boots for 320 GBP inclusive of shipping, for instance . . .
but if you time your purchases correctly with regards to sales at Barney's NY, Brooks Brothers, or Ralph Lauren - you can snag some wonderful C&J models at 50% off (i.e. $300-$400 / pair range) . . . plus they have easy return policies (with the exception of barney's warehouse sales), so lower transaction costs . ..
you should be mindful too of the potential customs / brokerage fees involved with various courier services used by UK 3rd party shops. . . items shipped via fedex or ups can involve brokerage fees in the $30-$70 range per pair - on top of what you pay in shipping costs . . . whereas with dhl, or royal mail - i've never ever encountered such problems. malford's is the best in this regards, since he ships via royal mail. but edwards of manchester is also good since his shipping charges are reasonable, and he uses DHL.
with a fine pair of shoes, however, i ended up getting a pair of AS cambridge boots shipped via fedex, and got whopped with an additional $70 in brokerage fees, which totally sucked . . . true the shipping is free. but only if you keep the boots. in the event you want to return, shipping costs are deducted from your refund, and you end up spending another $50 to send your boots back. so basically, those fees can add up in a big way . . .
still cheaper than buying domestically, i suppose, if you wind up keeping your purchase - but always be on the lookout for ways to avoid fedex and ups brokerage charges . . .