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Charles Tyrwhitt customs fees?

gamelan

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I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet but has anyone been hit with Charles Tyrwhitt customs fees?

I purchased around $500 worth of merchandise from them, figuring I'd take advantage of their 50% discount offer. A few days later, I get a yellow card from a Laur-Air, Inc asking that I call them up so they can assist me in getting my shipment processed. I call them up and the lady (very nice, BTW) says that it's going to be an $81 charge for the shipment to go through customs. Now I've ordered from CT before and have never been hit with a customs fee so I was surprised. She says that people have been calling CT requesting a refund. So I call CT and customer serivce (also, very nice) says that when you receive the shipment, fax them the invoice and they'll take care of the charges.

So I thought about it for a few days and just called up Laur-Air to refuse the shipment. There were just too many unknowns that I didn't want to deal with specifically, what if I decide to return some of the items? Am I going to be charged customs fees for shipping those back to CT?

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has been having a similar experience.

Oh, I should mention that I was looking at one of the CT catalogs yesterday and there is some fine print about the possibility of customs fees when they ship outside of the UK.

-Jeff
 

skalogre

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I assume you are in the USA. I have never had customs fees. All the returns I have done were to a US address for CT, too.
 

odoreater

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Yeah, I would think that the reason you were charged customs is because it was such a large order. I've ordered from CT a number of times and have never been charged customs. They usually just check the "gift" box on the little sticker that goes on the box and everything goes through fine. One time I had a box from them that was obviously opened by customs, but that's about it. Also, you shouldn't be concerned about returns because they give you a prepaid label and the returns do go to a US address (CT actually has stores in the US including one in NYC on Madison).
 

GreyFlannelMan

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Can't say that I've ever been hit with the customs fees when ordering from CT, but it has been a while since I did so.

If this becomes common for them, I think that could be a pretty big disincentive for customers.

Hope this doesn't happen to Lewin or the other UK shops from which I order!

Of course, RJ, I recognize that overseas parcels have always been subject to Customs duty. It's just that in the last few years of ordering from primarily UK merchants, I've never faced a customs levy. If US Customs is stepping up their enforcement, I believe that will we problematic for these merchants.
 

RJman

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Anything you buy from abroad that is mailed in is subject to customs. It's just a question of whether Customs will choose to stop the package and levy customs. Shipping services generally charge a processing fee on top of that. Thus, anything you have ordered from Tyrwhitt is technically subject to duty. However, at least until recently Tyrwhitt stated it would reimburse customs duties paid by US customers -- which is a very nice thing to do. I can't think of another retailer who does that.
 

TomW

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I have no objection to paying custom duties on an order from overseas, however I do strenuously object to paying 'processing fees' that are greater than the customs duties. I too had Laur-Air return a shipment from CT as refused as the total of the customs duty and their fees was 50% of the total purchase price. I have learned to order only one pair of shoes or no more than a few shirts at any one time and have never again had a package stopped.
 

CaptChaos

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You guys think you have it bad in the US. Duties on imported goods in Canada is even stricter. Along with Canada Post or courier 'broker fees' we are also hit with sales taxes (PST and GST) on top of the duty.
 

Mr. Checks

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Originally Posted by CaptChaos
You guys think you have it bad in the US. Duties on imported goods in Canada is even stricter. Along with Canada Post or courier 'broker fees' we are also hit with sales taxes (PST and GST) on top of the duty.

Every state that I'm familiar with obligates the buyer to pay state sales or use tax on these as well; it's simply ignored by most buyers.
 

blaidan

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I too just got hit with custom fees. About a month ago I placed an order from CT, totaling around $425. The order never came so I emailed CT and they said they would resend the shipment. A few days ago I got the yellow card from Laur Air and I called them up. I told them to process the order and I paid the $85 fee. They also told me I would have the fee refunded. The woman at Laur-Air told me the company CT used to use to process their shipments and help them through customs, got in trouble for understating the value of the shipment so they would not be stopped at customs. CT had to find a new company, Laur Air, and now more shipments will be subject to custom fees becuase Laur Air will run things above board.

CT also told me to fax them the invoice and they would refund the custom fees.
Funny thing is, today I got the second shipment and it passed through customs without any fees. Now I will have to return the first one, which should arrive here tomorrow. There are two pairs of the brown calf leather brogued shoes in size UK 9 and 9.5 if any ones wants to buy them.
 

raley

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Why exactly are we being charged customs duty to order something from the UK? Who are we trying to protect here with this duty?
 

alflauren

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Originally Posted by raley
Why exactly are we being charged customs duty to order something from the UK? Who are we trying to protect here with this duty?

It's even worse for the Canadians - they have the same Queen!
 

odoreater

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Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
Every state that I'm familiar with obligates the buyer to pay state sales or use tax on these as well; it's simply ignored by most buyers.

New Jersey has no sales tax on clothing (so far).
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by raley
Why exactly are we being charged customs duty to order something from the UK? Who are we trying to protect here with this duty?

We in Australia too have the same Queen.

However, we are lucky. Recently Australian customs have changed their policy and they only charge duty for things over $1000 Australian. It used to be like what you describe for US or Canada.

Would you expect to pay duty for these things if you took them through with you at the airport? So why pay duty if they are being shipped?

I think you guys need to write letters to politicians. Hey - maybe you can get a Style Forum petition going to increase the duty free threshold. In this age of internet shopping it is silly to charge duty for every pair of shoes/shirt/suit etc a private buyer purchases.
 

Vintage Gent

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Originally Posted by raley
Why exactly are we being charged customs duty to order something from the UK? Who are we trying to protect here with this duty?

In the case of shoes, it's a protectionist N of 2: Allen-Edmonds and Alden. As I understand, they are the last remaining brands still manufacturing higher-end dress shoes in the U.S.
 

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