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"House of Fraser" UK on-line clothing store still charges international customers VAT for items ship

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Devoti, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Devoti

    Devoti Well-Known Member

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    Maybe your right but I would first need to receive & try it on before getting all bothered about it, it's not available in the US and it just a cheap Baker suit and I only lost about $120 worth of vat. Having said that I would gladly be doing business again with them if they acted properly. Hell, I would have been much happier if the money went toward UK taxes than there pockets.

    And yes you are right I should have paid more attention but then I thought I was dealing in safe & friendly customer waters of the UK. I guess I was in denial after all these years of buying from stores in the UK and always having the vat subtracted. Now I have to be more vigilant and first treat UK stores as hostile and bilking which is a bit sad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013


  2. Canadianskeezix

    Canadianskeezix Member

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    Liberty is yet another culprit. They charge international customers the VAT, and the customer then pays their local customs and duties when the package arrives. Liberty is a fantastic store, but it doesn't treat its international customers very well.

    Selfridges, however, is a star. They deduct the VAT, and they calculate the local customs and duties of the customer's home country. The price you see on their website at checkout is the price you pay. And they sell Ted Baker.
     


  3. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    Yep. Charles Tyrwhitt claim that this "reflects the increased cost of processing international orders", which just happens to be 20% of the net price. Basically, it means two things:

    1. They're dicks, and are hosing international customers.

    2. They don't have to bother marking VAT included and VAT-free prices on any items or putting a mechanism in place to deduct it on their website.

    I suppose that's a saving.

    As a British person ordering from outside the UK, I find it depressing that retailers go for such an obvious shake-down of international customers. The UK is already getting a very sad (and deserved) reputation for poor value if you're a visitor (let alone a resident or indeed a citizen!) in many areas, services in particular. This is only extended by this international rip-off. It's just shameless.

    However, in defence of Unfair Albion, it's not just the Brits: the list price, determined by the manufacturer, for a Mercedes Benz where I live in the Middle East, is 25% more than the equivalent in Europe or the US, even taking into account the different taxes. Ford also inflate their prices in this region by a similar margin. Because f*** Arabs. Or something like that. I'm not picking on those two companies - they're just two I've had reason to check out myself recently. And in another subject area close to my heart, I note that Nomos (watches) of Germany also make non-EEA customers pay a higher price equivalent to German VAT. They are not the only watchmakers that inflate their prices for Middle Eastern and Asian markets. Because f*** the Chinese. Or something like that.

    Basically, it's a matter of customer response. If we all stop buying stuff from companies that charge inflated prices to foreigners, they might change. But that's a big "if". I bought a batch of shirts from Lewin instead of Tyrwhitt for exactly that reason. But the latter are still shipping plenty of shirts internationally. I hope that threads like this, and maybe a few blog posts and whatever, can start to name and shame them, wherever they are from.
     


  4. gladhands

    gladhands Senior member

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    Don't want to pay the VAT when buying from Charles Tywhitt? Stop using the UK site. They have an ecommerce site for US customers. You cheapskates are using a site built for selling shirts to customers who ARE subject to the VAT because you want to save a couple of bucks.
     


  5. jssdc

    jssdc Senior member

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    The internal GBP:USD conversion rate they use is 2:1, so you're actually paying the VAT inclusive price plus some by following the advice you've given (e.g. 4 shirts is £100 on the UK site or $200 on the US site, even though £100 is only worth $165).

    I like CT but this practice is rather obnoxious. I'm in London somewhat frequently so just try to buy when I'm there.

    Malford of London, btw, is another retailer (far, far smaller and cooler than CT or TML) that does not deduct VAT.
     


  6. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Agreed.

    CT does the same for Australian customers - the price charged on the AU version of the CT website is considerably higher than it should be allowing for the usual exchange rate. What's more, it's not as though CT even has a bricks-and-mortar store in Australia. They don't - so when buying from the AU version of the website, the goods are still processed in exactly the same way and sent from exactly the same processing centre as they would be for orders purchased through the UK website, so it's not as though there are any additional costs incurred by CT in selling to Australia.



    Well, Malford is a bit different because a) it's a part-time operation as the owner-operator has a full-time job doing something else; and b) the prices offered by Malford are ridiculously low already. He used to sell on the Buying & Selling subforum before setting up his own website, but it's still a part-time venture.

    I understand the point you're making but if you're going to use Malford of London as an example, then you should start pointing out that UK members of Styleforum don't deduct VAT when selling on eBay or the Buying & Selling subforum.
     


  7. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    Malford may not actually be VAT registered. I haven't checked. Businesses below a certain turnover don't have to be, and it is a small business after all. If they're not VAT registered, there is no VAT to discount.

    Try Exquisite Trimmings from the UK, too. I can personally attest to the great value he offers - VAT deducted and SF discounts too.
     


  8. jssdc

    jssdc Senior member

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    Sorry gents, wasn't trying to call out Malford. Cool shop with great values.

    My beef with CT is less their lack of VAT deduction than the silly price differentials between geographies. My suspicion is that they have a sense that the US market will tolerate higher prices since there's less competition in their particular space - no TML or Hawes and Curtis in the states.
     


  9. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Malford is around the other way, if I'm to interpret correctly, international prices are already VAT free and he absorbs the cost for EU customers (a tiny part of his business). Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Here, our version GST (goods and services tax) which admittedly is only 10% works similar in that you only have to be registered for it if you turn over a certain amount $100k in our case so I'm not registered for it either, saving me from a heap of paperwork every quarter. The downside to that though is that you still do have to pay GST on imports and purchases which you can't claim back if you are not registered.
     


  10. Canadianskeezix

    Canadianskeezix Member

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    To the extent anyone is keeping track, I ought to have mentioned that Duchamp also deducts the VAT for international orders. Kudos to them, because it seems (from the comments on this thread) that companies like Duchamp and Selfridges are in the minority.
     


  11. Chowkin

    Chowkin Senior member

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    If Malford is displaying all prices ex-VAT and charges both EU customers and non EU customers the same prices, then he is being unfair to non-EU customers as he would make a smaller profit on his EU sales by absorbing the VAT.
     


  12. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    - Most vendors deduct VAT; it seems to be some of the bigger ones who play this game

    - I think Malford is not actually VAT-registered, so there's none to add/deduct; this is common with small businesses
     


  13. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Correct - you need to have over a certain amount of income in order for it to be mandatory to register for VAT. If your business income is below that, it's not compulsory and my understanding is that Malford of London falls into this category. So, he's not ripping anyone off.
     


  14. mdras

    mdras New Member

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    They seem to keep their VAT policy. I put an order to be delivered to South Korea a few days ago, and they boldly rejected to deduce the VAT fraction from the price. Currently, the parcel is being held by DHL Korea as I am refusing to receive it. This is the first experience of such for me; no other UK-based seller from whom I have made purchases up till this point reacted this way.
     


  15. Canadianskeezix

    Canadianskeezix Member

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    Liberty London does refund the VAT, but you wouldn't know it from their website or online ordering process. Orders to be shipped outside the EU are subject to a vague "taxes" charge, equal to what the VAT would have been. If you email them after you've received the goods and have decided not to return them, they will refund your credit card the amount of the taxes/VAT. They are quite friendly and prompt about it.

    But, of course, unless a customer asks about a refund, they would have no way of knowing.
     


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