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  1. #1
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    UK Shipping First Person Stories

    So, the UK sellers have been off the hook for a while now with killer deals on wheelsets, groupsets, brakes, etc.
    As we know, tons of people have received packages in insanely fast times and without any taxes, duties, fees. Which is great
    Unfortunately, there seem to be some stories surfacing that suggest the honeymoon may be coming to an end.
    I propose that this thread be a repository of anecdotes from people who have had bad experiences buying things from the big established vendors, whether it be protracted shipping times, unwanted duty charges or third party fees and wrangling.
    Since countless folks have had good experiences, it'll just muddy up the thread if everyone and their brother reports what we already know; that your stuff came through no problem last fall. So post that somewhere else unless you have numerous experiences that went both ways.

  2. #2
    lamer
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    I recently ordered from Merlin. I think this was my second UK purchase, and I had no issues with duties, etc. the first time around with Wiggle. My order was shipped out on a Monday, and it arrived via UPS on Wednesday, 2 days later. About a week later I received a bill from UPS for duties/tariffs that they had paid US Customs on my behalf and the "fees" they were charging me to do so. In the bill it lists the types of goods in the shipment and the corresponding tariff rate. For all of the bike components the tariff rate is "FREE" which I take to mean no one here should ever have to worry about paying duties/tariffs on imported bike parts. I also ordered a couple of cheap energy gels as fillers to get the order total up to 150 GBP for the free US shipping. Turns out the tariff on those is 3%, so I owed 9 cents (yes, $0.09) to customs. UPS charged me $13 on top of the 9 cents for the service of paying the fees for me.


    UK Shipping First Person Stories-ups.png
    Last edited by llamma; 03-05-2014 at 04:01 PM. Reason: pic

  3. #3
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    Ordered a bunch of stuff from merlin -- it shipped quickly, arrived in great shape, and I can't wait to get it all on my bike. That said their customer service via email while good, is nowhere near Art's. But, I am still worried that the police will show up at my door to arrest me for stealing a pike for $730....
    Please stop telling me about your quiver, it makes me feel unclean...

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by llamma View Post
    I recently ordered from Merlin. it arrived via UPS on Wednesday, 2 days later. About a week later I received a bill from UPS for duties/tariffs that they had paid US Customs on my behalf and the "fees" they were charging me to do so.
    That's the first I've heard of Merlin using UPS. That's the kiss of death. Won't be ordering from them again. Always have used Royal Mail before.
    UPS has a reputation of charging huge clearance fees after the fact - more than the value of the goods in many cases. Most people in Canada won't order anything that will be shipped UPS unless it is the prepaid international service.

  5. #5
    lamer
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    I've updated my original post to include the pertinent part of my scanned UPS bill with tariff info

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    That's the first I've heard of Merlin using UPS. That's the kiss of death. Won't be ordering from them again. Always have used Royal Mail before.
    UPS has a reputation of charging huge clearance fees after the fact - more than the value of the goods in many cases. Most people in Canada won't order anything that will be shipped UPS unless it is the prepaid international service.
    They list how your order will check out. Depending on the combination of items worked out it was either royal mail or UPS... I adjusted so it went Royal Mail
    Please stop telling me about your quiver, it makes me feel unclean...

    http://www.mistermcfeely.com
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  7. #7
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    two orders from UK so far.

    1. wheelset from wiggle. from order to my front door was ~4 days.
    2. rear der from merlin. from order to arrived in the US, 2 days. time between arriving in the US to my door, 3+ weeks. It took so long that merlin CS refunded my order in the meantime.

  8. #8
    Ow!
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    My experience.

    Not all items will have a customs fee. Customs provides a very detailed fee schedule. Search "harmonized tariff schedule". Takes some reviewing (includes EVERYTHING), but you can figure it out using searches.

    And sometimes, obviously, customs doesn't bother with some shipments--likely because of the time involved. I am always prepared to pay a customs fee if there is one for the item. I always consider the fee in deciding if it is a good deal or not.

    That said, I have only ordered about 4 times from overseas and never had a fee (even though there were a few items that should have). And I know the fee is not the responsibility of the vendor--it is mine. So, I lucked out. Also, delivery was usually within a few weeks as I remember, except for one item from Wiggle. Seemed to take almost a month. If in a hurry, I will not buy from overseas. I think they were either sent by Royal Mail or DHL (Germany?), with final delivery by US Mail (if I remember correctly).

  9. #9
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    I have ordered from both Chain Reaction and Wiggle a number of times. Shipping is generally 5-10 days. Only issue I have had was returning a wheel that was the wrong product to Chain Reaction.
    Return shipping was about two weeks before Christmas which is admittedly a very high volume time of year. The returned wheel with all custom documents seemed to get hung up in customs (not sure US or UK) for several weeks. In the end everything work out but it was a 6 week process. I had to ship USPS in this instance. UPS was exponentially more expensive ($150 vs $50)

    I would assume this issue can go either way. Just keep delays in mind when ordering around Holidays that may effect the source or destination country

  10. #10
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    I ordered a set of Shimano Saint MX80 pedals from Chain Reaction Cycles in UK. Item was "dispatched" via Royal Mail 2/10/14. It still hasn't arrived nearly a month later.
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 2

  11. #11
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    If anyone wants anything shipped from the UK and the shop won't do it, I'm happy to forward on if you have delivered to me. Sounds like a scam I do realise however it's a genuine offer. I have shipped some hard to find in the US items to friends before.

    It's not very often that UK orders are better value than US, often from this side we wished we were paying US prices!!

  12. #12
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecreeper23 View Post
    I ordered a set of Shimano Saint MX80 pedals from Chain Reaction Cycles in UK. Item was "dispatched" via Royal Mail 2/10/14. It still hasn't arrived nearly a month later.
    Contact them.
    They'll look into it and probably resend the order.
    I've read that if if your order doesn't arrive in 3 working weeks they'll resend it.

  13. #13
    Trail Ninja
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    I ordered On One and Schwalbe tires and On One wool apparel from PlanetX's UK site in 2 separate orders, placed a few days apart. USPS mail lady delivered both boxes to me in person on the same day. Didn't take any longer than ordering stuff from Southeast Asia (ex. eBay sellers). No extra charges, besides the usual 50 cents or so that my bank charges for foreign transactions. That's my only experience.

  14. #14
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    I've ordered from Chain Reaction a number of times with no issues with shipping or customs. My friend ordered a pair of shoes from them and had to pay duties or import fees or something and they were substantial enough that it wasnt worth it to order the shoes. I think its a luck of the draw type of thing to some extent.

    I've also ordered from Ribble and while the prices were great and the stuff shipped in a reasonable amount of time, everything I ordered (all shimano drivetrain bits) was OEM. I've recently ordered from a different site across the pond and will report back when I receive my the order.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMcFeely View Post
    They list how your order will check out. Depending on the combination of items worked out it was either royal mail or UPS... I adjusted so it went Royal Mail
    Cmon, you dont expect us to choose the correct option do ya?????


    Several orders from CRC and Wiggle here. Not shipping to USA but to Canada so not sure if it counts?

    Zero problems. One package did get dinged by Canada Customs and I had to pay $6 - still substantially less then the "taxes and shipping fees" I would have come across using a US based business.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    Cmon, you dont expect us to choose the correct option do ya?????
    You've got to be 10% smarter than your order form.


    I guess one "problem" I did have is my XTR brakes arrived euro/moto style. Won't really be a problem since I need to trim the hoses anyway.
    Please stop telling me about your quiver, it makes me feel unclean...

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  18. #18
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    I ordered ice tech rotors from chain reaction. Waited and waited and they never arrived. Filled out lost shipment form. The second replacement order was sent out 2/26...the second order hasn't arrived! This is delaying my TBc build..it's the only part I'm missing. I've been waiting over a month now. I will never do it again

  19. #19
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    Irony bit me on the ass!
    Ordered an X01 crankset from Merlin because it was a killer deal. In fact a frond had ordered TWO cranksets from them the week before and got them in 4 days. My order got to the States in 2 days, but then sat in customs for exactly a month. The whole time USPS tracking said it as in their NY distribution center waiting for dispatch. Then Finally it just popped out with no fanfare. ****in customs.
    To their credit, Merlin was very patient with my several "where the hell is my stuff?" Emails.
    Also, the Royal Post tracking number is the same once it gets to USPS.

  20. #20
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    I ordered a wheelset from Cyclesports 09MAR and received it 21MAR. I did get hit with a $17 customs invoice from DHL a couple of weeks later. I've ordered several lesser value items from Chain Reaction and never received a customs invoice.
    Last edited by walangkatapat; 05-28-2014 at 06:17 PM.

  21. #21
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    I ordered brakes, shifters, derailleurs, and a crank set from CRC and broke it up to 3 small separate orders thinking that I would not get dinged from Canada Customs, unfortunately I was charged taxes and a $10 handling fee for 2 of the 3 packages. It would have been better for me to pay the one handling fee and taxes.

    I then ordered brakes, rear derailleur, cassette, and a crank from Riddle and was dinged taxes and a $10 handling fee.

    Customs has not been forgiving for me in Vancouver...

  22. #22
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    I ordered a bike frame from CRC. It took roughly 3 weeks to receive it. Unfortunately, I also ordered a new cassette which was shipped in the same box. The cassette was put in a padded envelope but they forgot to seal it and the cassette became loose dinging up the frame in transit. I was never charged import taxes. I sent the frame back for an exchange and when I received the replacement there was a letter from customs on the box requiring the mail person to collect duties before delivery. Fortunately, they never saw the letter posted on the box and therefore didn't collect anything from me.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  23. #23
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    I got hit with a $43 fee(UPS) on the fork I just ordered from Merlin

  24. #24
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    My girlfriend ordered some pedals from CRC, which took around 3 weeks to arrive. Soon after i thought id try my luck at UK bike parts. I ordered an xt shadow plus mech and saint pedals from Merlin which arrived in a little over a week. Both were shipped via royal mail, which did not have any duties fees.

    It definitely seems to be a case of " your mileage may vary" when ordering internationally.

  25. #25
    rjx
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    I just posted a thread yesterday about my first ever UK order (Chain Reaction Cycles).
    Chainreaction Cycles & U.S. Residents

    Here's a summary:
    - Ordered 1 rotor, 1 cassette, 1 set of pedals, 1 chain, 1 rear derailleur
    - Once I placed the order it took 9 days to arrive to me in California (free sh)
    - Box was at least 2 x bigger than needed and the contents were sliding around inside due to no padding or shipping materials inside the box
    - Box was beat up with tears and holes -- CRC used a cheap, flimsy box
    - USPS needed to tape the box
    - 2 of my 5 items were OEM when there was no indication of such on the CRC site
    - The cassette was placed in a small CRC box that was slightly too small
    - All 5 items appeared to be undamaged (I need to inspect again to make sure)

    Check out the thread I linked to, a few more people have had similar experiences.

    And BTW, as far as I know there are no fee's I need to pay.

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