Dear UK customers:
I used to live in England. I love the UK. I love my UK customers. All of you! Even the whingers!
It must be said, however, that a significant percentage of you, when purchasing online, have this pesky little habit of ignoring all my best efforts to tell you what you need to know before you purchase, with results that become aggravating for you and for us! This page is my latest effort to twist your arm into reading the must-knows before it's too late!
1. YOU (i.e. not us, YOU) will probably have to pay customs duties when your parcel arrives, before the Royal Mail will release it to you.
- We are in the US.
- The US is not in the EU.
- Goods imported from the US are taxed by the UK tax authorities.
- There is absolutely nothing we can do to change this reality for you. We cannot estimate or prepay those taxes for you. We will not falsify customs documents by pretending the shipment is a gift.
- It's really and truly Up To You.
2. Cheap shipping = slow shipping!
Most people use First Class International because it's cheap. That's why it is the 'default' shipping method. It tends to take anywhere from 10-20 days including customs processing time. If you want faster shipping, by all means choose faster shipping, rather than whinging to us after the fact.
3. Here's how it works...
...assuming you're among the 99% who choose First Class International:
- USPS collects it from us, and eventually puts it on a slow boat, or back of a camel, or leg of a carrier pigeon, or whatever, depending on the size of your order.
- Upon arrival in the UK, it is logged in the Royal Mail tracking system, so you can use royalmail.com to track it with our tracking number.
- If you're super lucky, (a) your item will be delivered to you promptly with no charge, and (b) you will be Happy.
- If you're normal (a) you will be sent a notice saying there is an item being held at the local post pending payment of customs charges, whereupon (i) if you are a reasonable human being, you trot along to the post office, pay and pick it up, but (ii) if you are a true whinger, you will pick up a virtual stick, log into your email account and start beating us up for what you would have known if you'd bothered to read this (or at least the bright yellow highlighted notice about it right above the Submit Order button); and (b) depending on the outcome, e.g. how much the customs charge was, how much you like the product(s), and/or how much blood you managed to draw from our virtual backs, you may or may not be Happy.
- If you are truly unlucky (and sadly, several of my customers have been this year... sigh), you will receive no notice, and no parcel, and you may frantically email us and heap all kinds of abuse on us for our poor service, whereupon we will take a deep breath and request that you phone or visit your post office along with a printout of the tracking information from royalmail.com, which we also will provide. If you are reasonable, you will give it a try. If you are an ultra uber whinger, you will continue to heap abuse, demand that we refund everything, and threaten to file a fraud complaint with your credit card service. Whichever you are, however, being the saint-like customer service team that we are, we will probably go to every possible length to help you, and if your package goes astray entirely we will send a new one.
- If, in the end, for whatever reason, you do not collect your parcel, and the Royal Mail sends it back to us, we, in our great generosity and magnanimity, will promptly refund the product cost. But not the shipping! That's the one place we will really dig in our heels! Losing money after going through this much aggravation is just way over the top. Until, of course, you once again threaten to report it as credit card fraud. Then we cave. C'est la vie.
4. Not liking this reality? We'd love to help you find another source! Seriously!
Some of our products have no UK dealers, but some others do. We're happy to help you find them so you can avoid delays and higher shipping expense.