Internet Businesses and brick and mortar stores, all have the pain in the ass customer from time to time. That's just the way it is. Except that most of us don't talk about it. We do. Because we can.
Here's the scenario.
New International customer purchases 4 shirts from DressThatMan.
After receiving notification of the receipt of order, they send us an email:
thanks for your notification.
One big question: In order to avoid my paying very high import taxes, please
- if possible - put NO invoice into the package, and on the customs form
declare a value less than 25 USD, e.g. for "used clothing". This has worked
very well on other occasions. You may send the invoice seperately (as a
letter) if you want.
Thanks so much and regards,
XXXcustomer name hereXXX
Max from DressThatMan responds:
We are required by law to enclose an invoice with international packages. We cannot falsify customs forms. There is very little on our site under $25 - 4 shirts for $25 would alert customs to a false statement very quickly if they visited our site. The business and our staff individually could be fined for signing a false customs declaration - clearly this would not be a wise business practice.
Your shirts have been shipped Global priority today with a true customs declaration and the required invoice inside the package. We did make it very clear the items were "USED." We hope that helps.
Thank you for your understanding.
Weeks go by and the following email is received from the customer.
just wanted to let you know that, after all, I had to pay an import tax of 46,28 Euro, which is appr. 58 USD (on a sales cost of 170 USD). I do appreciate your reasons for acting extraordinarily lawfully - but this means in the end that I will definitely have to refrain from putting any other order with your company and to address other companies instead which are more cooperative and creative when it comes to deal with customs regulations (as I have experienced in many an occasion during the last years catering for a group of second hand/vintage/seventies enthusiasts who also set up shows and presentations). I also will have to advice friends and partners of mine.
Yours sincerely. XXXcustomerNameXXX
Max read that and was hot under the collar. Max doesn't get pissy that often, so we tried not to laugh. Left alone to bang out a response on the keyboard and this is what we've got and this is what the customer got:
We understand your frustration at having to pay your own country import
taxes on items purchased overseas. Other vintage companies may lie on
paper to customs agents (This could be called creative - we would label it
as dishonest and unlawful; maybe even anything to get a sale). They may
also lie about the condition of their merchandise to their customers, as
well as their return policies, we wish you the best of luck shopping with
With DressThatMan we are upfront about everything, we do consider
ourselves extraordinarily lawful and honest. Please DO pass that along to
your friends in vintage circles, most of our customers value our
integrity. It is perfectly clear on our ordering page that we declare the
full value of orders placed:
We aren't going to be blackmailed or bullied into trying to rip off your government. The papers for your customs form are recorded and kept for tax purposes here. So, once a year - or several times a year, we can feel ripped off by our own government right here in the USA.