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Old 06.12.2018, 09:25
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On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

Has anyone bought clothes online with House of Fraser/ Debenhams/ John Lewis etc and had it delivered here? Did it work? Did you get asked to pay extra taxes?

I need to buy new clothes, reasonably smart work wear, and the thought of doing it in CH makes me wince. I usually buy clothes in the UK, but I'm not going to be back for a while.

So, is shopping online in the UK and getting it delivered here a sensible alternative? Delivery seems to be about £15, and even if I were asked to pay Swiss VAT, it still seems significantly cheaper.
A basic Phase8 work dress, new Uk price £90, on sale £50, similar on Zolando new 200CHF sale 150CHF.

I always buy the same brands, and know my size. So I don't expect to want to return things.

Any thoughts? Or does everyone do this?
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Old 06.12.2018, 10:38
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

Generally, you will pay MWSt and an administrative fee. Most companies should be able to deduct UK VAT, so on balance often a win.

With the exception of AmazonUK (from which I order frequently, with relatively few problems) and Landsend UK (a subsidary of a US company, with a decidedly US approach to customer service) I have had terrible luck ordering from UK retailers, big and medium sized.

Perhaps it really was just a run of bad luck, but each package ordered from a traditional UK retailer got stuck in Swiss customs due to lack of documentation. Most of the time the package ended up getting returned to the sender because it took the UK retailer's customer (dis)service reps too long to try to sort out the problem. And then the fun began, trying to sort out reimbursement.

One retailer with customs procedures issues, happenstance. Two, a coincidence. But half a dozen?

Granted, after the first half dozen failures I gave up ordering from UK retailers, so my few experiences should be taken as anecdotes only, certainly not meaningful data.

As always on EF, though, I'm sure you will find other posters with good experience.


(I do most of my online shopping with US retailers, mostly for delivery to the US as I am there frequently. But occasionally I still ship to Switzerland - never had a problem. In fact, several US retailers now go through Borderfree so you can pre-pay customs fees, which is a savings not only in time and hassle but also seems to be (so far) somewhat less expensive. I rarely buy clothing from Swiss retailers, simply because I can never find the things I want/need here.)

Last edited by meloncollie; 06.12.2018 at 10:57.
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Old 06.12.2018, 13:06
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

Avoid M&S, their prices appear to be their VAT inclusive UK retail price, converted at a terrible exchange rate, plus the Swiss 7.7% on that (so you are paying Swiss VAT on the UK 20% VAT) plus shipping (unless it is over a certain amount).

The first time I ordered from them I also got a bill from DHL asking for even more duty, VAT and handling fee, depite having already paid. Took weeks to get them to sort it out.

Last edited by bowlie; 06.12.2018 at 13:20.
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Old 06.12.2018, 14:05
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

I regularly use Next without any issues.

[very reasonable] prices in CHFs. Postage and import duties paid by Next. Delivery generally within a couple of days.

The only place I get hit for fees is on my credit card as despite the price being in CHFs Next is based outside of CHF and so a fee is applied (a few francs).
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Old 06.12.2018, 14:11
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

Boden uses some crappy Swiss forwarding company which charges you a fortune for nothing.

My wife refused to pay for these creative extras, got the goods sent back and refused to shop with them again.

Anyone who ships with DHL should be avoided as well. They recently sent me an email querying something (out of my control) and then billed me 40 CHF for bonded storage.

Sure, you can complain, ask for a check of fees and do whatever but online shopping should be really be easier than this.
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Old 06.12.2018, 14:43
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

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Boden uses some crappy Swiss forwarding company which charges you a fortune for nothing.
George at Asda have a similar very expensive 3rd party company doing the deliveries, which bumped the cost up to Swiss prices, so I didn't place the order.

I've had deliveries from House of Fraser (2 days ) Debenhams (5 days), Monsoon (4 days) and Next (5 days). I was contemplating using them again for winter shoes and boots, but managed to buy 3 pairs in the sales on Monday for CHF 80- total at Dosenbach on Bahnhoffstrasse. That's a hell of a lot cheaper than I paid a year ago in the UK. Now if I could only find my favourite Asda bras in Zurich...

The biggest duty bill post delivery, was for 4 pairs of branded mens trousers from House Of Fraser, and even that was only CHF40-. That parcel's contents would have cost CHF 340- in Zurich, but I got them in the HoF sale for £60, so the saving covered the duty several times over.

Have you considered Zara?
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Old 06.12.2018, 16:38
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

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Have you considered Zara?
I hope that wasn't directed at me! (you did reply to my post).

My wife shops mainly using Zalando.
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Old 10.12.2018, 09:48
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

I am too short to shop in Zara!
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Old 03.01.2019, 13:24
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Re: On Line Shopping Uk, delivery to CH

I'm a big internet shopper and I am always batting against the odds.

In my experience, the best shopping options you have to not suffer any charges are:
* Next (you can return but you must pay the postage),

* ASOS (offers free returns, no fuzz) and

* Amazon (DE, ES, IT & FR will ship free to CH for orders over 50 euros - using global delivery services and on the UK you have to pay but delivery is very fast).

* Sports direct will get a charge but it is the usual postal services and taxes, it will set you back around 50-60 CHF, depending on the value of your purchase, but considering their bargain prices, it could pay off.

* M&S - had a bill as high as 199 francs from DHL once (the order value was around 250 GBP), so for me, never again.

* John Lewis - I had used them in the past and it was ok, I always had to pay the clearing fees from the courier but it was reasonable and expected.

Until my last order this Christmas of about 300 GBP. John Lewis sent 3 separate deliveries. All my parcels arrived damaged, the last was even missing the item (I got an empty box) and I was charged 3 times by DPD for their services, on a full order value. So now I'm 170 CHF worse off and John Lewis said it is not their responsibility. That it is normal to be charged per separate deliveries. Pretty disgusting and shady of them, if you ask me, considering that each separate order contained only 1/3 of the value of my total order, yet I'm being taxed on 300 GBP on each invoice, including for the empty box! so be aware, they say they offer great customer services, until they need to give your money back or correct their wrongs.

Also, if they very well know we need to pay a full set of clearance charges and services per parcel delivery, why ooh why do they make as many separate deliveries as possible? Good customer services? No, more like lets rip them off and make money for the currier company too. I'm pretty angry.

* Ali Express - so far I only had good experiences, never a problem with customs, apart from the odd letter from customs to clarify an item, which in the end always resulted in me not having to pay anything. Although that might change this year with the new Swiss law on VAT for imports.
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