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Old 01-02-2011, 01:42 AM   #1
Mark
 
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Default Theory11 hurt me =(

I recently ordered a brick of playing cards at theory11.com, paid for the products and shipping, had the order ship to me, had the postman ring my doorbell and then.. I had to pay 22.19 euros extra. What for?! Ever since I'm a magician I ordered hundreds of playing cards from the United States but although I ordered decks at tens of different sellers this has seriously never happened to me before. 22.19 EUR (30 USD) is even more than I usually pay for the shipping of packages from the US which include twice as many decks of cards.

So I emailed Theory11 and thought you would all be very curious about this. I apparently couldn't contact them at the email address they put at the order mail though, so I decided to do it through the contact form on their website. Hereby the emails so far:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hilkemeijer
Dear Sir/Madam,

I received my order but I had to pay 22.19 euros extra to actually receive it. This apparently is made out of extra taxes (9.69 EUR) and customs clearance (12.50 EUR). I have ordered plenty of cards and bricks from the US (often 24 decks per package) but I never had to pay extra for such things before.

Could you please tell me why those costs were not included in what I paid for on the website? I think this is a bit strange, also because it involves more money than I usually pay for the entire shipping of such and bigger packages.

Thank you and best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hilkemeijer

PS: I tried emailing this to the contact email from below the 'order shipment notification' but I keep getting failure notifications about the emails not getting through to that email address.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theory11 support
Mark,

Thanks for that order - hope your week has been going well.

I apologize for this inconvenience. The VAT (value added tax) charge is no different than any state tax our citizens are liable for. Unfortunately, all members are responsible for their local taxes, including international members, as stated here: http://www.theory11.com/shipping_options.php

Some items imported to the U.K., such as food, are exempt from the VAT tax. That said, most items are charged this VAT tax. I did a quick google search for your convenience, http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...Tax/DG_4015895

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Thanks, and have a Happy New Year!

theory11 support
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hilkemeijer
Dear Theory11 support,

Thank you for your clarification. I do not understand it very well though, so please allow me to elaborate:

I understand that I had to pay VAT of 9.69 EUR, but because the VAT wasn't included in the costs on your website I had to pay 12.50 EUR on top of it for the clearance and having the package actually being handed to me by the postman. In all orders from the United States I ever made, the VAT prices always were included from the very beginning. In this case it would have saved me not just the 9.69 EUR, but also the additional 12.50 EUR as this is the price we usually pay over here for paying the postman whenever he needs to accept cash.

Nowhere on the article or in the shopping cart it says that the costs are without the VAT charges. Instead, it says 'Grand total' which makes it seem like those really are all the costs the buyers would have to pay. Why wouldn't you guys have all the VAT charges included to begin with, just like all of your concurrents and sellers on eBay and on other online markets who save buyers a lot of money that way? To be honest, the shipping charges on your website already aren't the cheapest, but to pay this many additional costs that end up into nowhere should be both frustrating for the buyers and for you as seller.

This also means that "The more you buy, the more you save!" on decks is rendered invalid because the more people buy, the more additional costs they will have to pay which ends up being much more than the discount they got at first.

I am very sorry for the frustration, but I hope you understand and take this into consideration. This current situation is a big let down to me.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Mark Hilkemeijer
Please let me know what you think about this.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:32 AM   #2
TheMisdirectingHand
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Maybe it's because the name Mark Hilkemeijer is just so amazing, they had to add taxes.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:38 AM   #3
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The one comment I have (I can't comment on the VAT because I live in the US) is that the recent physical order I placed did seem to have a relatively large shipping charge as compared to other magic retailers. I usually only buy downloads there though, so shipping is for the most part not a problem.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
TheMisdirectingHand
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Maybe you should try buying in lower quantities each time?
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"There are three types of people in this world;

•People who talk and never do: The Lower Class

•People who talk and do at the same time: The Middle Class

•People who do before they ever talk: The Upper Class

A real man does not need to talk. We are the upper class."

-Joseph Lau
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s13zeTheDay
The one comment I have (I can't comment on the VAT because I live in the US) is that the recent physical order I placed did seem to have a relatively large shipping charge as compared to other magic retailers. I usually only buy downloads there though, so shipping is for the most part not a problem.
Shipping charges at these kind of commercial magic sellers (Theory11, Ellusionist) are indeed pretty high. I guess they also added charges for their service to the shipping costs, rather than just to their products.

For a brick of playing cards, Ellusionist charges me $33.25 and Theory11 charged me $25.52, yet at Ellusionist I wouldn't have to pay those additional costs because these are included in advance and at T11 I ended up paying $55.50 for the shipping. That is more than the brick of decks is even worth!

It's funny that Theory11 also gives an option of a shipping charge of $109.02. Not even Bill Gates would ever think of paying that much for it. Maybe if Mr Kenner would come bring the brick to me personally, but that's not the case.. and I think I'd have to pay a whole lot more taxes then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMisdirectingHand
Maybe you should try buying in lower quantities each time?
Shouldn't make a difference because the overall value is still the same (that's at least how it works over here). Plus, at eBay I still pay a maximum of $22.95 for the shipping + VAT charges of two bricks of decks from the US. I would've won about $15 on the cheapest related eBay item if the T11 package didn't have the extra cost added.. but now I lost $15.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:22 PM   #6
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Penguinmagic has great deals on shipping. Shipping is free over $25 (at least within the US) and the other rates are much more reasonable than T11 and E. (They also happen to have a $1000 shipping option, but that's if you want Maxwell Murphy to personally deliver the item)
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
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Yup, Penguin is great as for that, and they've always had the fanciest shipping deals. I remember a time in which you could order a model or two to deliver your package and to participate in your videos for a couple of hours.

EDIT: I think I did something horrible to the USPS! The shipping charges on Theory11, Ellusionist and DanAndDave went insane for the whole of Europe now! 99.02$ is the very cheapest option we now have hahaha.

EDIT 2: Ah, they solved it again. Too bad nothing changed afterall so orders from T11 will probably still have extra costs added to them.

EDIT 3: I ended up sending T11 some suggestions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hilkemeijer
...There are two things I would like to suggest...:

The most important one is regarding making the Shipping Options page more important. This page is currently called 'Theory11 Shipping Options' and is put in the menu below as 'Crazy Fast Shipping'. That is not something I would want to click on for such important information, a question with answer that is put somewhere in between questions I did not wonder about. This is also the exact reason why I didn't know about it. I didn't have any questions due to my experience of all costs being included at the very beginning and nothing in my cart saying that I had to be sure to read that line. Also, the shipping options were already displayed in the cart and thus there wouldn't be a reason to check out a page called like that. I think that a line in the store or cart saying that taxes may be added would be much more appropriate.

Second is a follow-up on the first one, this time regarding actually having those VAT charges added to the cart automatically. VAT charges don't change all of a sudden and thus can be scripted and included to the grand prices easily. Or maybe an estimation? It is location-based, just like USPS script you already use for shipping charges. It could save your costumers a lot of money on CODs which turn the VAT charges from "just fine" into "insane" (as you may have noticed, I paid more for the postman who had to take COD, than for the VAT itself).
...
I hope you take this into consideration. Thanks a lot for the good service.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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Mark,

Regarding your "Edit" - the USPS updated their serves without any forewarning so we were left scrambling to update the API. As you mentioned though that's all been resolved now.

As you know from our support correspondance on theory11, those charges are completely out of our control- we don't receive a penny of them. Those additional charges are controlled by your local government unfortunately.

Thank you for the kind words of advice as well, we'll definitely take those into consideration. Have a great 2011.

/ Bryant AuCoin
/ VP of operations, theory11
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, nothing changed yet.
Thanks for taking your time to sign up to this board though, Bryant.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:50 AM   #10
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Mark that is typical T11 though lolz
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:49 PM   #11
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now i guess no more theory11
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