by Vanessa of Dress 2Party, London
PROM GIRLS BEWARE! THE HIDDEN COSTS IN PURCHASES MADE FROM OVERSEAS ONLINE RETAILERS AND OTHER THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW!
Prom girls beware! Buyers in the UK are often misled by the prices on overseas websites when looking for their all important prom dress. In an attempt to capture the UK market, some of the largest online retailers based abroad, often fail to advise customers about the import duty and VAT that will be payable by the customer when they receive their dress, resulting in many unsuspecting prom girls receiving a big tax bill for their dress that they did not budget for at all!
For example, items for sale on some US sites can appear up to 35% cheaper than the UK online price, as a result of a simple conversion from the US $ price to the UK £ price. However, this price is sometimes only a part of the cost, as once the dress is shipped to the UK the customer can receive a bill for the Import Duty and VAT, increasing the cost of the dress by 40%. Unfortunately, many girls will only know about this once the dress has arrived in the UK and they are obliged to pay the taxes, as any reference to local taxes and duties is often buried in the small print on many US websites.
Buyers should also beware of any overseas sites that offer to package the dress as a gift in order to avoid taxes, as UK Customs are aware of this type of fraud and it is classed as tax evasion!
In addition to the hidden costs, buying your prom dress from an overseas retailer can be a risky business as the Consumer laws and regulations that protect UK purchases do not apply. You are unable to return a dress purchased on line from many US sites in any circumstances, even if, as some unlucky girls discovered, they were sent a different dress to the one actually ordered! In contrast, UK sites are required by law to provide a full refund if the dress is returned within 14 days, even if you have simply changed your mind about the purchase. You will also have the comfort of being able to speak to somebody local and on the same time zone about your exciting purchase.
For most girls, buying their prom dress is the most exciting dress purchase in their lives so far. If that dream dress is available to buy in the UK then keeping that purchase British means you are less likely to receive nasty shocks with unexpected extra costs, and in the event that the dress is not suitable in any way, it can easily be returned.
See also More Problems with ordering your dress form abroad and Ball Gown Heaven also has a lot of interesting information on their website at www.ballgownheaven.co.uk.
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