International Customers: What Can We Do To Improve Shipping? Prize For Best Answer :)

35 posts in this topic

Hey you guys. My shipping team wanted me to reach out to our International customers to see what we can do to improve your experience with shipping Acne.org products to you.

Please let me know:

  1. Your country
  2. Your suggestion(s)

We really want some feedback to serve you guys better, and they have told me that they put aside a Big Kit Plus for the best answer :)

Cheers.

Dan

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Country: UK

Suggestions: I think the current shipment system is great, I've ordered a few times and I've received the order within the estimated time frame. I think it could probably be faster, though, maybe if the orders are dispatched sooner? I'm not sure how you receive orders, and whether you receive international requests separately, but maybe a quicker dispatch would aid with the time it takes to be delivered. Also, the price we have to pay in tax or handling fees for the products is extortionate - I'd never be able to buy anything too pricey from here for fear of being heavily taxed. However, the lower the value, the less (or even no) extra fees are required, so maybe dispatching items separately or something would help with that.

Again, I don't really have much knowledge on how the system works already, so apologies if none of those suggestions are applicable. Other than that, I've been pleased with my orders.

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País: España

El único problema que encuentro en el envío son los gastos , ya que de esta manera los productos cuestan el doble, si pudieran bajar los costes en el envío sería una compra perfecta, porque sus productos son baratos y de buena calidad.

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País: España

El único problema que encuentro en el envío son los costes.

Si pudieran reducir los gastos de envío sería una compra perfecta, ya que sus productos son de buena calidad y buen precio, pero con los costes de envío para espańa los productos cuestan el doble.

Si esto se pudiera reducir yo sería una compradora habitual de sus productos.

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Thank goodness for google translate :)

Keep the suggestions coming you guys!

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First of all I am really happy you send the products to Europe, so the shipping is really good.

But the first time I ordered I didnt know I had to pay at the door also 50$, so that was a shock. So maybe you can make the costumer aware of this.

Second, i dont know if it is an option, but sending the products with the latest expire date to the costumers outside the USA. Because orders in the USA will get free shipping above 40$ but most of us allready pay 40$ just for the shipping. So then we can order the BP in larger amounts and safe money on the shipping (less frequent).

But further then that, really good service. Had my kit after 2 days and the tracking was really up to date (live in Holland). So i think the shipping is really good (at least to the Netherlands)

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Country: Spain

Some days ago I tried to order the starter kit and I couldn't do it. Spain is an invalid shipping address when you choose it in the checkout. So I asked you through your contact form about shipping to Spain and was told that there is no 100% guarantee that I would receive the shipment (because of the customs) so I may order at my own risk.

I think you and spanish people need to find a secure way to ship your supplies to Spain. Here I make some suggestions I hope they will be helpful:

- Join to a global shipping program (like this one of Ebay: http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/shipping-globally.html). I've already ordered some items from Ebay through this program and I've never had any problem.

- I've heard about a shipping system which involves an intermediary shipper (such as shipito.com) but I don't know if they really avoid customs or their packages are as likely to be withhold by customs as yours.

- Consider the cash-on-delivery option or a money-back guarantee in case the customer pay first and the package is withhold by customs. If it's the case, the customer would ask the customs to return the package to acne.org and would get their money back. Obviously, someone would have to pay these shipping costs but it could be paid by the customers or by acne.org (or both).

As I've not ordered yet anything from acne.org, I don't know how much time is estimated for the delivery. However, I think it's much more important solving the customs issue than reducing the shipping time.

I'd really appreciate if you fix it, I'd become a VIP customer haha.

Best regards,

Maria

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After lurking on this site for several years and going through different products to control and eliminate my adult acne (it's still an uphill struggle; so far, acne is winning), I decided to create an account here.

've just ordered a face and regimen kit and having it shipped to Hong Kong. While we are not required to pay any customs fees in Hong Kong, sometimes they do occasionally charge for your package.

Below are some of my suggestions, which includes some enhances to the site:

1) You only have a shipping info category which actually doesn't really offer enough information. For example, weight of the packaging will surely affect shipping. So how about indicating the packaging of your products? Do they come in bubble wrap, in boxes, wrapped in paper, etc?

2) Please consider adding the estimated amount including duties/customs fees in the checkout process. Granted it may not be an accurate total amount but it will at least clue us customers as to how much we may have to pay, whether or not the orders are being shipped through the US or internationally.

This last question is simply for my own conscience: Would it be safe to reuse the empty bottles?

Thanks a lot and I'm looking forward to finally trying Dan's regimen for myself, and hope to see some improvements.

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Hi Dan,

Country: UK

I currently order from Amazon which is fantastic - my orders arrive within 5 working days and they're usually dispatched the same day/next day - brilliant! However, like some of the above posters, something needs to be done about import duties. Whether this be having an option to pay these duties in advance at the Amazon checkout, like some sellers offer, or supplying smaller sizes of products (eg. 6oz sizes) that are just below the VAT threshold for international consumers would be a huge help! Also, I hope you will be reintroducing your travel-sized kit of 2oz products as that was the only way I could get the full regime without extortionate fees!

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Thanks you guys. I keep passing these along to the shipping team and they're enjoying hearing from you. Please keep letting us know how we can better serve you guys.

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Hi Dan,

I've been using your products for just over a week, after my acne broke out again a year or so after I was clear using the regimen before. I decided to fork out for the shipping to Australia, as the BP we get here is in a tiny tube and expensive for what it is.

I am so glad I did, as the quality of your products is great, and your BP doesn't seem to make my skin as aggravated as the other type I have tried.

As for shipping internationally, the price of shipping to Aus was nearly the same as the products I bought. I completely admire your ethics when it comes to being transparent about the shipping costs, rather than hide them in the product price.

However, might I suggest for International customers that the second and subsequent orders be subsidised. I am not sure I can afford to pay another $45AUD to ship the products out the second time around, however if we were given a 50% off shipping coupon for our subsequent orders, not only are you encouraging people to continue on the regimen with your products, but you're making it easier for us to continue.

Your site and forum have been invaluable to me. Thank you.


Girl from Oz

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I just ordered 16oz cleanser and 16oz PB to Finland (only 5% PB here). It was a little price, 26 USD for the cheapest shipping method, and 20 USD custom fee, that of course has nothing to do with you. But anyway the products themselves were about 47 USD, so 46 USD extra fee can't stop bothering me. Since the custom fee is affected by the shipping fee, it would be rather nice to have a cheaper option available - even if the shipping would take like a month (after the first arrival you just keep ordering them and thus getting them regularly enough).

I wish to get the products in 2 weeks.

If USP deals with the local custom properly and products are good and long lasting, I'll most probably order again.

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Country: Canada

Suggestions: Your products work really well on me, I have been using them for a long time, however when the time comes where I need to re order your products I tend to cringe at the price of shipping that is added on top considering we are a neighboring country.

I have no problems with the shipping time, Canada pharmaceuticals are very controlling on what they put on the shelf, you will not find any benzoyl peroxide here and AHA. There are some products, however they come in small sizes and very expensive.

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Country: UK

I ordered my first acne.org products last week and they arrived today. I'm extremely impressed with that as it said 2-6 weeks delivery when I purchased. Knowing it arrives quickly will make it easier for me in the future so I won't have to panic whwn I'm running low!

I bought from you because although it was a big financial hit, the large quantity of product still made it cheaper than alternatives. However, I have today been hit with an unexpected £12 customs fee (approx $20). This makes my total price for the big bottle of treatment £50 or $74.

The customs fee really tips it over the edge into being unreasonable. I don't know if there's any way you can avoid the customs fee but looking into that would be a huge benefit for us. This may be too much to ask but could you find a manufacturer somewhere in the EU to produce your product, thus eliminating customs fees?

If you are unable to eliminate the fees then at least a very big warning at the checkout to let customers know an estimated customs fee would be really helpful.

Thank you!

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This is a follow-up to my original post above. I ordered the 16 oz. Back/Body kit + the 8 oz. Regimen Plus kit for shipping to HK. I chose the UPS Worldwide saver shipping option which cost around US25 to $28. My total bill was US$212. It's pretty pricy and honestly, I've never bought any skincare products that cost that much.

The parcel was shipped out on March 27 and arrived in Hong Kong on March 30th, so that was pretty fast. I was able to start the regimen on April 1st which makes it easier to track.

I like the UPS Worldwide saver option as the delivery was fast and it also offered a tracking number. I do wish though that if us international customers are planning to make regular orders, there would at least be some sort of discount to take away the sting of the huge cost. I'm not batting for 50% as there's still a business behind all this after all but a 20 to 25% discount on the Acne.org products would be nice.

And I'm happy to say I'm seeing improvements on my skin thanks to the regimen. It's a good change.

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Country - UK

I am currently trying to decide what size of products to buy at the moment thanks to Import VAT issues and frankly it's driving me mad!

I usually prefer big bottles so i can just focus on the regimen and not worry about re-ordering in short intervals.

There needs to be availability of the products in other countries, I'm sure you are aware that this issue is affecting your sales figures, if people are forced to buy small sizes to avoid vat or seek alternatives afterwards due to past vat experiences, it goes without saying ...

Dan, I already sent you a message regarding UK sales.

Please let me know what you think.

x

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Hello Dan and everyone!

can you please give me a tip how to know how much I am going to pay in total? I order to Russia, how can I know how much it will be until I place an order?

I don't want to mess with the order cancellation if i find that it is more expensive than to order from Amazon...thanks!

Maybe that is also something to work on - so that people can easily know how much the shipment is before they place an order

Edited by dynamix

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Thanks for your input you guys. I'm still reading every one of these.

P.S. I'm glad they're getting to you guys fast.


 

 


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Country: UK

Dear Dan and team,

Today I received my very first order of acne.org treatment, it looks good and I can't wait to start the regimen! Anyway, back to the topic.

My Order

When tracking my order, I noticed that it was being held by Customs (the people who check imports), and so I was anxious to find out whether I had to pay extra to receive the delivery. Below, I will report my own personal experience and honest opinion, and elaborate on this using information I have since researched. Although there's quite a lot to read, I hope my writing is clear and understandable, and that it will be of some use!

I ordered the starter kit of 3 x 8 oz. bottles (cleanser, treatment, moisturiser) which came to $44.21. I decided to opt for the fastest shipping method, and so this was an additional $38.92. The total was then $83.13. With my bank's conversion rate and a charge of £1.36, the total came to £50.77. I have suffered from acne for 8 long years, with nothing working effectively and no end in sight. So, would I say this is expensive? Put simply, if it works significantly better than my current erythromycin, then no! If it doesn't work, then yes!

How UK Postage Works

In the UK, we have a public mail system called the Royal Mail (think post boxes, post offices etc.). They distribute letters and some parcels under the the name 'Royal Mail', and some other parcels under the name 'Parcelforce Worldwide'. We also have many (fully) private companies that deliver also.

​When a piece of mail comes into the UK, Her Majestey's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (the Queen's government's customs!) demands the duties and taxes be paid immediately. So, whoever wants to deliver the parcel has to pay these things, and then on delivery, they get the money back from the customer.

My Order and Price Comparison

Parcelforce Worldwide delivered my parcel and charged me £22.13, or about $37. They used the following breakdown:

Customs Duty: £0.00 (may only apply if value is greater than £135)

Excise Duty: £0.00 (for alcohol and tobacco)

Import VAT: £8.63 (standard 20% tax on (most) things sold in the UK)

Clearance Fee: £13.50 (Royal Mail/ Parcelforce's fee for handling - see later!).

So, my total cost is £72.90. For comparison, I get erythromycin from our national health service (NHS) and it costs me around £8 for a six-week prescription. Although I only take this, in the UK one can (AFAIK) get any combination of acne drugs for the same fixed ~£8, as long as they are prescribed and paid for together.

How UK Postage Works (continued)

I was told that if I want to find more information about the cost of international postage then I should search for 'Notice 143' on http://www.hmrc.gov.uk . So, I did just that:

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Here are what I have considered to be the important points about VAT:

  1. For items valued (i.e. the value stated on the packaging label) between £0.01 and £15 (inclusive), there is no customs duty or VAT!
  2. For items valued between £15.01 and £135 (inclusive), there is no customs duty, but there is VAT.
  3. VAT is a fixed and known percentage that can be predicted and told to the customer, at least in the UK.
  4. Alternatively, it may be possible for a company to pay UK VAT in advance and charge their customers the extra difference, thus avoiding potential surprises (see hmrc.gov.uk).

VAT and the Clearance Fee

This is where it gets really interesting! I quote from hmrc.gov.uk:

If customs charges are payable upon importation, Royal Mail will charge a handling fee to cover the costs for carrying out customs procedures, which includes paying any customs duties or VAT due and collecting it from you. If customs examination is required, or if information is missing from the declaration, Royal Mail open, repack and reseal the package. All international courier and postal operators charge fees for their services and HMRC and Border Force does not have any authority over the level of charges they apply.

(Note that if there is no duty and/or tax to pay, you won't be charged a handling fee)

To me, this seems to suggest that the clearance fee I paid was actually a kind of administration fee, for the hard work of the Post Office to calculate the VAT on my order! It seems that if the 'value' is £15 or less, they won't bother to calculate (and charge) VAT, and so there won't be any clearance fee either. Double win?

Possibly. Possibly not. They go on to say that the VAT is normally calculated on the declaration value (the value acne.org choose to write on the label) plus shipping costs! The value on my package's label was $34.02 (not the $44.21 above but OK) and the shipping was $38.92, which makes a combined $72.92. 20% of that amount is then added as VAT, which would be an extra fee of £8.68. This, I think is where Parcelforce get the VAT value above.

The cheapest UK delivery you do is $20.53, or £12.23 (according to Google). So, to avoid VAT and the clearance fee, you would have to say that the product is worth around £2 (or less) to get the total under £15. I don't know what the definition of 'declaration value' is so I may be wrong with the following, but within the UK it's often used as a kind of 'value that you are insuring for'. You'd have to look into what rules you have to abide by, if any, but this has the potential to save buyers in the UK a lot of money.

The European Union - An Alternative?

Alternatively, you could have a manufacturer based in the UK or the EU! Here is some information that is from hmrc.gov.uk that I think is potentially interesting:

  1. For goods moving within the EU, import duties and taxes do not usually apply.

  2. None-UK EU members are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Congratulations, you've made it to the end of this epic post. I hope it is interesting/useful!

Cheers.

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Hello, Dan and the whole acne.org team.

I'm from Venezuela.

I have a sad story to tell. On March I ordered a kit of 16 oz. of each product and 6 oz. of AHA. I didn't put a Venezuelan address mostly because shipping is too expensive (it's okay, it's an obvious thing). My dad rented a mailbox in Miami with a company that would send anything that gets there to an office in our home city. We use it when we buy from Amazon and whatnot. So, I put that Miami address. Everything was perfect, it got to Miami on time, and I was really excited, I've been wanting to try these products for months now. It got a bit delayed in Miami because they needed the receipt so I sent it to them, and it was good to go. I waited for weeks, and then went to the office where it would arrive, they told me it should be on its way. I went there several times after that, until one day, on the last week of May they told me that the truck that was carrying my shipment (along with many others) from the airport to my city got robbed several minutes after leaving the airport. I got so mad, because the robbers only wanted phones and things they could sell and they probably tossed away my precious shipment.

Venezuela's in very bad shape, it's harder to live here everyday.

Anyway, I'm going to move to Canada this fall so I will order some new Regimen products when I have the chance. Thanks for your efforts and wonderful website. I love all of it.

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I've ordered the acne.org BP treatment 3 times already, and suddenly now, as I tried to process my order 5 minutes ago, I was told that this product no longer ships to Canada…. This is a huge setback!!! Not a happy camper.

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Country: Sweden

Hey Dan,

I have something I think you and your team should take into consideration. I have been trying to find something similar to the "The Regimen" for many hours now and I just had to express my thoughts. After stumbling across this site more than a year ago I thought maybe, just maybe I found what I have always been looking for but then realizing that due to importation restrictions I can't place my order. What a disappointment, oh well the time flew away and here I am today, same exact problem with same disappointment. Many may think that why just not find a good cleanser and moisturizer. The problem is that 1,4 oz(40g) of Benzoyl peroxide in Sweden costs 21 dollars which is 135 dollars a month just on Benzoyl peroxide. That's not something everybody can afford, or are willing to pay so my suggestion is to come around the importation restrictions in one way or another.

1. Try to get an import authorization to the following countries. Austria, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Spain, Sweden and Turkey

2. Amazon.co.uk or finding a good retailer

As far I know shipping Benzoyl peroxide inside EU is legal and do not demand any authorization(I may be wrong). So opening up a shop on Amazon.co.uk would solve the EU problems. I'm fully aware of all the questions that may pop up for example, who will take care of the orders?, is the demand big enough? etc. I will be fully honest I don't know anything about business I'm just giving you what I think is most important. If the Amazon shop don't work at all, you maybe can reach out to other retailers.

Starting to manufacture inside the EU, maybe this is a long shot but as I and few people already have told you maybe this isn't a bad idea after all? The demand of leaving the Acne.org organisation outside the US is the next step if you ask me, it would benefit many people including me. Vat, shipment, overall cost and those importation restriction(I may be wrong) is just a few of the positive effects.

From what I have said above is something that I know many others can relate too, because I can read it all over the web. It's time for a change, Austria, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Spain, Sweden and Turkey isn't some small non demanding countries. All together there are more than +600 millions of people that can't even benefit of The Regimen. I can't answer how to solve the problem outside the EU besides applying for an import authorization. The only thing I know is that the demand inside the EU is huge, and trying to solve that situation is more important than trying to lowering the shipping cost.

I hope you some clarity what I'm trying to say, best of luck Tobias!

Edited by tobbe134

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This sounds exactly like my situation. My products have been held up in customs since Sunday. Did you have to pay the duty before the package was released by customs or was it payable on delivery?

Country: UK

Dear Dan and team,

Today I received my very first order of acne.org treatment, it looks good and I can't wait to start the regimen! Anyway, back to the topic.

My Order

When tracking my order, I noticed that it was being held by Customs (the people who check imports), and so I was anxious to find out whether I had to pay extra to receive the delivery. Below, I will report my own personal experience and honest opinion, and elaborate on this using information I have since researched. Although there's quite a lot to read, I hope my writing is clear and understandable, and that it will be of some use!

I ordered the starter kit of 3 x 8 oz. bottles (cleanser, treatment, moisturiser) which came to $44.21. I decided to opt for the fastest shipping method, and so this was an additional $38.92. The total was then $83.13. With my bank's conversion rate and a charge of £1.36, the total came to £50.77. I have suffered from acne for 8 long years, with nothing working effectively and no end in sight. So, would I say this is expensive? Put simply, if it works significantly better than my current erythromycin, then no! If it doesn't work, then yes!

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The HMRC website has always been a bit confusing.

I havent looked recently, but it used to say that VAT was only payable on the intrinsic value of the goods (which doesn't include postage), yet another page said that it was payable on the total amount, including postage (for amounts over £15).

All I can say is, I have never paid VAT or handling charges when ordering single tubes of either the 8oz treatment or 6oz AHA+ even though the total comes to more than £15 (my last order of 8oz treatment was $19 (£11.56) + $12.67 (£7.71) shipping.

Having said that, I always use the cheapest USPS shipping. The shipping price isn't printed on the label.

Edited by Manticore

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