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First time buying an Aero jacket


I'll Lock Up
Cleveland, OH
I just couldn't resist a fine Aero leather jacket that I have been looking at on their sale page for a few weeks. Being a one of a kind design from the Blue Label range, I rationalized that if I didn't buy it, I'd never find another quite like it, so I pulled the trigger earlier this week.

It's by a few hundred dollars the most expensive article of clothing I've ever purchased, and I was a bit reluctant, but I reasoned, why not write to them and make what you feel is a reasonable offer, and if they decline it, no harm done. So I sent them a politely worded inquiry, and a few days later received a response back from them with a counter offer, amounting to a 10% discount, which I gladly accepted.

However there were a few things I hadn't counted on -- hidden expenses.

In short:

  • Currency exchange fee from credit card. My credit card USED to not charge me for exchanging USD to foreign currency. But apparently that changed at some point. For this transaction they charged me 3% to convert my USD to GBP.
  • Import taxes and duties: I paid £40 for shipping, and there was no sales tax charged by Aero on the transaction. However, once the jacket arrived in the USA, I got a notification from DHL saying that I had to pay import duties, taxes, and fees before they could deliver the package to my door. So, an additional $140 unexpectedly added to the cost.

I might have known to expect that there ought to be some tax or import duty, but not having an amount disclosed ahead of purchasing and then finding out only while the shipment was en route was a shock. I wonder, in the event that there were something wrong with the item and I needed to return it, if this cost would be refundable. I imagine not, or that at the very least it would be quite a chore to figure out how to get it back.

In all, shipping, taxes, and currency conversion added about $240 to the cost, and represents about 25% of the total expense.

I don't think it'll affect how much I like the jacket, in the end, but it's definitely something to take into account if you're considering purchasing. And it makes the asking prices on used jackets that much more reasonable.

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