Is anyone else/everyone else in the US having problems ordering anything from

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Geof, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Geof

    Geof Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Miguel, CA USA
    I realize mail is still kind of a mess with different countries having different restrictions about what can be mailed where, less flights so less air mail etc.. Both Germany and Japan can't ship by airmail to the US currently, so I have purchased CDs which are sitting in both countries waiting for the restrictions to let up. When you open the page, there's a message at the top that states, "We are delivering to your region with limited shipping options. Please expect extended delivery time." But when I try ordering anything sold by them, such as the upcoming Fleetwood Mac box — cheaper than the US edition — I get this message in red, even before I log in: "This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location. Please choose a different delivery location."

    I had three CDs pre-ordered back in Jan. through March. All three are now out, but in my orders section, it stated they hadn't shipped yet, and really puzzling, they now said they are being sold to me by RAREWAVES and other third party dealers who are indeed selling them, but at higher prices. After three calls to customer service — including one where the agent told me he was instructed last year when he joined Amazon that they don't ship to PO Boxes. I told him that was absurd and that I'd ordered over 100 items from them going back to 2003 and all were shipped to my PO Box, including titles that arrived this past March. He saw that and agreed that didn't make sense, but they are unable to explain why my orders to them got transferred to outside dealers, and what the resolution is except to cancel all the orders and re-order them — at higher prices — from those 3rd party sellers. They gave me a £10 credit for my troubles ... except I can't use it because I can't order anything that is directly from them.

    The weird aspect is that I have recently ordered three CDs on ebay, Discogs etc. from indie UK dealers charging regular shipping rates and all three arrived in about ten days, so shipping from the UK by air does seem to be possible; I don't know why Amazon can't do it and won't even let you place a pre-order.
  2. Joe Lopez

    Joe Lopez Well-Known Member

    Tacoma, WA
    When I took a look at Amazon UK’s music listings, I could find almost no physical music “product” (either CD or LP) listed as available to buy. My only was to stream. Where there is anything, it’s from a 3rd party vendor.

    I suspect the options listed might have been different had I been coming in via a U.K. ISP. I get the impression that Amazon UK is limiting the options of US customers either due to the pandemic or some other issue. They seem to have decided that selling international music items isn’t worth the bother.
  3. Antenociticus

    Antenociticus Forum Resident are now using DHL to deliver to the US - they won't deliver to P.O. Boxes. Prior to the COVID mess used a variety of shipping companies which inevitably resulted in the "last mile" being conducted by the USPS.
    As a result of this policy, shipping to the US has become prohibitively expensive: $18 - $ 25 to ship box sets which used to cost $3.99.
    Yesterday I ordered the Waterboys, Fisherman's Box (6CDs) from RareWaves and the shipping was $3.99. RareWaves unfortunately don't deduct the 20% VAT from their prices when shipping to the USA ( do).
  4. Geof

    Geof Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Miguel, CA USA
    This remains a bizarre and — at least in any announcement from Amazon — unexplained situation. I've been ordering CDs from them delivered to my PO Box, having received the Cream - Goodbye box just this past March (pre-ordered in late 2019). And, independent dealers appear to now be selling again and charging regular fees. But with Amazon, it's not just box sets that have pricey mailing; when I just tried placing an order as a test for one single upcoming CD, first it wouldn't ship to my PO Box so I had to switch to my physical address, and then the cost, for ONE CD, was £14.38 ($18.78). Their usual cost was always £3.08 ($4.02). I am still baffled as to how indie dealers in the UK have resumed shipping to the US at normal rates, but arguably the largest retailer in the world is unable to do so. This just drives me to searching out other dealers on ebay and Discogs like ImportCDs, RAREWAVES, etc. although the bummer there is they don't deduct the VAT tax — which they should be doing, as Amazon always did. Between this and the new debacle of Amazon removing all song title content on music listings and also removing the 30-second song samples — see thread Has Amazon stopped allowing the 30second sampling of digital music? — things are only getting much, much worse.
  5. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Technically they aren't charging you VAT so there's not VAT to remove. What's likely happening is that the price on the website is the VAT exclusive price for anyone not in the UK/EU and VAT inclusive price for anyone in the UK/EU.

    Other UK companies due this as well.
  6. Antenociticus

    Antenociticus Forum Resident

    I'm afraid that you're very mistaken regarding VAT. Unlike the US and Canada, European consumer businesses ALWAYS quote prices inclusive of VAT. Don't you think it's funny that the Sterling prices from RareWaves, Zoverstocks etc. usually end in 99p. Even when they don't, try multiplying by 1.20 and you won't get a rational price.
    As a British expat living in the US, I buy a lot of stuff from back home. is the ONLY company that deducts the VAT: Burning Shed don't do it and neither do any number of music and clothing stores in the UK that I buy from. Most places don't do enough business in the US to justify the paperwork ball-ache that HMRC (the UK IRS) would require. I'm just glad that the US tax structure is so fractured that I don't get charged sales tax at this end too.
  7. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I said exactly that; if you are in the UK/EU the price displayed includes VAT as per regulations.

    But what these companies do, is say that if you are not in the UK/EU, the price is exclusive of VAT, even though it happens to match the UK/EU VAT inclusive price.

    Therefore, technically there is no VAT included on the price for those outside of the UK and hence, there is no VAT to deduct. It's how they make a bit more cash on the deal.

    Essentially they are increasing the price for you and me. :)

    Amazon UK deducts VAT because that's the way they prefer to do it.

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