Purchasing skis from outside US

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Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby JBurke » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:33 pm

Has anyone had any experience buying skis from Skate Pro in Holland? They say they ship to US for free.
Do you have to pay any import fees, etc?
Thank you
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby tigernbr » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:41 pm

What skis are you thinking about buying from them?
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby JBurke » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:27 pm

Supershape I-Speed.
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby tigernbr » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:53 am

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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby AnI » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:11 pm

If you chose to order from Europe, you should deal with a well established merchant with a good reputation, and the price difference should be large enough to justify the risk. The risk comes from the difference in shipping rates from Europe to the US and from US to Europe. You may get a reasonably priced shipping to the US, but if something is wrong with the merchandise, e.g., you get not what you ordered or will get into an issue of damage in transit, you would have to pay hundreds of dollars to return the item to the vendor. It does not matter that shipment to the US may have costed $30 or $50. Pricing is not symmetric. Shippers easily accessible to general public, such as FedEx or UPS, may charge you several hundreds of dollars to ship skis back to Europe, while USPS will not accept them for international shipping at all due to length limitations. So, basically, you cannot return skis or boots which you got from Europe. The cost of shipping back to Europe may be more than the cost of the skis. You buy them at your own risk with no option to return.

Some merchants may list only price with VAT on their web site, but they would count VAT into the shipping cost, which enables them to offer a heavily discounted rate. Free shipping sounds a little suspicious.

I would not order from Europe unless the price difference is significant enough to warrant the risk, or if I cannot find them at all at home (of course, I prefer to buy from a supplier who I can trust, or from E-bayer with a stellar rating).

A friend of mine bought two pairs of Head skis from Spain two years ago (from Snowinn). Everything worked out well. There was no tax or customs duty. Skis arrived in less than two weeks, maybe even within a week.

My purchase from Switzerland a year ago, from nearly not as established merchant as Snowinn, was a different story. Merchant misrepresented the item on the web site, and it was a long fight. PayPal, through which the payment was made, was of no help and basically left me on my own. They said, return item to the merchant with carrier which offers tracking to delivery, upload the tracking number, and we will refund the cost of the purchase when the merchandise is returned. They called it decision in my favor, with no possibility to reopen the case or dispute. The trouble was,this could work with domestic shipping, but not with international. The item's cost was $400 and cost of return shipping traceable to destination in Europe was $300, which I was supposed to pay out of my pocket and absorb as a loss.

Skate Pro which you are asking about has a 2.5 star customer rating on Trustpilot with many negative reviews. All I can say, good luck.
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby JBurke » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:33 pm

AnI, thank you for your detailed reply. You convinced me not to take the risk.
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby Ken » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:52 pm

I've had good results, except...
A pair of skis arrived in time, but were banged up in shipment. Part of the plastic binding was broken. The carrier is responsible, but which one? I tried to buy the part from Head, got a couple of runs around, then finally just got a warranty pair from Head (which I did not ask for--I asked to pay for the part I needed.)

I bought an item of clothing from Snowinn. It took for. ever. to arrive. Zero customer service when I inquired about where my item was.

The only charges I've had were customs broker clearance cost (not duty, just the cost to process the paperwork) on a pair of skis I won in a contest from Head.
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby gozoogle » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:21 am

I just bought some kids skis (Atomic J2s) and a kids back protector from Skate Pro, no complaints. Would try them again. Has heard bad things about Snowinn and I wouldn't go there myself.
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby WNYSkier » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:14 am

My experience in purchasing equipment from Europe has been very positive. As mentioned above, deal with a reputable, main line shop and you should be OK. I always contact the shop and ask questions regarding shipping to the US and judge their responses to ascertain viability. In most cases the products were current model and were selling for 30-40% less than in US market.

In each case VAT was waived and shipping was either very reasonable or covered. I have always received my order in a week or less (I live in western NY).

Here are the shops I have successfully worked with, and all were first class:

Ski Bartlett (UK) - wide range of products, purchased 4 pair Fischer FIS SL.

SkiCenter IT (Italy) - FIS level race specialist, purchased Lange RP plug boots.

Skate Pro (Denmark) - wide range of products covering several sports, purchased Head iSL.

gospodin.de (Germany) - ski tuning and race preparation specialist, purchased Snowglide ceramic edge grinder.


Ski well. Ski fast. Have fun.
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Re: Purchasing skis from outside US

Postby precisionchiro » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:53 pm

I also purchased some i.Sl's from SkatePro out of Denmark. Positive experience overall, took a chance based on many positive reviews.

Shipping was pretty fast... the ski box came a bit torn and damaged on one end, (you should expect that with international shipping, I suppose) luckily the skis weren't dinged or damaged at all. But they didn't pack the box with any filler or packing material, just shrinkwrapped the tips and tails. That's a little disappointing for international shipping. A few dollars worth of cheap packing material should be expected when purchasing and shipping expensive skis.

I imagine if the skis came damaged and I had to ship them back, that would be a PITA and probably cost me more money to return them.

No hidden charges or VAT's, customs fees, etc.
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