A Lesson Learned in Online Parts Ordering
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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Icon4 A Lesson Learned in Online Parts Ordering

    In January, the muffler in my ID 19 ended up with a stress fracture right across its belly and rendering it quite noisy and unbearable in Harriet's cabin. Not long after, a return hose to the LHS tank split right underneath so in the garage she limped with a drip tray scooping up the weep.

    Earlier in the month, Roger Wilkinson suggested to try a muffler maker down in Victoria but said he would be on holidays. I couldn't wait for what would be some weeks so I went looking for a muffler to suit a first front ID 19 online. At this point, I needed a car to commute in.

    Prices ranged from anywhere between $700 and $1500 and all but two websites actually stated they had any in stock. I'd stumbled across Citart in Holland who had a great website which had a photo of exactly what I wanted and in stainless steel to match. The price was right. I also needed that return hose of a certain size and length and they too had that part - I felt like I'd struck gold.

    I added the muffler to the cart; I added the hose and specified 2 metres (so if it were to split again, I could extend past my role as an Ashtray Polisher and repair it on the side of the road if need be) and went to check out. The postage to Australia would be around 60 euros which I thought was quite reasonable, given the fact that the parcel would weigh in at around 10kg.

    I noticed during the course of the checkout process, I was being charged VAT. When an order such as this ends up being around $900 AUD, you certainly notice it; it's a lot of points to pay! I figured that seeing that the postage fee isn't too high, then if I indeed had to pay VAT then it would pretty much be the same as ordering with Citroen Andre I'd sent an email to, though less 30 Euro.

    I hit send and use Paypal to complete the process. Minutes later, I get an automated order confirmation. Great - we're in business. The next day, I get an automated 'parcel sent' notification - also great! Day three rolls by and I get an email saying that they'd made a ghastly calculating error and that they could not possibly send me the muffler and hose for the amount in which the automated shipping calculator had quoted me at. They then proceeded to give me a long list of couriers with prices that were 200 euro and up.

    This is when things get tricky.

    I explained that the price for postage was too high, and had explained that another company had offered me shipping at around 150 Euro AND they weren't going to (illegally) sting me for VAT. I said that I would appreciate a refund for my order and basically stated to them that we can put this all down to a bad mistake and move on as I didn't want to pay extortionist prices for postage (when I know it's cheaper) and I knew very well that seeing I'm outside of the EU, I needn't be charged VAT.

    I get no reply. Three, four, five emails over the following weeks and still nothing. A month goes by. I put in a dispute with Paypal, explaining my case in quite thoroughly and they neither responded to me nor to Paypal themselves.

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    I get in touch with CitroŽn Andre in Holland and kindly ask them if they still had that stainless muffler I'd emailed about in late January. They did. I told them about my issues and Mr Pol even kindly offered to sort it out for me! He put the last muffler he had for me on hold until the mess with Citart was sorted. Hours later, I get an email from Paypal and the money I gave CitArt was returned to me in full.

    CitroŽn Andre sent me a quote for the two items I was after and immediately I placed the required amount into their Paypal account. Within a couple of days, I get an email from FedEx with a tracking number and here's a little chronology:

    16/03/2014 9:04 PM ALBANY CREEK 4035, AU Delivered
    16/03/2014 3:41 PM BRISBANE AIRPORT 4008, AU On FedEx vehicle for delivery
    16/03/2014 2:45 PM BRISBANE AIRPORT 4008, AU At local FedEx facility
    15/03/2014 4:06 AM ALEXANDRIA 2015, AU In transit
    15/03/2014 4:06 AM ALEXANDRIA 2015, AU In transit
    13/03/2014 2:23 PM ALEXANDRIA 2015, AU International shipment release - Import
    13/03/2014 2:23 PM ALEXANDRIA 2015, AU In transit
    12/03/2014 7:47 PM SINGAPORE 498746, SG In transit
    12/03/2014 12:46 PM GUANGZHOU 510890, CN Departed FedEx location
    12/03/2014 11:54 AM GUANGZHOU 510890, CN In transit
    12/03/2014 2:53 AM GUANGZHOU 510890, CN Arrived at FedEx location
    11/03/2014 8:22 PM DUBAI CITY, DU 20001, AE In transit
    11/03/2014 11:00 AM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR In transit
    11/03/2014 10:48 AM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR Departed FedEx location
    10/03/2014 10:00 PM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR At local FedEx facility
    10/03/2014 7:36 PM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR In transit
    10/03/2014 7:10 PM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR Departed FedEx location
    10/03/2014 4:17 PM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR In transit
    10/03/2014 3:49 PM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE CEDEX 95702, FR Arrived at FedEx location
    10/03/2014 2:50 PM OUDE MEER, NH 1438, NL In transit
    10/03/2014 9:25 AM RIDDERKERK, ZH 2984, NL Left FedEx origin facility
    10/03/2014 9:16 AM RIDDERKERK, ZH 2984, NL Picked up
    10/03/2014 7:11 AM Shipment information sent to FedEx

    So thanks to CitroŽn Andre, my ID will be back on the road this week! My advice would be to steer clear of Citart. Days after my order, I noticed on their website that they no longer have a shipping option for Australia. Who needs 'em?

    A Lesson Learned in Online Parts Ordering-photo-2-.jpg
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! JAJEA's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Donat.

    Bloody good service from Citroen Andre!

    John

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    the famous 18E pug206gti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAJEA View Post
    Thanks for that Donat.
    Bloody good service from Citroen Andre!
    John


    G'day,
    bloody good service from FedEx. Certainly better than Ozpost, who managed to 'lose', for 21 days, a parcel sent to me from Perth. When I queried where my parcel had been, their answer was:
    "I'm sorry to hear that your parcel was delayed. I can certainly understand why you would wonder why the long delay? I cannot however establish what the reason for the delay was due to the volumes of parcels that pass through the network at any given time.

    Kind regards,

    Adam B | Digital Sales and Service | Australia Post
    Online Services Consultant"
    Three weeks and this is all I get. What a lot of crap. My reply to Adam B was somewhat less than polite, I am yet to receive his answer.
    To top it off, I had to apologise to the sender, who was very gracious with his reply.
    regards,
    Les W.


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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    What gives me the Tom Tits, is when EU sellers charge the "inclusive" price then declare it as VAT-free on the paperwork. Nice way to pick up 20% net for your troubles.

    FWIW recently I experienced long delays with another NL-based vendor - it led me to presume they had "sold" stock they in fact did not possess.

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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    The short version of my post is: don't deal with CitArt no matter how pretty their website is and go with the likes of CitroŽn Andre where you pop them an email and they send you a word document back with the price and all the details and BAM! it's at your door within 10 days of paying them.

    Jerry Hathaway at SM World is also great. Such simple steps:

    You send off an email with the parts you're after.
    Jerry himself writes back within 24hrs with the prices, availability and new or s/h options & offers advice on fitting.
    You write back saying "yay" or "nay" to the options
    SM World send you a Paypal invoice.
    You pay the invoice.
    Parcel turns up within 7 working days and in my case, it arrives at around 7am and I sign for it.
    Easy!
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Glad you had a positive result in the finish Donat. I had a great result on a Citroen XM book from Amazon or Ebay from a bookshop in Wales, the condition was like new and were able to exchange a few pleasantries by email. Generally the UK post seems fast and reasonably priced. Having posted back brochures from France and last year from Corfu and Hydra (name dropper, Greece!) 40 or 50 Euros goes nowhere. Likewise the US and Canada are expensive, French economy mail seemed cheap and fast in 2009.

    Cheers John

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    UFO
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    I dealt with CitArt - once. Never again. Enough said.
    Craig K
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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    The vat stinks, I got thumped by a German after I had paid up front for wiring harness, but then again who is advertising doing the same work here at a competitive price?
    The problem for Australian sellers is they have to charge more otherwise they don't get anything out of it, but they're faced with scale and competition in EU, so unless you have a relationship with a mechanic where there's some do us a favour both ways then you're going to hit the pay now button.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I think this was just Donat's subtle way of putting up his address, so we can all send him cards on his birthday.

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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I think this was just Donat's subtle way of putting up his address, so we can all send him cards on his birthday.
    Cigars, moustache wax and other ephemera are always welcome.
    1972 SM
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    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Could Wayne Haberfield not help you?

    Roger

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    Fellow Frogger! caparobertsan's Avatar
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    Hello, Donat , Thanks for sharing your bad experience! Citart is no go then. But Yes Paypal`s buyer`s protection rocks! Is your muffler the one in the front not the one in the middle of car? Are you going to toss old one?
    1961 Citroen ID19(2010~), Holden Frontera(R.I.P 2002-2014), Honda Accord EURO(2006~)

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    I often think the post and handling (read this as postage approximation) is a nice little additional profit centre for Ebay sellers and the like. Guess it's a bit too much to ask for a vendor to actually get you a postage price. But of course what you end up paying and the postage franked on the package are often different. But Aussie sellers can be equal culprits... it's buyer beware!

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Just finished buying parts from CX-Basis.25 Euro postage on bearing shells ( mains and big ends) plus thrust bearings. 5 days for order to arrive. Could not have been a better experience!!!
    Cheers Gerry

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    What gives me the Tom Tits, is when EU sellers charge the "inclusive" price then declare it as VAT-free on the paperwork. Nice way to pick up 20% net for your troubles.

    FWIW recently I experienced long delays with another NL-based vendor - it led me to presume they had "sold" stock they in fact did not possess.

    Yep I always ask for vat exempt pricing, if they can't, then I don't buy.

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    UFO
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    Any supplier shipping out of France is paying the ridiculous French postal rates so you're behind as a purchaser already. A few years ago we sent some stuff home from a trip and as we were staying near Saarbrucken and going shopping anyway we sent a reasonable size parcel via DeustchePost (DHL) and it cost very little in comparison to other things friends have sent or been quoted on from France.
    Craig K
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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    Any supplier shipping out of France is paying the ridiculous French postal rates so you're behind as a purchaser already. A few years ago we sent some stuff home from a trip and as we were staying near Saarbrucken and going shopping anyway we sent a reasonable size parcel via DeustchePost (DHL) and it cost very little in comparison to other things friends have sent or been quoted on from France.
    CX-Basis shipped via DHL
    Cheers Gerry

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrypro View Post
    Just finished buying parts from CX-Basis.25 Euro postage on bearing shells ( mains and big ends) plus thrust bearings. 5 days for order to arrive. Could not have been a better experience!!!
    Just done much the same, although not engine parts. Excellent service from CX-Basis, and prompt.
    JohnW

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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    The old one's been tossed, Caparobertsan - it's of no use to me or anyone.

    A Lesson Learned in Online Parts Ordering-imageuploadedbyaussiefrogs1395136609.861629.jpg

    Roger, I needed it Łber fast and having needed 2m of return hose, I went online.

    What a hellish two month journey when it shouldn't have taken more than a week. Now I can drive her again and we're about to head into Autumn - the best weather for it!
    1972 SM
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    Different vendors have different postage arrangements and it works out differently. FedEx, DHL and Colossimo seem to be some of the better freight choices, but there are often tradeoffs between speed and cost. I can have a large book sent from France for a fraction of the cost of a similar weight/volume of parts and it would probably still be cheaper than trying to send the same item across Australia. Some vendors use TNT and they seem to charge around 20 Euro per shipment plus about 6 Euro for each additional kg. UK Royal Mail or ParcelForce seem to be be some of the most expensive options, but you'd be shocked if you calculated the likely return cost via AusPost! You also have to remember there are cubing rules to cover large but lightweight items.

    They might have handled it better, but I imagine CitArt were just trying to recover their actual freight costs rather than make a profit out of it. Trusting an automated freight calculator can be risky and I would think most vendors have terms that tell you to check the cost before placing an order for large or heavy items. I would do that with CTA and one or two other outfits where the freight calculator seems wrong. Some vendors might also use the VAT to subsidise a modest standard postage rate. Remember that a vendor also has to pay card/PayPal etc. fees on the postage portion, so they could be losing money even with what looks like basic postage cost recovery.

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Hi David yes posting brochures and magazines home from France (similar to books) we got about a 2" thick A4 envelope home for about €7. It took no more than a week to arrive.

    cheers John

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    UFO
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    It was interesting to see the comparison between CitArt's presence and other major suppliers at ICCCR 2012. The others looked and behaved professionally and had many customers.
    Craig K
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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    David,

    CitArsch should've rejected the PayPal payment straight away (by immediately refunding the amount I gave them) and explained how their online shopping cart was not geared for postage to Australia and not hold on to my money with an iron fist while dictating to me their ridiculous postage fee options and making me pay VAT.

    I've sometimes misquoted postage fees and have had to foot the bill myself when selling items online; it's my error and I'd rather pay the extra myself than to come across as being unprofessional.

    Most online Citroen part vendors tend to make you foot the PayPal transaction bill and I'm happy to do that - just as long as they actually send me what I ordered and have it posted at the speed I've payed for.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donat View Post
    David,

    Most online Citroen part vendors tend to make you foot the PayPal transaction bill and I'm happy to do that - just as long as they actually send me what I ordered and have it posted at the speed I've payed for.
    That is a practice that I abhor! Allowance for those fees should be built into the price advertised rather than making the customer add extra at the checkout!
    Cheers Gerry

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    Fellow Frogger! caparobertsan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donat View Post
    The old one's been tossed, Caparobertsan - it's of no use to me or anyone.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Roger, I needed it Łber fast and having needed 2m of return hose, I went online.

    What a hellish two month journey when it shouldn't have taken more than a week. Now I can drive her again and we're about to head into Autumn - the best weather for it!
    It looks like you have a nice place for your vehicles!
    1961 Citroen ID19(2010~), Holden Frontera(R.I.P 2002-2014), Honda Accord EURO(2006~)

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