Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

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Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jandb » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:04 am

Hi, I ordered this bike http://www.torpedo7.com.au/products/9FBMCN3EN/title/felt-edict-nine-3-carbon-29er-mtb---2013 online from T7 on 25 Aug. I know they're NZ-based but am aware they have Aust warehouse too & therefore assumed $A2,999 + $80 shipping would be the final price and delivery in 5 business days. .

Rec'd notice 1.5 wks later that customs was holding the bike & more paperwork was needed which I did the same day. Today I've rec'd an invoice from customs for $522 being $150 duty + $323 GST + $49 processing charge. Total cost of bike is now $A3600. That for a bike that I've now seen locally for $3,300 - $3,400. T7 will allow me to return the bike but I still burn the $600 in shipping & taxes.

I can now understand GST may be applicable given bike is > $1000 but Is it normal for duty to be charged on bike imports as well? Probably a combination of my mistake for being naive & their's for not being transparent enough. A warning to others considering buying online.
Last edited by jandb on Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very sucessful

Postby im_no_pro » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:27 am

AFAIK their Melbourne site handles returns. I think there is a duty exemption for complete bikes. Have a read of this, be mindful of its age though, info may be out of date.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very sucessful

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:14 am

Suck it up as a dud call and a learning experience on your part given that you'll end up $600 out of pocket if you send the bike back...you may be able to argue your way out from under the duty as it is a complete bike but because it isn't assembled Customs has cheekily dropped the parts duty on it - it'll save you $15 in GST too if you can sort it.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very sucessful

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:40 pm

Probably worthwhile if T7 make it more obvious about potential additional charges - particularly as they run the .com.au site.

If you return the bike - you may be able to claim back the cost. Give customs a call - I have found the telephone staff at customs to be really friendly and helpful.

With the exemption, this is an alternative and you can claim back after paying and may mean you are excempt from the duty (but not GST).
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very sucessful

Postby biker jk » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:45 pm

Rather than blow the $600 you would be better off talking to customs about the duty which should be zero on an assembled bike. Then you will just have to pay the GST on $2,999+$80 plus the processing fee.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jandb » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Hi All, thanks for the feedback. I spoke with Customs who tell me that there is a 5% duty applicable to importing bikes. I raised the tariff concession and she said that if there is then I could apply for a duty refund. Look up the tariff concession TC 0104891 per this link and it does appear to exempt bicycles as well as some specific components - http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/TCO_8708_50_to_8716_90_00.pdf

I'll try to get this lodged in the next day or so.

Again, if T7 is going to be serious about selling bikes into Aust. they should be providing some guidance & support re this process. Right now I can't recommend them to anyone for anything other than parts & accessories.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby im_no_pro » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:33 pm

jandb wrote:
Again, if T7 is going to be serious about selling bikes into Aust. they should be providing some guidance & support re this process. Right now I can't recommend them to anyone for anything other than parts & accessories.



Its front and centre right at the top of their Shipping & Delivery page.......

Currently, all Australian orders are shipped through Australian Post. Our goods are shipped from NZ.

Shipments sent outside NZ are sold exclusive of GST and may be subject to import duties and taxes, which may be levied once your shipment reaches your country.

For details of Customs charges please consult your own Customs authorities for the latest rates. Additional charges for customs clearance must be borne by you. Unfortunately, we have no control over these charges and cannot predict what they may be.

We are unable to reimburse any costs incurred regardless of the circumstances.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jandb » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:41 pm

im_no_pro wrote:
jandb wrote:Its front and centre right at the top of their Shipping & Delivery page.......


I wouldn't call that guidance & support - it's more of a disclaimer. How about some specific info re the duty. Is it payable for bikes or not? If so what rate? What customs forms need to be submitted & links to them. So far I've completed the N10 & B319 forms after talking to several customs people. Is there a Tariff Concession applicable? If so which one is it? Where does that go on the form? etc

The internet is supposed to make purchasing goods cheaper & easier. I'm not an importer, I'm just a consumer. (I'm starting to sound like a professional whinger!).
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby mitzikatzi » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:24 pm

The "search" box is at the top of the page. There are a couple of threads on fees and taxes when importing a bike from overseas.

After "Uncle Jerry's" whinge at the start of the year I thought everyone would know fees and taxes apply on $1000+ purchases from overseas.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby macca33 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:34 pm

Yep, I agree - sorry jandb.

T7 et al. make ample effort - as overseas vendors - to indicate that purchases may attract local import duties, etc. They have discharged their particular responsibility in making that (or similar ) statement. It is up to the consumer to make those inquiries with the local branch of Customs and in all reality, wouldn't that be a mandatory exercise for a person who is looking to spend thousands on a bicycle???

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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby bianchi928 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:50 pm

jandb wrote:
im_no_pro wrote:
jandb wrote:Its front and centre right at the top of their Shipping & Delivery page.......


I wouldn't call that guidance & support - it's more of a disclaimer. How about some specific info re the duty. Is it payable for bikes or not? If so what rate? What customs forms need to be submitted & links to them. So far I've completed the N10 & B319 forms after talking to several customs people. Is there a Tariff Concession applicable? If so which one is it? Where does that go on the form? etc

The internet is supposed to make purchasing goods cheaper & easier. I'm not an importer, I'm just a consumer. (I'm starting to sound like a professional whinger!).


It's pretty straight forward though. They can't list every country because didfferent countries have different taxes etc. It's up to the purchaser to investigate what their countries taxes and duties are.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:05 pm

jandb wrote:
im_no_pro wrote:
jandb wrote:Its front and centre right at the top of their Shipping & Delivery page.......


I wouldn't call that guidance & support - it's more of a disclaimer. How about some specific info re the duty. Is it payable for bikes or not? If so what rate? What customs forms need to be submitted & links to them. So far I've completed the N10 & B319 forms after talking to several customs people. Is there a Tariff Concession applicable? If so which one is it? Where does that go on the form? etc

The internet is supposed to make purchasing goods cheaper & easier. I'm not an importer, I'm just a consumer. (I'm starting to sound like a professional whinger!).

It's a New Zealand web site - why would you expect them to provide information about Australian customs regulations. This is pretty much the same information as would be shown on any international website.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jasonc » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:09 pm

bianchi928 wrote:It's pretty straight forward though. They can't list every country because didfferent countries have different taxes etc. It's up to the purchaser to
investigate what their countries taxes and duties are.


I agree with the OP on this. It's a .com.au site. for Australia. a big banner/warning on the purchase page would help.

have seen a couple of threads on T7 and their bikes lately. it's obviously not clear enough.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jules21 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:03 pm

it is illegal for an australian retailer to exclude GST in the purchase price of a product. however, T7 are operating as an NZ retailer. as such, GST and other duties are not charged by them, but by australian tax office and customs. it's pretty clearly stated on their site. i know how annoying this is, i've fallen foul of similar circumstances before. but there's not much more T7 can do here. it's not hidden in the fine print, it's stated:
- on their shipping page
- on the shipping tab for the specific product
- when you purchase the product, on the shipping tab

it would be unfair to accuse them of concealing the additional charges. the OP seems to have failed to notice these warnings. i sympathise - i've done it - but T7 didn't design the complicated system of aus. govt. duties and charges.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:30 pm

jasonc wrote:I agree with the OP on this. It's a .com.au site. for Australia. a big banner/warning on the purchase page would help.


And watch the customers fly fly away...given that Wiggle and ProBikeit have .com.au pages too I'd reckon you have between buckley's and sod all chance of this happening.

Here's a question for the OP...has your bank also charged you for a foreign currency conversion fee or similar?
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby andione1983 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:22 pm

I know in the past when I purchase stuff from Hong kong and so on if the items worth over $1000 they put the value as less... So maybe $100 bux... Obviously that's why I have never been stung yet from them... It seems wiggle and t7 etc.. Put the exact price you pay for an item on the paperwork so there for you get stung gst

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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby cage » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:57 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:
jasonc wrote:I agree with the OP on this. It's a .com.au site. for Australia. a big banner/warning on the purchase page would help.


And watch the customers fly fly away...


With that comment, i take it your in favor of foreign companys attempting to deceive the Australian consumer?
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:57 pm

I think we can all calm down on this.
Perhaps my comments will be a good balance.

For retailers that are obviously overseas retailers, the GST and Duty on goods over the $1000 mark is accepted (though for first time buyers they may be surprised). It seems that T7 may have provided information and it could be fair to say that the customers should read it. Even as a regular-joe customer, it is still seen as an import in the eyes of customs.



However - for companies with a .com.au there can be uncertainty from where the goods are shipped - it is worth having the clarity particularly if it is reasonable for the customer to assume that goods may be be sent from within Australia.

Leading on from this - retailers don't want to turn off customers by giving them reasons not to buy, and this could be a reason.
If shipping is additional - a subtle way to make it obvious is to have Shipping from NZ : $80
Likewise the shipping origin can still be listed within the final tally if there is free shipping. Shipping from NZ : Free/Included
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby eeksll » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:35 pm

its always been my opinion that its the buyer needs to be aware of these things, but I am a forum regular reader so know a bit more than a "general" bargain hunter (not trying to be condescending to the OP).

I have to admit the .com.au extension might have tripped me up on other sites (I know torpedo7 is a NZ site so I wouldn't have for this site). I have previously used exactly that indication to see if its an australian store or not (clearly thats not quite enough).

At the same time in my general browsing of torpedo7 i often see that they state its shipped from NZ and the customs warning. They do also state this warning on the shipping checkout page, not in fine print but not in bold either. So i guess its a bit of they COULD be more explicit but they could also be alot less explicit.

i do feel for the buyer but from a practical point of view it would be very difficult for websites to know everything about every other country.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby eeksll » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:42 pm

AUbicycles wrote:..Leading on from this - retailers don't want to turn off customers by giving them reasons not to buy, and this could be a reason.
If shipping is additional - a subtle way to make it obvious is to have Shipping from NZ : $80
Likewise the shipping origin can still be listed within the final tally if there is free shipping. Shipping from NZ : Free/Included


the main issue with this is they are not being explicit and while not "deceiving" every customer it would still "deceive" some customers. If they want to make it clear its not very hard to make it very explicit.

"deceiving" is a bit of a strong word as I do believe its buyer responsibility to know but its the best word i can think o. All the laws and regulations is Australia may have just made us an easily "deceivable" lot.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jandb » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:43 pm

The main purpose of my original post were to warn others about a situation they may not have been aware of so they don't make the same mistake. But this was not just altruistic, I was also ranting out of frustration for having entered a dud transaction. I'm guilty of just assuming that T7's price (which temporarily incl a 25% discount off their' regular $4k price) would be significantly cheaper than buying from a LBS. Comparing prices suggested this was true. I was also assuming that they were operating a similar business model to Cell bikes ie final price is in $A & includes all taxes. Some more research prior to buying would have quickly discovered these assumptions were wrong & I was better off buying local to pay same price but get local support.

So buying from T7 is no different from buying from Wiggle or CRC in terms of taxes, import process & even delivery times.

I think T7's actions are mainly reasonable & commercial but I also think they could do better to assist Aust customers with the entire customs process. I presume that Aust is their 2nd biggest market after NZ so given they're competing with Wiggle/CRC etc its in their commercial interest to understand the Aust import process & assist customers through it rather than shrug their shoulders & tell me they can't assist with the Aust import process and that I'm on my own.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:20 am

For customs clearance the problem with helping too much is it becomes more expensive - specifically if they have a delivery company clearing it, the customer may have a more understandable format for paying, though may also pay extra.

For example in a delivery I received, UPS did the customs clearance and although I had already paid the complete door to door shipping, UPS Australia added a local surcharge (on top of customs duty and GST) which I disputed and they conveniently ignored me.

The extent to which an overseas retailer can help is by providing information... before it would become uncompetitive. As a customer purchasing overseas, this is simply something to take into account and while in your case it was not obvious that it was being sent from overseas, the only way around this is the old fashioned approach of buying from the local bike shop.

In 2010 I published The Ultimate Guide: Shopping for bicycles and cycling gear online for BNA and it covers exactly these things, the pros and cons of buying online. A very general remark is that if you are spending a few thousand dollars, it is probably worth buying from a local bicycle shop if you are only paying a few hundred dollars more - you (should) get fitting, warranty, often a free service and also good prices on accessories. Where online purchases can present an advantage is where the price is significantly lower and you accept losing warranty (or being hard to claim) plus potential difficulties if there are order and product problems - such as returning to the retailer.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:39 am

cage wrote:
silentbutdeadly wrote:
jasonc wrote:I agree with the OP on this. It's a .com.au site. for Australia. a big banner/warning on the purchase page would help.


And watch the customers fly fly away...


With that comment, i take it your in favor of foreign companys attempting to deceive the Australian consumer?


If the average Australian consumer is so willfully ignorant of the realities of online shopping at suppliers based overseas...then I see no major harm in a little consumer exploitation. If nothing else...they'll soon learn.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby jules21 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:47 am

AUbicycles wrote:For customs clearance the problem with helping too much is it becomes more expensive - specifically if they have a delivery company clearing it, the customer may have a more understandable format for paying, though may also pay extra.

the other problem is T7 has no direct influence over it. sometimes customs neglect to impose charges. there is the risk of T7 accidentally misrepresenting customs charges - for which they may be held liable. i think their approach of pointing customers to customs for further info/advice is reasonable. but in the end - it's up to customers to judge whether they believe it's good service or not. there are alternatives.
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Re: Torpedo 7 bike purchase - not very successful

Postby brawlo » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:58 am

andione1983 wrote:I know in the past when I purchase stuff from Hong kong and so on if the items worth over $1000 they put the value as less... So maybe $100 bux... Obviously that's why I have never been stung yet from them... It seems wiggle and t7 etc.. Put the exact price you pay for an item on the paperwork so there for you get stung gst

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This doesn't always work. I had a new track frame sent to me. Seller sent it to me for postage cost only which was $120 and thus listed the cost as such. Customs wouldn't release the frame until I proved that actual cost was less than $1000. Frame cost to him is $US350 and he retails them for $US900, so it took a bit of tooing and froing to get the frame released.
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