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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a firm believer in supporting American bike sellers first,
but since I can't find a particular item I want stateside,
I've decided to buy from across the pond.

What do I need to know?

Who should I avoid?

Who's trustworthy?

Do they take Visa Debit Card transactions?

(Oh yeah, any coupon info is always appreciated as well! :thumbsup: )
 

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eRacer
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PBK
5% off code = 'usarbr'
Can't beat their prices, and service and shipping are terrific.
No TAX! No Shipping Cost!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Went to ChainReaction and got the shoes I was looking for for about $20. less.
For the less than the price I was going to pay for one pair of MTB Shoes,
I got the shoes, 6 pair of CoolMax Cycling Socks and a pair of water bottle cages.

:D

That is, after having used a promo code for 5% off on orders over $100.

Promo Code: ESHXPUVHXWGP
 

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So. Calif.
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2ndGen said:
...
What do I need to know?
Who should I avoid?
Who's trustworthy?
Do they take Visa Debit Card transactions?
(Oh yeah, any coupon info is always appreciated as well! )
UK merchants with good service (Fast. Reply to email inquiries. Etc) include, but are not limited to :
Wiggle, Ribble, ProBikeKit (PBK), Shiny Bikes (I have bought from all).

Merchants with possibly uneven service: Total Cycling (never bought, but that's what some threads say).

Ribble has periodic 15% off sales.
Wiggle has free shipping on orders over 100 GBP ... their prices tend to be somewhat higher, but they are competitive when you add the overall costs. Wiggle also has perhaps the most modern web site, in terms of accepting back-orders, order status, reliable wishlist that doesn't "disappear", etc. In general, don't expect Amazon.com level of sophistication.

Visa Debit Card - I would advise against any debit card.
In USA, you have far more legal protections with a credit card.
All the retailers mentioned are honest. But, some have reported that Ribble's website may have been hacked, as some fraudulent charges appeared on their cards. I've had no issues with Ribble.

Duties and "brokerage" fees:
AVOID the private shipping companies. UPS especially is notorious for jacked-up fees.
The gov't postal services services are generally cheaper and usually do not charge duties or fees, even on items that possibly should be charged (wheels, saddles) -- maybe they are too busy to hassle the individual consumer.
If in doubt, contact the merchant and ask how they ship.

Currency exchange fees on cards:
Many if not most cards (debit or credit) charge 1-3% fees ... CapitalOne credit cards do not -- 0 %.
In fact, I got a CapitalOne CC specifically to avoid fees on my recent UK purchases.
The CC 'flavor' I chose also had a 1% cash rebate - nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
tom_h said:
UK merchants with good service (Fast. Reply to email inquiries. Etc) include, but are not limited to :
Wiggle, Ribble, ProBikeKit (PBK), Shiny Bikes (I have bought from all).

Merchants with possibly uneven service: Total Cycling (never bought, but that's what some threads say).

Ribble has periodic 15% off sales.
Wiggle has free shipping on orders over 100 GBP ... their prices tend to be somewhat higher, but they are competitive when you add the overall costs. Wiggle also has perhaps the most modern web site, in terms of accepting back-orders, order status, reliable wishlist that doesn't "disappear", etc. In general, don't expect Amazon.com level of sophistication.
Hey Tom,

Thanks a lot (and to the rest of you guys) for the info.
I already "dipped" my toes in the water and have ordered from ChainReaction.
I've heard very good things from them on the MTB front.

Will report how they treated my business in a few days.

:thumbsup:
 

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haole from the mainland
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I've ordered from wiggle.co.uk with zero issues. Ordered a Tubus rack that made it to Hawaii in less than a week.

I'd order from them again.
 

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tom_h said:
UK merchants with good service (Fast. Reply to email inquiries. Etc) include, but are not limited to :
Wiggle, Ribble, ProBikeKit (PBK), Shiny Bikes (I have bought from all).

Merchants with possibly uneven service: Total Cycling (never bought, but that's what some threads say).

Ribble has periodic 15% off sales.
Wiggle has free shipping on orders over 100 GBP ... their prices tend to be somewhat higher, but they are competitive when you add the overall costs. Wiggle also has perhaps the most modern web site, in terms of accepting back-orders, order status, reliable wishlist that doesn't "disappear", etc. In general, don't expect Amazon.com level of sophistication.

Visa Debit Card - I would advise against any debit card.
In USA, you have far more legal protections with a credit card.
All the retailers mentioned are honest. But, some have reported that Ribble's website may have been hacked, as some fraudulent charges appeared on their cards. I've had no issues with Ribble.

Duties and "brokerage" fees:
AVOID the private shipping companies. UPS especially is notorious for jacked-up fees.
The gov't postal services services are generally cheaper and usually do not charge duties or fees, even on items that possibly should be charged (wheels, saddles) -- maybe they are too busy to hassle the individual consumer.
If in doubt, contact the merchant and ask how they ship.

Currency exchange fees on cards:
Many if not most cards (debit or credit) charge 1-3% fees ... CapitalOne credit cards do not -- 0 %.
In fact, I got a CapitalOne CC specifically to avoid fees on my recent UK purchases.
The CC 'flavor' I chose also had a 1% cash rebate - nice!
GREAT GOUGE Tom!!! You are the MAN!!! I just ordered wheels, pedals, and seats from Wiggle. I checked pretty closely and it seemed that their prices were better than PBK on the things I was looking at. The SI SLR Flow Team Edition and the SI Diva Flow that I got were cheaper by about 10% at Wiggle than PBK. The Zondas were $10 cheaper. The Carbon Keos were even but the Sprints were less by about $15 or $20 I think. I may be off on the Sprints by $5 or $10.

Dang, I wish I used my Capitol One card!! Oh wait, I don't have one...yet!!
 

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If you have a paypal account you can also use their virtual one-time use mastercard to avoid worrying about hacks. No forex fees either.
 

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The very first time I ordered from PBK, my credit card was refused (by the CC company) because it was a foreign purchase.

A quick call to my credit card company got this fixed and there have been no problems since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
moabbiker said:
If you have a paypal account you can also use their virtual one-time use mastercard to avoid worrying about hacks. No forex fees either.
I did that very same thing yesterday when I ordered my first stuff from the U.K.
(opened a PayPal account). :D
 

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Blue CheeseHead said:
PayPal does hit you with a foreign transaction fee though.(1% IIRC)
Not true. I did this several times with PBK and only paid the exact amount, no fees at all. Note I'm talking about their virtual credit card, not regular send money thing.
 

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eRacer
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Blue CheeseHead said:
PayPal does hit you with a foreign transaction fee though.(1% IIRC)
???
I have placed dozens of orders with PBK using PayPal and have never had a transaction fee applied.
???
John
 
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