Fruugo to pass Customs charges on to retailers

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Fruugo is growing rapidly and generating more sales from more customers in more countries than ever before with 2018 shaping up to be another record breaking year for sales. However due to their cross border sales they are now addressing the impact of Customs charges queries for Fruugo sales from a small number of shoppers.

The occasional impact of Customs charges queries from a small number of shoppers when their goods arrive at their door can lead to a negative user experience, which in turn tend to prompt issues with both Fruugo’s and your Customer Services departments. Dissatisfied customers often leave poor reviews of the service they have received on popular review sites, which negatively impacts Fruugo’s reputation and therefore ultimately growth of the business we generate for all sellers.

In the past Fruugo have taken the position that it is simply the responsibility of the customer to pay any customs charges on the doorstep at the point of delivery (if indeed they are actually asked for them by the delivery organisation).

However the other end of the spectrum of options of how to handle this issue would be for all your prices displayed on the Fruugo site to include all such possible charges. This would of course lead to Fruugo’s (i.e. your) prices appearing to be somewhat higher than competitors who, in the main do not show the potential “fully landed” price of the goods. Such an approach would they say, put you and Fruugo at a major commercial disadvantage

To deal with this issue in a way that has least impact on the transactions rates Fruugo are making a change to their retailer T&Cs which will apply to all orders placed on Fruugo from January 1st 2019. The change will mean that any customer who raises a query with Fruugo regarding them having been required to pay customs charges relating to their order will be reimbursed those customs charges by means of a deduction of those specific charges from your retailer payments.

Fruugo will do all the administration associated with this on such Fruugo-generated orders, so there is no need for you to do anything other than forward on any customer queries regarding customs charges via the back office retailer portal of Fruugo. Fruugo will require the customer to provide official documentation to evidence the customs charge/handling fee they wish to be reimbursed. Fruugo will then process the refund accordingly.

Customs charges are only applicable on orders that are shipped either from outside the EU into the EU, or vice versa, and even then they are not charged on all orders that fall within this scope. There are many factors which determine if customs charges are actually charged, such as the value of the package, how it has been labelled, and the sheer volume of parcels criss-crossing the world. In reality this issue currently only relates to a very small proportion of Fruugo transactions (and even then, only becomes relevant in terms of this amendment to Fruugo T&Cs when a customer actually contacts Fruugo about it, with the emailed proof). Thus, for any specific retailer it will only affect a minimal proportion of Fruugo orders each month, if any.

It’s worth remembering that many retailers may already be supplying Fruugo a product feed with prices already inclusive of VAT. For most orders where Customs charges may apply the sale will be outside the scope of VAT and thus a 20% margin will be available to help cover any Customs charges that arise. You will want to monitor any Customs charges coming through your Fruugo account as once consumers realise they can recoup the cost volumes may rise.

One Response

  1. What a terrible idea.

    Everything is wrong with this policy.

    Just be honest and upfront. It might cost you a few sales from the idiots, but the sort of buyers you do want will respect, trust and value you for it.

    It’s easy to work out the likely import costs, because ebay already do it in the global shipping programme. If they can, anyone can.

    I do not sell on Fruugo, but if I did, I’d be restricting international sales accordingly.


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