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Review: J.Crew International Shopping and Shipping

If you have been following along this summer you know that I am often frustrated with my clothes buying options in Florence and desperate for a little new J.Crew or Lilly in my life. While Lilly has yet to jump on the international shipping bandwagon, J.Crew certainly has, and I was excited to try it!

I ordered the new laser cut shirt and postage stamp mini skirt (still swooning over this hibiscus print!). Everything went great... at first. I placed my order on the Italian version of the website and immediately received a confirmation email from J.Crew's global e-commerce partner, Borderfree. I will admit that the price in Euros isn't great and you have to pay high taxes (which will fluctuate slightly based on country) as well as custom duties. So yes, it's pricey, but I was desperate!

So anyway, I placed my order and within two days received a shipping confermation. Everything was going great, until Italy happened. Once the package entered Italy, it was held in Bologna. I received an email saying I needed to pay more fees and supply my codice fiscale (Italian tax number) before they would release the package. Fortunately, I saved my confirmation email from J.Crew and Borderfee, which said I had already paid taxes and duties, so they waved those fees (after a little Italian-style yelling on the phone lol). They would not, however, budge on the codice fiscale. So the next day I braved Italian bureaucracy and got a tax number (they will give them to anyone, you just have to be willing to fill out the paperwork and wait in line).

I immediately email my new tax number to Bologna and had my fabulous new skirt and top in hand just two days later! All in all, I would say it was worth it. The taxes and fees make it something I couldn't do all the time, but definitely a feasible option for when J.Crew releases something as adorable as that hibiscus print (and I am desperate)!

Whatever you do, make sure you save all of your invoices so you don't have to pay double the taxes and fees when your J.Crew order arrives in country. 

PS - ASOS ships internationally for free and no customs because it is EU! They are next on my list to try!
Ashley B
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  1. Sounds like a process, but it has to be worth it for J.Crew right? I am so happy Italy has been so fun for you!

    Prep on a Budget

  2. Wow that is quite the process, I would be a nervous wreck that my stuff would never arrive.

  3. Seems like it might be cheaper/easier to have someone back home order and then ship to you?
    The 20-Something Project

    1. Hi Elena, well yes and no. The problem is that Italy can levy taxes on anything you send here. I have students who run into to this all of the time. Parents send them nice things, put the value on the customs form, and when it arrives the student is forced to pay 20 percent of the value. I could order it, have a friend remove the price tags and then ship it over as used clothes... But if something happens or it doesn't fit, I am out of luck (and money lol). That said, it's not a bad idea.

    2. Got it. That sucks about the taxes!


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