Does anyone order from iHerb? Custom fees? (and other US vitamin/supplement shops)

Yes, I do wonder. I have never paid import duty with my below NT$2000 orders. If iHerb does not refund this duty then who is pocketing the duty fee?

You could find out from iHerb or DHL if any duty was actually paid on the shipment. If it was zero, as you expect, ask when you can expect a refund.

I placed an order with Luckyvitamin and I would never do that again. They canceled an item I had in my order (which I’d shipped here less than 2 months ago via iHerb), refunded it and immediately billed me for the rest and shipped it without asking me if I want the order to proceed. They refused to cancel and refund the order even though it hadn’t left the US, so the postage cost via DHL became a disproportionate cost in the order and I would never have ordered the other items on their own. DHL didn’t reply to any of the messages I sent them at any stage of the process, and the package took 2 months to arrive. The prices on Luckyvitamin were 30% or more higher than iHerb (and most of the offers/coupons aren’t for international orders), shipping was expensive. Customer service was lacking, to put it nicely. When I asked them why they canceled an item that was in stock, they said some items are not able to be shipped here (although I’d already shipped it 2 months prior).

When I spoke with iHerb a few weeks ago they suggested that shipping options might change again soon and told me a little about the process of prepaying the possible custom fees and how they’re refunded if they’re not actually charged. They gave me a voucher for my troubles. They didn’t offer an indication of how soon discounted shipping options might return.

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Sorry to hear about the bad experience with Lucky Vitamin. I was thinking to try them next, but I don’t need that kind of trouble.

Recently I received an order from Vitacost, shipped by DHL “economy” (a shipping charge of nearly USD30, more than half the value of the order). It went fairly quickly from the US to a processing center in Germany, where it hung around for about two weeks. After that it only took a few days to get to Taiwan, where the PO delivered it. The order value, even before applying a discount, was below the NT2,000 duty threshold, so there was no problem on that account.

I eagerly await new shipping options from iHerb.

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Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened with Lucky Vitamin. They canceled an item, shipping then become disproportionately large as a part of the order to the point I’d never pay that much (I think about 500NTD for ‘economy’ shipping) and it left the US quickly and sat in Germany for about 6-7 weeks before coming to Taiwan where it was processed in days. DHL answered none of my messages. I think standard postal systems would have been quicker.

After much arguing with customer service about them shipping an order I no longer wanted (I would need to put another order on for just item they didn’t ship and pay another 500 NTD in shipping), they gave me a small voucher for a future order. But I don’t want to have the same experience with slow and expensive shipping and expensive vitamins.

If iHerb can ship here for free and have much cheaper vitamins (and still be profitable), I don’t understand why others can’t be more competitive. I’m waiting for iHerb, too. Hopefully they sort something out. But they did explain to me the taxes, here’s what they said, via Google Translate:

Please forgive me, because the current customs clearance process has changed and the timeliness is long, in order to ensure the smooth customs clearance, we have adjusted the transportation method to the tax pre-collection mode, please understand.

But this does not mean that there will be tax, please rest assured, you can contact us at any time after customs clearance to verify the tax payment for you:

  1. If there is no tax on the package, we will immediately refund the prepaid tax to you
  2. If the actual tax on the package is lower than your prepaid fee, we will immediately refund the difference for you
  3. If the actual tax on the package is higher than the fee you paid in advance, please rest assured, we will not charge you additional fees"

I shared a similar experience with Luckvitamin, also pretty bad customer service as they first refund me around 1100NT and they didn’t tell me why, but I got a discount on the shipping, are you sure they still charge you the same for the shipping?

  • SubtotalNT$719.28
  • ShippingNT$224.34
  • Taxes & feesNT$0.00
  • Grand totalNT$787.61
    So I didn’t complain because the shipping cost discount was proportional.

About the refunds, I got an Amazon refund for an order under 2000NT in JAnuary, it seems they first charge you something even if your order is under 2000NT, and then they give you a refund in January.

So far, the best option for me seems to be Pipinrock, they have good prices and with a referral code it’s like you get a half price discount on the shipping.

I contacted iHerb about a refund for import tax on my order which was less than NT$2000 (including shipping cost). Below is their response. I will be checking if my refund arrives.

Thank you for contacting iHerb.com. We apologize for any inconvenience and want to help.

Thank you for contacting iHerb.com. We apologize for any inconvenience and want to help.

I’m an Chinese-speaking agent, but since we don’t have an agent available at the moment that speaks English, I am happy to assist you using a Google translator.

At present, the system will automatically review the tax and refund the overcharged part within a few working days after the order is signed.

After inquiry, your order 720746023 did not actually generate tax, so the system has refunded the prepaid amount NT$727 in full.

The money will be returned the same way within a few working days, please pay attention to check it.

Generally, it takes about 5-10 working days for the refund to arrive, but due to the relationship of international transactions, the processing time of the payment will depend on the processing speed of the third-party payment platform/bank, please be patient.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions or inquiries.

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Not directly about iHerb: yesterday I got email notifications about import fee refunds from Amazon, for three different orders back in December and January. (They should appear on my credit card in a couple of days.)

So for Amazon at least, those refunds can take five months or more.

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I too recently got a refund (or at least an email saying I’ll be getting one) from Amazon regarding excessive fees from an order in October.

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I wonder if Amazon just does these every six (three?) months. It looks like the last time I received a refund was at the beginning of November - once again, months after the order. And this time the beginning of May, for several orders spread a couple of months apart.

iHerb could be doing something similar - for all I know the scheduling is due to something the Taiwanese government does, rather than Amazon.

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Are there any good alternatives that ship from within Taiwan? Everything I can find ships from the US and I need something sooner than that. I tried Shopee and PCHome24 but they don’t have what I’m looking for (psyllium husk capsules). I usually can buy from Shopee but atm no one is selling any.

(Actually I placed an order a week ago for some, started to wonder what the shipping progress was, checked yesterday, and it said the seller opted not to fill my order… Some new seller who seemed to do the same to others as well)

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That’s good to know. When I’ve received refunds from iHerb, they have only taken a few days to be recorded by my credit card issuer. I hope yours is as prompt as promised.

Import fee refunds I’ve received from Amazon have taken six months of more to be processed.

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Shopee can really really suck this way—claiming they have stuff for sale when they actually don’t. :rant:

Guy

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So now I am back to ordering from iHerb. However, the shipping costs are higher (well, was free with SF shipping) so greatly limits my ability to keep orders under NT$2000. I can limit to under that amount but must order more often so will worry about bumping into any yearly order limit from Taiwan customs.

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Hmm, I wonder how/if this new law change will make things even more difficult? https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4526490

E-commerce businesses will now be subject to tighter regulation in Taiwan after the legislature passed the third reading of an amendment to the Commodity Labeling Act (商品標示法) on Tuesday (May 3)…changes in the Commodity Labeling Act stipulate that the competent authorities can demand e-commerce platforms provide information on registered product suppliers or posters.

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Dear iHerb Customer,

You asked, we listened! FREE SHIPPING is back. You can now enjoy Free Shipping with Global Air with Tracking on orders over NT$2500 or a flat fee of NT$250 on smaller orders.

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TAIWAN20 discount until 7/12 20 percent off

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I was super excited. I logged in and added three of my (old) normal purchases to my cart, but it looked a little pricey. So I dug back into my previous orders:

Item A used to be ~411, now is 521, at +26%.
Item B used to be ~136, now is 357, at +162%!
Item C used to be ~1348, now is 1834, at +36%.

:rage: I checked Canadian iherb logged out and the prices are still higher than they used to be but far from the gouging on the TW site.
Item A +11%, Item B +94%, Item C +13%

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yes, that is what i just discovered.

old price 521. New price 1300. Wow!

So free delivery and import duties included in the price but…double the price…for the product i want anyway

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