There's a situation that's been happening more and more with international shipping that I need to remind all international customers about.
Aromaleigh has a long history of problems with international shipping. For most of my almost 20 years running Aromaleigh, I've grown accustomed to the risk and difficulty associated with it, and it is the reason why I have much stricter policies in place their younger indie shops. These young shops are fortunate to have not fallen victim to fraud as I have, or lost thousands of dollars in a single month, or had nonstop paypal disputes open over orders that are in transit, thus draining the money from the account. These young shops are lucky, and I hope their luck continues! I have not been lucky with international shipping, not at all.
I've long had the unpopular store policy of not allowing international customers to use their foreign payment info and yet have their order shipped to the United States. This policy is for your protection, and for mine- because it's existence directly counteracts and eradicates fraudulent use of international customers' paypal and credit card accounts. These orders set off a red flag in my fraud detection system, and are very risky. Customers have been getting around this policy, by placing orders and simply not mentioning that their billing is International, giving the appearance of a regular domestic order- but I am given a high fraud risk notification with these orders, as my system alerts me that the customer's origin point when placing the order doesn't match the desired shipping address. In short, not admitting an international origin for an order doesn't fool the system- I can tell immediately and am alerted to it! This is for your protection, that my fraud detection system notifies me of such orders.
This is the exact policy, which can be found on my International FAQ page:
IMPORTANT: Your Paypal or Credit Card billing/shipping and country of origin must match. We don't allow international payment and shipping to addresses in the United States, for example. All orders that have mismatched billing and shipping will be canceled.
Despite my policy- orders continue to come in that are in violation of this policy. It's very hard for me to refuse them, because then I feel like the bad guy, when I did nothing wrong. I'm like that- I feel badly and guilty when a situation might upset a customer, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But this situation has gotten out of control and we have to rein it back in.
Continued orders that violate this important policy will be canceled unless you are a long-established customer with a record of successfully receiving orders from me shipped to your international address associated with your accounts.
What is your option, other than shipping to your own country?
The best option if you absolutely can't pay my ship costs is to have a friend/family member in the USA place your order for you, using THEIR PAYMENT INFO, NOT YOURS. Their payment info and shipping address has to be verifiable, just like all other orders. Your friend then receives the order, inspects the contents within 5 business days for accuracy and/or damage (and reports back to me within that time period), and then your friend ships you your package in your country. In this situation, your friend must inspect the package contents. You can't write in months after receiving a package that was sent to a USA address and then forwarded to you at your international address and say "I'm missing an item". The store policy is that all discrepancies or damages must be reported in 5 business days. Please make note of this policy. It's not an unreasonable request that these things be reported immediately after package receipt.
I also can't continue allowing orders to be placed internationally and requested to be shipped to a hotel or other address that you are vacationing at while in the United States. This situation again, is very risky in terms of payment fraud, and it's also tricky in terms of timing. I just had an issue with a customer that placed an order to be shipped for her while in the US, she didn't see the TAT, and she couldn't receive her order prior to flying back home. These type of orders put me in a difficult position and I can no longer fill them, for many reasons.
I understand that international shipping is costly and that customs fees are high for some countries, and I feel empathetic for your situation, but what so many customers are expecting of me is unfair. It puts me at risk financially for losses, and it puts other people's payment information at a risk because what's going on is so easily a fraudulent transaction. I have dealt with international scams in the past, and have lost thousands of dollars in income to specifically, Russian and Ukranian scams, which is why I won't ship to those areas.
I appreciate your international orders, and I hope I can continue filling them, but international shipping is risky business and I am respectfully notifying everyone that this policy is in place and will be enforced.
For those of you who are interested, Femme Fatale Cosmetics in Australia carries a large selection of my products, and many of you can order them without the same import taxes and ship costs that they have from the US. My policy overall is that I don't wholesale my products, but I made an exception for Femme Fatale, in order to make my products more available at a lower cost to International customers. Please feel free to give Femme Fatale your business, in ordering Aromaleigh products. The more you order and ask them to carry, the more they will stock! This is a winning situation for you, and it far less risky for me!
Thank you for reading!