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Open for Vintage launches “customs inclusive” pricing ahead of Brexit uncertainty

Tom Bottomley
26 November 2020

High-end vintage and designer resale platform Open for Vintage has just introduced “customs inclusive” pricing in conjunction with DHL.

It will now see its UK customers, who purchase from its boutique partners in 12 locations globally – selling clothing and handbags from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel - pay one price which includes all customs charges and free carbon neutral delivery worldwide, with DHL’s "GoGreen" shipping initiative.

In the past, any secondary custom bills after a customer orders an item has been a grievance, and often a barrier for purchasing. With post-Brexit uncertainty likely to make the process even more complicated, the new service is timely.

Open for Vintage co-founder and CEO, Colin Saunders, said: “Approximately 20% of all our customer service enquiries over the last 12 months were around customs, and the hassle that customs fees caused, whereby DHL can hold goods until customs bills are paid.

“We made resolving this a priority for 2020 as part of our ongoing efforts to build a premium, seamless ecommerce experience. Not only will the new pricing structure help customers, but we predict that it will half both our returns rate and order cancellations.

“While customer experience was front of mind in the conception of customs inclusive pricing, it is also designed to take out any uncertainty for consumers post-Brexit. Open for Vintage, like all other retailers, hope that there will be no customs between the UK and EU after January 1 but, if there is a hard Brexit and customs are required from EU based boutiques to the UK, these will be included in the price. Open for Vintage UK customers will not need to fill out any customs forms.

2020 has been “an exceptional year of growth” for Open for Vintage, despite the global challenges generated as a result of COVID-19. By enabling customers to shop from boutiques located around the world, the company has been able to support the trade of independent businesses during a challenging time.

Parallel to this, the ongoing shift of consumer mindset towards more sustainable shopping habits has meant that interest in vintage and luxury pre-owned goods has only increased. By May 2020, Open for Vintage revealed it had already achieved 2019’s total revenue number, despite the lockdown.

Yesterday the platform also announced it has raised further investment, though the sum is undisclosed, to fund expansion in 2021 and drive the company’s push into new markets.

Boutiques currently signed up to the luxury online marketplace, which launched in 2015, include Modes and More in London, Wonderland in Capri, The Brand Collector in Paris, Dawson Jeweller in Dublin, L’Etoile de Saint Honoré in Amsterdam and Qoo Vintage in Tokyo.

With a head office in London and operations in Dublin, the biggest markets for Open for Vintage are the UK, USA, Ireland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, France, Belgium, Germany and Denmark, though its customers actually span over 60 countries.

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