Looking for USA onlineshop tent gear

3:56 p.m. on August 24, 2008 (EDT)
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Dear people,

I'm searching for a reliable, USA, online shop that sells tentgear (Hilleberg among others) and is willing to ship internationally (netherlands).

Can someone help me out?

Thanks in front!

8:19 p.m. on August 24, 2008 (EDT)
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Since you are in the EU, you should be able to get Hilleberg tents directly from them (Norway) more easily than searching the US online shops).

9:01 p.m. on August 24, 2008 (EDT)
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Try www.moontrail.com.

11:16 p.m. on August 24, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill is right -- the only reason I would seriously consider shipping something internationally from the US is if you can only buy it here. The cost on shipping something like a Hilleberg from the US would probably make it not even worth it...or so one would think.

3:30 a.m. on August 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I thought so to, but as an example:

If I would buy a Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT in Hollond it would cost me about 760 Euro. At todays exchangerate that is about $ 1060 (us dollar).
I found them at usa online shops for about 695 us dollar.

Shippingcosts about $ 50-100. Including tax etc. I will probably save myself some $ 200 (per tent).

12:41 p.m. on August 25, 2008 (EDT)
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Ummmm, peterbus, doesn't Customs charge a fee to cover the VAT? I have friends in France and England who have gotten things shipped from the US because they found the price to be cheaper (due to dollar-euro disparity as well as the VAT waiver on exported items), then had to make up the difference before Customs would release the package. Their idea was that VAT is charged on items sold within European countries, but waived on exported items, as well as the currency difference. But Customs collected the VAT when the gear came back in.

7:05 a.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Don't you just love socialism? :)

Any US business that ships you an item will mark it as such because American customs requires it on any business transactions. So you can guarantee that your Dutch government is going to want to get a piece of that pie!

If you had a friend here in the States that you could get to buy it, "use" it, and then mail it to you....that *might* work. It's quite common among Canadians who want something in the States, but don't want to pay any Customs and GST on the item when it arrives in Canada.

5:08 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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But still,

Buy in USA for 695, add some shipping -> $ 730 = € 495

Add VAT (19%) and Import tax (12%) and I still have a cheaper tent. VAt and Tax are only added when the goods get checked.

Take into account that only 10% of the goods that are send over by post are checked by customs. There're comming in loads of stuff at the moment because of the exchangerate. Custum can't handle these amounts (at the moment)


6:04 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Ok, two US Dealers who I have found reliable -

Gary Neptune's shop in Boulder -
Neptune Mountaineering
633 S. Broadway, Unit A
Boulder, CO 80305
Gary's shop is well worth visiting if you are anywhere near Boulder, just for the climbing museum of historical climbing gear. Extremely knowledgable staff, and prompt for mail and phone orders. He lists the Nammatj 3GT for $695.

American Alpine Institute is a guide service and mountaineering school, with a shop attached to it, mostly for their clients (I highly recommend their training courses). They list the Nammatj (not sure which version) for $625 -
American Alpine Institute
1513 12th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

There are many other Hilleberg dealers in the US, but these two are shops I have dealt with for many years.

6:17 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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I would add Charlie Jennings at www.bearriveroutfitters.com, I have bought three Hillebergs from him, an Integral Designs MKI-XL and some other gear, he is FIRSTCLASS, all the way.

BTW, I have purchsed HONESTLY used gear from friends in the USA AND paid the Canuck taxes on it, there is NO "free lunch"under Nordic socialism, here or in Europe....gawd help us!

6:56 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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I would revert back to Moontrail.com. I have purchased two Hillebergs and it has been a pleasure. The other benefit is that each item they sell they have bonus points attached. You can use these points against the price of the item.

Did I hear Hillebergs at a discount?

BTW, the problem with www.bearriveroutfitters.com is that Charlie rarely stocks products - he orders them direct from Hilleberg after you order from him. At Moontrail, they clearly list the number of stock on hand.

You could also look at www.backcountrygear.com. They stock Hilleberg.

7:42 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Well, I have been buying cutting edge, costly mountain gear for over 40 years and using it hard in Canada. I have also sold it for my living and very simply, I have NEVER received customer service superior to Charlie's and only Mystery Ranch is equal.

So, I felt justified in suggesting him as a source and can only say that my Hillebergs, IDs and various other items have arrived here VERY promptly, better than some domestic Canadian firms have done.

9:34 p.m. on August 27, 2008 (EDT)
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FYI, Petra has issues with U.S. Dealers shipping to Europe. It cuts the European Hilleberg dealers out of the picture. They explained to me at the OR Show, that many European customers do not realize the hefty taxes and duties that they are required to pay when importing U.S. tents into their country. They explained that it is really not worth the customer's time, as it does not amount to much of a price difference, once all of the tariffs are paid. One of the taxes is something like 19%, or so I am told.

Oops, I should have read the previous posts, as I see now that some of this was already covered. Anyway, I refuse to ship to Europe any longer, simply out of respect for the European dealers.

Charlie at Bear River Outfitters

10:19 p.m. on August 27, 2008 (EDT)
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As an example of something similar to this, when I retired from gear sales in June, 2001, we would have German and Swiss tourists come in and just freak at Canadian prices for Jack Wolfskin, as they were FAR lower than at home, where the gear was made....too much socialism in Europe, that's the problem!

4:55 a.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
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I think the 'bottom line' is that you're rolling the dice if this will save you significant $$$. However, from what I know of international tariffs/taxes/customs, it will almost assuredly be more hassle.

You, of course, are free to pursue whatever you like. But if/when problem arise if you take the American purchase route, it won't be from lack of warning! :)


11:56 a.m. on August 28, 2008 (EDT)
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Actually, this reminds me of the situation a few years back, when it was cheaper for climbers in the US and Canada to order from internet dealers in Europe (particularly Spain) for European made and even some US-made products. Part of the change came about when the dollar-euro ratio shifted in favor of the euro, but a lot of the change was a change in the way Customs handled things and the changes in tariffs and duties.

Another thing to consider - while Neptune and AAI (and others) are excellent in their service, they are several thousand kilometers away from you. If there is a problem, you can't just drop by for help. Personally, I am a big fan of patronizing your local dealer. In some cases, this may be someone at some distance from your home (I am in Colorado and Washington State often enough for climbing and skiing that Neptune and AAI are almost like "local dealers" for me, as are a couple shops in Salt Lake City). We used to have a half dozen specialty climbing and backcountry ski shops in the SFBay Area, but are now down to 2 (and 10 REIs which carry hardly any serious climbing gear).

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