Help a man dress properly
April 24, 2010 6:56 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy 10 pairs of black jeans so I don't have to do the laundry every week. Buying them in the local Levis store is terribly expensive (EUR 930/$1244). Looking for alternatives.

Why I'm doing this: If I order 10 $37 Levis 501s from Zappos.com, I'm saving $875. Local Levis store sells Levis pants for EUR 93 ($124). This is in Belgium.

Zappos.com doesn't want to accept my payment information, does anyone know alternatives?

I registered a Borderlinx account ( http://www.borderlinx.com/m/ ) so I "have" a UK and US address. Does Borderlinx border on being legal? If I pay the necessary taxes, can I buy anything from anywhere in the world?

I have a few friends in the US, should I ask them to buy for me and send it over as a present? Would that be better? Or should I just wait until my next US trip?
posted by wolfr to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
When flirting with customs and paying duty, it is always best to have a pal ship them for you clearly labelled as private gift in english and the local language. This is pretty much standard practice for getting your goods into the country.

However ----- customs folk do sometimes get all prickly and catch you out for exceeding the duty free importation value of goods. Worst case scenario is your package is held until you pay the tax.

I have never had any problems and only once in many years did I actually have to pay any duty and that was my mistake for not clearly labelling my goods.

Borderlinx and other services are legal as well, but why pay? Ship to a friends and offer a bottle of wine the next time you are in town.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 7:07 AM on April 24, 2010


I had problems once with Zappos.com accepting my card, and it turned out it was because there was a fraud alert on my card (a fraud alert for something unfraudulent...just so happens that for a while I did buy an iced tea at Dunkin Donuts every day, so the daily $2.33 charge was legit, but the fraud block didn't stop me from buying stuff at Dunkin Donuts, just online, thankyouverymuch Citibank).

Aaaaanyway, if you actually call Zappos they can process the charge by hand and get around any sort of online block your payment info has. Also, call your card company and check to make sure there isn't anything going on on that end.

On another note...wait, what, TEN pairs of jeans? That's insane! Do you wash your jeans daily or something? I would think two would be sufficient.
posted by phunniemee at 7:09 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hello! Sorry for not directly answering your question, but 10 pairs of the same black jeans sounds like insanity. 3 pairs should be fine. This makes me sound like some unwashed heathen, but I rarely wash my jeans unless I spill something on them or they start to look mangey.
posted by amicamentis at 7:19 AM on April 24, 2010


I agree that jeans don't need to be washed regularly at all. Three pairs should be overkill unless you're a very messy eater.

Answering the question, Borderlinx is legal - why wouldn't it be? And if the aim is to save money, why not just buy an equivalent pair of cheap black jeans from a local shop?
posted by turkeyphant at 7:22 AM on April 24, 2010


If you do figure out shipping with your friends in the US, buy from eBay. (This assumes that you're ok with buying used clothing.)
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:29 AM on April 24, 2010


I agree that jeans don't need to be washed regularly at all. Three pairs should be overkill unless you're a very messy eater.

Agreed, particularly with black jeans- the more you wash them, the shabbier they'll look.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:36 AM on April 24, 2010


seconding not washing jeans after every use. I wash them after ~5 days; for your higher standards ~3 days may be achievable.
posted by sninctown at 7:40 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should have your friends ship them. I don't see any advantage to using Borderlinx over having your friends ship. Be prepared for shipping charges to be outrageously expensive (although--not as outrageously expensive as buying jeans in Belgium). The shipping weight of one pair of jeans is approximately 2 pounds, and your order will probably be broken up into several boxes. And feel free to keep washing your jeans after every wearing. I can. not. stand. the feel of unwashed jeans, so I sympathize.
posted by anaelith at 7:47 AM on April 24, 2010


I currently have one pair of jeans that I like (two more hanging in my closet that have offended me in some way) and I wash them every fourth or fifth day or if I spill something on them that will stain. And yeah, washing black jeans after every wear is going to turn them into gray jeans in no time at all.

I'd think the overseas shipping costs from your friends' home for 10 pairs of jeans would be a bit pricey. So, going with anaelith's calculation of 2 pounds per pair you're looking at 20 pounds...that's going to be really, really expensive to ship. I mean really expensive.
posted by cooker girl at 8:10 AM on April 24, 2010


Well, personally I wash my jeans every time I wear them, too. Even if you don't spill anything on them, your body is constantly sweating and shedding dead skin cells and body oils, and there's certainly nothing wrong with not wanting to put all that back on your body the next day.

Dump some vinegar or dye fixative in the washer the first time you wash them, to preserve the color better.

And I was going to suggest maybe try using one of those Visa gift cards to make your purchase, instead.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:47 AM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the answers!

> Dump some vinegar or dye fixative in the washer the first time you wash them, to preserve the color better.

Yep. Tried that recently; hope it works!

> Re: 10 is insanity

I do wear my jeans for a week or so, I just don't like doing laundry, but do like wearing clean clothes.

> Re: shipping 20 pounds is going to be really expensive

I might take a look at UK stores instead and figure out the difference. Some things seems to be a lot cheaper in the UK.

> And if the aim is to save money, why not just buy an equivalent pair of cheap black jeans from a local shop?

The aim is not to save money but to not spend an outrageous amount of money; cheap black jeans from a local shop is not as good as Levis (fit, quality, etc.) I'm also fond of the 'skinny' model that Levis has.
posted by wolfr at 8:58 AM on April 24, 2010


10 pair still sounds extreme. If you wear your jeans for a week or so, that gives you 10 weeks of wear! Assuming you change your underwear every day, that means you'd have to have 70 pair of underwear, not to mention a truckload of shirts. Doing laundry isn't all that fun, but surely you could do it at least once a month and cut down the number of jeans significantly.

Besides, why all black? Unless your job strictly requires black jeans, a little bit of variety would be nice, lest you become "black jeans guy."
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do wear my jeans for a week or so, I just don't like doing laundry, but do like wearing clean clothes.

I don't know about where you are, but in the US, a lot of laundromats have a drop-off/pick-up service - you get the clean clothes without having to actually do the washing yourself. It may be cheaper, over the medium-term at least, to have fewer pants and simply outsource the undesirable chore.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:16 AM on April 24, 2010


I might take a look at UK stores instead and figure out the difference. Some things seems to be a lot cheaper in the UK.


£43.00 per pair, new with tags and with free shipping to Europe. And those are just the first ones I saw. Depending on your size, there are some considerably cheaper on ebay.co.uk
posted by K.P. at 11:33 AM on April 24, 2010


If you wear your jeans for a week or so, this means 10 weeks without doing any laundry. I think you need to look at getting yourself a bigger laundry basket too.

do they have to be Levis? Why not Gap, or Uniqlo, or Topman jeans? Or even Primark?
posted by mippy at 1:09 PM on April 24, 2010


Sorry, just noticed you said you're fond of the fit. Either way, it might be worth trying other skinny jeans when you are passing stores.
posted by mippy at 1:10 PM on April 24, 2010


other than asking friends, have you tried ordering from (say) Amazon? I'm not real sure about the US site, but I have ordered DVDs and such from Amazon UK without issue (I'm in the US and have credit cards issued from US banks). Amazon US will let you specify a Belgian address for shipping. looks like the price is pretty similar to Zappo's - roughly $40/pair.
posted by mrg at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Followup:

I ended up ordering 3 pairs of black jeans from Amazon.com shipped from the US to Belgium. It took 2-3 weeks for them to get here. I had to pay 58 euro to customs. I saved 30% compared to buying them in stores here. Not the big savings I was hoping for but considerable ($100) enough if you know what you want.

The numbers in EUR and a discussion in Dutch can be found here.
posted by wolfr at 12:50 PM on June 7, 2010


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