TL;DR Tortuga products are not currently available in Europe. We plan to re-launch in Europe when we can provide a localized experience with lower shipping and customs fees. We will honor return policies and warranties on all previous purchases.
As a travel company, our customers live (and travel) all over the world. When we first launched, we used Amazon’s fulfillment centers, which wouldn’t ship our “oversized” packages outside of the US. Later, we switched to a third-party fulfillment center and began shipping to Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Our vision is to be a global brand.
While we can ship to Europe and elsewhere, we’ve never served our international customers as well as our American ones. If you live in Europe and have shopped Tortuga, you’ve been subject to expensive shipping fees (despite our absorbing some of the cost) and high customs fees levied by your home country. Customs offices often hold packages until you show up in person and pay. This is not the easy, online shopping experience that we want to provide.
What We’re Doing About It
One of our core values is to Prioritize the Customer. While we want to provide you with great products and service, the truth is that we can’t do it if we’re storing our products in and shipping them from the US. As a small business, we don’t yet have the volume and expertise to serve international markets well. Right now, we are interviewing candidates for an Operations Manager role, which will be responsible for expanding our fulfillment to Europe. We are actively planning for and working on this problem. However, we do not yet have a timeline for European fulfillment. In the meantime, you will be able to use a freight forwarder for getting Tortuga products to Europe.
At Tortuga, we want to do things well or not at all. Europe accounts for 5% of our sales but a significant portion of problems, including surprise customs fees and lost or late packages. Europeans are rightfully annoyed by extra costs and shipping times.
The upcoming GDPR legislation has prompted us to rethink our European business. We aren’t doing right by you at the moment. Our solution is to stop shipping to Europe in the short-term until we can provide an experience equal to the one that we can provide to Americans right now.
I understand if this decision is frustrating. It’s frustrating for us too, but we have to do what’s best for our customers in the long run. In the coming weeks, we will hire an Operations Manager who will help us to launch in Europe and to do it right.
Thursday, May 24th will be our last day shipping to Europe for now. If you need to place an order, please do so by then. After that date, you will need to use a freight forwarder to ship Tortuga backpacks to Europe.
I apologize for the short-term inconvenience. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to re-launching in Europe and to showing you the level of service that we’re capable of.
Co-Founder and CEO, Tortuga
PS: if you want to be alerted when we re-launch in Europe, sign up here.