Ordering from Italy

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.

mordy18

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2019
95
192
I'm eagerly waiting for delivery of a Castello 55 KKKK from Tabacheria Corti in Italy. I was shocked at how much less expensive it is than prices from US online vendors and even less than a local B&M (literally 1/2 as much as similar castellos even with international shipping). Plus, no other online or local vendor even had a 55 to look at. So although I'd like to fondle the pipe before buying and support a B&M (there are so few left), given lack of local selection and huge price difference buying from Italy seems to be the way to go. Pipe is on the way so I guess I'll find out soon if this was a good idea, but anyone have any good or bad experiences ordering from Italy (and are there other Italian vendors you like). Barring some unexpected disaster seems like the way to go.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,869
576
I've never had an issue with Tabacheria Corti. Pipes have always arrived within a few days with no additional fees.
HOWEVER, I did get hit with a HUGE fee earlier this year from Finest Lighters (I will not order from them again). They used Fed Ex and my oh my did Fed Ex and U.S. Customs have their way with me. It took over two weeks and was delayed in customs for "inspection" due it being a tobacco product that "touched the face". I had to file additional tax processing and on top of that I got a $178 bill from Fed Ex for the processing (in addition to the U.S. government fees). It was horrible.
But, that is the ONLY time it's happened to me. And that is from a guy who frequently orders pipes from Italy and the EU. So long story short, it's usually not a problem, but make sure to avoid Fed Ex as the shipper if the option is available.

 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.

mordy18

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2019
95
192
Very helpful, thanks. They use DHL which hopefully won't result in a problem. Delivery scheduled 3 business days after the order which is pretty darn good. And even with a $150 dollar additional fee the pipe would be significantly less than a local B&M price with tax.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,869
576
You will be fine. Tabacheria Corti processes correctly and does great shipping.

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
4,219
2,143
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
If I were looking for Castello now again it would be this very vendor at which offerings I'd be taking a look at the first had, moreover Mr.Luca does frequently visit Castello factories which means he's able to ask for the models which are not displayed at his webshop, all in all, I have had wonderful experience doing business with him,

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,584
988
HOWEVER, I did get hit with a HUGE fee earlier this year from Finest Lighters (I will not order from them again). They used Fed Ex and my oh my did Fed Ex and U.S. Customs have their way with me. It took over two weeks and was delayed in customs for "inspection" due it being a tobacco product that "touched the face". I had to file additional tax processing and on top of that I got a $178 bill from Fed Ex for the processing (in addition to the U.S. government fees). It was horrible.
That is the third horror story I have heard in the last 6-8 months about FedEx shipping pipes from Italy. I am now nervous about doing business with Al Pascia unless they have changed from FedEx.

 

daveinlax

Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
1,156
190
WISCONSIN
HOWEVER, I did get hit with a HUGE fee earlier this year from Finest Lighters (I will not order from them again). They used Fed Ex and my oh my did Fed Ex and U.S. Customs have their way with me. It took over two weeks and was delayed in customs for "inspection" due it being a tobacco product that "touched the face". I had to file additional tax processing and on top of that I got a $178 bill from Fed Ex for the processing (in addition to the U.S. government fees). It was horrible.
About this exact time last year I got a pipe/lighter set from Finest Lighters via eBay FedEx'd in 2 days but I got a $140.00 dollar customs bill from Fed Ex a couple of days after that. I called FedEx and they apologized and cancelled the bill. I really don't know what happened. 8O

 

jrbjr

Member
Mar 6, 2019
101
2
Read this post. Went to this italian site, found a castello 4k old antiqurai that looked amazing, ordered or Wednesday and received confirmation is on the way. Very much appreciate the post and replies. Saved more than $100 USD.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,869
576
About this exact time last year I got a pipe/lighter set from Finest Lighters via eBay FedEx'd in 2 days but I got a $140.00 dollar customs bill from Fed Ex a couple of days after that. I called FedEx and they apologized and cancelled the bill. I really don't know what happened. [8O]
I spoke with 2 different people at Fed Ex about this issue. Amazingly, I got similar answers. It appears that Fed Ex flags any and all "tobacco" products and routes them for inspection to US Customs. They did not apologize to me and they certainly did not refund my money. It appears that you got lucky before they changed their policy to be explicitly anti tobacco products.

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
3,131
1,492
SC Piedmont
appears that Fed Ex flags any and all "tobacco" products and routes them for inspection to US Customs
I guess they want to be SURE the feds are off their back & they don't get slapped with a huge fine, but dayum, just dayum. Definitely keeping them off my int'l shippers list.

 

crazyhog

Member
May 18, 2015
203
2
I think it may be safer to order from an Italian dealer through Ebay. Although, it's going to take longer and cost a little more. :(

 

jrbjr

Member
Mar 6, 2019
101
2
Update. Pipe arrived today via DHL, no issues at all, pipe was packaged perfectly. Started off with a half bowl of telegraph hill. Great first smoke. Thanks to those that suggested this italian pipe shop. Totally first rate service!

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,020
6
Just wanted to recommend bollitopipe, lepipe and neatpipes to the list. Have made many purchases with each and have few issues. The one time I had a pipe stopped at customs was my first order with lepipe and I credit that simply to luck of the draw. They used dhl. The pipe was morta and caused a lot of confusion for them. They couldn’t figure out what it was. Anyway, fee free and hand delivered. I find the domestic markup on Castello’s insufferable.

 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.