Gilt shipping rates are not an acceptable alternative to international shipping and, for most customers, they are not even worth the trouble.
However, for those with high-interest credit cards, they can be a convenient way to get high-value items out of the country without having to pay high fees and charges.
Gilt customers typically pay a $15 per-item shipping charge on items from $2,500 to $10,000, and can also get discounts of up to 50% on their first $50,000 purchase.
However a recent report from Credit Karma found that a majority of Gilt’s customers were actually paying much more than the advertised rate.
“Most customers who use Gilt actually pay more than their advertised rate for international shipping, which may be because the GILT shipping charges are higher than what they were billed,” the report said.
The report also found that “many customers are paying an additional charge for the additional costs that the GILST shipping charge can cause to their credit card.”
For instance, when Gilt charges a $1,000.00 shipping fee for items over $2.50, that adds up to $1.00, a $30.00 charge for items under $2 and a $5.00 for items that are under $10.00.
GILTs shipping charge applies to all orders over $1 and not just international orders, according to the report.
The problem with the Gilts shipping charge is that it’s “not based on the true cost of the item or shipping costs to the customer,” the company’s website says.
“The shipping charge does not include a standard shipping fee of $2 per order.
The standard shipping charge also does not apply to items that may be eligible for a discounted or free shipping offer,” the website says, adding that the “standard shipping fee does not affect the price of the product that you purchase.”
“Gilt does not charge any additional shipping charges for non-Gilt items.”
Gilt did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The American Conservatives.
According to Credit Karma, a majority in the report’s “customers who use the Gild website use a credit card and spend more than $10 per transaction.”
This is especially true for those who pay interest on their credit cards.
According the report, a large percentage of Gild’s customers are “receiving GILTS credit card fees of over $20 per transaction for each $1 of interest on the credit card balance.”
“Most of the Gilded customers have negative credit scores, with negative credit score averaging at about 100 out of 200,” the Credit Karma report said, adding, “the average credit score of Gilded customer is between 300 and 500.”
Credit Karma’s analysis found that more than one-third of the customers with negative scores on their Credit Karma account have an average score of 700 or lower.
“This is particularly true for customers who have negative scores, as these customers are most likely to be high-cost customers, who may pay interest or have higher credit card charges than other Gild customers,” the study said.
Gilds credit card processing fees “generally do not exceed 10% of the transaction cost,” according to a statement from Gilt, adding the company “provides our customers with a competitive rate for their Gild credit card purchases, regardless of the type of transaction.”
The company did not respond to The American Conservatory’s request for further comment.