We had a very good experience with Gift Shop #5. We chose one extra large platter and loved another but wanted it in a smaller size. When I told the shop owner of the problem, he inspected the piece, determined the artist and told us they could make it in the size we wanted but it would take at least 30 days. We were fine with that and purchased both pieces and another small piece. Before we paid, he explained very clearly to us that shipping and duty would be extra and charged to our credit card at the time it shipped. He gave us an estimate of the costs but explained it could be more or less, depending on circumstances beyond his control. We were okay with the additional costs because it would have been a pain in the neck to haul the heavy platter around and we would have had to buy another suitcase and pay the additional baggage fees - and hope it didn't break in transit.
When we got home, I stayed in touch with the shop owner to check the status of our order. I also emailed him when I read the bad reviews on TripAdvisor - obviously I was now extremely concerned about the additional shipping costs and if our pieces would arrive whole. The custom platter took longer than expected and our order arrived in 90 days, instead of 30-45 days but I didn't care at all once I saw how beautiful they were and that they arrived in one piece. They are very high quality and we couldn't be happier. Yes, the shipping costs came in at about $200 and the duty fees were another $70 but, again, we didn't have to haul them around Italy with us, buy another suitcase or pay additional baggage or overweight fees. With the combined costs, these pieces are no more expensive than similar items bought locally but they have the added benefit of being tied to a happy memory of an amazing trip. All in all, we're quite happy with the experience and have no qualms recommending Gift Shop #5 to our friends and family.
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