Framework Laptop vs Marketplace Orders and Freight Forwarding

Hello Framework Community,

We’ve made it through our first holiday season crunch and we’d like to welcome all of the new Framework Laptop owners into the fold! You are amongst friends and we’re glad you’re here. Yes, there were logistical hurdles that many companies, not only our own, had to jump over to get product out our doors and to yours in the US and Canada. Hopefully you are all enjoying your new shinies and are taking advantage of what your Framework Laptop has to offer.

I wanted to take a moment to discuss a few topics that have been flowing through the Framework Support team as of late to hopefully clear up any confusion that might be out there regarding shipment timing of Framework Laptops, and the difference between Framework Laptop orders and Marketplace orders.

For the US and Canada, barring any outlying circumstances, we’re shipping orders within 5 business days of order placement (weekends not included). We had some unexpected inventory shortages of certain components due to inbound delays from overseas which led to some short delays, but in general, we’re shipping fast. We’ve seen some frustration from folks that have written in to attempt to change their order after a few days only to be told that their order has already been locked, picked, packed, and is ready to go out the door. While we understand that can be a frustrating experience, I’d like to explain why changing or canceling an order at this stage is either very difficult, or impossible, given the fulfillment process. We work with an external fulfillment partner that handles our shipments for us, and once final payment is captured (typically 1-2 days after the inital $100 deposit is captured), we auto-communicate the order to them so that they can process it for shipment. Once that order is in their system and the gears of the machine start turning, it’s hard to stop. When we receive a change request, the order is likely already been pulled from inventory, put together in a package, weighed, sealed, and labeled. Even if it isn’t yet, we have to put in a request to “stop ship” to see if we can halt the entire process, have the order canceled from their system, and verify that everything is scrubbed without errors. Once we verify cancelation, we then have to cancel everything on our side to allow for the process of a refund. This all said, all is not lost, if it does get finalized and shipped, we can simply send you a prepaid return label to send the product back to us, and once we verify receipt, your order will be refunded in full.

As for Marketplace orders, there is no deposit, and we capture final payment up front and in full. That means the order is immediately transmitted to our fulfillment partner for shipment. Once the order is placed and paid for, modification is not possible, and cancellation before shipment is all a matter of timing. We can make the attempt to “stop ship,” but again, we’re not always successful, and we’d need to send a prepaid label out to have it shipped back to us for a refund.

Either way, we’re going to make sure you are taken care of, but it’s just a matter of timing. It’s really important that you make sure that you’ve made all the necessary changes/modifications before finalizing your purchase to avoid unnecessary frustration. If you aren’t sure about your purchase or need more information, please, reach out to Framework Support before completing that purchase. We’re here to help!

Lastly, given the increased global interest in Framework, our mission, and the Framework Laptop, we’re seeing a significant increase in attempts to freight forward our product to countries outside of our officially supported country list. We understand that patience is running thin for customers that are in countries not yet available for us to sell our products in or ship to, but we have to politely ask that you wait for official support as there are legitimate reasons why we have not started shipping to more countries immediately. There are rules, regulations, and laws that have to be adhered to, logistics/fulfillment partners to onboard, language support requirements, commercial invoice creation, VAT requirements, and the list goes on and on. We’ve recently opened preorders for the UK, France, and Germany with shipments coming soon. Preparation for just those three additional countries was a massive undertaking, and we have more countries in the queue for future launch. We can’t commit to or share which countries are next as things are fluid with the items I’ve listed above. Dates can slide based on the work being done, responses that have not yet been received, requirements that are not yet met, etc. We need to make sure we are playing by the rules, and when folks freight forward, we get put in a tough spot as we no longer control shipment from us to you. We’ve lost product because the freight forwarded product gets locked up in Customs due to lack of proper documentation and the customer is unfortunately left holding the bag as we are not authorized to be in said country. We also don’t have official logistics ties to these countries, so we are unable to provide hardware replacement/RMA support should anything go wrong. All-in-all, it’s a terrible customer experience that we have no power over and don’t want to put anyone through. Please, we know it’s tough, but hang in there. We’re working on offering Framework products to more countries globally, but we need to do it in the right way that delivers an experience that you deserve. Thank you so much for your patience.

Wishing all of you an amazing 2022! Thanks for ringing in the new year with us.

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I will add my experience going through a freight forwarder, used MyUS with FedEx economy. Was definitely annoying on Frameworks part as they did not include a invoice in the box which I would think would be required for shipping anywhere. The laptop was 1050USD which is about 1450AUD with about 250AUD extra for customs and 200AUD for shipping with insurance. Would not recommend but it got here in one piece. Surprised that it was not damaged with FedEx. Didn’t help that the customs email went to spam, which delayed it a few days. Any other people specifically from the EU who wants to chime in? Forgot to add, the reason why I freight forwarded was as I need a laptop for school and didn’t want to have to use a different laptop till Framework had opened ordering. I absolutely love this laptop.

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When ordering batch 5, I also used a freight forwarder, Aramex. I knew from the beginning that if anything went wrong, I would be on my own as obviously, I don’t plan to contact Framework for help when they explicitly stated they aren’t supporting the EU right now.

All-in-all, I got my laptop in great condition and don’t regret doing it.

“We also don’t have official logistics ties to these countries, so we are unable to provide hardware replacement/RMA support should anything go wrong.”

In my mind, I was not expecting issues from day one. I assumed that, if I encountered any issues within the next couple of months or so, Framework would already have established themselves in my country (Belgium) by then and would easily be able to resolve them.

The only minus from my experience was that I forgot to add some storage expansions cards to my order… Now I’m stuck with them opening the marketplace here as I don’t want to go through the process of a freight forwarder for just some expansion cards

As framework said, it’s not ideal or even recommended but its certainly doable, quite a few users on this forum who have done it this way

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I have a suggestion. How about using “official” tag for the threads to be used as official announcement? It’s easy to search later. :slight_smile:

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@njf I remember your suggestion and context, and I don’t deny the “OFFICIAL” prefix in the title. Actually it is clear to see the title. My suggestion was that the “official” tag could be added additionally for the threads not only from Twistgibber but also from other people at Framework. Now I can see “Framework Team” category instead of the “official” tag.

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I freight forward to the Caribbean (another unsupported region). My provider (IBC) request and invoice even if it comes with one (also, there are no taxes on laptops).

If you guys want logistical support in a CARICOM member state for parts and RMA’s then perhaps I could be of service :slight_smile:

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@Twistgibber I see you created “Framework Team” category. As you may know, the “category” is less flexible than “tag”. For example the threads for the blog articles categorized as “Blog”, could also be the “Framework Team” category. And @Kieran_Levin posted some articles for “Expansion Cards”, “Framework Laptop” and “Framework Laptop DIY Edition” categories in the past, and those articles could also be “Framework Team” category. Right? This is a difficulty of using “category” in my opinion.

To be easy to search later, you may want to adjust the following threads too.

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Heh, if you trust me I can forward them to you from California. They are so small that a padded envelope is more than enough for this.

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I could do the same carlos suggested from France if you want. And I just put my order so I can add whatever you cards to the order.

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Lastly, given the increased global interest in Framework, our mission, and the Framework Laptop, we’re seeing a significant increase in attempts to freight forward our product to countries outside of our officially supported country list.

I am pleased (but maybe the Framework team not as much? hehe) to share that I am one of these people. Very happy customer from the Philippines and I had just received my Batch 6 DIY kit a few hours ago via freight forwarder. The entire process took 18 days with no major complications, except for some slight delays due to Omicron.

As mentioned by others, I was fully aware that such delivery is unsupported by Framework and should I proceed, I would be on my own. This and the (relative) lack of aftersales support are risks I am willing to take for several reasons:

  1. Shipped and with taxes, the Framework laptop I built was still cheaper than buying a similar spec’d laptop locally. My i5/16GB/1TB build finally turned out at $1180 with freight forwarding. A local laptop with the same specifications, if available in the first place, would be at least $1500.
  2. Warranty service in the Philippines is frustratingly slow and inefficient. It is common for authorized service centers to give 30-90 day timelines and have very limited warranty replacement options anyway. Even if within warranty, devices are often replaced at prohibitive costs unless the problem is a proven factory defect.
  3. Given the poor service situation locally, there’s not much difference anyway. I am also very careful with my laptops and I typically don’t break anything within the first year of warranty coverage.
  4. Ordering spare parts from Framework is very easy anyway and I hope to use freight forwarding just the same.

In the end, I am extremely happy with my purchase. Admittedly, there were risks and that kind of risk is not for everyone. Nevertheless, the laptop is working fantastic, I am supporting a good cause and I am saving money along the way.

Thanks, Framework and more power to you! Mabuhay from the Philippines!

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Thanks, @Carlos_Fernandez_San, and @Ilias_Amri for offering to send me the expansion cards.

I would gladly take up on your offers, but from what I’ve been reading in other threads there seems to be an overheating issue with the storage expansion cards…

I’ll wait another month or two, to see if they release a revision two of the module and if not. I will gladly take up on your offer and reach out with a DM.

It’s awesome to be part of such a supportive community ! Can’t wait to see what bright future Framework holds for us :slight_smile:

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@Peter being patient is a virtue! Just so you’re aware, I’ve also read some of the threads that you’ve probably seen on the storage card thermal issue.

New cards now come with a thermal pad inside, allowing heat dissipation to the enclosure. Some early buyers have retrofitted these pads to their cards and (as far as I’m aware) have seen performance improvements in line with what Framework is advertising.

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I have a question for Framework.

I understand why you are wary of freight forwarding. However, for Europe, this shouldn’t be a problem, as there are no customs along the way and from last year VAT can be dealt with in one country, instead of each one separately. The warranty is also unified in all of Europe to 2 years. So, in order to avoid freight forwarding, why don’t you open orders to all of Europe, while removing the free shipping option for those outside of the country you operate in? I, for one, would gladly order directly from you, pay for the shipping and avoid freight forwarding altogether. Probably most people too, if that would help them get the their dream machine unscathed.

More information about VAT one stop shops:

Of course, I may have misunderstood this info and it is not applicable for you, feel free to prove me wrong. :slight_smile:

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I believe the issue isn’t really the VAT. Yes, there’s red tape, but yes, there’s companies and systems that specialize in sorting this out for you. People knitting slippers in Ukraine sort this out, so I’m sure they can. (True story, I ordered some tank slippers that way. :stuck_out_tongue: )

I suspect that a key is in some other things they’ve mentioned: localization. They want documentation in local languages, AND customer support in the local languages. Their wording has been unfortunate (making some people think that these are legal requirements, some even thinking it is illegal to sell laptops without offering the local KB… wow…), but it can make sense: as a business with limited manufacturing capacity but great ambitions, you might not want to risk getting a bad name because of “poor customer support” due to language barriers or such. Focus your efforts, be awesome where you DO sell, and expand while keeping a good name.

If this is why, then fair enough really, I’d just love some way to know whether my territory is “months” or “years” or “never”. (I have a special case where taking a peek at the keyboards in the Marketplace for hints - as suggested by Framework - doesn’t work, since NL mainly uses US keyboards, not the official dutch standard that no dutch people use and no dutch retailers sell. :stuck_out_tongue: So… I have no idea if I am being an idiot for waiting, or if I’d be an idiot for ordering a Lenovo or System76 (who do happily deliver from the US) because oopsidoopsie two weeks later Framework sends me a mail out of nowhere saying “hey, you can buy now!”. :smiley: )

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That’s okay, but a big chunk of people don’t need localization, to be able to use a laptop. Framework kinda targets technical savvy people and while in Europe some of them require localized keyboard, others do not (here in Bulgaria we also use US layout as you in Netherlands and I even happened to order a laptop from Netherlands for just this reason:). Why don’t allow everyone that doesn’t need localization or documentation in their native language to buy without needing to use freight forwarders? :slight_smile: As long as this is clearly communicated on the site - it should be okay.

I’ve actually asked Framework’s support before about this - US layouts are available in all European countries they sell in. :slight_smile: :man_shrugging:

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Oh, I know that. But that’s not the issue. Being able to get a US kb was never a worry, being able to get a Framework is the worry. :wink:

Framework stated (after the Germany/UK/France release) that we can get a hint about what countries are up next through looking at the keyboards that are listed in the Marketplace.

If I still lived in Sweden, that would make me go “ok, that’ll definitely be a long while then, so I’ll just buy something else for now”, since there’s no Nordic KB there.

But I live in the Netherlands nowadays. The fact that there’s no Dutch KB in the Marketplace could be interpreted as a “nope”. BUT: since the Netherlands mainly uses US keyboards, it would almost be weird for them to offer a Dutch KB. But I also can’t say “ah, there’s a US KB there, so they’ll probably ship here to NL soon!” for, well, obvious reasons.

Now sure, I could Freight-Forward via Germany or even from the US, but I won’t. I once ordered a stack of SSD’s plus some VR equipment as a christmas gift to my GF, domestic order within NL, and… poof, gone in shipping. But since it was shipped directly from the store I was buying from, I just had to wrangle with their support for a few months to get my 1000+ euros back. If that stuff can happen with direct, domestic, shipping… I’m not going to risk it with a shipping method where there’s no insurance in place. Having 1500 euro of laptop goodness stuck in a void between where Framework can see it as “delivered” and where some third party had it… Nah. Not worth the risk.

For me, best of all worlds would have been if I could have just ordered a US laptop, from the US, way back. I’m fine with dealing with import duties and VAT, that’s what would happen anyway if I order a System76 machine. But I can also understand that this is a business decision on Framework’s side about how they want to enter markets. They may be niche, but not if one compares with Tuxedo or System76. (After all, getting a machine sans Windows is “just” an option here, not the default.) But their “mission” isn’t to be niche. They want to bring repairable laptops to the masses, not just to Linux/BSD nerds like myself. :stuck_out_tongue:

End of the day, time will tell. My acer laptop is still alive, so for now I’m fine waiting for a chance to order direct from Framework. :slight_smile:

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Hence my question. :smiley:

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I’m not sure if this will notify but I also really want to get my hands on a Framework laptop in the Philippines. I’m not sure if there’s a way to message you directly but I have to ask, which freight forwarder did you use? Do you have any tips?

Thanks!

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If you click on a user’s profile picture by their post, there will be an orange “message” button if you wish to DM them personally, but now that you’ve replied to John, hopefully you’ll get a response.

screenshot for reference…

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