Australian shoppers hit with 'try-on' charges! are slugging shoppers with fitting fees to stop them using their "change rooms" to try on garments that they then buy online.

Customers at some ski shops are being slugged a $50 "fitting fee" to try on ski boots.

The charge is refunded if they buy a pair of ski boots in-store, in a trend likely to be mimicked by other specialist retailers hard-hit by internet discounting.

"Bricks and mortar" retailers want the Federal Government to abolish a tax break for overseas retailers, who do not have to pay the 10 per cent goods and services tax or import duties of 10 to 15 per cent on items costing less than $1000.

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten told a fashion importer this week that traditional retailers still have the advantage of customer service.

"Competition is about more than just the price," Mr Shorten wrote in a letter to International Fashion Group managing director David Mendels.

"Consumers might be able to find something cheaper online, but they won't have access to personal service or advice.

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Posted on April 10, 2011 and filed under Fashion.