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Cheaper models in the UK
REMEARMR
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Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 06:15 PM UTC
After another trip to the model shop and being parted with my money Iwondered how much profit the shop made on each item. So I began to look into it. After a few enquires I might try to order some straight from a supplier. My question is what to buy as these places have a minimal order value. Iwondered if any of the UK guys would be interested in getting some stuff and i'll get prices for thier requirements. If not maybe some ideas on stuff to get as i'd be quite bias and just buy what i wanted.
Cheers
Robbo
Merlin
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Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 07:11 PM UTC
Hi Robbo

That's an interesting idea although, as you've pointed out, agreeing on what to order would take some organising. What sort of stuff are you thinking of getting?

To be honest, when it comes to the high price of some foreign kits in the UK, I wonder whether it's the distributers (as against the shops) who are the "culprits" - they're the ones who set the r.r.p...

I've recently ordered some Tamiya kits from Hobby Link Japan because they're less than 1/2 the price we pay in the UK. Even with P&P and possible duty (hopefully not too heavy), I should end up well in front.

For U.S. produced stuff I've bought things from Great Models Webstore for the same reason.

Of course, we have to remember, model shops have higher overheads than mail-order outlets and, as a matter of principle, I try to buy locally because they're a dying breed in my neck of the woods - but sometimes you just have to think of your wallet...

All the best

Rowan
brandydoguk
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Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 09:28 PM UTC
Merlin, I've also just bought from HobyLink Japan for the first time. My initial order had out of stock items but within 3 days they notified me that everything was ready for despatch and they arrived on Saturday less than 2 weeks after my initial order was placed [better than many UK based online model sales] . They were really well packaged and I didn't get stung for import duties. A real saving on what I would have spent buying the things here.
Merlin
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 08:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I've also just bought from HobyLink Japan ... and I didn't get stung for import duties



Hi Martin :-)

What sort of value was your order? I know there's a theory that 18? represents some sort of cut-off point, above which you get stung... but I've had larger orders reach me unchecked in the past...

I'm still trying to work out why some packages get clobbered, not others... seems like a lottery!



Quoted Text

I suggest that we research our potential suppliers to make sure they are of the highest standard.



Robbo,

I think we can all sympathize with Phantom Major - I've certainly bought a few turkeys over the years!

Are you suggesting buying stuff from a major manufacturer or a "cottage industry" producer?

Personally, I'd be keen to find a way of getting hold of some ModelMaster paints that a lot of Armorama members talk so highly of! :-) Any way of importing them at a wholesale price would get my thumbs up!

All the best

Rowan
brandydoguk
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 04:36 PM UTC
Rowan, my order from HLJ totaled just over 10 [1880JPY]. Of this the shipping charge was 4.72. It came in a box with HLJ logo printed on and the address label was printed with the info "Scale model assembly kits Tariff item" along with the value of the goods 1200JPY. As Phantom_Major says it could be a case of spot checks being made so it could be something of a lottery regarding import duty. I ordered another kit last week so I will post on this thread if I get stung for duty.
One thing I will add about HLJ is that I paid with paypal and did not receive the payment invoice until the items were ready for despatch, and they were really on the ball sending emails regarding the status of my order.
mikeli125
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 08:40 PM UTC
to be on the safe side why dont we ask customs abouut the 18 rule if its true we are well
in as I dont think they include postage as part of the overall price and if this is the case ent-mart have the dragon panthers at about 10 each
mikeli125
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 08:50 PM UTC
just checked the customs&excise website and they have confrimed the 18 rule anything over and VAT has to be paid also remember to add 14 for opening the parcel as well when thinking of buying from abroad I've added the link to the customs web page confirming
this http://www.hmce.gov.uk/public/shopping/shopping.htm so looks like most of my kits in future will be coming from the far east :-)
Twig
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 09:25 PM UTC
I too have just had some goods from HL in Japan - this totalled 28 - but was ALL books. I got stung by customs for 7.71.

When I called my local sorting office to query this they said ring the customs head office in Mount Pleasant in London. I did this and they said if it was books it should not have had a duty applied - but they would need to see it and check it first.

To cut a long story short I had to have the parcel sent to London, opened and checked - the customs duty was removed and resent back to Newcastle upon Tyne.

Unfortunately in transit to Newcastle it "got lost" in the post and for the last 3 weeks I have been in argument with the Royal Mail Customer Service in trying to determine whose fault it is that the parcel has been lost. RM have tried to blame Hobby Link but as I have explained that it was lost on its *3rd* mail journey in the UK it cannot be their fault. Needless to say I have no confidence that this issue will be resolved with the result of me getting my money back.

As a general aside I tend to order virtually all my modelling stuff from the net - the only place I ever seem to get stung with customs on is the US and now Japan. I should have known better and stuck to ordering from eastern block countries from where I have never had any problems - ie take Jadar (who produce ARMO stuff) - I have had tons of stuff from them all in brown paper parcels (they DO look like porn parcels :-) ) and yet I have never had any problems.

I will let you know how this issue turns out

Lee
mikeli125
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 09:39 PM UTC
yes royal mail is crap we sent a rocking horse by parcel force wrapped up in 50 mtrs of bubbel wrap they collected it a day late had it 22 hrs and smashed it to bits it cost us a sale worth 650 and possisbly more the customer services are a joke they made out it was my fault it got smashed because it wasnt insured up to the full value no wonder they are going under!
Hip_Priest
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 09:59 PM UTC
If you get stung by customs, do they hold the parcel til you pay up?
Savage
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 10:29 PM UTC
Hi Hip_Priest

No, if you are importing items subject to VAT, that is all that you pay the VAT owed. You pay the postal services ie. Royal Mail when you collect the parcel. RM collects on behalf of Customs to avoid delivery delays.

If the parcel has to be opened, then you pay a fee (14-00 I believe). This fee is not only to open the package but for costs incurred ie. determining the value, rewrapping etc. It seems there are certain factors that determine which parcels are selected; value if printed on the outside (certain customs’ require this incl. Japan and HK/China), size, weight, discolouration of the wrapping, oil stains etc.

Remember customs’ primary role is to stop illegal goods leaving / entering the respective country, their secondary role is to recover financial loss ie. VAT, Sales Tax etc.

If the item you ordered is illegal, it won’t be Royal Mail delivering the package!

Hip_Priest
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 11:16 PM UTC
cheers for that savage.

just to clarify, if i'm ordering from abroad and the total value is say 36, then its best to split it up into two separate orders of 18 each?

ps anyone know how much a tamiya hunting tiger (35058) retails at?
mikeli125
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Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 11:42 PM UTC
hip preist that'd be best bet to do you'll save the hassel in the long run few more quid so what your still saving a lot anyway,
as for the hunting tiger, why bother with tamiya's?
revells is only 20 and its a reboxed dragon kit minus the PE that'd be your best bet
mikeli125
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003 - 03:37 AM UTC
best bet PM is to take the price in yen and convert it here on the bbc web page leastyou get an up to date exchange rate
P.s the rate you quoted looks like the price in US dollars I make it
13.95 on their site and 14.62 in the BBC site :-)
brandydoguk
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003 - 03:40 AM UTC
Phantom_Major, was it the U.S. 2.5 Ton 6x6 Cargo Truck? If so I checked it out and it priced at 13.95. That's a fiver cheaper than you said it went for over here. I just bought a 1/700 HMS Illustrious [WW2 carrier]. Including postage it came to 11.25. Online they go for 20 and even on eBay they are going for 15 to 18 before postage. I guess there is a saving to be made on the right kits.
Merlin
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003 - 05:36 AM UTC
Hi all

I ordered a couple of Tamiya P-47s from HLJ for about 13.50 each - that's just about half the UK price. :-) Most of the Japanese made stuff I've checked on the site is similarly well priced...

All the best

Rowan
Twig
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003 - 05:43 AM UTC
Hobby Link is definitely one of the cheapest places to get stuff from - and they usually have it before anyone else. They will split parcels for delivery so stuff should get through without too much hassle if it is below the 18 barrier.

WRT Hip_Priest and Savage - if you dont pay the customs you dont get the package Life if full of lovely things like that... I just wished I had paid the damm charges in the first case for what has gone lost - it would have cost me money but I would have had a lot less stress!

Lee
Merlin
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003 - 05:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

They will split parcels for delivery so stuff should get through without too much hassle if it is below the 18 barrier



Hi Lee

Do HLJ split orders up automatically or do you have to request it specially? It's great if it's "all part of the service"! :-)

Cheers

Rowan
Twig
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003 - 08:08 PM UTC
Merlin,

If I remember correctly they will split parcels - I think you specify this in you account section when ordering - if I think on I will have a look later today.

Lee
REMEARMR
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Posted: Friday, September 12, 2003 - 06:18 PM UTC
After some phone calls and emails I am afraid to say that unless you have a business ie a shop the companies will not supply models to you. I tried to tell them I was starting an online business and they asked to see letters from the bank, business plans etc.
So it would appear this is a dead end, well off to the model shop again i suppose.
Cheers
Robbo
Merlin
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Posted: Friday, September 12, 2003 - 07:54 PM UTC
Hi Robbo

That's sad news, but not entirely unexpected...

Still, this thread has been great for alerting more UK modellers to the advantages (and pitfalls) of ordering some types of kits from overseas. :-)

Full marks for trying to get something good sorted for us all!

All the best

Rowan
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