Is it just me or does anyone else find that £30 for a DCC decoder is a bit steep! I don't know if there are discounts for buying 10 at a time but a whole loco is only double that and we are only talking about a chip on a PCB with some wires (and BTW yes I do know what I'm talking about)!!!
Can somebody explain this without resorting to the old "not very high demand" excuse?
What sort of decoders are you looking at? The basic Digitrax DH123D and NCE D13SCR decoders are available for $15 in the US - I've seen advertised 4 for $55. At the current exchange rate, you could get a pack of four for your thirty quid. Perhaps its the importers and government duties which are pushing up the prices.
Usual 'appeal to snobbery' tactic of sellers, charge more than your competitors and you will get a segment of the market who believe they are getting better value/quality. If you are one of them pay your 30. If not join the multitude and settle for 10 - 20. Keith
Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
The excellent (IMHO) Lenz 1035 can be had for £21 from ehattons.com If you don't require high frequency there's the 1024 for £2 less
Of course if you dont want feedback /or/ high-frequency drive then there's always the £10 Mac-Coder from Lenz.
If you decide to buy Digitrax decoders from the US, think about keeping your parcels below $50 in value. In practice I have found one is more likely to avoid* import and other duties which can very often take the shine off any savings! (I can recommend
Phil: You are about 2 years out of date for basic 1 or 4 function decoders, which are available from 9-14ukp. More advanced, or higher current models cost more for their greater benefits - upto around 20-25ukp Discounts are usually available for bulk, or with Bachmann decoders from their normally-discounting dealers.
LGB decoders (with a greater current rating) cost more still, and sound decoders.. upto 140ukp
The limit for UK customs duty is £18 or approx $33.66 at the curent rate of exchange. If you go as much as 1p over you will be hammered for duty, VAT and post office collection fee. Also you will have to visit your nearest sorting office as Royal Mail does not deliver charged items. Gists from relatives and the like are allowed a slightly higher limit but have to be sent from a private address to a private address. Asking the vendor to write "gift" on the customs declaration will not avoid being charged.
Yes I'm aware of the rules Kim, I used the term "in practice" because it's what I've found to be the case with my parcels. Perhaps the posties are just a bit more lax in North Bucks! :)
Out of the last 10 or so parcels I've only had 1 $40-$49 parcel accompanied by an "invoice from Her Majesty" and this was three secondhand 0-scale boxcars. Because of the size it's last leg of the journey was under the tender care (!) of Parcel Farce and I not only had to pay 18% customs and
17.5% VAT...but also a £4.50 'postage charge' (funny, thought I paid the suplier that!? but I think it must be because the office where they put on all the extra 'customs-charge' stickers is up a couple of flights of stairs...) and, to top it all, an £11 (mis)handling charge! The total charge was not far off the value of the parcel.
You have my sympathy. I recently received a computer from Germany, value UK£700, came straight to my door no probs. I also bought an item on ebay from America, value UK£60 with no probs. Maybe the Scottish posties don't care!? Badger.
Firstly H M Customs & Excise do not agree with this. Secondly there's a duty difference between Toys and Scale Models. Thirdly, whatever the duty rate VAT is still payable whether they're toys or models.
Oh right, I'll tell HMC&E I'm sure they'll take their word for it.
My information was checked with Customs & Excise in mid-January.