USA vs UK ?

It is a well known fact ( amongst computer fans ) that prices of equipment are far cheaper in the USA than the UK. Some, for example,
are = $ that means a 699 PC here in the UK costs about $699 in the US, at the current exchange rate about half the price.
Whilst trawling the net I came across a seller in the USA who was offering US Bachmann 'Thomas' loco's e.g. James & Edward for as little as 20 to 30 !
I don't know about Hornby products in the USA but can only guess they are competitive with Bachmann prices.
Even if you add shipping costs and the ' no comeback' risk of lost or damaged good in transits why are we in the UK having to pay these prices ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Dragon Heart" wrote

They're not available in the UK in that guise because of licensing restrictions, but similar locos are available here for around GBP25.00 (RRP - less if discounted).
John.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 17/05/2007 16:55, Dragon Heart said,

You have remembered shipping costs - that's good. You don't seem to have mentioned import duty and VAT, which as a rule of thumb can add a third onto the buy price - that's bad.
Having said that, there are certain products that are far cheaper to import than to buy from the UK. ALPS printer cartridges were a case in point, until they were withdrawn from the American market (much to the Americans' consternation - they've had to discover this new country called "Europe" to buy from!)
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Note that if the goods are valued at under 18 there's no import duty or taxes. If you can keep items below that, then even adding shipping charges working out at 7-8 can lead to overall savings. For example, thefavoritespot in the US on eBay often has On30 stuff cheaply and had 100% feedback when I last looked. I bought a Bachmann DCC On30 gas mechanical that even with shipping came to about 25 - and the cheapest I have seen this item in the UK is 55 plus shipping....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

VAT ("sales tax") in the USA is a goofy thing. It depends on the state and sometimes county of sale. Generally, items sold by mail order are not subject to sales tax, but my understanding is that some states on the east coast are now taxing even mail order items from outside their own state. A very few states (such as Oregon) don't have sales tax at all.
--
-Glennl
The despammed service works OK, but unfortunately
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com said the following on 18/05/2007 07:53:

Whatever individual states may do, anyone importing to the EU has to pay VAT at the rate determined by the country it's coming in to. This is unaffected by any USA sales taxes. AIUI, no-one outside the USA should pay State sales taxes in the same way as USA citizens don't pay EU VAT (or more accurately, they do pay it and can them claim it back when they leave)
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
said the following on 18/05/2007 07:53:

Absolutely correct. I did that some years ago after a USA holiday. However the refund has to be fairly substantial to make it worthwhile because it arrives a s a $ cheque and the bank charged pretty steeply for encashing it.
--
Keith Willcocks
(If you can't laugh at life, it ain't worth living!)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You only pay import tax if it is over 18
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

... or if they bother to charge it :-)
--
Jane
British OO, American and Australian HO, and DCC in the garden
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19/05/2007 08:41, Jane Sullivan said,

That is the bit that everyone hopes will happen!
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, I'm mystified by it all. I've had packages from the US and Australia that they haven't bothered with, but you get just _one_ small package (value USD 48.00) from Vanuatu and they slap everything on it!
--
Jane
British OO, American and Australian HO, and DCC in the garden
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes

It depends on your local postman. If he doesn't have too much to carry and you are nice to him he will often bring it himself and you will not be charged anything. Failing that he will put a card though the door telling you there is an item to collect from the sorting office and you'll get hammered for charges. There was a time when the van driver would collect the duty at the door but they don't do that anymore.
(kim)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I hardly think so. That package from Vanuatu has a "HM Revenue & Customs" computer-produced sticker (printed in red and personalised for the package) on it, from Mount Pleasant Postal Depot, together with a Royal Mail Mount Pleasant circular handstamp. So I think that one was out of my local post-person's hands.

--
Jane
British OO, American and Australian HO, and DCC in the garden
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes

It depends on your local postman whether he ignores the payment demand or not. It's against the rules but often speeds up the delivery process. For large items it's not possible as they have to be delivered by van driver.
(kim)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"kim" wrote

That's not an possibility in Hull. Any letter or parcel on which there is a charge has to be COLLECTED from the local sorting office and payment made before it is handed over.
John.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"John Turner" wrote

Oh, I forgot, there is another alternative - you can telephone a supplied number and pay by credit or debit card after which they will deliver your item. The downside is that every time I've tried that option the number has been continually engaged for hours on end, or is not answered.
John.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For an extra 50p charge I can have charged items delivered to a "local" post office for collection by me but since all the ones around here were all closed a few years ago that is now a moot point. Shortly after they were closed the main sorting office refused to accept any mail which was not prepaid so I have to make one journey to the sorting office to collect charged items, then another journey to the main post office to send outgoing items. The main post office is now being closed (along with 70 other main post offices around the country) and its business transferred to W.H.Smith. The main sorting office is also being closed and it's business moved to another depot 35 miles away. I fully expect the surviving rump of Royal Mail to be sold to Rupert Murdoch and be renamed "Royal TNT Mail" as it was in Holland.
(kim)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The local postie leaves cards for items requiring a signature only. The ones that require payment are be sorted before they even get to the local postie. If one slips through the net he'll probably deliver it without bothering with the charge to avoid the hassle of carrying for the rest of the round and taking it back to the depot.
MBQ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<Posties and parcels requiring duty>

There are two different cards; the standard red and white 'while you were out' card, and a grey and white card for payments required. The payment required may be anything from underpaid inland postage to VAT or customs duties.

Indeed - which is why the postie delivers the grey and white card, not the parcel.

Agreed - it is not the job of the postie to know (or care) whether or not outstanding payments have been paid. Having said that, the posties in my office always refer any such item to me, for clearance, before delivering.
--
Graeme

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<Customs/VAT>

Erm, no. The package is either caught or not at the Revenue Centre (Mount Pleasant). From there it goes to your main sorting office, which may or may not be your local delivery office. What happens thereafter seems a bit of a mystery.
Within my area, the main sorting office write to the recipient, confirming amount payable either by cheque or debit card (by phone). Recipient pays, package is forwarded to local delivery office, and delivered as normal.
Sometimes, however, packages come direct to my office, with the usual red fees due sticker, and I hand write a grey card, which is delivered. Recipient can give the postie a cheque, or come to the office with cheque or cash (not debit card). Either way, package is then delivered, or taken immediately.
The system is supposed to be centralised at some point, with all packages being held in one office (Coventry, I think) and all fee requests dealt with by post/phone. Certainly hasn't happened yet, in my area.
All of the above is, however, rather beside the point, which was whether VAT, duties or other fees are payable on incoming international parcels. The answer, in my experience, is that the system is a lottery. Some packages are caught; some not.
--
Graeme, sub postmaster, Royal Deeside

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.