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View Full Version : Obscene discount or too good to be true?



swarmofseals
08-03-2009, 17:10
For the US players out there, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on ordering internationally from the UK. In the past I've thought that it was a bad idea due to higher shipping and a usually unfavorable exchange rate... but these are interesting times.

I just recently saw an ad for the British retailer claiming to offer a minimum of 25% off MSRP. I was under the impression that the common cap is 20% discount, and they also stock Avatars of War, so I figured I'd give it a look. I'm in the US and soon saw that this was a UK retailer. Initially I thought that this would be a major drawback given the likelihood of higher shipping rates.

But then I noticed how far the pound has fallen. I had no idea it was so weak relative to the dollar, but apparently it's really tanked lately. Even using paypal's ripoff exchange rates, the dollar clocks in at .692509 pounds.

They currently advertise any WHFB battalion set at 36 pounds each. With that conversion rate, that's only $52 -- like 42% off of US MSRP. The Chaos Knights and Cold One Knights boxes are 8.85 pounds, again offering about 42% off US MSRP.

What's more, the website offers custom combo deals where you can put together a package and they'll quote you a (presumably lower) price.

I'm sure you'll give back some of that discount in shipping, but their international shipping is capped at 35 pounds (a lot, I know) and they offer free shipping on orders over 500 pounds (not a likely occurrence, but maybe if you get a few buddies together and and place a combined order?). I imagine if you put together an order this big they'd give you a pretty decent combo offer as well.

There might be other UK retailers that can beat this site's prices too -- I haven't really looked into it.

Note: I intentionally left out the URL of the website as I want to make it clear that this isn't intended as an advertisement. If you want the url I'd be happy to post it assuming the mods are cool with it and/or send it in a PM.

AmBlam
08-03-2009, 17:22
Sounds about right. You can pm me the URL if you like. I'll PM you the one I have used several times. I just checked and they ship overseas.

Sifal
08-03-2009, 17:22
But then I noticed how far the pound has fallen. I had no idea it was so weak relative to the dollar, but apparently it's really tanked lately.

Yeah alright rub it in!

If the whole deal works out it'd be crazy not to go for it. Alternatively (not really recommending this as it could be illegal or something) get someone you know in the uk to buy from these cheap retailers with exchanged dollars and post the stuff over to you as a 'gift' so it avoids import/customs tax and is cheapest possible shipping rate. There are plenty of things in the US (like Abercrombie) that are far more expensive here in UK you could do it like an exchange and then both parties have an incentive and benefit.

swarmofseals
08-03-2009, 18:05
Hmm, I hadn't considered import/customs tax. Anyone out there have any experience with this that can speak to how that process works? The retailers that ship internationally that I've checked don't mention anything about it.


I played around with the shopping carts a bit and tried to figure out how much of the discount you lose in shipping. Using a mix of metal boxes, metal blisters, plastic boxes, and battalions, I calculated that you'd pay back about 9.6 cents on the dollar for a $250 order. Compare that with the 2.5 cents on the dollar that you'd pay back on a similar sized order shipping domestically (assuming you can't find free shipping), and you're basically losing about 7% of your discount to shipping differences.

That still leaves you with a 35% discount vs. the 20% discount you get domestically, and that's before factoring in any special price reductions.

That said, I could see customs cutting into that quickly....


As far as the legality of that loophole, I'd guess that it's probably not illegal over here as long as you aren't doing it regularly and reselling the items, and as long as you respect that value limits on gifts.

Lord Dan
08-03-2009, 18:13
Yeah alright rub it in!

Clearly what we're trying to say here is America wins at everything. Even money. We can be trillions of dollars in debt, have a toppling economy, a weak dollar, and no plan for recovery, but if the pound drops in value...we win.

Chalk one up for team USA!

Braad
08-03-2009, 18:38
If I want cheap stuff, I just hop on my bike, and cycle to the local shop. I had Skinks 50% off for a friend a few weeks ago...

C5low13
08-03-2009, 18:42
I know someone that offers 30% off GW minis here in the US and can sometimes do free shipping, especially on larger orders...if your interested...PM me

swarmofseals
08-03-2009, 18:47
If I want cheap stuff, I just hop on my bike, and cycle to the local shop. I had Skinks 50% off for a friend a few weeks ago...


Honestly I agree with this too. It's important to support the local store, especially if you play there. Unless you are really well off though there comes a certain point when a discount is too big to ignore. Even then I'd give my local store a chance to even ballpark the offer and if they can come anywhere close I'd order there.

swarmofseals
08-03-2009, 19:58
Update: After spending a good hour or so wading through the US customs website and various "informational" pdfs, I'm pretty sure that minis themselves would be free of any tariffs or duties. One could argue that these fit into a variety of different categories (ie: scale models other than trains, models depicting animals or other non-human entities, etc.) ... but all of those are listed as "free" under the tariff schedule.

Lord Dan
08-03-2009, 20:25
Update: After spending a good hour or so wading through the US customs website and various "informational" pdfs, I'm pretty sure that minis themselves would be free of any tariffs or duties. One could argue that these fit into a variety of different categories (ie: scale models other than trains, models depicting animals or other non-human entities, etc.) ... but all of those are listed as "free" under the tariff schedule.

Sounds tariff free to me.

nosferatu1001
08-03-2009, 21:57
The standard "non GW" retailers get 40% off GW store prices, so they can easily offer 25% discounts if they don't have stores, just online.

Wayland games is the site I use in UK, theyre pretty reliable and the postage is ok. Certainly sounds like there would be no tarrif as well.

Also, if you're exporting out the EU you should be able to reclaim VAT; some sites may let you do this automatically (based on shipping) however worth looking into. However, frmo what i know of US you should declare this out of state import through "use tax", as you have not paid sales tax.

Znail
08-03-2009, 22:57
Yeah, economics is funny. US has an economics crisis wich in turn causes economic instability internationaly and thus bankers feels safer investing in dollars. Safe to say, Bankers arent the smartest people around :p

Lord Dan
08-03-2009, 23:02
Yeah, economics is funny. US has an economics crisis wich in turn causes economic instability internationaly and thus bankers feels safer investing in dollars. Safe to say, Bankers arent the smartest people around :p

I think it's weird we're able to "invest" in the thing we're spending.

"How does money look today?"
"Up 4 points, sir."
"That's outstanding."
"Yes sir, it turns out people are, in fact, continuing to spend money."
"I predicted that."
"Yes you did, sir."

swarmofseals
08-03-2009, 23:31
However, frmo what i know of US you should declare this out of state import through "use tax", as you have not paid sales tax.

There is no federal sales tax, only state sales tax. Anything you buy from out of state is generally sales tax free =)

Seville
09-03-2009, 00:00
This sounds great! Thanks for pointing this out. Battalion boxes for 36 GBP is amazing. Did you find out anything about their shipping rates?

(Incomes, prices, and values in the US are plummeting, meaning the relative value of our currency is going up. The whole world is currently in the grips of a deflationary spiral, similar to what happened during The Great Depression, with the US and Japan leading the charge. That's why the US dollar and the yen are so highly valued even though our economies shrank seven and thirteen percent last year, respectively. It's counter-intuitive, but right now a "strong" currency is actually indicative of a weak economy)

mweaver
09-03-2009, 00:02
We order figures from the U.K. often, and have never had to pay an import tax.

I do hope the currencies stabilize a bit... but in the meantime, I should put together a Forge World order!

Sifal
09-03-2009, 01:29
Well it seems miniatures are free of import tax then. To be fair the only things i've ever been charged import tax for have been electronic goods and airsoft equipment.

So to all you fine US citizens, start ordering from UK now. If you all buy enough it might put our ecomnomy back on track ;-)

mweaver
09-03-2009, 01:39
If it is any consolation, for a couple of years there it was about $2 to the , which really discouraged us buying British goods at all. I figure $1.40 to $1.60 to the is about right. Of course, I'm not exactly an economist.

Crazy Harborc
09-03-2009, 02:53
Sooo....I was on a UK based site. The prices were lower than what I can get on this side of the pond.....Shipping and handling was/were 20% of the money total of the stuff I ordered.

I am not complaining. Just getting to the fact that shipping across an ocean is NOT cheap.

Don't forget, part of the full suggested retail price of a product normally includes a markup caused by the expenses encountered when the stuff was shipped to the place you purchase it from. Manufacturers who charge full list prices plus shipping in addition ARE making some "extra profit" from THAT deal.

swarmofseals
09-03-2009, 03:37
I am not complaining. Just getting to the fact that shipping across an ocean is NOT cheap.



True, although I've noticed quite a bit of variation in the sites I've checked. 20% of the total price seems a bit high. Some sites also may offer free shipping for a really large order... so get your friends together and make something happen =)

Shiodome
09-03-2009, 03:49
I knew it! You lot messed up the world economy in order to get cheap toys! Fair enough tbh :P

Coram_Boy
09-03-2009, 14:26
You've sort of missed the low point of the pounds worth, though. there was a point where 1 pound would get you about 1 euro (from 1.4 euros about a year earlier) but now is a good time to buy from britain. Thats the flipside of having a cheap pound atm, people like buying fixed price things in sterling, which I guess is good.

galenus
09-03-2009, 16:21
I've found some good deals ordering from the UK. More often I find that the shipping costs eat up most of any potential savings and just add to the time it takes to receive the item, so I usually order from a discounted retailer here in the states. But, every so often you'll find something that can save you a fair sum of cash if you're patient.

Znail
09-03-2009, 16:42
(Incomes, prices, and values in the US are plummeting, meaning the relative value of our currency is going up. The whole world is currently in the grips of a deflationary spiral, similar to what happened during The Great Depression, with the US and Japan leading the charge. That's why the US dollar and the yen are so highly valued even though our economies shrank seven and thirteen percent last year, respectively. It's counter-intuitive, but right now a "strong" currency is actually indicative of a weak economy)

Ah, actualy didnt know about that. I live in one of those strong economy countries so havent realy noticed it much. Even if world economy does have an impact so do the wierd currency also act as a boost for the exports thus reducing the impact.

Sarah S
09-03-2009, 17:59
So what is the URL for the site with the deal?

Famder
09-03-2009, 18:12
Ah, actualy didnt know about that. I live in one of those strong economy countries so havent realy noticed it much. Even if world economy does have an impact so do the wierd currency also act as a boost for the exports thus reducing the impact.

Umm...may I ask what country that is? Because currently I can't think of a single European country with a strong economy, Japan and China are hurting, Australia is laughable, Canada isn't doing well due to all that US trade they depend on.

Remember your economy usually isn't strong if the government needs to have an emergency intervention in one of the major sectors. Not making a value call on said intervention, merely pointing out that strong economies don't require immediate crisis management.

Coram_Boy
09-03-2009, 23:21
Poland is doing well (and, of course, that's relative) because it regulated its banks properly. Also, lots of skilled polish workers are returning to poland (for example, 400,000 poles from britain have or are planning on returning to poland)

swarmofseals
10-03-2009, 00:57
To those interested in getting the site URL please PM me if you haven't already.

nosferatu1001
10-03-2009, 11:57
Spain is doing well - Santander were prohibited from mortgage backed "securities" hence have snapped up even more banks in the UK

SilentTempest
10-03-2009, 13:20
I haven't read all the posts, but in short, this is not necessarily too good to be true. Exchange rates are funny things that change faster than GW adjust their prices. I live in Australia and up until recently the US dollar was quite weak (compared to normal) against the Australian dollar, so much so that it was cheaper for us to order from the US than to take the half hour drive to our local shop. Significantly cheaper. As in, probably somewhere in the order of 20-40% off. My point is, it happens, there's no real reason to be particularly wary. Obviously though, you want to be sensible and make yourself aware of any taxes which may be imposed. And, of course, you'll have to wait longer for your models.

Shipmonkey
10-03-2009, 13:55
This might sound odd, but if you're in the US one of the best british websites for discounts is GW UK. You score both from the exchange rate and the fact they remove the VAT for US orders, which is around 15%. Back in November I got the new gameboard for $205 from there including shipping. The order didn't take any longer to arrive than ordering from the US website and there was no customs or tariff fee involved. Weird, but it works. At least dealing directly with GW in this case you're dealing with a compnay that knows hows to ship here without the customs issues, something that might arise for a little Mom&Pop website.