Don't you just hate shipping rates?

Ask Panama. :wink:

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https://www.piie.com/blogs/realtime-economics/2024/panama-canal-may-dry-because-amazon-deforestation

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There’s only ONE “hobby shop” left in Montreal? I’m surprised. Local hobby shops have become more and more sparse these last few years, but Montreal? Have you tried Sunward Hobbies, or Wheels and Wings in Toronto (both great stores)? Packages arrive quickly and are incredibly well packaged. They offer free shipping for orders over $100 (CND). The down side, is that you have to hit the $100 mark, which, granted, is pretty easy to do, but frustrating if you are only after $50 worth of supplies. Great Hobbies also offer free shipping over $100. I’m an hour outside of Ottawa. The nearest store to me is The Hobby Centre. Which is an excellent store, but an hour’s drive each way. (I don’t believe they have deals on shipping.) Takes a chunk out of the day, and can be a wee bit precarious in winter. :scream:

I’ll also cast my vote for BNA. Those folks have shipping down to an art. I’ve had a few orders with them that, even with shipping, were slightly cheaper, or equal to buying local. AND they have a very impressive inventory.

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@Uncle-Heavy @Spitfire

Touche. I believe he may have gotten you on a technicality Robin.

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Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica & roughly 50% of Panama.
In that order, north to south :innocent:

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The only two times I’ve ordered from the US, shipping rates were not so high but both times I got stung with import duty! Which was more than the price of the item. The US is the only country that I have ever had to pay import duty from.

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Yep. Me too. NAFTA needs to get it’s priorities staight - Model kits really need to be pushed to the top of the duty free list! :joy:

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As the Brits say, perhaps it’s chalk and cheese, but shipping costs from Japan for CDs can be insane. $25 - $39 to mail one CD??? That’s a hard pass. I buy a lot of music, but not at that price, no.

More on topic, I have bought a lot of kits and accessories from Chinese sellers and shipping is always reasonable.

Got burned once on a photoetch stencil for $17 from China, but that’s it. Seller told me to wait on it and then ignored my PMs. But again, that’s it.

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If you asked Colombus, then yes it does.
image

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All in good fun! :slightly_smiling_face:

Agreed though, shipping is nuts and not getting better. I was shocked that a sheet of decals from New Zealand was only $5 shipped when I’d expected $20+. Usually it’s too prohibitive to even consider.

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Yup, I got dinged too. With the US it’s about country of manufacture origin code. If it’s made in China you will pay duty, even though the hobby shop already paid duty. Suffice to say I will not be buying via the US unless I know for fact it is manufactured in the EU.

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Never paid duty on anything.

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I agree that Poland’s rates are extremely low. I’ve been buying a lot from there lately.
And US rates from one state to the other can seem high, but when I factor in a few other things, it’s actually not a bad deal. I’m lucky to have a very good LHS up the road from me, probably not even ten miles away. Actually I posted that distance the other day but it turns out to be 5.4 miles. And there are two very good train shops about thirty minutes away - one for older and used items mainly, and one for new stuff. As much as I ove to support these shops, there are times when I factor in gas, wear and tear on the car, my nerves, and the time spent not just driving to and from, but getting ready, Molly proofing the house, finding my car keys, it’s often more than worth it to sit on my ass and click a few buttons Done.

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In the “Good Ol’ Days” we had Trainatorium, Westmount Hobbies, International Hobbies, Hobby Junction, a large hobby dept. at Eaton’s, and several others I can’t remember the names of. They were as common as churches - you couldn’t throw a stone in any direction without hitting one! They’ve all gone the way of the Dodo (but I’ve read in some scientific journals that the Dodo can be regenerated). But Chinese manufactured kits are always cheaper direct from China - just not the same as walking into the store and checking the shelves!
:smiley: :canada:

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I have a small business on Etsy and I specialize in militaria; some are collectible and some not quite as collectible. Within the U.S., I offer free shipping on items over $35, which I can generally account for in my pricing structure, but overseas it’s another story. I genuinely feel embarrassed when a customer in Europe or elsewhere ask for a shipping quote, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t lose all of my profit trying to cover a $40 - 50 shipping charge. I’ve had customers tell me, “but I can ship to you via DHL for half that!” Perhaps that’s true, but it’s irrelevant.

What’s more frustrating is the fact that I’m more likely to have items lost going overseas. Packages frequently get held in customs and frustrated customers contact me when I have no control over what customs agents do. I guess this is what we get in the age of globalization and internet sales. Instead of local shops handling the import issues and pricing accordingly, we have internet sellers like me doing our best to be fair and competitive and run a business.

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We’re a US vendor. And, yes, we hate international shipping rates. They are expensive and spoil sales.

As of this writing, the most economical shipping method to most locations in Europe from our US location is US Postal Service First-Class International Package (FCIP). Some locations are served by GlobalPost which is comparable in pricing. Courier services like UPS, FedEx and DHL to Europe are much, much more expensive than FCIP.

For example, postage for a package weighing up to 8 ounces sent to the UK via FCIP costs $20 USD. That’s what we have to pay the US Postal Service to buy postage.

A typical package weighing more than 8 ounces, the FCIP rate is $30.45 USD.

A typical package weighing 3 pounds, the FCIP rate is $46.95 USD.

Click here for the USPS calculator.

Note that like many US vendors, we do not collect VAT or other import duties or fees such as the Royal Mail handling fee at checkout. The customer’s government may require those fees to be paid before the package is delivered, further adding to the cost. We have no control over what taxes another country requires.

Some European customers including those in the UK have been spared collection. Others have not. We are not able to predict which of our customers will have to pay VAT and which won’t. That is completely up to tax officials in the customer’s country. When in doubt, we recommend contacting your taxing authority, such as HMRC in the UK, and asking what VAT may cost. The HS code for scale models is 950320. Provide that code to your tax officials for a good estimate.

Click here for UK tax and duty estimates.

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I heartly agree. Ordering online, from anywhere, is not the same as walking into one’s local hobby shop, being greeted by name, and spending the next hour (?) wondering about, chatting with the owner (as he asks what you take in your coffee) and other customers about the hobby, the weather or whatever. And walking out with a kit (or two) under your arm - paid for, of course.

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Wow, what shops are those??? :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m more accustomed to getting ripped off by the owner’s son, paying over and above MSRP, and followed around and hovered over in the store like I’m a multiple convicted serial shoplifter out on work release. :smile:

Some LHSs just did it to themselves. They thought they were untouchable.

Until they weren’t.

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I generally don’t blame the vendor, but it indeed is the postal services that pull your leg out…

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Unfortunately it doesn’t work the other way- US shipping has been prohibitive since the end of 2020. UK next worse, then Western Europe, Japan, HK, etc… Even one of my (former) local regular go-to webshops has dropped free shipping over $x AUD, without a flat rate either :pensive:

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