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Blobby

Buying in the UK

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I can't have been the only one to have noticed by now that there are some strange discrepancies in the airsoft market in the UK compared to the US and europe based countries in terms of product pricing by different distributors. 

 

Suppliers in the UK offer significantly higher prices for many products than in other countries for some unkown reason.

For example I have recently been looking for a PTS Enhanced Polymer Stock which is offered for 45 USD in the states, and all the sellers I've seen so far in the UK offer it for 45 GBP

$45 IS NOT £45 !!!

Do they not know how to convert between these two currencies? (hopefully) yes!

So then they're hoping we're too stupid to be able to ourselves, or that we just aren't attentive to the international markets.

I personally don't really value a couple pieces of moulded plastic which have such a simplistic function at 45 dollars anyway, let alone 45 quid, but then that might just be me...

 

I think that sellers in the UK for some weird reason seem to think that the demand for products in the airsoft market is really low (because we're not american 'gun nuts'), so in order to make ends meet and not lose money, they increase product prices.

Airsoft in the UK is actually a very large community, and still growing, so really there is a lot of demand.

Increasing the price of your products just puts people off buying, particularly the people just starting the sport. To be honest, if there is anything that is killing the sport in the UK, its the market pricing forcing new players to buy cheap crap, be dissatisfied with their purchase and perhaps give up the sport entirely.

 

 

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Prices here are higher due to higher taxes and dealers that price not the value of goods but prices they think the British market will stand. Also the quality of goods we receive is of a lower standard G&G for example on their top guns put the standard motors in for the British market not the higher quality neodymium motors. average extra markup is between 40-60 pounds above what the cheapest market price is. Krytac also give the British market a lower quality product, you only have to read about the noisy early failing guns with clipped springs etc. BB prices in the uk are shockingly high and myself and mates are going to bulk buy abroad getting them at less than half the uk price.

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I think it's more to so with our aggressive customs policy. And a lack of independent importers.

Added to that Poland for instance do not seem to have a very efficient department for dealing with both customs and VAT. So most of what you buy is going to be VAT and Duty free. The Government turns a blind eye to it because it strengthens their economy, provides jobs, and moves money into their coffers. Playing on an even playing field is not in their interest.

The gun downgrade thing is an issue but that is related to the Law. Most airsoft manufacturers balance a gun for 400fps for the US market. So the likes of G&G and Krytac running high speed gearboxes need that spring weight to slow the motor to avoid gearbox problems. You stick an 11.1v lipo in a high speed gearbox that should be balanced at 400fps, but is actually running at 350fps and you will destroy parts. Either the piston or sector gear will get destroyed. The simple solution for the manufacturer is to downgrade the motor, It's the only way they can stay legal and still offer a warranty.

TM avoid this by having a gearbox designed to run at 300fps. Since it meets the UK law they can sell those high speed gearboxes without a problem, and without having to change parts.

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The 1:1 usd:gbp conversion is not unique to airsoft, its pretty universal amongst a lot of products.

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37 minutes ago, Iceni said:



TM avoid this by having a gearbox designed to run at 300fps. Since it meets the UK law they can sell those high speed gearboxes without a problem, and without having to change parts.

 

That's actually due to the muzzle velocity restrictions in Japan (their main market by a LONG way) it just happens that it's convenient for us. Guys in the US whinge about how underpowered and overpriced they are.

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Also in the US, they don't include taxes in the price upfront, though their sales taxes are usually a lot less than VAT.

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1 hour ago, Blobby said:

 

Suppliers in the UK offer significantly higher prices for many products than in other countries for some unkown reason.

For example I have recently been looking for a PTS Enhanced Polymer Stock which is offered for 45 USD in the states, and all the sellers I've seen so far in the UK offer it for 45 GBP

$45 IS NOT £45 !!!

Do they not know how to convert between these two currencies? (hopefully) yes!

So then they're hoping we're too stupid to be able to ourselves, or that we just aren't attentive to the international markets.

I personally don't really value a couple pieces of moulded plastic which have such a simplistic function at 45 dollars anyway, let alone 45 quid, but then that might just be me...

 

 

 

 

Well, for starters PTS aren't made in the US so the cost in USD is irrelevant when you work out the cost in GBP. PTS are based in Hong Kong (as are a great many airsoft manufacturers) so you need to work out the cost of import from China via distribution to the end retailer. Of course it doesn't cost £45 to knock out a few bits of moulded plastic but you're also paying for R&D, licencing etc etc etc. Plus let's face it why shouldn't they be making a profit? Last I checked they're not a registered charity!

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Happens in more than just Airsoft. I bought some fishing reels from Germany that were nearly half-price compared to what they were over here. 

 

I’m new to this sport, but I don’t see a huge UK retailer dominating the market in this industry,  IE no one has the buying power to push down prices. That’s causing major issues in the angling industry, but it HAS pushed prices down (too low to the point it’s not really sustainable). 

 

Add that to what’s already been mentioned regarding taxes etc, and the fact that this is still a relatively small market, and it’s kinda understandable (but frustrating). 

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1 hour ago, Blobby said:

$45 IS NOT £45 !!!

 

This is not a problem unique to airsoft, its the same with computer games, and they're not even physical....

 

But in the end:

 

1 multiplied by 0.75, multiplied by 1.2 comes quite close to one with 0.9.

 

11.11% is a fair (deeply oversimplified) profit margin?

 

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I'm going to Split, Croatia next week and Budapest in September and if I can squeeze in a trip to their local airsoft place (If they have any to me) I wouldn't mind checking out their side arms on prices etc. 

But then the question is import. What would you do then? 

BBs over here are very expensive though. 

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If you actually buy from out side the EU by the time you get your rif or parts you have barely saved money and you don't have any warranty what so ever. Airsoft is not big if there is 30k active players in the UK i'll be impressed.

 

These threads come up so often posted by people that seem to have no idea how retail works. bulk buying stock at large enough level costs lots of money, if you have large stock levels that's costing you money until it sells, warranties cost money to honor, shops cost money, rent, rates utilities, taxes, staff ,insurance etc. We live in a small island with a high cost of living everything is going to cost more. 

 

This is a extremely niche hobby with a small consumer base it's expensive.  shops are not looking to rip you off they are selling what they can at price they estimate will make a profit if they can sell a fixed number of products  

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5 hours ago, Iceni said:

I think it's more to so with our aggressive customs policy. And a lack of independent importers.

Added to that Poland for instance do not seem to have a very efficient department for dealing with both customs and VAT. So most of what you buy is going to be VAT and Duty free. The Government turns a blind eye to it because it strengthens their economy, provides jobs, and moves money into their coffers. Playing on an even playing field is not in their interest.
 

 

When you the customer buys direct from an EU retailer you pay the VAT in Poland

So when it arrives in UK it is waived through and no further duty is charged as VAT was already paid in Poland

Poland actually has a slightly higher VAT rate than UK on some bits, not as much as Denmark 25% or Hungary 27%

But VAT is paid on your GunFire receipt in fact, just it stays in Poland's purse not UK's pocket

 

So UK government is losing out in revenue on privately purchased EU items

Business/large companies are able to charge back VAT so it is different for general trade vs private sales

 

If UK left on WTO then we would be a third country and GunFire would export VAT free to UK

There "may" be additional tariff/duty and then UK VAT added on

But this would stay in UK's public purse than in Poland or other EU member's public purse

 

NB private sales & business/trade sales it is different coz you won't be reclaiming the VAT like business might

 

That is how it should work - but still unclear just how the f*ck GF & others can knock stuff out so cheap

maybe the enormously large bulk buying virtually eliminates shipping costs almost from China

(just fill a large cargo container up and spread the shipping across thousands of peew peew bits n bobs)

Still some stuff is as cheap as chips - so buy ya toy guns now whilst there is no tariffs etc...

 

Food for thought when you consider the trade deficit and who might stand to gain the VAT issue on private sales

But it is not quite that straight forward with larger trade that might be able to reclaim some EU VAT

 

Soz for waffle - but you should find we pay Polish VAT think it is 23% on GF orders

if you check your order/account - look at order details click on pdf version of invoice

and you should see the VAT - I just checked my last order - think it was 21.5% a while ago

but last order seem to display 23% on the pdf invoice

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Was going to order those cheap Bolle shooting glasses highlighted in the bargain thread last week. 

 

Saw that p&p was £9.00.

 

Emailed three times and established after third email that yes, £9.00 was the cheapest option to get some 99p sale glasses to me. 

 

Well, F you. 

 

UK airsoft shops are their own worst enemy at times. 

 

There are a few amongst the dross, but there are hardly any now with a range or brand line that deviates a lot from the other, they are all a bit Nuprol, WE identikit stockists. 

 

Meanwhile, JK Army received my money for being able to ship a far larger package halfway across the planet for less than nine quid. 

 

Jokers, charlatans and piss takers frequent UK airsoft retailing. 

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58 minutes ago, Dentonboy said:

Was going to order those cheap Bolle shooting glasses highlighted in the bargain thread last week. 

 

Saw that p&p was £9.00.

 

Emailed three times and established after third email that yes, £9.00 was the cheapest option to get some 99p sale glasses to me.

 

 

 

 

 

So they were going to cost you a tenner, how much do you value your eyes ? you see this on ebay quite often low price with higher shipping, at the end of the day just compare 'total' prices

 

£45 less VAT is  £37.50  which as American prices don't show taxes up front makes the UK base price lower. Same thing applies with total prices, factor in shipping and VAT if customs decide to charge it plus the £20 odd that the courier will charge you for writing to you to tell you there is duty to pay. Buying from outside the eu is always a risk, very often you get away without any duty but , and I suspect especially if you do it regularly, you will get a bill at some point. 

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41 minutes ago, Nick G said:

So they were going to cost you a tenner, how much do you value your eyes ? you see this on ebay quite often low price with higher shipping, at the end of the day just compare 'total' prices

 

£45 less VAT is  £37.50  which as American prices don't show taxes up front makes the UK base price lower. Same thing applies with total prices, factor in shipping and VAT if customs decide to charge it plus the £20 odd that the courier will charge you for writing to you to tell you there is duty to pay. Buying from outside the eu is always a risk, very often you get away without any duty but , and I suspect especially if you do it regularly, you will get a bill at some point. 

 

I have decent eye pro already. These would be spares or lends. UK p&p is a joke. 

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38 minutes ago, Dentonboy said:

 

I have decent eye pro already. These would be spares or lends. UK p&p is a joke. 

 

You clearly don't have the issues I have with lending eye pro, I've been squirming for a while over whether I spent enough money on eye pro for a friend to use (spend at fire support mind).

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3 hours ago, Dentonboy said:

Was going to order those cheap Bolle shooting glasses highlighted in the bargain thread last week. 

 

Saw that p&p was £9.00.

 

Emailed three times and established after third email that yes, £9.00 was the cheapest option to get some 99p sale glasses to me. 

 

Well, F you. 

 

UK airsoft shops are their own worst enemy at times. 

 

There are a few amongst the dross, but there are hardly any now with a range or brand line that deviates a lot from the other, they are all a bit Nuprol, WE identikit stockists. 

 

Meanwhile, JK Army received my money for being able to ship a far larger package halfway across the planet for less than nine quid. 

 

Jokers, charlatans and piss takers frequent UK airsoft retailing. 

 

 

Didn't I mention that you just had to go through the checkout process to the specific shipping page for those glasses? (Not the default shipping cost) and you would have a Royal mail £5 option? You did delete your comment after I stated that without comment. 

 

I double checked before posting that and It came up with the cheaper option. 

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You'll need to pay VAT and Duty on stuff from Gunfire and Taiwangun, unless they come to some sort of customs union agreement post Brexit.

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1 hour ago, Asomodai said:

 

 

Didn't I mention that you just had to go through the checkout process to the specific shipping page for those glasses? (Not the default shipping cost) and you would have a Royal mail £5 option? You did delete your comment after I stated that without comment. 

 

I double checked before posting that and It came up with the cheaper option. 

I have not deleted any comment. 

 

An email from the staff told me that £9.00 was the cheapest option. So that is the basis of my rant tbh. 

47 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

 

I'd be happy to pay the 4-5 pounds it would cost me to post similar. Charging double is just putting off casual buyers like myself. 

1 hour ago, Sacarathe said:

 

You clearly don't have the issues I have with lending eye pro, I've been squirming for a while over whether I spent enough money on eye pro for a friend to use (spend at fire support mind).

 

I don't need to lend out eye pro, but would have been happy to lend out a pair of Bolle glasses if I had a pair in my kit bag. User's decision then. 

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I import a lot of accessories but not many RIF’s, solely due to a lot of the parts I want just aren’t available in the UK. When I occasionallly buy gear “cheaper” and import it, it never is.

As has been universally acknowledged above, you buy private from outside the EU, 50% of the time you get hit for import, apart from DHgate & Aliexpress, who seem to get get around it somehow.

Then, on top of import and/or VAT, you will get a similar amount in handling charges.

 

A quick example, I’ve recently bought ten Vector mags in two batches from Rainbow8. Basic cost about £33 each, by the time shipping, VAT, import and handling costs have been added, they each stand me at £49 lol

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Its partly due to importing and VAT really, if you import RIF's you can get them cheaper but you have to pay import duty, so then you go to a UK wholesaler, oh and they simply add the import duty to the price. But even if you exclude the taxes, manufacturers will still give different companies different prices and exchange rates will also affect this.

 

But to really answer your question, a lot of UK retailers are quite greedy (or have massive overheads) why do you think most combat machines out there are like £130+ and ours are below £120 🤔 

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Just normal rip off Britain.

 

Look at how much more we pay for cars.

 

We are supposed to be in common market and yet a German made HW77 air rifle costs slmost a hundred quid more in the UK than on the Continent.

 

I have often tried to find out whether the money is going to the government or to greedy importers or retailers.

 

Nobody has been prepared to tell me.

 

I do know that with anything made in America, they simply change the dollar symbol to a pound symbol.

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1 hour ago, Dentonboy said:

I have not deleted any comment. 

 

An email from the staff told me that £9.00 was the cheapest option. So that is the basis of my rant tbh. 

 

I'd be happy to pay the 4-5 pounds it would cost me to post similar. Charging double is just putting off casual buyers like myself. 

 

I don't need to lend out eye pro, but would have been happy to lend out a pair of Bolle glasses if I had a pair in my kit bag. User's decision then. 

 

 

Interesting. I can't seem to find it anymore. I think its to do with the recent forum shenanigans. I remember providing a detailed response which I can't find either. 

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50 minutes ago, Duff said:

I honestly fear for UK airsoft retailers obtaining their stock.

 

It all comes from China-China-China or surrounds anyway.

 

Do you know how much duty the EU charges on airsoft gear imported from there?

 

Do you know how much duty WTO rules say should be charged on airsoft gear imported from there?

 

If no to either of the above, what's the rational basis to be so a-feared?

 

They want to sell, we want to buy. Trade happens despite governments, politicians, and treaties, not because of them.

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