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Importing from HK and Preferred Manufacturers


SteamPunkSultan
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Hi All,

Any advice, as usual, is most welcome...

 

I have been getting back into airsoft over the past 6 weeks (doesn't my bank balance know it!) and I was wondering the pros and cons of importing from overseas, particularly HK.

 

I should have a UKARA membership in the next 6 weeks and presumably I would have to wait until then, but I would like to know what to be aware of when the time comes so I can horde my doubloons in the meantime!

 

Additionally, I do have some cash to spend on upgrades, but if I was to buy some new AEGs, Spring Snipers and GBBs, what manufacturers provide the best kit right out the box... In my day it was pretty much TM or nowt!

 

Thanks!

Rob

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Welcome back etc..

 

Most of this was covered in a recent thread but in summary:

 

Pro's

  • Better choice (although that's irrelevant if what you're after is available in The UK).
  • Marginal cost savings.

Con's

  • Possibility of getting stung for various tax and handling charges.
  • Possibility of Border Force seizing and destroying the item.
  • Possibility of Border Force asking your local constabulary to come and have a chat with you at the delivery address (could be especially awkward if that's your place of work).
  • Possibility of wrong items being sent or the good arrving damaged. Exchanges of which will be far more difficult.

...and yes I have personally experienced all of the listed cons, some multiple times.

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You used to be able to get a much easier and decent deal from Polish stores before our glorious overlords decided to strip away our EU rights.

 

I dont think Id bother importing from Asia to save a few quid, the amount of horror stories you hear of peoples parcels being  seized/hundreds of pounds in tax and fees added/vanish/have to post back to Asia for returns or warranty/end up on the Evergreen for 6 months... its just not worth it.

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After all is added up I have rarely saved money on importing, pretty much now the only reason to import is you can't get it in the UK.

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As above. Years ago when the exchange rates between the pound and the US dollar was more favourable you could make some good savings on importing from the far east. Not so much anymore, especially with shipping costs being higher

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17 minutes ago, BigStew said:

the only reason to import is you can't get it in the UK.

 

Which pretty much means you need to import, all I see on websites for anything I want is out of stock.

 

@steampunksultan consider asking your chosen store to restock what you want and just pay their markup, still have to wait but most likely less hassle.

 

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Thanks for the responses guys... What about manufacturers in terms of best AEGs out of the box, and best for bolt action rifles (I appreciate upgrades will be neccessary for this one in particular!).

 

Thanks again,

Rob

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On 14/09/2022 at 21:05, Cannonfodder said:

As above. Years ago when the exchange rates between the pound and the US dollar was more favourable you could make some good savings on importing from the far east. Not so much anymore, especially with shipping costs being higher

2004, the high point was $2 to £1 I bought so much stuff.

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Top tip - if you do import, include your UKARA as part of the address so its printed on the box for Customs.  Also, wherever possible, and I stress this often, do not use UPS if you can avoid it, even for just parts or gear.  They are a royal pain in the arse.  Strangely, I have had zero issues with Customs using EMS and then Parcelforce, might take a little longer but you get your stuff pretty reliably in my experience.

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Such a shame, HK was the go to place.  So many bargains, so many online stores and as someone said $2 to £1 - it's now $1.09 to £1 and shipping has pretty much doubled.  There's some gloomy times ahead for the airsoft industry, most new stock coming into the country is going to be hit hard.  Lot of panicking Chinese suppliers have been messaging me in the past couple of weeks, almost desperate to make sales but yet unable to reduce their prices.  Pegging their own currency to the USD maybe great in some circumstances but now it's causing it's own issue.   Dang it.

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  • Supporters

Mmm, I rather fear that G&G's new WTF prices are going to become the norm rather than the exception.

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Agreed. I think the introduction of the cheap Chinese stuff in the late 2000's has meant many of us have gotten used to the relatively low prices. 

 

I just hope we don't end up in a similar place to when I first started playing, eg £30 for a single magazine 

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20 hours ago, Rogerborg said:

Mmm, I rather fear that G&G's new WTF prices are going to become the norm rather than the exception.

I'd agree with that, without a doubt prices are going up, and its not even stiff pending release. I've noticed that all their re-stocking of magazines and such have all had price increase, what was £18 magazine is now a £25.

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I used to import in the past when;

 

It was better times

A very good exchange rate.

 

I wouldn’t either bother now.

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6 hours ago, Rogerborg said:

Mmm, with inflation and exchange rates and supply chains, I wouldn't find excuses to avoid or delay purchases.

 

Tell me about it. A few more weeks 'till my UKARA's sorted and I dread to think what a RIF's gonna cost by then! Of course that's if there's any stock...

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17 hours ago, Madhouse said:

Tell me about it. A few more weeks 'till my UKARA's sorted and I dread to think what a RIF's gonna cost by then! Of course that's if there's any stock...

 

Stock could be a problem going forward.  Really depends on how the larger wholesalers want to play it, i.e. take risk that the end customer will buy more expensive stock or sit back and wait a while - see what happens in the market.  We might see factories like CYMA and Double Eagle start dealing in smaller numbers, selling direct in order to get their products to market. 

 

There's also been rumours of the Chinese President Xi Jinping was under house arrest in a coup 2 days ago, still no news and none of my regular Chinese suppliers will talk about it.

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Also, understand where all thes parts come from, but I am a big fan of supporting the UK businesses here and to ensure that they keep going.

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11 hours ago, ak2m4 said:

There's also been rumours of the Chinese President Xi Jinping was under house arrest in a coup 2 days ago, still no news and none of my regular Chinese suppliers will talk about it.

According to a quick google search these rumours are false. He was simply following covid rules by staying in quarantine for a couple of days after returning from a foreign trip. 

 

Well at least that's one less thing to delay imports

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