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APC Props and Motors

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John Emms 127/11/2016 11:13:16
225 forum posts

Perhaps I can be excused for not spotting, but CREATING, modelling money savers!

I have slashed the prices on some stock items, so all APC Slow Fly props are £1.50 (and smaller APC Electric are £1.50), sorry it can't be less as the free worldwide postage has to be covered). Mega and MVVS motors on stock have been drastically reduced, and we have 2 x DLA 32cc at £150ea.

So, if the moderator will allow this, there are some extremely serious stock clearance (well below cost) savings to be had.



John Emms 120/04/2017 08:46:25
225 forum posts

All APC Thin Electric have been re-priced, and the range is 4" to 21" with prices from £1.50 to £9.50.

The remaining Oracover is £10 per 2m roll.

Sorry, but we had to re-introduce post and packing as we were sending out some orders where the cost of VAT and postage was considerably more than the order value.

Let me know if any prices are too high, and I will reduce them......

bouncebounce crunch20/04/2017 09:07:04
1739 forum posts
212 photos

Hello John Emms.

i am not a shop dealer but am interested in these questions. my explanation of why is last.

Do you pay import tax from another country and pay export tax on the way out for the same product?

I am trying to fathom (dollar values aside) why it is far cheaper for me to purchase a kit from USA and have it shipped to my Australian door mat than it is to buy it from the country of Origin, which is 1000s of kilometres closer and worse still why it is even more expensive in my own country model store. OS, Balsa USA, Sig and Seagull to name a few.

John Emms 120/04/2017 11:54:34
225 forum posts

Hello Mr Bounce Bounce Crunch,

Your question is considerably more complex than might appear at first sight:

Buying from another EU country as a member of the EU, the goods move freely, without duty or tax, and the VAT is paid to HMRC after the goods are ultimately sold. Buying from outside the EU, the cost of transport and import duty has to be considered in the pricing. VAT may (or may not) have to paid on entry to UK, depending on the individual arrangements with HMRC. For items that we supply to Australia, the customer will then be due to pay import duty and local taxes on entry to Australia.

In the US, distributors frequently sell close to trade prices direct by mail order, and it is accepted that prices will be higher after an item has appeared on a local shop shelf, but that is not a business model that is accepted in UK, and I suspect Australia. Having bought a couple of items from the US that are not available here, I have found that the post and packaging rate has been considerably more that the cost of postage alone, so the low prices have a supplement hidden in the post and packing charges. The fact that taxes are not shown in the US price also make items in the US appear to be lower.

I suspect that Australia suffers from the same issues as the UK market, so a very limited market size make it impossible to operate with efficiency of scale - so the costs of operation are proportionately higher per item.

kc20/04/2017 13:41:19
5433 forum posts
161 photos

The problem is that postage from UK suppliers is so much higher than overseas suppliers even though the difficult bit - actual delivery to my door - is done by the self same UK postal service! For example Puffin today quote 1.95 plus 3.50 postage total 5.45 for an APC 9 x 4.5 prop while Bangood quote 2.14 pounds INCLUDING POST for a 9.45 APC Style prop. Yes the post alone from Puffin is more than the total cost from China! But both come via the same postman! ( I bought in January from both suppliers so I know )

UK suppliers need to lobby for a level playing field and get better terms from the Post Office which will not only benefit them but increase the VAT revenue. ( I paid no VAT on the prop from Bangood as it was under the threshold, but of course i pay VAT from any UK supplier )

John Emms 121/04/2017 11:23:27
225 forum posts

We actually did boycott the Post Office, and made sure that they knew why when the cost of small packets increased significantly, but as soon as the Post Office was privatized, the costs came down equally dramatically, so I guess that was part of the government plan to allow margin for the private carriers to enter the market.

I really don't know the postal market, or if the private Post Office are obliged under law to carry mail from overseas, but I guess it works both ways, the overseas postal services send items here, our Post Office charge for, and send items there.

We have one of the few postal services in the world that is fully privately owned, but in other countries the postal service is considered an essential public service, with rates appropriate to the individual local economy - and it is clear that some countries keep the overseas rates down to help small businesses and increase exports. Almost all prop orders fall in small packet rate of around £3 (and VAT has to be paid on p&p, so £3 post becomes £3.60 including VAT). What beats me is how a private company can deliver anywhere in the country at that rate. I also have an issue with super low carriage rates, as I feel that people need to be a paid a rate that means you and I as tax payers do not have to subsidize their job (or perhaps, employer) through in work benefits including housing benefit - but pay is only one part of that equation!

There is an anomaly in the Post Office charges, as some items (including larger props) are considerably cheaper to send to the other side of the World, than to the other side of Bristol....

Gordon Tarling21/04/2017 12:05:31
180 forum posts
4 photos

I would also add that a large proportion of the goods sent out of China have their postage subsidised in some way, hence the 'free postage' on many items from Banggood and the like. I'm not entirely sure how this actually works, as I've had some items from Banggood that have been sent from the Seychelles. However it works, it's clearly not something that's ever going to happen from UK based suppliers.

kc21/04/2017 12:43:05
5433 forum posts
161 photos

John said " Almost all prop orders fall in small packet rate of around £3 (and VAT " and so I checked what Royal Mail charge and found up to 100 gram costs 98pence 1 day or 76 pence 3 day.. - I weighed the APC 11x5.5 in the very Jiffybag ( MailLite) that Puffin posted it in and it weighs 55 grams. The bag still has the ' 1 Large ' stamp and Puffin label on it. So surely the postage cost for one meduium prop could be 98 pence plus Vat plus cost of Jiffbag? ( I am not complaining because Puffin gave me free postage at that time back in January)

Of couse it may not be economic to just sell and post one prop every time someone needs one but it seems it's not the Royal Mail charge that causes the cost of posting to be so high.

Edited By kc on 21/04/2017 12:48:25

John Emms 124/04/2017 10:37:46
225 forum posts

The Royal Mail price guide is here **LINK** The file is dated March 2017. I can see some price reductions, notably in the Small Parcel rate to less than £3, and what appears to be a wider slot to accept the considerably cheaper Large Letters. I also see the reasons why props, covering and kits that used to go by Royal Mail, no long can!

The idea of recovering the actual, and no more than the full, costs of carriage have always been hugely attractive.

When we started over 15 years ago, we tried to simply recover the cost of carriage, but that proved to be an impossible part of the business model, so we settled on standard rates of £2.50 for any item that could go Royal Mail and £7.50 for any item that had to go by carrier, and we were happy to recover only 2/3 of the combined carrier bills from our own post and packing charges. This continued for a few years, with the only change being more and more items that went by carrier were charged at the £2.50 rate.

Crunch time came with hikes in Royal Mail rates, and we were recovering considerably less than half of the carriage costs. Doing a rough calculation, the change to £3.50 standard carriage would take us closer to recovering 2/3 of the carriage costs, AND leave us less than the normal £4.50 and £5 minimum carriage charges of other companies (yes, many have free carriage above a certain order value).

The free carriage was introduced last year to try to encourage sales following events of June last year, but we saw no effect on sales whatsoever. We did send orders out where the value of the sale was less than the total of cost of the VAT, carriage, and packaging. In pure monetary terms, the right thing to do would be to refund the money and throw the item in the bin, but we covered the costs and sent the items for good will - that happening a considerable number of times led to the reintroduction of the £3.50 standard charge which we believe should return us to the 2/3 recovery rate on carriage costs.

Ignoring VAT, the cost of packaging materials, and the costs of getting the item to the Post Office, any customer buying a range of items from us over a period of time should pay no more than 2/3 of the actual cost of carriage. Following the new Royal Mail sizeing and pricing of last month (that I have only just become aware of), we will look again at carriage charges.

John Emms 102/05/2017 19:29:49
225 forum posts

As promised, Sandra and I have looked again at p&p charges as a result of the recent postage changes. All of the orders that went out today have cost at least £4.50 in postal charges alone, with one costing £9 once VAT is accounted for. We could reintroduce a graduated scale of postal charges, but that would be extremely costly to change every time that postal rates and sizes change. We have decided to keep the flat rate of £3.50, which allows us to send bulky low cost items (heatshrink tube and spinners for example), and I have reduced prices further on all smaller APC props that can fit into Large Letter rate. 4" to 7" are now £1, up to 10" are £1.50, and 11" are £2. I have left the 20" plus at £9.50, again, with £3.50 carriage.

Hope that helps,


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