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Hobby King exchange rates

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Dai Fledermaus15/08/2013 15:07:46
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Until I retired about two years ago I had a small cabinet making business making Shaker style chairs and Rocking Chairs. The only place where I could get tape for the seats of these chairs at a decent price, was a company in the U.S. However, I really didn't know the exact price I was paying at the time I placed the order because of the dollar exchange rate at the time, the foriegn exchange charge my credit card company applied, as well as the VAT and the handling charge made by Parcelforce. it was all a bit of guesstimation, which brings me to the point of this thread. As you are a canny lot and I would think cost conscious, why do you use a company like Hobby King where everything is priced in dollars and orders can be shipped from outside the E.U? At the time the order is placed, do you know exactly how much the overall cost is going to be?

Pete B - Moderator15/08/2013 15:34:22
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Posted by Colin Ashman on 15/08/2013 15:07:46:

As you are a canny lot and I would think cost conscious, why do you use a company like Hobby King where everything is priced in dollars and orders can be shipped from outside the E.U? At the time the order is placed, do you know exactly how much the overall cost is going to be?

As you are a canny lot and I would think cost conscious, why do you use a company like Hobby King where everything is priced in dollars - price.

and orders can be shipped from outside the E.U? - I don't see a problem with free trade, provided the rules are observed. I buy where it suits me.

At the time the order is placed, do you know exactly how much the overall cost is going to be? - Yes, it's quite easy, with a calculator. I know what the $ total is, so for a very close calculation at present, where the £ is about $1.55, I divide the $ figure by 1.5. If you use Paypal and have a linked bank account, you'll get the exact amount and exchange rate as you complete the transaction anyway.

By way of example, with the current rate being about $1.55, my transaction to a US company yesterday was processed by Paypal at $1.498, a similar figure you would expect from most bank/credit card transactions.

Pete

Dai Fledermaus15/08/2013 16:36:02
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Pete, I wasn't making a point about using a company outside the U.K far from it, I just wanted to know what if any were the additional costs based on my experiance of buying goods in from the U.S. What about VAT for example?

Pete B - Moderator15/08/2013 16:51:22
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To a great extent, it's in the hands of the gods and HMRC, TBH. There is an exemption from all duties if the value doesn't exceed £15 for importing into the UK.

Above that, the efficiency and enthusiasm of the Excise people in examining every packet that comes from abroad determines whether you will be subjected to VAT and any import duties and, to not put too fine a point on it, it's a bit of a lottery.

Similar rules apply here in France. I've had numerous orders up to the $100 mark and have had only two subjected to charges - each had a value of about €35 so it wasn't at all painful.

In general terms, it seems that packets from the Far East seem much less likely to be checked than those from the US, for some reason.

There's also some evidence that the use of EMS and the other faster services seems to attract more interest - but I've never used them so have no personal experience.

Pete

ps I hope this thread doesn't descend into another VAT/Duty inquest, as has so often happened......smile

Alwyn Gee15/08/2013 17:19:35
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Colin, I'm not sure from your original post if you realise that HK are now in the UK. When you order from the UK page your goods will be shipped from the UK and all you have to do is check for yourself the current Exchange Rate. I just feed the HK price into an online exchange service before I press the buy button. In these circumstances I do not seem to incure any futher charges from PayPal.although their rate can differ slightly but not significantly. As others say when you order from overseeas you are in the lap of the HMRC gods although it's the exhorbitant handling charge by Parcel Force that I really object to more than the VAT, and the fact that HMRC take the price in $s and just transfer that straight into £s with allowing for exchange rate when they decide to apply VAT. Having said all that I have always still saved money when buying from HK overseas than if I had purchased from other sources in UK, despite any extra charges.

Alwyn

FlyinBrian15/08/2013 17:51:56
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Why use Hobby King - well the savings are so good that it is difficult not to. I have had about twenty orders from HK and have never had to pay customs fees.

Frank Stevens15/08/2013 18:03:50
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I have stopped adding up the total I spend with HK, it frightens me (79 orders to date). I am in Spain at present, so use the Euro warehouse in Holland whenever possible, slightly higher prices but much cheaper carriage and very fast delivery, no nasty surprises as customs duties are already paid. If Colin is concerned about the $ prices, the home page has a box on the top RH corner where you can change it to £ or € I have never used this so not sure of the exchange rate HK uses. Twenty years ago I would probably carried on using my friendly local shop, but now it seems that minimum stock is carried and the sales knowledge is non existant.

Frank

John Privett15/08/2013 20:08:59
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Posted by Frank Stevens on 15/08/2013 18:03:50:

If Colin is concerned about the $ prices, the home page has a box on the top RH corner where you can change it to £ or € I have never used this so not sure of the exchange rate HK uses.

Well, until 3 or 4 weeks ago the exchange rate used was £1 = $1.61. It had been that since early January when it was realistic, but after the first week in January it was increasingly inaccurate, making the prices look more favourable than they actually were. I'd like to think they're now keeping the rate updated on a frequent basis, but I'm not holding my breath!

FlyinBrian16/08/2013 07:46:47
543 forum posts

I have just done a comparison of dollar vs pound prices on Hobbyking and XE.com

An item priced at $364 is converted by HK to £240 (1.51) and on XE.com to £232 (1.562) still a fair difference in HKs favour.

Olly P16/08/2013 15:35:44
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surely against HK? they have valued at a higher price??

John Privett16/08/2013 21:28:54
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I'd ignore what HK say the price is in £££. Whatever you select, you will be charged in DOLLARS. So look at the HK £ price if you like, or better - look it up on a reliable currency rate site. Then add a little to cover the bank/paypal conversion rate and you have an estimate for what it's going to cost.

Past experience has shown that HK's conversion rate is rarely updated and can be significantly inaccurate. FB's example above shows that the rate they're now displaying makes things look more expensive than they actually are. A month or two ago the rate they were using would have shown things looking cheaper than they actually were.

Frank Stevens17/08/2013 12:14:30
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Surely the important answer to Colin's original question is that how ever much the final cost is it will be much cheaper than any other supplier. That is why so many modellers all round the world use them. Yes, there is the odd glitch, but no other retailer can get even close to their prices. Giant Shark is probably the closest, but expect to pay the same amount in pounds as HK's price in dollars.

Here in Spain the model shops charge about 50% higher than UK equivalents, so although I use UK internet suppliers when possible, most of my needs come from HK.

Frank

Dai Fledermaus17/08/2013 12:37:38
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Thanks for your help with this, you've sort of confirmed what I suspected which is the price you see is not the price you pay, but it's interesting to know that H.K. are cheaper than the competition despite that.

Edited By Colin Ashman on 17/08/2013 12:38:17

John Privett17/08/2013 12:54:07
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Colin, I think the important points are;

1.) The price in $ is what you pay. How much it costs you in £ to pay that sum in $ is between you and the bank/paypal.

2.) If you use the UK or Euro warehouse there will be no customs charges. Order from the International warehouse and you might get stung for VAT/duty - and Parcelforce will probably want an extra £14 or so for themselves. (I'm assuming of course you're in the UK.)

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