By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

Buying from abroad

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Tony Campbell28/03/2007 20:46:00
61 forum posts
Who buys some of their modelling stuff from abroad? Whats your experiences of doing this? Any tips?
Dead-stick28/03/2007 21:39:00
143 forum posts
16 photos
I have been going to Germany once a year on holiday for the last 22 years and usually buy a kit(or two!) and some hardware whilst I'm there. It seems that modelling language is universal as all those I have dealt with have spoken English!
I have also bought many small items off ebay from USA, Italy, Germany and HongKong, and those experiences were trauma free.
mfin04/04/2007 01:12:00
48 forum posts
I recently ordered an engine from the US from Tower Hobbies.

In case you're interested... on the day the exchange rate was 1.94 dollars to the pound and the value of the engine (not including the delivery charges) was of course subject to import taxes.

My engine was shipped via UPS and when delivered (2 days after ordering - yes, 2 days!) the man needed the taxes paying, which I did by cheque there and then.

The tax is near as damn it 21% of the goods total (not including the delivery cost, you don't pay tax on that obviously) plus UPS themselves (or whoever the courier is) have a charge of about £10 which is added to this. Both this £10 charge and the import taxes were paid in a single cheque.

It doesn't work out cheaper on all engines but with the maths in hand it can be worked out. It was much cheaper for me.

Also there is a threshold on import taxes, don't quote me on it but I don't think you pay tax at all for values up to about £20.

By the way, some months before I ordered a musical product from the US which was shipped via UPS and instead of them arriving at the door (and me writing a cheque) they rang me first and I paid by card. Small detail, perhaps they do this when the figure is higher, as in that instance it was a fair bit more.

Here's another example of me looking around a couple of days ago, a YS63FZS four stroke is $239.95 at (even though it says they can only be purchased as long as you buy any other product off their website with it, this might be some kind of OEM rule so you could just buy a control horn, i'd check cos I haven't asked or bought from them before) Thats roughly £123 so add the 21% and the extra tenner and this gives you roughly £158 and £16 to ship it. Compare that with £225 plus shipping from Probuild in the UK and it sounds like a pretty tempting saving.

Of course this is all helped at the moment cos we get a pretty good exhange rate. And its all very well until you have to send it back, so there's more than just price to consider!

Anyway, we do live in rip off Britain, its such a shame
Tim Mackey04/04/2007 18:59:00
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
If you have a relative / friend in USA you could send them the money, get 'em to buy it, ship to their house, then they send it to you as a "gift". Works for my "friend" and probably lawful too :)
Dead-stick14/04/2007 20:53:00
143 forum posts
16 photos
I have just come back from northern Germany and managed to pick up the new (only been out 2 weeks) Graupner Canary, a laser cut balsa 1 Metre span electric canard BIY kit. The service in the shop was great with plenty of enthusiastic advice on alternative power plants, batteries etc.
Can't wait to see how much the cost will be over here when (if) it reaches these shores.
XE52120/04/2007 20:02:00
2 forum posts
@ mfin, UK is not the only place that suffers from 'ripoffers'. Years ago I tried to order some some gear from a stateside company. They refused to deliver and refered me to the official German based importer. His prices were far too high for my liking, so I did without. One day I noticed an add from a freelancer selling this gear for 50% of the official German importer, needless to say I bought. The freelancer had a contact buying the gear in the US and shipping it to Germany.
Look at these postal charges from an Austrian lipo supplier:
Switzerland: 5.99 EUR
Deutschland: 5.1 EUR
Österreich: 3.99 EUR (Austria)
Italy: 6.9 EUR
España: 5.1 EUR
France: 16.9 EUR
Portugal: 5.1 EUR
Still trying to figure out how they send a package to Portugal without passing over/through France.
Clive Matthews21/05/2007 22:21:00
335 forum posts
32 photos
1 articles
I know from your previous posts that you will just love this example of buying abroad!
Tim Mackey22/05/2007 10:42:00
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
Trevor Bowry10/10/2007 12:02:00
2 forum posts


With reference to my previous question, the package arrived this morning (10 Oct ).It actually arrived at the HM Custums depot at Mount Pleasant on the 28 Aug, 4 days after being posted in the US and it has been sitting there ever since !

With reference to tracing a letter/package it would appear that once it leaves the respective country it is untracable. this is hard to swallow in this world of high technology.

Eric Bray23/10/2007 22:29:00
6600 forum posts
2 photos

I've been tempted to send for a kit of the MDM Fox glider, from Hong Kong, but I'm wondering how much tax the infernal revenue will rip me off for, if I do. I looked at the IR website, and found what I thought was the relevent bit, and got bogged down in complex graphs and calculations - (not my strong point - I have discalculia - like dyslexia but with numbers).

So the kit is still in HK and the money is still in my bank, where Gordon and his pal are trying to rip me off from it instead! 

John Laird23/10/2007 22:55:00
435 forum posts
48 photos


a few years ago we paid import duty plus tax  on a gift from the USA .  The value of the gift was not high

David Shaw08/11/2007 09:23:00
4 forum posts

I'm looking forward to see what price Ripofx will want for the forthcoming RDS-8000 Sanwa 2.4Ghz radio. The announced SRP in America is $229 (about £110 at pesent rates), dont forget that can be discounted, and includes import duties, taxes, and profits for both the distributor and retailer. No doubt we'll be told what wonderful value it is at only £229! Time and time again we're told "use it or lose it" and to support our local model shop, if the distributors expect us to pay double what fellow modellers in the US pay it is them who are sounding the death knell for the little shops.

Rant over.


Allan Jordan11/11/2007 17:46:00
495 forum posts

 We certainly do live in ripoff britain, I enquired the price of the futaba 2.4 ghz radio....

Price quoted... wait for it £170.00!

El CID12/11/2007 17:27:00
49 forum posts

Recently bought Futaba 606FS 204Ghz receiver from US,cost £44 and post free and no duty to pay.

This country it will cost £57-£60 plus postage

Only snag it takes a little longer
Locust13/12/2007 21:50:00
1 forum posts

I bought some spare cutters and bits for the Great Planes Battery Slot Cutter (Hinge Cutter) from tower hobbies. You cant get them here unless someone knows better

Overall this was around $30 and arrived a week later with no extra duty.  A goo service all round 

Terence Kwan16/12/2007 05:27:00
10 forum posts

Buying from eBayer from Hong Kong will be the cheapest you can get for products from China, their actual postage cost is the cheapest and they always find a way to reduce your risk being taxed. However, you have to search for a good and reliable eBayer. You will encounter difficulties in tracking, return and warranty issue. I have both bad and good experience.

Last time I bought an IMAX B6 charger from HK, it's one of the best experience ever, it has the lowest price (£45.9 shipped), the guy is very helpful in answering my question, I got a tracking number the next day, and the charger arrived 4 days later; no taxes. According to that guy, he test every item before shipped out. It does reduce the risk of warranty return. No wonder he sold that much IMAX B6 and have a 100% +ve feedback.

Doug Ireland17/12/2007 00:30:00
2088 forum posts
42 photos
My company has its main office in Oaklahoma and I can usually wangle a couple of trips a year to troll the model shops in Tulsa. I was going to buy a 2.4gHz JR set the last time I was there but found out it is outwith UK Spec. Don't know if transmitters from the far east (if you buy them personally) are allowed though.
John Cole27/02/2008 16:15:00
615 forum posts
24 photos
I've bought from abroad using Ebay and found that provided you pay using PayPal you are quite well protected: I got my money back after a non-delivery.  Of course the recent House of Lords (I think!) case established that overseas purchases made using a UK credit card are also protected, but as the banks are appealing that decision I would stick with PayPal for now!
00127/02/2008 17:49:00
2212 forum posts
1 photos
I put this on another thread, but briefly, ordered an item from Hong Kong at about 12 mid day last Friday, item arrived at 1045 hrs last Monday. Very well packed. Paid extra for tracked courier, but well worth it. I used another seller from HK three separate times recently and they took about 5 or 6 days for normal post. Very acceptable I would say.
Owen Hailey07/06/2008 22:43:00
391 forum posts

Hi all.

I try to by as cheaply as I can, as this keeps her in doors sweet, and the only way I can do this is to by on the web, so most of my stuff comes from HK or China and Taiwan, and up to date have never been ask to pay any tax, so these couriers that are asking for money up frount befor a parcil is sent to the house must be up to some thing, or may be difrent rules for difrent countrys of oragen who know's.

happy bying Owen

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
electricwingman 2017
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Has home isolation prompted you to start trad' building?
Q: The effects of Coronavirus

 Yes - for the first time
 Yes - but Ive bashed balsa before
 No - Ive existing projects on the bench
 No - Im strictly an ARTF person

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E!