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Posted By: Geoff Hannis Buying Parts from the USA - 06/10/17 12:04 PM

A friend of mine has a nice little business repairing PC's and (buying and) selling used laptops. He does a good job at reasonable prices.

The other day we were discussing the headaches he was having buying parts from the States; his problem being "how much to quote". It seemed to me that it was all down to whether or not he was likely to be "stung" by import duties and so forth (that is, ending up paying more than he - and his customer - had bargained for).

My advice was that he should simply tell the customer that the price charged for parts would be "cost plus NN%" (that is, the eventual total cost, including delivery, plus his usual mark-up). This idea was rejected, however, as he (or rather the customer) really needed a "fixed price" to be quoted.

In the past, I have bought stuff off eBay that had arrived in a Jiffy* bag a few days later without any bother from various parts of the world (Hong Kong, China, Cyprus are three that come to mind). That is, without any additional demands for extra payment from the Post Office. Perhaps I have just been lucky.

Does anyone have recent experience of bringing parts into the UK from the States? If so, what's the score these days?

Meanwhile, how do larger businesses and (or) "frequent buyers" get on? Do they use an agent (at either end - or both) to take care of everything on their behalf? think

* Other soft package pouches are available.
Posted By: Moira Re: Buying Parts from the USA - 10/10/17 1:54 PM
I buy bits from various parts of the globe for my glass work, some via eBay, some direct from the supplier. From the US, postage costs are colossal, and then duty and 'handling' is added on top. Even with second-hand goods!

Most of the rest (Europe, India, Russia) are a few pounds as you'd expect; and China and Hong Kong are the opposite, usually free - I think they are subsidized.

No wonder industry is booming in the far East!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Buying Parts from the USA - 11/10/17 12:23 PM

Yes; I've had similar experiences. smile

With all the talk these days about Free (and, if truth be told, "not so Free") Trade - you know, Brexit, Tariffs, Transatlantic Trade Agreements (TTIP, CETA et al) and all the rest - you would think that nations (markets) pretending to have "special relationships" would get a grip and have basic stuff like this squared away.

There again, I suppose that the sort of "small fry" (to them) we are talking about is well below the radar of the Big Shots - you know, "strong and stable", MAGA and all that stuff. whistle
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