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As the "it's much cheaper from the US" subject comes up at fairly regular intervals I have begun to wonder (without getting too involved with the financial in's & out's of the money markets) if it will always be so.

Recently, as the GBP increased in value to the USD it has made some purchase's from the US value for money to the UK, even for EC sourced goods.

However, when supplies in the US have to be replenished from the EC using a weaker USD to the euro that will make the US prices higher.

So, depending on how the GBP reacts to the USD it will be interesting to see what happens.

& this is without considering the lack of import duty & VAT being applied to goods from the US.
 

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DT
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But why are the US prices cheaper than those of European ones- for the same European goods?

Often it is due to the size of the market than the deals that the Americans get from the manufacturers. If it is more expensive for them because of the exchange rate, they will try and squeeze more of a margin from the source.

As long as that remains, they will continue to be cheaper in this Worldwide economy.
 

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The USD has slipped from about USD1.65 to the pound to USD2.05 in recent years .Thats about 20%. Now sterling is falling agianst the dollar - and I'd expect that to continue (The Chinese currency is closely linked to the dollar , so China has been devaluing agianst sterling ... I'd expect that to reverse, sharply in years to come making Chinese goods ever more expensive)

There is also the higher cost of doing business here - the rent for a shop in a major British city is going to be much greater than for a US mail-order operation in an out of town location. There are hardly any model shops left in london, and it may not be co-incidence that two of the 3 or 4 biggest UK box shifters are based in Sheffield and Liverpool - two of the least prosperous British cities , with falling populations
 

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Part of the issue is the amount of taxes that are inflicted on the British public. Since I moved over here (to Aus) I have found that although income tax is higher there are far fewer stealth taxes. It is all these stealth taxes which bang up the cost of running a business and the end cost to the customer.

I have many of these cost issues with Australian suppliers and rarely buy from an Australian shop due to the high cost due to import taxes imposed on bringing anything into Australia. I tend to buy direct from the UK or Germany depending on what I am buying and find this far cheaper. The vat deduction generally covers the postage. So while you at home may find prices expensive they are far worse here.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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I agree Neil, here in Aus it is still better value to buy US goods from US (ie Digitrax, Tortoise and the like) and UK goods from the UK (RTR rolling stocks etc.)
 

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I'm with Neil and LF on this. I buy from England and the States a lot of the time, because of the shop prices here. I do find it strange though, that I can buy Lenz decoders a lot cheaper from Tony's Trains in America, that I can get them in England, which of course is only round the corner from Germany.
 

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Unfortunately, even today, many US dealers don´t ship to Germany. Either I get "f*** off nazi" replies via email, or a more or less friendly notice that the dealer won´t ship to countries who refuse to support the US war against terror.

I´ve given up trying to order from the USA. Too much hassle for too little savings.
 

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There are some good dealers in Canada. I don't know if they generally ship to the UK, but I can't see why not - easy enough to find out. Rather than plug my favourites in public, you'll see some good ones on the British Railway Modellers of North America website: http://home.ca.inter.net/~brmna/prodser.htm. Unlike the ones across the border, they can even spell "modeller" right!
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 17 Mar 2008, 01:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Unfortunately, even today, many US dealers don´t ship to Germany. Either I get "f*** off nazi" replies via email, or a more or less friendly notice that the dealer won´t ship to countries who refuse to support the US war against terror.

I´ve given up trying to order from the USA. Too much hassle for too little savings.
They really are unbelievable.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 16 Mar 2008, 22:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>They really are unbelievable.

It´s their loss, unless they already have enough money in their coffers so that they don´t need any more from me.


Fortunately, dealers from other countries, like the UK, The Netherlands, Italy or Switzerland don´t have any such reservations.
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 17 Mar 2008, 09:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It´s their loss, unless they already have enough money in their coffers so that they don´t need any more from me.


Fortunately, dealers from other countries, like the UK, The Netherlands, Italy or Switzerland don´t have any such reservations.

I decided not to bother going to the States on holiday due to all the associated hassle they have introduced. I am probably not the only one. Canada will undoubtedly benefit from the tourism that the USA has lost.
 

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Being a simple lad from New Zealand, I guess that my nationality is deeply frowned upon in some parts of the world.

We gave woman the vote
We banned Nuclear ships from our ports
We make better films
We banned genetic engineering
We have no additives in our beer
We can play rugby except at the World Cup

Good thing I model German railways and buy them direct from Germany!

Seriously, I do try to support local retailers, but when given the choice of paying an extra 20-30% to buy it locally on a loco that sells retail in Germany for EUR400 there is not a lot of option other than to buy it from a German dealer.

I know I run a risk if there is a problem, but I have been dealing with the same shop in Germany for about 8 years now, and when I have had problems (and their have been a couple) they have been most eager to sort it out.

John

It is better to build a long term relationship with a couple of suppliers rather than purchase on Price alone.
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 17 Mar 2008, 09:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We gave woman the vote We did so, too, in 1918.
We banned Nuclear ships from our portsSmart move.
We make better films OK, but we´re catching up!
We banned genetic engineeringI wish we would, too.
We have no additives in our beer Neither do we.
We can play rugby except at the World Cup What´s "rugby"?
OK, we can play football, on occasion including the world cup.

It is better to build a long term relationship with a couple of suppliers rather than purchase on Price alone. I agree 100%.


John, I guess you´re quite compatible with most of western Europe. If you´d only exchange that "rugby" thing with "football"...
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 17 Mar 2008, 18:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>John, I guess you´re quite compatible with most of western Europe. If you´d only exchange that "rugby" thing with "football"...


Ah but being antipodean John could have course mentioned cricket - thankfully no-one else in Europe plays it.

Regards
 

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"Cricket" as in the insect?
 

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QUOTE "Cricket" as in the insect? question.gif

I would point you to "The Hitchhiker's Guide" trilogy (in 4(?) parts) for an explanation of cricket but I can't remember which volume it features in.

David
 

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Searching for explanations of "cricket for foreigners". I turned up this variant of a widely used example:-

QUOTE You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

It's really quite straight forward


David
 

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As a sport I play a lot of (captain of my local side) I never have understood why large amounts of the world don't play it. Virtually every country that was part of the empire play it, yet hardly anyone else!

Rob
 
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