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advice on buying from USA


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I would like a bit of a guide from those who bought stuff from the states. For example if you pay US $100 for an eyepiece what would be the total cost in pounds roughly for post customs etc? Just weighing up the cost to see if savings are worth it compared to UK prices.

Thanks, andrew

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Well, I have on order a 80mm triplet apo lens, some fixtures and a dewshield on its way from california. Total cost $784.62. It got caught up in customs for a few days and I have to pay £92 in tax. Ive not idea yet what the sender declared the value at but im guessing it was full value.

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First of all you've got to workout the total costs as it's not always cheaper to import from the US.

By the time you've paid taxes and import duties and shipping it usually ends up at $100.00 = £100.00. Add roughly 24% plus clearing fee and shipping to the US price.

Also be aware that some companies such as Meade and Celestron won't allow US dealers to ship their branded goods to the UK.

John

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One other thing to bear in mind is that one prominent Californian dealer has a nasty habit of completely turning its back on their customers - especially foreign ones - as soon as they've got their money, so any follow-up issues can be very painful.

They are actually very good to deal with before and during the sale, and shipping was never a problem: Just don't expect them to ever bother to reply to any post-sale inquiries unless it's likely to be another order.

This I've learned through bitter experience, as have quite a few others, apparently.

Sometimes it just makes sense to stick to local businesses. Granted, not in every case, but often.

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Another point of view might be:

'Support your local dealer'; Small, local businesses need local customers. Look at your local high street since the likes of Walmart built all those Hypermarkets, how many family greengrocers remain in Britain? Killed off by the convenience of shopping at Asda/Tesco/Morrisons etc. etc.

If you can buy locally, then buy locally.

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I recently shipped an astro article in from abroad, had to pay £15 Tax but was not over delighted at the £25 handling charge :D I think if you are desperate and its not available in this Country then go for it, otherwise as has been said, source it from local companies, at least you have some come back if its faulty.

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Only advice I can add is to check who it will be shipped by. I find that FedEx are decent and appear to know what they are doing.

If the item comes via UPS then it is handed to the Post Office here in the UK. They charge for everything possible and add a charge on for the priviledge of charging you.

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