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My HLJ order true cost


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A couple of weeks back, I was enticed by a HLJ sale notification. My hobby spending has been significantly lower since the start of C****-19, so I thought, why not. I purchased a mixture of kits, wheel sets and decals to the tune of $210.18. Forgetting that SAL and other low cost options are not available, the choice was UPS or FEDEX. I chose FEDEX. The shipping cost was $52.71, which I was not exactly happy with. Today I received my delivery notice for package pick up. The amount due is $36.88, which I assume is what they calculated as duty/tariffs. When combining shipping plus duty, this amounts to 43% upcharge over the cost of the product. Needless to say, no more HLJ orders from me until they can provide low cost (non-UPS, non-FEDEX) shipping alternatives again. The only good in this order, is that the FEDEX location is only a few kilometres from my house. LOL

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In the US, I usually pay around $52.00-55 USD for FedEx shipping for 4-8 1/24th models & a few 1/64th diecast from HLJ....not bad for 3 day shipping to my door from Japan.   No duty or tariffs added on from Japan to the US.  Even w/ shipping cost per kit, still cheaper than I could get the same kits in the US.. 

Edited by Rob Hall
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What would it have cost you to buy all the same items from Canada or the US? I have usually found the price difference makes up for shipping. 


The tax isn’t anything HLJ can change.

The cheap shipping options from Japan can take months to arrive, especially this year. One of mine took exactly two months. I still have one en route since September 26.

 

 

Edited by Erik Smith
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Rob, I guess the solution is that I may just have to up my game in terms of the number of kits I buy at one time. ?

Erik, you are right. Even with eBay, I'm never in a rush to receive deliveries. With SAL, delivery was usually around two weeks. This order arrived in seven days. I know that duty/tariffs are out of HLJ's control. I was spoiled in my earlier orders because they used to just slip through without being tagged. I think that the wheel sets still ended up being cheaper; probably the kits as well. I know for a fact that the decal sets would not have been available at my lhs.

I've got to watch myself! Complaining for the sake of complaining... not a good thing! LOL

Will post my acquisitions tomorrow.

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Interesting. I order a fair bit from HLJ, and shipping/import has never really been a big issue. And when you factor in the cost of the kit, and how much less it is than domestic sellers, the overall cost is on par. The big advantage is that HLJ has kits that you just don't see here.

 

 

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1 hour ago, iamsuperdan said:

Interesting. I order a fair bit from HLJ, and shipping/import has never really been a big issue. And when you factor in the cost of the kit, and how much less it is than domestic sellers, the overall cost is on par. The big advantage is that HLJ has kits that you just don't see here.

 

 

Sounds like being in Canada is costing more because of tariffs.  I’ve ordered many things from the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Japan and China and was never charged an extra fee living in the US.

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13 hours ago, Bill Eh? said:

. ?

I've got to watch myself! Complaining for the sake of complaining... not a good thing! 

I have to watch myself on this same point.

Just to put my two cents in the pot. I went to mail a model kit yesterday from Washington state to Minnesota via the US Postal Service and the cheapest I could mail it was by ground for $31.25!! For one large box (26 in x 20 in x 5 in) that weighed 2 1/2 lbs. They told me the cost was because of the size. I'm going to rebox it. I can't believe how much shipping has increased.

Later- 

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The size of the package has always been a big deal with USPS, but has gotten more so in recent years.  I remember in my eBay selling days, changing the box on an item I sent to England because the original shipping box was something like 1/4" too large one way or another.  Changing boxes cut the shipping cost by several dollars.

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2 hours ago, Modlbldr said:

I have to watch myself on this same point.

Just to put my two cents in the pot. I went to mail a model kit yesterday from Washington state to Minnesota via the US Postal Service and the cheapest I could mail it was by ground for $31.25!! For one large box (26 in x 20 in x 5 in) that weighed 2 1/2 lbs. They told me the cost was because of the size. I'm going to rebox it. I can't believe how much shipping has increased.

Later- 

USPS changed their rules a little while back - I hadn’t been selling or shipping much for a couple years then listed some model “lots” on eBay and saw that they changed the rules based on volume instead of just weight (they always had upper restriction on priority but it was fairly generous). I can’t remember exactly what the total dimensions rule is, but shipping went from $15 to $40 or so because of an inch too long in overall dimension. 
 

Funny thing is, I ordered a kit from Plaza Japan recently and used economy air and it was about the same as USPS priority. I have three kits in my cart right now and economy air is $27. 
 

I would avoid shipping anything right now - been tracking recent shipments in and out and they are going a little bonkers. Even Amazon packages are grossly exceeding the “I need it in two days” prime deal. 

Edited by Erik Smith
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1 hour ago, Erik Smith said:

USPS changed their rules a little while back - I hadn’t been selling or shipping much for a couple years then listed some model “lots” on eBay and saw that they changed the rules based on volume instead of just weight (they always had upper restriction on priority but it was fairly generous). I can’t remember exactly what the total dimensions rule is, but shipping went from $15 to $40 or so because of an inch too long in overall dimension. 
 

Funny thing is, I ordered a kit from Plaza Japan recently and used economy air and it was about the same as USPS priority. I have three kits in my cart right now and economy air is $27. 
 

I would avoid shipping anything right now - been tracking recent shipments in and out and they are going a little bonkers. Even Amazon packages are grossly exceeding the “I need it in two days” prime deal. 

Yeah. I think I'm done doing any trading or selling for a while unless it is something that I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE! And, yes, I will be cracking down on myself. I have just about everything I could EVER NEED.

Later-

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43 minutes ago, Modlbldr said:

Yeah. I think I'm done doing any trading or selling for a while unless it is something that I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE! And, yes, I will be cracking down on myself. I have just about everything I could EVER NEED.

Later-

I think there is a thread about that somewhere....that has pages of people saying the same thing.  ??

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I've been using Pirateship.com and have been saving quite a bit on the smaller stuff. My post master told me to use them. I measure and weigh it. Put the address in and it give me various prices, You can even have the post office pick it up from your house. 

 

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On 12/10/2020 at 4:04 AM, Modlbldr said:

I have to watch myself on this same point.

Just to put my two cents in the pot. I went to mail a model kit yesterday from Washington state to Minnesota via the US Postal Service and the cheapest I could mail it was by ground for $31.25!! For one large box (26 in x 20 in x 5 in) that weighed 2 1/2 lbs. They told me the cost was because of the size. I'm going to rebox it. I can't believe how much shipping has increased.

Later- 

Once you get past 18 inches or so, the post office is no longer cost effective. UPS would be half that cost at that size. Also, if you don't have a shipping account with anyone, you're going to pay premium. I am shipping some Aluminum rails today. 7.5 feet long, 30 lbs, $26 with UPS Ground. 14x14x14 box that weighs 40lbs, $100+ with USPS, $36 with UPS. Just depends on the size and the weight. 

But for small stuff, like 8x8x8, UPS is $90+ for next day air, where the post office is like $30. 

Edited by Quick GMC
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