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HomeOff Topics › UK Prices Shameful...
12-16-2003 07:29 PM  14 years agoPost 441


Somewhere in England

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If I could make a quick example of certain situations ?

For example.... Jr as you know, have released the 9X. Yes, you can buy it on the web from the Far East. Cheaper even ! BUT, the version you get for your pound / dollar / yen / euros will be the HOME Market version. It would be the HS or FS version as opposed to the ES.

As certain people have found out ( look for 9X posts on RR ), they cannot Mode Change, No support for ZPCM, Warning Tones disabled, No Throttle Direction change but to name a few. This is what the Europeans wanted. The build run will obviously be smaller for the ES version as opposed to the Home Market HS & FS versions. Smaller build run means higher costs.

Perhaps it will work out cheaper to buy a Far East version and throw it away when it goes **** up, but at the time it happens wont that nagging doubt go through your mind ? " Wish I bought it from the UK distributor " ??

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12-16-2003 08:18 PM  14 years agoPost 442


Surrey, UK

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My 9CHP is from cyberheli and IS the home version (the German one actually) and differs in absolutely no manner to the UK one (apart from a two pin charger). The only potential problem I have heard of is warrantee - but it truly would work out cheaper to either pay out of my own ca$h to get it fixed here or to order another from HK - it only took 4 days to get here anyway! And the cost including VAT and import taxes still makes it a *very* viable option!
No nagging in my mind at all - but thats just me - I buy lots of stuff from abroad to save money - from computer equipment, DVDs, video games you name it - it is this kind of action that made the car prices in the UK fall - people buying from the continent for a cheaper price.
I'm not cussing anyone for buying from here or abroad - it's personal preference, but if I can save a few squid here or there I will.


(this thread REALLY is going in circles now)

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12-16-2003 10:46 PM  14 years agoPost 443


St Leonards On Sea UK

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I don't need anybody to defend me.

I am just posting factual information. Not scaremongouring.

It makes no difference to me what so ever where people buy their goods from. I just like to make sure that what ever information posted is truthful and researched properly.

I'm sure all the distributors are concerned about the falling sales owing to the Grey market.. but as I have said time and time again.. if there was something they could do easily and quickly. They would have done!

If you read my posts.. like you say you did.. I pointed out that you were far more likely to get a response from a distributor or manufacturer if you were to put pen to paper and write them a letter. Have you done this? Why not? Only costs the price of a stamp.. and then you could have something to show everyone. You would get the communication from the distributors that you so obviously crave.

I pointed out in my earlier posts also that the MacGregor price reductions had been agreed long before Bob Johnsons website section went live. It was purely administrative reasons that delayed it. Now people obviously don't believe this and feel they want to call me a liar. But this doesn't bother me at all. People who know me personally know that I am completely honest in what I say and do.

I am not here to defend MacGregors.. nor any other distributor. My sponsorship is tied to JR in Japan so it really makes no odds to me personally what happens with UK distributors.

But I respect everyones view and will let them make up their own minds. I have my views on the matter based on factual research. I have seen costing figures, tax rates, staffing costs.. the lot. Therefore when I speak about what I say I know what I'm talking about.

Don't get me wrong.. I too would love to see UK prices the same as our Far Eastern friends.. but we're never going to get to that level owing to the extra hands the goods have to pass through to get to the UK officially.. and the cost of running businesses in the UK.

If you want to buy from abroad.. fine go for it.. doesn't bother me.. I just hate hearing people gloat about the way they dodged the taxes and vat and that they hope it will teach the UK distributors a good lesson.

Whether you choose to believe what I say is another thing. If you don't believe a word I say then fair enough. I know from the amount of correspondance that I have in my message box that there is a substantial number of people who agree with what I say.

Funnily enough none of them have posted in this thread, and quite frankly I don't blame them to be honest.


12-17-2003 01:02 AM  14 years agoPost 444

rrElite Veteran


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You have my support !!

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12-17-2003 10:29 AM  14 years agoPost 445


Bonnie Scotland

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Dear All

I've made a couple of posts on this subject myself, but I hope everyone realises the whole thread is totally pointless.

If you are reading this, then you already know that items can be imported cheaply from the far east/ USA. If you are going to be perusing the proposed database, you will already know the savings to be made. There must be a heap of people out there buying their stuff within the UK. As long as they do so, nothing will change. A full page ad for Cyberheli in MHW might do the trick, but this thread won't.

Mark is correct, get outside of RR and write to the distributors then post the reply.

Till then this thread is just the cyber equivalent of sitting in the pub setting the world to rights. We all feel a bit better for having vented our frustration, but nothing has actually changed.

However, I'll keep subscribed to this topic just in case something startling happens.


12-17-2003 12:32 PM  14 years agoPost 446

rrKey Veteran


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For someone that has said more than once, that you are not going to visit this thread anymore - you sure have a lot to say.

I did not suddenly jump up and decide on my own that there should be a database - i made suggestion like many others. I have had half a dozen people contact me and offer services like web space and programming time, i had people contact me that were believers that this would help the heli community in the long run, i had people that were just interested to see the scale of grey purchases. Go back thru this thread and see the support for this database.

This is not RotorX's version of things, i gain nothing, i am not planning to start a web sales dept, i am not being paid for this, it just happen to be that a lot of people believe that this database could have the same effect that grey car purchasing had on the car industry, i happen to agree, that it could have that least its worth a try.

nothing is going to happen by not doing anything, i also agree that nothing may happen anyway, but i for one am very interested in the results , not in the bickering, i dont want to argue with you all the time, but it seems that you have only one angle, that we may be breaking the law, if we dont pay the taxes, also you are saying that once you add the (according to you) taxes that are supposed to be added that it is not cheaper that buying in the UK - which simply put is untrue

You answer to the reason the taxed paid items are cheaper is its because of ambiguous pricing on the parcels - but if that is the case we cannot be blamed for something the sender chooses to do, if this is truly the case with all senders, i know this may be true with a certain sender, but not with all, so instead of inviting me to disprove you, how about you do some work and get some FACTS and post them your self

Why dont you write to the C&E and see what they have got to say, good luck with getting straight answers, there are many things that govern the tax issue, not all the kit is subject to the same taxes, that much I do know, I remember that you made a fuss about how the heli were not classified as toys by the C&E and a document was produced (not by me) to show that was the case (look back in this thread) granted that probably only applied to the airframe and a few other bits, the electronics and engine may be different, but if you really want to know go find out some info that did not come from your dist/manu sources - do you get what i mean

I believe that you are wrong and you believe that you are right, so what -dont like it dont subscribe to it, got something to say, say it and move on, but please dont bore us with the same tired comments, my only regret is that i bit when perhaps i should have taken a chill pill.


Finally - have a nice day

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12-17-2003 12:58 PM  14 years agoPost 447


Navan, Ireland

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Well said RotorX.

I guess if some people haven't understood the point of this thread by now they never will.

It is great that we have a collective voice - pun intended - on this forum, potentially much more can be achieved here than writing a letter to the distributors as previously suggested by mchristyuk.

I saw another thread where some one said you could buy a TT 90H engine for £145.00 ($254.00) and the reply stated that an import would cost £97.03 ($170.00).

The £145 was a special offer as the shop had ordered too many engines BUT the ordinary Asian engine was still cheaper even when you include VAT etc.

I think a similar thread should be started on plank and car forums if they have the equivalent of RR for those more popular parts of the hobby.

So let's keep giving examples and ignore those with other or hidden agendas.

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12-17-2003 01:06 PM  14 years agoPost 448

rrKey Veteran


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thankyou for your support - Thumbpilot Once the database took off (if) i was planning on extending to all the RC commuinty - that means everyone............

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12-17-2003 04:34 PM  14 years agoPost 449



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lets not get into personal attacks... I didnt have to pay import tax on the price of my last 2 imports as the value was lower than the customs limit... Others I have had to pay full import tax and VAT on, but still saved substantial sums... (I wouldnt order from abroad if the price wasnt cheaper including the VAT)...

Don't Email me as I wont reply - PM Only (spam countermeasures)

12-17-2003 10:56 PM  14 years agoPost 450

rrKey Veteran


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According to Mark Christy, if you buy from abroad and pay the correct dues then IT IS NOT CHEAPER, so by his definition you are breaking the law for evasion of taxes,

What makes you so sure the parcel was not marked down, how can you be certain that you still do not owe taxes. Its not that i dont believe you, but i would be eternally grateful, if you could explain so everyone can understand.

I spent 1 hour on the phone to the C&E today (late lunch) and i got this far.

A model with a engine + all the bits has the same import classification as a lead figure, providing that it is for personal use and come in a kit(they define a kit as all packed in one box) , this mean that C&E classifiy them as TOYS, that was as much as i could bear for today, my next mission is to find out the rest, problem is they pass you to a operator, you have to explain and then you got a C&E person, then you explain again and then get passed to someone to help you classify your chosen import, i spoke at great lenth, mentioning all the electronics, so on their own they are not toys, but as part of a kit they are toys, then i was passed back witha classification code to find out the tax details and what combinations constitute what, I will post the links tomorrow

unfortunatley my lunch was up and i will try again tom if i am lucky enough to get a long lunch like that again,

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12-17-2003 11:47 PM  14 years agoPost 451
CraigHrrNovice - Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Are you sure some of you boys are old enough to play with Helicopters?

I'm sure I can hear the sound of dummies being sucked

But then again I could just be overcome from the BS !

I'm just off to ring the fire brigade and put them on standby

12-18-2003 07:38 AM  14 years agoPost 452
john spain


london uk

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excuse me for being dumb but if helis are classed as toys what would be the duty/vat rate be. if i have been over charged in the past i will try for a refund which would clear things up a little.

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12-18-2003 08:46 AM  14 years agoPost 453


St Leonards On Sea UK

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Oh dear.. you really should read my posts more carefully before accusing me of saying things.

I NEVER said that if you paid all the taxes as per a distributor that the goods would be more expensive than buying in the UK. I said that SOME JR HELICOPTERS are now cheaper in the UK than importing from abroad and that the cost of importing the stuff incurred by a distributer adds a large percentage to the price differences between here and the far east.

I also said that distributors DO have to pay duty and VAT when importing, and, that IF the helicopters are classed as toys then either:

A) the UK distributors have got it wrong.. all of them.. and shouldn't be paying what they do.. unlikely considering the legal advice they go to when bringing this stuff in


B) the grey imports are some how being misclassified.

So if it is B) then you are all laughing really and the distributors have shot themselves in the foot.. or if it is B) then you are in the wrong.

I do know for a fact that grey market imports come in marked as Toys on the packages and customs misread the Hong Kong dollars. Now considering the manufacturer of these products classify them as NOT TOYS and so do ALL the people selling them (see website disclaimers) C+E really shouldn't be classifying them as toys.. which is probably the case for the UK distributors. Whos wrong and whos right?

Now I have heard different stories from different sources as to how it is classified.. not even C+E can give the same answer've rung them and had one answer.. I know somebody else who has rung them and got an entirely different answer.

Now Rotorx you seem to want cheaper prices in the UK for all don't you..? So why I ask you again, don't you write to the distributors and manufacturers?

The online database is not going to have that much effect.. so do you REALLY want to make a difference or do you just want to be known for an endless thread on a website and constantly complaining about the prices?

If your aim is to make a difference then contact the people directly who can do that.

I've tried to point out time and time again (which you seem to ignore) that it doesn't bother me either way where you get your stuff from. I have no hidden agenda and am just trying to stop this becoming a one sided discussion. All I am trying to do is add some responsability to this whole subject and steer it away from personal attacks on the Hobby Shops and the Distributors of this country as that is going to have a completely counter productive effect on what you want to achieve.

If you read my posts correctly you would see that I gave you suggestions for the online database. So if I was completely against the idea why would I have tried to help you?

Anyhow.. if you can't see where I am coming from then there isn't much more I can say or do to convince you.

I will still contribute to this thread so lets shake hands and admit we have different views on this subject.. though ultimately we both want to see the same (or similar) things, and stop the finger pointing..



12-18-2003 09:31 AM  14 years agoPost 454


Navan, Ireland

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I NEVER said that if you paid all the taxes as per a distributor that the goods would be more expensive than buying in the UK
And that is the point exactly - goods are much cheaper when bought from abroad EVEN when all taxes and shipping are paid. We are being ripped off by someone.
So why I ask you again, don't you write to the distributors and manufacturers?
Keep this rip off quiet and have a one on one with the distributors and manufacturers. There's no point in alerting people to this rip off as they all might save some money.

I personally have saved a small fortune since this thread started

So if anybody is writing to the distributors and manufacturers please copy the competition authority or office of fair trade etc.

There has been very little input from the trade on this thread and I believe that is because they KNOW we are being ripped off and not beacuse they are afraid of being flamed, being bored, listening to unreasonable arguments etc.
The online database is not going to have that much effect.. so do you REALLY want to make a difference or do you just want to be known for an endless thread on a website and constantly complaining about the prices?

You wish!
This database, when publicised, will let ALL modellers (Helis, planes, cars, rockets etc) know that they are paying too much and they can save a lot of money by buying from abroad with real live examples. This will seriously affect the distributors who will have to drop their prices to compete - isn't the free market wonderful.

BTW I would change "constantly complaining about prices" to "constantly highlighting rip off prices"

And finally apologies for all the "personal" attacks on an indsutry that is ripping me off - that's if one can be personal with an industry.

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12-18-2003 10:35 AM  14 years agoPost 455

rrKey Veteran


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I will still contribute to this thread so lets shake hands and admit we have different views on this subject.. though ultimately we both want to see the same (or similar) things, and stop the finger pointing..
Agreeded, Mark, we will have to agree to disagree, on some points, but i really do believe that this db may have a impact on modelling in this country,

Now back to the reason why i lit this thread up!
The creator of the database had this to say, it would be cool, if we could get some positive feedback We have tried to make this a fair database and its only objective are to have a clearer picture of where we spend our money what we paid what we saved if any and why.



Right the front end of the database for inputting is sorted I build any number of inputs into the database, can we clarify exactly what has to be input. I have as follows:-

1. Goods Purchased
2. Price paid in GBP
3. Actual UK price
4. How many bought i.e. could be servo's
5. Where
6. Why
7. Was it a UK shop yes / no
8. Delivery Time
9. Tax Paid (only if outside the UK)
10. Postage paid this would relate to all purchases

Next to do:-

Each person has an account which will list every item they input, plus give calc's i.e.

Total Spend in the UK
Total Spend outside the UK
Savings agianst UK prices
Average delivery time
Total Tax paid for items purchased outside the UK
All items are dated from input so a sql script can drag details into dates/yrs.

what else do you want.

Then I will have a page which will list without identities:-

Every item purchased for all members, plus all the calc's as per the account holders.

I have yet to write out the language file which won't take long so I'll leave that till last.

Let me know when you can, in the meantime I'll crack on the calculations code and the account holders page.


I could do with some answers, it would be nice to get it right the first time.

p.s. Mark your idea of supplying final figures with tax paid has been adpoted, last time i check with the programmer,

i am not out to try to make a bad situation look worse, my only issues with that is, it may not reflect the true tax libility, might have to consider, doing both, what they paid and what theyshould have paid,


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12-18-2003 04:42 PM  14 years agoPost 456


Navan, Ireland

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Hi Janek

There appears to be 418 UK registeres members on RR. Asuming each person knows 3 others this adds up to 1,672 people.

You are right this is a lot of letters and sends one hell of a message to the trade.

BUT this thread started on the 14th October and do you want to guess how many letters have been written so far - eventhough someone suggested we put pen to paper.

Here's another number for you. There are 35,306 people involved in aircraft modeling in the UK and probably more with RC cars.

Now that is real buying power. Once the database gets off the ground many of these people will hear about it and suddenly realise what the trade has being doing to them. If these people start to buy from abroad the distributors will drop prices rather rapidly - don't you think.

This, in my opinion, is more reliable than relying on enough people to write a letter.

I filled in the blanks (I assume you wanted 6 words because for the sentence to make sense requires at least 2 words - that is, one 6 letter word just would'nt read correctly). Here goes "more and more like me everyday"

Just curious - are you connected with the trade in any way - if so what is that connection. I know this is a personal question and feel free to ignore it.

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12-18-2003 04:47 PM  14 years agoPost 457

rrKey Veteran


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posted a suggestion earlier to start adding names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of these companies to this thread, but everyone is ignoring the suggestion ?
Suggestions are easy, for example "you do it" but not as many people are prepared to put the effort in - talk is cheap, a whole bunch of people making suggestions will get no one no where - action it please.

In principal i think its a good idea, i am happy for you to do this in any way that you think fit.
Kaz, one point about your investigations with HMC&E, the classification you and they are having trouble with is the basis of the Duty part of the total tax paid. The duty is typically small in comparison the the VAT. The VAT element will not vary, it's 17.5%, unless the goods are described as an exempt or zero rated classification (food etc). Oh, and I reserve my right to jump to the defence of anyone I see being mistreated here or anywhere else, and that might even include yourself one day !
The fact remains that no -one here really knows, or we would not be having this debate, we are NOT subject to the same taxes that importers are as they do it for profit, we do not, so to say that X Y Z gets this much so joe bloggs must have to pay the same ? is not right
Thumbpilot, Mark is more that capable of defending himself, but stop putting words into his mouth that he's never uttered, you just make yourself look _ _ _ _ _ _ (fill in the blanks with whatever you feel comfortable with)
Now who is being silly - everyone had a few heated moments - lets move on now, please.
"more and more like me everyday"
Thumbpilot you crack me up

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12-18-2003 06:02 PM  14 years agoPost 458


Navan, Ireland

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Fair point Janek.

Getting enough is the problem though. Maybe a combination of what is happening here and indivdual letters is the best way.

Does anybody have contact names and/or direct email addresses as I fear gereric addresses such as Manager or info@xxx.xx or sales@ xxx.xx will not be actioned by some.

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12-18-2003 06:10 PM  14 years agoPost 459


Navan, Ireland

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Would the most effective method not be to buy our gear from asia until the price's here become competitive.

Or is that to simple.

Why do we fear change, one of the two certainty's in life

12-18-2003 06:40 PM  14 years agoPost 460


England ... North West

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Ok ... Another idea to put in ...

What about a common letter .. ie. :-

Dear sirs..

would like to bring to your attention ....
I realise that ......
I as part of a collective buying power .....
Allong with several other letters you may receive....
Intend to buy Kits and radio equipment abroad ....
Until such time .....
etc.. etc...

bla bla bla.....

If a strong enough letter that can be printed off by everyone on here and other R/C forums and sent to the repective distributers/Manufacturers.

covering all the issues that need to be raised.

Print the letter off .. sign it ... send it to them ..

You could even print off enough to take to your flying club for others to sign and send..

All of a sudden they will receive a bundle of letters all individually signed .. bit like a petition.

What do you think???

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