Recently, looking over some financial/investment material, I saw that 1 British Pound equaled 1.52 US Dollars. I don’t get involved with foreign transactions, but the business news has been talking about how the relatively high price of the US dollar is constricting our exports. That of course means imports must be up.
As it happened, I had just been perusing the websites of my two favorite domestic suppliers (Sprue Brothers and Squadron), and they were both out of stock with some Eduard masks I wanted. I recalled seeing adverts for Hannant’s in the UK, so I went to their website.
It turns out they had both mask sets, and with the conversion to dollars (their website does it automatically if you want the prices in dollars) the mask sets were less expensive than they would have been if they had been in stock at my domestic suppliers. (I get great service from both suppliers, but if they don’t have it in stock, I can’t buy it.)
I ended up ordering the masks and some Xtradecals. The postage was $6.31 airmail to Arizona from the UK. My order arrived in a week.
I paid with PayPal. They just deducted the pounds from my account converted to dollars at the then prevailing rate. No surcharge involved, as might happen with a credit card (I have had that happen with credit card transactions is foreign currencies). I would assume most of us have PayPal accounts as I am sure most of us occasionally do business on eBay.
In another order, I bought a kit and the postage was equally reasonable, the packing was very well done, and it came in a week. Yes, the kit was less than it would have cost here.
Until the dollar weakens against foreign currencies (these rates are in constant flux), you may find that shopping in the UK is a very good deal.
Hannant’s has a stunning inventory. I was amazed at the variety of kits and accessories available. If you have never checked them out, you should do so. (http://www.hannants.co.uk/)
If I could, I would buy everything locally, but that is not possible. Even here in the Phoenix area (our 5th largest metropolitan area), there are only two decent plastic model hobby shops. To get to them, I have to drive a one hour or two hour round trip. And they simply can’t stock all the stuff I might be after. The plight of the specialty retailer in the Internet might be the subject for another day.