I hate living "far away from the rest of the world".

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by AnttiV, May 22, 2012.

  1. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 19, 2012
    Sometimes it's nice and fun living here in Finland, but any time I need to purchase something my brain starts to explode. Case in point:

    I'm looking for a longer telezoom for my Sigma, somewhere 200+mm. Sigma is quite uncommon brand here, so not so much luck finding anything yet. What I *have* found, are either something I already have (28-200mm), or WAY beyond my budget (120-400mm OS, for 1000+€)

    Enter KEH: They have a 100-300mm/f4.5-6.7 DL for sale.. for $29!! That would be like the perfect for what I need. Unfortunately as I live here in the middle of nowhere.. the cheapest shipping method is $59.95 (for shipping only)...

    When you are buying something and shipping is 2x the cost of the product itself, there's this little thing called "irritation" that rears its ugly head then.

    I'm going to bang my head to a wall for awhile, see if that helps :wink:
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'm actually flying to Finland from Tasmania on Thursday, which I think is about as physically far away as it's possible to get... Good times :smile:
  3. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    $59 seems around the going rate for shipping for an object like this from the USA to Europe. In a home counties large town in England I don't feel cut off from the world - but I wouldn't expect the cheapest shipping amount to be very small if I was buying a not tiny lens from the USA. I'd expect maybe about up to $50 for cheapest shipping here.
    What's shipping got to do with value of object?
  4. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    I know how you feel - and I live in the UK! Shipping prices can be utterly ludicrous. For example, I was looking for the larger grip for my E-P3. I can get it from a third party on US Amazon.com for around $20 but the shipping here was going to be another $50. For a grip? Slightly better is Olympus outlet on ebay in Germany - they have the grip for around 15 Euros but then want another 14.50 to send it here.

    Contrast that with Amazon.de who last week sent me an E-PL1+14-150mm kit for 7 Euros. It was sent on Friday and arrived the following Monday.
  5. slith

    slith Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 4, 2012
    Dublin, Ireland
    Real Name:
    I don't consider Dublin to be "far away from the rest of the world", but it seems that it is also $59.95 to ship it over here.

    Don't forget to factor that this is FedEX (a customs agent) lenses might be import duty exempt (they are exempt in Ireland), but you still have to pay VAT... plus an import handling fee...
  6. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    Real Name:
    Sounds like more of a tax problem than a shipping problem.
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yesterday, I walked into Samy's Camera and walked out with a Pany 100-300. :smile:


    (Sometimes, living in the center of the universe has some advantages, but parking is a bitch.)
    • Like Like x 3
  8. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    I think it's a shipping problem - I order from stuff from iHerb.com (no, not those kind of "herbs") and they can send from California to the UK, via DHL, a box weighing a few pounds for $12. It usually arrives in less than 72 hours.

    VAT gets added on later if applicable, and it usually is :frown: .
    • Like Like x 1
  9. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 15, 2010
    Real Name:

    Same here in Brazil, which is 60% of the price of the product. :eek:
  10. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 19, 2012
    I probably don't understand that question... Of course it adds to the price you need to pay. If you think an object is of $50 value to you. You find it online at 40$. That's a good deal. But if you have to pay $80 JUST so to get that object delivered to you; you are, in essence, paying $120 for said object. It becomes a very lousy deal if you originally figured the object is of $50 value to you.

    And, talking about the fees, $50 is WAY much more than I've used to paying for transportation only. I bought my Unigor 200mm (a HEAVY lens) from Germany - that was around 6€ for shipping. I bought two lenses (a 28mm and a 135mm) from the British Isles just last week. The postage was ~10€.

    If I'm looking at objects that value in the range of 10-50 (in any units of money), I really, really don't want to pay double or triple that in addition to the product's price, just to get it delivered to me.

    I can't explain this quite as clearly as I'd like, but see: The smaller the actual object's value is, the more you are really paying to a bunch of guys for delivering cardboard boxes from overseas.

    Compare that to a native resident, who can pick that object up for the original price. Is the object valued so much less to him? No, he just "got a better deal". That's really one of the reasons for my ire in the original post I wrote.

    Take, for example, the Panny 45-200mm lens, an object that I really would like to purchase. People say it's great value for the money. Most of those people live in the states. It costs around $150-200 and around $5 for shipping (if shipping isn't free). Now, consider me. The absolutely cheapest I can get that lens delivered to me new (so no used from ebay) is 289€ plus s&h (about 10€). That's around $380. I will have to pay almost double (or even more!) for that exact same item, just because I live here. It isn't any more valuable to me than to you, I just have to pay more for it.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    No one like to pay the cost of shipping, but think of all that is involved. A person takes your order and packages in a box, fills out all the forms, then hands it to a complete stranger who he trusts to drive it in a truck to a facility where it is put on a conveyor belt where it is handled by another complete stranger where it is likely put on another truck and driven to an airport. Then another stranger loads it onto an airplane where it is flown halfway around the world. After the plane lands, another person unloads it and puts into another truck where someone else drives it to a sorting facility. There (if everything goes right), another person puts it back into a truck and hopefully brings it right to your door. Frankly, that anything gets to where it is going is not only a miracle, but when you think of the cost of fuel and all the people involved, I think it's actually a pretty great value.
  12. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 19, 2012
    And all of this (sort of the deliver to door -part, which doesn't happen with regular post ever anyway) happens with ALMOST EVERY object, even if you pick it up from a store. But in store, the shipping cost is already factored in the price of the item. If you buy overseas, you are in fact paying TWICE for all of that. (first to the store, then to you.)

    No offense to you, but as you are from the states, you can't really understand the problem. The fact that every single item that's anything close to common in the world at large costs about twice as much as it does "in the rest of the world" will get to one's nerves :) And it doesn't help when you find said item overseas at that "better" price when shipping & taxes bring it to ALMOST the same cost as picking it up locally would.

    Again, that 45-200mm is a good example. I found it for $199 online (which is close to 156€. Almost half the price compared to local). If I order it there, shipping is that ~$60 (total is $259 now). Then VAT (yes, VAT is counted from the total item + shipping, go figure), which is 23% here currently. (oh gods I feel sorry for you Brazilians.. 60%??) The total is now around $320. At this time, the lens will have cost me over 50% more than it would for a citizen of the states - just because I live in a different country. If lens isn't any better, I don't value it any higher than you US folks. I, and the rest of us that live "far" just pay a LOT more for the same stuff.

    I don't say it's not necessary or logical or anything. I don't even say it's somehow wrong (although it FEELS that way). It just irks the H*LL out of me sometimes. Not that much when buying expensive and/or new stuff, but mostly when trying to shop some cheap used products. Those two lenses are, yet again, good examples. In the case of the 45-200mm I'd have to pay 150% price in total. In the used 100-300mm case, I'd have to pay over 300% price in total. (if the customs catch it, add VAT and then it becomes 360%..) (compared to just picking it up from the store.)

    Now, 150% is somehow understandable, prices fluctuate even locally and there's shipping and stuff going on. But 300%? Or 360%?

    An "I picked these cheap lens up for $10-20, let's see how bad it is" becomes a $70-80 lens. Twenty is something you can spend on a whim for an unknown lens and just "play" with it. Change are it's good enough for the price. But is it good enough for $80?

    I highly doubt that.
  13. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011

    Living in Hollywood, Los Angeles, I can pretty much get whatever I want/need, whenever I want it.

    Still, to shoot what I want, I've usually got to leave the city.
  14. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    What I was getting at is that, you could for instance, have someone send a free 4lb rock to you from the USA. But would you expect because the rock was free to not have to pay a fairly high shipping charge?
    There's going to a minimum possible shipping charge for any item for a given size and weight, and the cheaper you buy that item for the proportion of the total expenditure that is shipping is obviously going to seem higher. Shipping is blind to the cost of the thing it is carrying.

    It has always seemed to me that the cheapest UK price for a tech item bought new happens to be the same cost as the dollar cost + shipping from USA + VAT. Never much higher or lower than that.
  15. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Try living in New Zealand (the ass-end of the world from a photography perspective) - shipping is brutal.

    Most recently I picked up a GW690II for a song in Japan but shipping added about $50USD and NZ customs stung me for 12.5% import duty (on second-hand goods!). Sigh.

    FYI - I spent 12 months in Helsinki (1983/84) - really enjoyed it :)
  16. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 19, 2012
    In short: yes.

    Because if I get anything for free, I instantly drop all requirements for it to be delivered fast. I'll pay extra for insured shipping (well, not probably with a rock), but I won't pay extra for speed. I could very well live with waiting for said item to arrive one 3-5 weeks, instead of days as regularly quoted.

    That's really the nail and the head of this. Why isn't there a possibility to pay for a cheaper, slower form of delivery. Deliveries from Chine/Hongkong are usually either free or really, really cheap. And it takes 2-3 weeks for the item to arrive. I'm very, very okay with that. I would never have bought my lens adapters ($2.50 and $4.00) if I would have had to pay tons of dollars for the shipping. I much rather waited for extra two weeks and got them with free shipping.

    I'd order a ton of stuff overseas if there was an option to deliver it with cheaper, slower way than regular airmail / fedex. I know it is possible, since I've received products delivered via land/sea (took 2 weeks and another took 2 months) and the shipping costs were somewhere in the $5 region. I'd choose that in a heartbeat over $60 FedEx when buying sub-$50 used stuff.
  17. CUB

    CUB Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 19, 2012

    +1 here.

    Also, my favourite camera shops in Kent (Rochester and Ramsgate) have closed and only a handful are left.
  18. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I suppose it is frustrating if a seller will only do a fast option when there is a cheaper slower one. But I think they may do that partly because the more expensive option may be more reliable, and they understandably want to avoid the potential hassle of something going missing.
    There must be a reason why the commercial sellers that do send to the UK don't list a slowboat option. And as you know a lot of commercial sellers won't send outside of USA at all.
    I have done a slowboat option (took 5 weeks) with a private seller.