Using BBTS for UKers

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Auto Morph, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    OK, so finding the vast majority of decent TFs if you live in the UK is next to impossible. Chances are we don't see anything at retail and the one good online store we have (Kapow) is prone to selling out of the best stuff pretty quickly as a result.

    So, after hearing so much awesome feedback about Big Bad Toy Store, I have decided to look at what they have to offer for international buyers.

    Are there any UK residents out there who have shopped with BBTS before and if so, how did you get on? Which method of shipping is the best? How did you work out prices and what method of payment did you use?

    Ah so many questions!

    Any and all answers gratefully received. :D 


    p.s. did a search and couldn't find any similar threads.
     
  2. wildfly

    wildfly Lasers, 8 O'Clock, Day 1.

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    Few years since i bought anything from them, so maybe things have changed:

    Shipping:

    Basically priority or express. Time seems to be much the same these days, and IIRC priority is insurable/tracable.

    Pricing:

    They do pad prices a little sometimes. Last i dealt with them, they charged actual shipping cost with a few bucks added. They'll leave the invoice out if you choose, but they won't underdeclare the value on the lablel.

    Payment:
    They'll take Paypal or direct credit card billing IIRC.
     
  3. Galva-Cannon

    Galva-Cannon Well-Known Member

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    As BBTS is outside the European Union, anything you buy from them with a value more than £18 will be subject to customs charges. As miscreant pointed out, they won't under-declare the value of the item like an ebay seller might be prepared to do, but they also won't mark the item as "gift". Gifts under £36 are exempt from customs charges, but that doesn't apply because they'll mark the items as plastic toys, which are luxury items for customs purposes I believe.

    So basically, while BBTS' service is second to none (they'll happily exchange defective toys, or missing parts, purely based on trusting the customer), you have to be prepared for big customs charges. Customs charges are determined by the marked value of the item, so the more expensive the item, the more you'll pay. And there will be a handling fee by Royal Mail or Parcel Force included in that. It's not uncommon to have to literally pay for the item twice, due to customs charges. And what Parcel Force does is they impound the item at their depot until you go in person to pay the fee, or pay it online.

    The customs fees are the most important consideration in deciding whether to use BBTS from the UK. Otherwise they're a really great company, but it's very expensive to buy from them if you live here. But if you need to make sure that you're not going to get a "bad" toy, for whatever reason, then they're the company to use, because they'll send you a new one.
     
  4. BigPhill

    BigPhill Well-Known Member

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    I ordered well over 40 packages from BBTS and only ever got customs charges on 3 of them.
    One was a typo which was sorted out, funilly enough my first order. The other 2 were legit ones for deliveries in big boxes with a value of over £200, and even then the customs charges weren;t that high.
    I've always used the insured/tracked method of delivery from them, just so I can tell where it is.
     
  5. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    Any idea what exchange rate they use, or is it a case of applying Paypal's own exchange rate (if you use that method of payment)?

    I have my eye on the 2 Bruticus add-on figures, since Kapow has annoyingly sold out. :mad 
     
  6. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    Ebay:
    why don't you try TFsource or one of the many other shops on the internet? I'm sure someone is more than willing to accommodate your needs. I couldn't imagine paying for something and then having to pay customs fees. F that, maybe you can find a Proxy?

    I know for stuff on yahoo Auctions Japan, its easy to find someone willing to purchase the item for a fee and then mail it to you.

    What is it your looking for? Send me a pm.
     
  7. BigPhill

    BigPhill Well-Known Member

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    If you pay by PayPal then it's the PayPal exchange rate you use. It's been that long since I used a Credit Card to buy from them, I honestly don't know what rate they use, however it's likely worked out at the current rate by their payment system.
     
  8. Galva-Cannon

    Galva-Cannon Well-Known Member

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    Really BigPhill? Then perhaps I've been extremely unlucky, as I've had to pay customs fees on everything I've imported from BBTS. I don't want to mislead anyone about the likelihood of being hit by them, I'm just going on my own experience.

    Also, obviously if you're buying £200 orders then the fees will seem like nothing. I'm coming from the perspective of buying a single figure that might cost say £30 with shipping, then getting an £18 fee.
     
  9. BigPhill

    BigPhill Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    Play International however was a different matter, I got hit for everything I bought from them.
    One time the customs charges and handling fee were higher than the value of the DVD, so I refused to pay it.

    I guess I was just lucky with my BBTS orders. As I said it was only my large orders that got hit.
     
  10. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    I guess I'm not that bothered by customs charging, because, as you say Galva - if you buy a decent amount each time then the extra costs will be less in relation (if that makes sense). However, I did notice an option for international shipping whereby you can get them to mark the package as a gift, but they are obliged to mark the actual value of the contents. May have misread that though.
    I think I would rather buy several figures at one time rather than one or two, as not only will the customs charges be higher but the shipping costs as well.

    I did notice the 'padded' prices of items on the site too, but sometimes a little extra paid goes a long way if you can be sure your items will be well looked after with good after sales service. Unlike eBay on occasion...
     
  11. Galva-Cannon

    Galva-Cannon Well-Known Member

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    I just read their FAQ it appears that you're right, they will mark the package as gift for you. I don't recall seeing that option before.

    Well that raises the value that should be safe from customs charges to £36 then. I assumed that it was illegal for them to do that, considering they are a business and money is changing hands over their website. But I guess not?
     
  12. Houndvoice

    Houndvoice Well-Known Member

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    robotkingdom.com
     
  13. YouFoolStarscream!!

    YouFoolStarscream!! Member

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    I've bought from them once before and, while the shipping cost was ok(ish), I had to pay extravagent customs fees which scared me off from buying again.
     
  14. wildfly

    wildfly Lasers, 8 O'Clock, Day 1.

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    I've generally found that sellers/sites in Asia are more willing to be creative in how they declare a toys value.
     
  15. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I usually get hit with customs charges as well. BBTS is second to none for customer service, but any order you place there is going to get customs, and if not, then you're lucky and it's extra pocket money for whatever you choose to buy next. But always assume you're going to get a customs charge.
     
  16. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    Well I have been doing some research, and it looks like I'm going to be paying around $145 including shipping to get the 2 Bruticus add-on figures from BBTS. I also checked TFSource and their prices are about the same. Btw I would be using express shipping for either and mint packaging.

    You would not believe how hard I am kicking myself now for not getting them from Kapow which would have been just over £70 shipped for the two of them. :banghead: 

    Will have a gander at Robotkingdom though, just to see what they offer.
     

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