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Hey wow- look what's happened to the Yen!


MPWR
02-22-2013, 01:49 PM
So I was at an event this past week where I got to hear HLJ's head of IT talk about the company and industry. Heard some interesting stuff-

(Yes, HLJ is looking to restart their parts replacement program. Soon.)
(Fuimi has only SIX full time employees. They contract out everything- kit design, production, packaging, etc.)
(EVERYTHING in Japan is done by fax machine.)

But the most interesting thing I heard was something I'd missed. The Yen has lost 20% of it's value in the past four months against the Dollar, Euro, and Pound. This is the lowest it's been in about four years, and it's possible it will continue to decline a bit more.

Which means that relative prices on Japanese products are the lowest now that they've been in years- especially if your buying from a shop in Japan like HLJ. Remember when kits and supplies weren't quite so expensive?

Combined with the fact that Tamiya has rereleased (again) a pile of cool old kits- you can now get a Nissan 2000GT-R, Ferrari Testarossa, or Porsche GT2 or GT3 (among others) for $21 USD.

Meanwhile, with a good exchange rate for the first time in years, I'm wondering if it's time for a trip to Japan...?

BVC500
02-22-2013, 03:14 PM
Well, Japan has being toying with the monetary policies recently.

Errrgh, they've been saying that for too long about their parts business.

freakray
02-22-2013, 03:21 PM
HLJ have been using the value of the Yen as a marketing tool encouraging people to buy kits and accessories now while the Yen is weak - smart economics if you ask me.

Kaj45rpm
02-22-2013, 04:40 PM
I have used HLJ for several years but the last 2 kits I have bought into the UK have been screwed for import tax and a handling fee which makes buying them not worthwhile. HLJ will not mark as a gift so I guess I'll have to buy elsewhere.

Vric
02-22-2013, 04:46 PM
I have used HLJ for several years but the last 2 kits I have bought into the UK have been screwed for import tax and a handling fee which makes buying them not worthwhile. HLJ will not mark as a gift so I guess I'll have to buy elsewhere.

Hobbyeasy do the trick for me (canada) i stopped ordering from HLJ because of import fees too.

stevenoble
02-22-2013, 05:52 PM
I have used HLJ for several years but the last 2 kits I have bought into the UK have been screwed for import tax and a handling fee which makes buying them not worthwhile. HLJ will not mark as a gift so I guess I'll have to buy elsewhere.

Even when items are marked as a 'gift' you can still be charged import duty/VAT. Also if the item is clearly from a company such as HLJ or Hobbysearch for example then marking it as a 'gift' is a waste of time as the 'gift' rule goes out of the window. Gift is only classed as a private transaction between 2 individuals, not from a company to an individual. So if a company marks it as a gift then you can still be charged. The limit for a gift is currently 36 from January of 2013 and that includes a gift made between 2 individuals. So even if you were sent a MFH kit worth 300 by your cousin in Japan and he marked it gift you could still be liable for import duty/VAT on 264 of it. Technically anything of 15.01~135 is due VAT but not import duty. Anything of 135.01 or higher is due VAT and import duty if the import duty would be greater than 9.
I know all of this because I got vat and a customs charge recently on the Fujimi Suzuki RGV Pepsi. So I questioned the charges as it was actually marked as a gift and well under the 36 limit for gifts. The above is what I was told when I phoned HM Customs.
Even so I can't complain as the kit cost me 32 all in delivered and all charges paid. Compare that to the 70 that Grand Prix Models in the UK want and it still makes it a bargain with a 38 saving. Really it still is very worthwhile even with import duty to buy from HLJ or any other Japanese online shops..

freakray
02-22-2013, 05:53 PM
Seems like countries which still salute the British monarchy also still get hosed on import taxes.

ddtham
02-22-2013, 06:07 PM
Sweet, I noticed the prices dropping as well.

Anyone know why Aoshima's kits are super cheap from some US retailers (same price as Japan sans shipping) in comparison to Fujimi or Tamiya kits?

hirofkd
02-22-2013, 11:46 PM
When I attended a collage in the US, the exchange rate was 140Y/$, and the gas price was 87cents/gallon. Given the fact that Japan didn't do anything right economically, the current 93Y/$ is still over-valued in my opinion (or USD is artificially low).
Japan's interest rate has been near zero to boost the domestic economy, but the side effect was that it made JPY so cheap for foreign investors to borrow, and invest in other currencies with higher interest rates.
So Japan is stuck in recession for 20 years, big investors fattened their wallets, and we suffered from higher kit prices.
Nobody knows how the new policy of targeted inflation will turn out, but the possibility of implementing such policy seems to have driven some investors away from JPY, which is good for us who buy kits from Japan.

>>(EVERYTHING in Japan is done by fax machine.)
You know what? That's totally true! Plus, you can buy anything from vending machines!

drunken monkey
02-23-2013, 05:52 AM
Seems like countries which still salute the British monarchy also still get hosed on import taxes.


It's still a bit hit and miss for me.
I've had parcels worth hundreds get straight to my door (from Hong Kong) with no problem but then occasionally, a 60 box from the US gets dutied. Haven't ordered anything from Japan in a while though and even when I do, I try to keep it within the duty/import limits, mainly because it's a bit hard to hide that it's a imported good when it has their store logo all over the box.

petesy
02-23-2013, 03:43 PM
Anyone know why Aoshima's kits are super cheap from some US retailers (same price as Japan sans shipping) in comparison to Fujimi or Tamiya kits?
Maybe the retailers imported the kits themselves? Back when I was living in Toronto, Tamiya kits cost double the price than in Japan because Borgfeldt, the Canadian distributor for Tamiya, slapped a huge markup on them.

Some shops would source their kits from Hong Kong and sell them at a significantly lower price than the official import. But they wouldn't last long because Borgfeldt would get them shut down once they got wind of that.

nugundam93
02-24-2013, 03:33 PM
It's still a bit hit and miss for me.
I've had parcels worth hundreds get straight to my door (from Hong Kong) with no problem but then occasionally, a 60 box from the US gets dutied. Haven't ordered anything from Japan in a while though and even when I do, I try to keep it within the duty/import limits, mainly because it's a bit hard to hide that it's a imported good when it has their store logo all over the box.

Philippines doesn't exactly salute the monarchy but we still get hit too with nasty import taxes with stuff over $50. One funny thing though with a Tamiya 1/24 1992 Dakar Pajero I got from ebay - it was worth $60 (yeah, bidding kills the wallet) and when customs were looking at the price declaration and asked what's inside the box (it wasn't opened yet), I told them it was a toy and I just paid the regular postage fee of 30 Philippine pesos (which is less than $1 USD). Electronics though will never get past that easy heheh.

Looks like I'll be regular again with hlj with the weaker yen. heheh. now if only they had a Lanevo I and II in stock... :lol2:

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