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Hayashi

Buying US vs Japan

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Hayashi

I can purchase a majority of unitrack and some other items from Fifer Hobby (Mike would be my number 1 choice). The remaining (significant number) need to be purchased from HS in Japan. Japan track prices are 35-40% less than US. Is it worth the difference when shipping added to the Japan price? There will be no urgency in delivery time, so I can go with less expensive shipping. On the flip side, I like the idea of supporting a well-respected US retailer, but I'm talking about $2,000-$3,000 in stuff in one purchase, so cost is important. The track/piers/catenaries represent approx 75-80% of the total spend.

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Sheffie

Track is cheap.... but if you're spending thousands, you must be buying a significant weight. I don't know how to calculate the postage cost but it must be significant. I think the question we need to ask is, how much track can you get into one ePacket Light or EMS shipment? Given the answer to that question, you can work out the true cost of track from Japan

Edited by Sheffie
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chadbag

Weight will kill you probably in shipping costs.  

 

Talk to your local dealer and see if you can get a cheaper quote for volume.  Both local hobby shops to me have told me they can quote large amounts at better prices based on a sample they gave me. 

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Kiha66

I've found for a larger order the difference in cost leans heavily towards buying from Japan.  I'll often get mine from plazajapan on ebay as their shipping for combined larger orders is usually fairly cheap on top of the lower prices.

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cteno4

I would look at modeltrainstuff.com, Klein’s is usually 10-20% above japan prices. Excellent service.

 

Shipping is the variable and it will take some fiddling to see how it works for you.

 

In the us usually you can get a lot of track shipped priority mail for not too bad, but it now depends on how far you are from the seller. Also have to figure in sales tax.

 

from japan if you can wait on sal (2-3 weeks usually) and can forgo tracking you can get 20 or so packs of track (like 4x248s) for about $20 in an order. But if you go over that in a single box the shipping starts rising fast on sal (nearing the 2kg limit) and then you go to EMS at a lot more, like 2-2.5x the price which reduces the difference fast. Of course viaduct track will be a lot more for shipping as a lot heavier.

 

If you are buying that much track track I would contact your closest dealer and see what they can do for you on a large order and see about just picking it up as well to negate shipping cost and reduce  issues. 

 

In the past past I and also our club has gotten discounts when bringing large orders to dealers.

 

but at regular street prices you probably could save some ordering from japan and breaking it into sal efficient package sizes.

 

jeff

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