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Why does .com have no international distributor
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author Why does .com have no international distributor
Man-In-A-Suitcase
As much as i would love a 5U .com system (cheaper than mos-lab or other euro 5u makers), it's so damn expensive to import modules into UK from USA.

.com should get themselves distributors!
EPTC
I think Roger's mentioned before that this would greatly increase the cost of modules (even more than the burden of you on shipping).
Eric the Red
I would recommend looking at used modules. Between here and Facebook, pretty much everything you need can be bought up secondhand. It just takes a bit longer.
bwhittington
EPTC wrote:
I think Roger's mentioned before that this would greatly increase the cost of modules (even more than the burden of you on shipping).


Right, the import duties would still be passed on to you, and so would the markup for the middleman.

If I were in Europe, I'd be awfully tempted by the Krisp1 and Moon lines as alternatives. (As it happens I was awfully tempted by them in the US, too.)
sbuge
How import fees are in UK?
In Finland it is +3.5% (customs) and after that +24% (taxes).
But yeah I also recommend second hand // + Krisp1, Moon, Corsynth, Curetronic, COTK, Hordijk, Macbeth, ...
BTG
Roger also doesn't have a proper Web store or a Reverb store (but does have an eBay store). I understand the desire to cut costs, but realistically his modules are already super inexpensive and I bet he could figure something out with Schneiders. The real problem is that his pricing assumes direct sales so it would blow up his whole pricing model.
josaka
sbuge wrote:
How import fees are in UK?
In Finland it is +3.5% (customs) and after that +24% (taxes).
But yeah I also recommend second hand // + Krisp1, Moon, Corsynth, Curetronic, COTK, Hordijk, Macbeth, ...


24% here too.. but.. there is a stupid shipping charge €15 and dont forget the shit exchange rates and 'exchange fee' if you do paypal.. adds 5 to 10% to it..

I have said it before.. dont use paypal for international.. in europe we have revolut amd monzo.. these cards save you tons.. pay direct debit card or bank transfer and all you pay is the exact exchange rate.. no fees or terrible exchange rates or any other hidden stuff.

an example: payed €1700 to mos lab.. and pay pal vs revolut I saved €75 ish.
Rex Coil 7
josaka wrote:
sbuge wrote:
How import fees are in UK?
In Finland it is +3.5% (customs) and after that +24% (taxes).
But yeah I also recommend second hand // + Krisp1, Moon, Corsynth, Curetronic, COTK, Hordijk, Macbeth, ...


24% here too.. but.. there is a stupid shipping charge €15 and dont forget the shit exchange rates and 'exchange fee' if you do paypal.. adds 5 to 10% to it.
woah woah woah HOLY SHIT!! ARE YOU SERIOUS? GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!!

And add whatever interest charges are applied if one were to use a credit card. d'oh!

In the state I live in, I pay zero percent tax on things purchased from outside the state .. same goes for local/city taxes. I never use credit cards either.

I couldn't live somewhere that takes that much of the money I've busted my ass to earn away from me. All I can say is I hope that the countries you two folks live in have the very best roads, the very best bridges, the very best public schools, and the very best "quality of life" and best "lifestyles" there are to offer. Paying those indignantly high taxes should produce something very obvious to show for them. Myself, I just couldn't live in a place that is that disrespectful to the idea of personal freedom. My heart goes out to both of you, and everyone else subjected to that shit.

BTG wrote:
Roger also doesn't have a proper Web store or a Reverb store.
Because he doesn't need them. The same reason he doesn't use distributors or dealers .... because he doesn't need them.

Distributors and dealers demand discounts so they can compete with direct sales. It makes absolutely NO sense to work the same number of man hours each month for less money.

Then comes the argument of "yea, but he could grow his business so much if he used distributors and dealers". Perhaps. But it comes down to Roger having a direct hand in managing the way his wares are marketed and supported. By selling everything out of his own factory, and managing any/all returns and/or warranty returns he is able to represent his brand .... his ~name~ ... in a very tightly controlled manner. And he is better able to provide direct customer service to those that buy from him. And "world class customer service" it truly is.

I fully agree with that way of running a small business.

When I was building audio processors for a living, I was receiving roughly 4 to 8 dealer inquiries per month. I turned down every single one. Because, just as I said, it made absolutely ZERO sense to work the exact same amount of hours every month for 30% less money. "But your business will grow with a larger distribution network". So what. I didn't need any more business, in fact I had more orders than I could handle as it was. And I did not want to hire more people to keep up with increased demand.

More people means more overhead. More overhead and less profit margin equates to one hell of a lot more headaches. I had already been through that entire thing when I operated my family's business for nearly ten years (with gross sales anywhere between $350k to $500k per month), and then owned and operated my own brick and mortar business for an additional fifteen years. I was disciplined enough to use profits to pay my eighteen employees better, to completely pay off my home and the property it sits on, and invest those profits into improving my business, and paying into my own retirement. The larger your business becomes, the more you have to lose. The trick is to grow it to "just enough" plus a little more, then don't allow yourself to become manipulated into doing things with your business that others say is "best". Set goals, focus on them, and remain on your chosen course and heading.

What it all comes down to is how much you want to manage. If you're comfortable managing a small business with less than ten employees and no overseas distribution .... then that is precisely what you should be doing.

I praise Roger for knowing exactly "how big" he wants his business to be. He know precisely how much he wants to deal with, and doesn't let the mainstream ideas of "growth growth growth" influence his choices. I mean, ya gotta respect someone that doesn't fall prey to the ideas of others that insist you must do things a certain way. Roger's building is paid off, he pays no mortgage or lease, he owns the property his facility sits on, and he despises debt. He's not driven by greed, and since he's reinvested profits right back into his business, he is able to pay his employees a dignified working wage, and he is beholden to no loan companies or banks. That's freedom, my friends.

Roger deeply understands what personal freedom is, and he makes sure not to take it for granted.

Those of us that are privileged to own Synthesizers.Com gear are blessed with owning some of the best that U.S. small business has to offer. Roger has held off from succumbing to the temptation of overseas manufacturing, and "designed down to cost" synthesizer modules. The more overhead any business has, the less money they can invest into the products they offer. Since roger has played it so smartly, we are offered some of the best modular synth gear on the planet at very respectable prices.

I'd say he's doing things just right, and he's doing just fine.

It's not Roger's fault that the way various overseas governments tax the shit out of their citizens there are all of these various import penalties applied to products manufactured in the U.S.A. It not Roger's fault that because some nations fiddle dick with currency values which cause fuddup exchange rates to place a penalty on buying goods and services from the U.S.A. Those situations fall on the shoulders of politicians and nation state leaders who are simply inept at managing the very lands that they were empowered to run. Or those leaders are drunk on power and greed and penalize their citizens through taxation/fines/fees etc. to pay the very donors that they are beholden to which helped put them into power.

I own a few dozen Synthesizers.Com pieces of kit. I really wish that the world were different so that more people could have access to this gear by paying a dignified amount of money for it. Those that cannot afford to own it (or can afford it but are unwilling to line the pockets of all of the middlemen skimming off the top ... and I certainly can't blame a single person for feeling that way) are really missing out on some top of the heap synth gear. But I have to praise Roger for setting limits on himself and having the inner fortitude to stick to those limits. He knows exactly how far he wants to take his efforts, and doesn't fall prey to greed or over-ambitious efforts that would sully the way he's "raised" his little child known to all as Synthesizers.Com.

thumbs up
thetwlo
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

In the state I live in, I pay zero percent tax on things purchased from outside the state .. same goes for local/city taxes. I never use credit cards either.

Not sure you should admit to that. Pretty sure YOU are responsible for paying it in your state. The seller just isn't responsible for collecting it. No positive about AZ, and of course unlikely to enforce it.
Putte
If I remember correctly, the last time I orderred from Synthesizers.com customs were 3% in Sweden. And then, there is a 20 or 23% tax above all that. I had to calm down with a couple of beers the day that the E.U./U.S. free trade agreement discussions ended in nothing.

The only times I´ve bought modules without having to pay an insane amount of customs or taxes were the ones I got from krisp1. Germany adds a 17% tax, giving the arriving boxes from Moon modular a bitter taste. If I´m right, something similar goes for Corsynth and a 21% spanish tax. Why is it that the E.U. hates modular synths?
JohnLRice
thetwlo wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

In the state I live in, I pay zero percent tax on things purchased from outside the state .. same goes for local/city taxes. I never use credit cards either.

Not sure you should admit to that. Pretty sure YOU are responsible for paying it in your state. The seller just isn't responsible for collecting it. No positive about AZ, and of course unlikely to enforce it.
Out of state sales taxes laws have been struggling to change one way or another for many many years. At least in Washington state I've never worried about paying a sales tax on anything purchased out of state unless the seller automatically added it into the purchase price.

Here's a couple fairly current articles:
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/50-state-guide-internet-sales- tax-laws.html

https://www.thebalance.com/which-sales-tax-rate-do-i-charge-my-custome rs-3193251
Shledge
Import tax is only applied from products outside the EU. There are usually no extra charges outside the usual VAT.
Synthbuilder
Purchasers in the UK of items from the US will pay 20% VAT on the sum of the declared value of the goods and the shipping charge. They also will normally pay a one off administration charge that is set by the courier which is usually around 10 to 12GBP.

Goods and postage that are under 15GBP will not be taxed.

Bear in mind that goods purchased in the UK and elsewhere in the EU already have VAT applied, either partially and indirectly if the seller is not VAT registered, or directly if the seller is VAT registered. So think of paying VAT on non EU goods as being the final instalment of a two part payment process.

Distributors will usually require 35% of the pre-VAT price as commission. In most purchases this will mean that buying direct from the manufacturer is the cheapest option. However, larger bulky items like cases have a huge shipping cost which means buying locally may well be the better choice.

Any free trade agreement between countries does not mean that VAT will not have to paid. All it means that additional tariffs will not be applied.

Tony
hamildad
I picked up a mostly dotcom system by stalking the facebook and BST groups... you can also set up a Wanted post and see if anyone has stuff to sell.

Some wigglers were kind enough to underestimate the value on shipped parcels from the US, which took down the VAT prices and I managed to get a Q960 sent to some colleagues in Denver and another colleague bring it back to UK via luggage.

I think in total I saved about a grand going second hand and sometimes dodging a customs fee. (by saved, I mean I then spend the money on moar modules)

or myself and josaka, shared shipping on some Moon filters from the US as we are both in London, so some sort of group buy with local 5Uers will not reduce the VAT, but it will reduce the shipping.

If you want to go 5U, there is a way...
neil.johnson
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
josaka wrote:
sbuge wrote:
How import fees are in UK?
In Finland it is +3.5% (customs) and after that +24% (taxes).
But yeah I also recommend second hand // + Krisp1, Moon, Corsynth, Curetronic, COTK, Hordijk, Macbeth, ...


24% here too.. but.. there is a stupid shipping charge €15 and dont forget the shit exchange rates and 'exchange fee' if you do paypal.. adds 5 to 10% to it.
woah woah woah HOLY SHIT!! ARE YOU SERIOUS? GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!!

And add whatever interest charges are applied if one were to use a credit card. d'oh!

In the state I live in, I pay zero percent tax on things purchased from outside the state .. same goes for local/city taxes. I never use credit cards either.

I couldn't live somewhere that takes that much of the money I've busted my ass to earn away from me. All I can say is I hope that the countries you two folks live in have the very best roads, the very best bridges, the very best public schools, and the very best "quality of life" and best "lifestyles" there are to offer. Paying those indignantly high taxes should produce something very obvious to show for them. Myself, I just couldn't live in a place that is that disrespectful to the idea of personal freedom. My heart goes out to both of you, and everyone else subjected to that shit.


sbuge apparently lives in Finland, which according to the World Happiness Report is the happiest country in the world:

http://worldhappiness.report/ed/2018/

USA comes in at #18, with the UK right behind it.

Are you related to Michael Dell by any chance?

Neil
Synth Con Meo
JohnLRice wrote:
Out of state sales taxes laws have been struggling to change one way or another for many many years. At least in Washington state I've never worried about paying a sales tax on anything purchased out of state unless the seller automatically added it into the purchase price.



Ahhh your one of those who drive south across the border down here to Oregon and "cheat" the system!. J/K Mr. Green Yeah here in Oregon we don't have a sales tax (yet) but we have property tax that even though my property doesn't grow my taxes do every year seriously, i just don't get it

They talk about it and promise that our property tax would go down (Yeah Right). It does messes me up a little at first when I go to another state and buy something maybe at a convenience store. Ahhh that's $1.25 for that candy bar, it says it right there, I just so happen to have a buck and a quarter. Then the cashier rings it up says it'll be $1.31. d'oh! .

Also we are one of two states that doesn't have self service gas. So if I forget when I go to another state I drive up to the pump and sit there like an idiot waiting for the Petroleum transfer technician to come out and pump my gas. Once again d'oh!
josaka
Synthbuilder wrote:
Purchasers in the UK of items from the US will pay 20% VAT on the sum of the declared value of the goods and the shipping charge. They also will normally pay a one off administration charge that is set by the courier which is usually around 10 to 12GBP.

Goods and postage that are under 15GBP will not be taxed.

Bear in mind that goods purchased in the UK and elsewhere in the EU already have VAT applied, either partially and indirectly if the seller is not VAT registered, or directly if the seller is VAT registered. So think of paying VAT on non EU goods as being the final instalment of a two part payment process.

Distributors will usually require 35% of the pre-VAT price as commission. In most purchases this will mean that buying direct from the manufacturer is the cheapest option. However, larger bulky items like cases have a huge shipping cost which means buying locally may well be the better choice.

Any free trade agreement between countries does not mean that VAT will not have to paid. All it means that additional tariffs will not be applied.

Tony


there is also the 3.4% customs charge for electronic goods.. only seems to appear on larger orders though.. they play fast and loose with that 15£ limit thing.. around 30£ + post from the states and Japan tend to be ignored..
JohnLRice
Synth Con Meo wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
Out of state sales taxes laws have been struggling to change one way or another for many many years. At least in Washington state I've never worried about paying a sales tax on anything purchased out of state unless the seller automatically added it into the purchase price.

Ahhh your one of those who drive south across the border down here to Oregon and "cheat" the system!. J/K Mr. Green Yeah here in Oregon we don't have a sales tax (yet) but we have property tax that even though my property doesn't grow my taxes do every year seriously, i just don't get it

They talk about it and promise that our property tax would go down (Yeah Right). It does messes me up a little at first when I go to another state and buy something maybe at a convenience store. Ahhh that's $1.25 for that candy bar, it says it right there, I just so happen to have a buck and a quarter. Then the cashier rings it up says it'll be $1.31. d'oh! .
After the 6th or 7th time I drove 400 miles round trip to Portland to buy a candy bar to cheat the sales tax, I realized it was a bad idea! eek! d'oh! hihi
Thalassa
Putte wrote:
The only times I´ve bought modules without having to pay an insane amount of customs or taxes were the ones I got from krisp1. Germany adds a 17% tax, giving the arriving boxes from Moon modular a bitter taste. If I´m right, something similar goes for Corsynth and a 21% spanish tax. Why is it that the E.U. hates modular synths?


All countries within the EU have VAT that it's a different tax than customs. There is no charge from buying from one country to another with the EU. The only thing that changes is the VAT rate from one country to another and you pay the VAT rate of the country of origin, in Spain is 21% , Germany 19% etc. The price that you pay if you buy a module from another country in the EU is the same that would pay someone that buy it in the country of origin and that's the difference from customs.

In my website the price is shown like this XXXX + VAT because I lot of customers are from outside of the EU and don't have to pay VAT but in the onlineshop the price is displayed with and without VAT.

The reason that you didn't have VAT added when you buy from Krisp1 is because in UK you can have a business and not be VAT registered but in Spain it is not possible.
Putte
I´m just a consumer, so I assume you´re right, Thalassa. Those VAT rates comes with a bitter taste anyway. Seeing as your modules look sweet, I might just send an order some day. They´re in my plans. Just a matter of time.

Taxes and customs don´t bother me as much as transportation costs. I´m a geologist and sending 25-30 lbs of minerals cost me just a little more than shipping a few dotcom modules.
mutierend
FWIW, I'd gladly pay a 25% tax on dotcom modules here in the US if it meant my healthcare were free. wink
josaka
mutierend wrote:
FWIW, I'd gladly pay a 25% tax on dotcom modules here in the US if it meant my healthcare were free. wink




thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up

its only 20% smile and you can claim back the module money as an 'expense'.. smile

..with the USA running at 300.000 gun crimes a year.. you may need it wink


I bought my initial .com order (£2000 or so) through my record company.. so they paid the VAT(20%) and claimed it back as expenses..
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