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Can you explain why a product from China is being sold at half the UK price when it's manufactured in Germany and advise on the costs of custom fees etc.?

Posted: 2010-12-23

Full Question

I am thinking of buying a top quality powered mixing desk from China through Tradetang but can't easily understand how they can be selling it at half the UK price when it's manufactured in Germany. Can you advise me on the costs of custom fees etc.? Weight 25 kilos price 1280 USD. I am in Edinburgh. Many thanks.

Answer

Dear Chris, thanks for your question. My instinct also tells me that something is wrong. Perhaps the supplier didn't fully understand your specs and you are not getting "apples to apples" pricing. Perhaps it isn't really manufactured in Germany and is a knock off. Is there some way for you to evaluate the spec sheet? Perhaps the German manufacturer can also offer some insight. But for argument's sake, let's say that it is a legit product, then the lower than expected pricing could be the cause of:

  1. UK mark up is significantly more than the China markup
  2. China side may be unloading stock at a discount
  3. China side doesn't offer after sales service for example.
  4. There could be a host of other reasons, but these are some off the top of my head.

You also asked about the costs of shipping, import fees and duties. Since these items can change on short notice, I highly suggest you engage a freight forwarder (AKA 3rd Party Logistics or "3PL") in your destination port to get up to date information. For more information on how to shortlist a freight forwarder, see my response to Ronan Galvin above.

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