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  • FIRST POST
    archived user
    0 WOW
    US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list price
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 04, 4:31 PM
    0 WOW
    US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list price 11th Feb 04 at 4:31 PM
    Hi all,

    If your looking to purchase any big items at the moment, take a look at the US.......

    The exchange rate is currently at around 1.86, and many items have lower list prices which easily outstrip the cost of shipping and import duty & tax....

    Example...

    I have just bought an Ovation guitar, an Elite 1778T all black lovely thing.... anyway, if I had bought it in the Uk it would have been 999gbp total cost of ordering from the states....

    Guitar $599 USD
    Shippping $138 USD
    Tax & Duty 88gbp

    do the sums on an exchange rate of 1.79 which is what I got at the time.....

    So buying something, take a look at the states, massive savings......

    hope that helps.....

    David
    ;D
Page 1
  • nbown
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 04, 4:47 PM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 04, 4:47 PM
    good call
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Feb 04, 5:02 PM
    • 22,733 Posts
    • 11,306 Thanks
    lisyloo
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 04, 5:02 PM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 04, 5:02 PM
    As I mentioned on another thread, I paid for a cruise with an American company and saved 10% by paying in $s (on top of the 60% off special deal).

    I belive that American cruise ships are in general superior to others and of course they sail all over the world not just America.

    The company I am going with (Holland America) have a new ship out this year (Westerdaam) and they are offering really good prices e.g. 60% off.
    I presume this is because the ship is unknown and doesn't currently have a "following".
  • Hanoijane
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 04, 8:23 PM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 04, 8:23 PM
    Splendid guitar.
    How does it sound?
    Was it nicely set up?
    Was the duty etc. what you expected to pay?
    • miken
    • By miken 12th Feb 04, 10:12 AM
    • 246 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    miken
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 04, 10:12 AM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 04, 10:12 AM
    Lisyloo i have considered booking a cruise through an American site but have been nervous.
    Which site have you booked through and what was the service like.

    Miken
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 12th Feb 04, 11:12 AM
    • 22,733 Posts
    • 11,306 Thanks
    lisyloo
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 04, 11:12 AM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 04, 11:12 AM
    Hi Miken,

    I initially tried to book with Holland America online directly, however I got errors when trying to make my booking and got fed up with that after a few times.

    I used a site called
    www.vacationstogo.com

    I have been using their site for a while and they seem to offer great prices.
    One thing in particular that I like about them is that they have an 0800 number that you can use so you can speak to someone whether you want free of charge (as a bonus because it's the US they are always there in the evening because of the time difference which is handy if you work).

    The first question I asked them was about ABTA and ATOL (most travel agents in the UK are ABTA bonded which means you get your money back if the company goes out of business).
    They didn't really know about these schemes (which is not suprising as I think they are a UK thing).
    However the answer to the question is that if you purchase anything on a credit card (over 100 I believe) then the consumer credit act makes the credit card company jointly liable.
    This means that if Holland America go out of business then the credit card company have to pick up the bill.

    I found them helpful and I'm happy that I can speak to someone anytime without having big phone call charges.

    The only downside is that you have to pay $15 if you want the tickets sent to you from the US (you can choose to pick them up at the dock if you don't want to pay this fee).

    Hope that helps
    • miken
    • By miken 12th Feb 04, 11:41 AM
    • 246 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    miken
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 04, 11:41 AM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 04, 11:41 AM
    Thanks Lisyloo, I have often looked at their site and the prices look very good.
    By the way we went on Holland America last year (Baltic on Noordam) and really enjoyed it.
    Miken
  • archived user
    • #8
    • 16th Feb 04, 7:14 PM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #8
    • 16th Feb 04, 7:14 PM
    Just a silly question Miken, but my perception of cruises is big old boats full of pensioners - is this still the case ?
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 16th Feb 04, 7:31 PM
    • 22,733 Posts
    • 11,306 Thanks
    lisyloo
    • #9
    • 16th Feb 04, 7:31 PM
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    • #9
    • 16th Feb 04, 7:31 PM
    I know you didn't ask me but.....

    old boats is definitely not true.
    The one I am going on in May is brand new.
    Cruising has expanded in recent years so there are some new ships around and some that have been refurbished.
    The larger ships have ice rinks, climbing walls etc.

    Big is not necessarily the case either.
    The one I'm going on in may is 85,00 tons - that's big.
    It can take 2000 passengers and 1000 crew.
    The advantages are better facilities.
    The disadvantages are more impersonal and waiting times to get off.
    Smaller ships (20,000 tons - about cross chanel ferry size) have fewer swimming pools, jacuzzis etc, but are more personal (with 600 pasengers - you get to meet the same people).

    As for the clientel - I think it depends on which cruise line you go for - they vary.
    Some aim at a younger market with facilities for children etc. whereas some cruises have bingo and jigsaws for the oldies.

    It's important to pick the right one obviously.

    I think in general they are starting to appeal to younger people.

    The cruise we are going on in May (sorry to harp on about it but obviously I'm drawing on personal experience) goes around Croatia, Greece and Turkey.
    Because the ports are close together we spend most days in port and most nights travelling.
    Therefore very little time at sea to indulge in cruising.

    Again it's important to pick the right cruise.
    Do you want to spend 4 days at sea just enjoying the ships facilities? - one mans meat is another mans poison.

    There are specific cruise discussion boards so you can find out about the various cruise lines and ships.
    Obviously some people want foxtrot and bingo and others want discos and climbing walls.

    From what I can tell there is a lot of variety in the market (and the old adage about you get what you pay for is also true).
  • Galstonian
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    I also think bigger boats are more stable so if you have any tendency to sea-sickness then bigger is probably better.

    Cruising, esp. in the Carribean, is also used by many Americans in a similar way to riverboats used to be - to escape from restrictive gambling laws.

    Disney (and others) now have cruises specifically aimed at families with kids activities and baby sitting making quite a compelling argument.

    Of course there are still plenty of pensioners but you could argue that about nicer hotels anywhere.
  • archived user
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Please beware if buying from the USA - the bonding is not the same as the UK. Renaissance Cruises has left passengers stranded twice!! There are other cruise lines in not such a healthy position at present. The EU is reviewing credit card liabilities at present. There are several cruise companies with a UK presence that are allowing payment in US$ - the card is passed to their head office in the States. It is saving people substantial amounts of money - AND - clients are still protected by our UK bonding. Check out the Passenger Shipping Association's website for more info. Hope this helps!
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 17th Feb 04, 8:19 PM
    • 22,733 Posts
    • 11,306 Thanks
    lisyloo
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    My understanding is that the credit card company is jointly liable.

    Being stranded doesn't sound good though - did you mean physically, financially or both?
  • archived user
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Cruising is for everyone. I sell cruises and cruise myself. Last Nov we took 2 of our children and their partners ages 22 - 28 with us for the first time. They thoroughly enjoyed it and will definately cruise again. Don't forget that the cruise price includes all your food and entertainment and if you have bought it as a package all flights and transfers. There is usually no need to take the excursions, go and investigate each port of call on your own. But be back before the ship sails, it wont wait for you!! With just bar drinks drinks and gratuities to budget for it is the best way to see lots of different countries with our constantly unpacking
  • Galstonian
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    "Cruising is for everyone."

    unless you suffer from sea-sickness.

  • blue_bee
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    I think my Dad was the original money saver. He asked his local travel agent what the price was for a cruise with Royal Caribbean and then went to another and played them off against each other. I looked on the web and got him the same cruise for about 200 less and he's now hanging on watching the dollar fall before he pays - saving even more money!

    So he'd better bring me a pressie back from St Petersburg!
  • archived user
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Hi All,

    Can anyone help regarding this subject ie custom and
    excise duty?
    when is this due and how is it calculated.
    i was thinking of getting a bit of electronics kit to value
    of 150 usd & shipping 50 usd but am unsure if i will have
    to pay duty

    cheers all
    • savvy
    • By savvy 26th Feb 04, 2:19 AM
    • 29,880 Posts
    • 45,564 Thanks
    savvy
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Have been checking out prices recently but how does it stand with electricals regarding the different power supplies etc.

    Seen some good deals on Apple Powerbooks etc, (boy do we get ripped off??) but do Apple block imports and would it work over here anyway?? What other electricals can we get away with and how???
    • Tim_L
    • By Tim_L 26th Feb 04, 9:48 AM
    • 3,399 Posts
    • 3,233 Thanks
    Tim_L
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Seehttp://www.hmce.gov.uk/public/shopping/shopping.htm for details on import duties. I'm sure if the levels of these were more widely known, there'd be an outcry.

    There's a small exemption - about 100 a person if I recall correctly - for items personally exported on a visit, but THIS DOES NOT APPLY for mail order.

    Electricals are difficult - you need to know what you're doing and be able to read spec sheets. Many items - particularly things like power tools, that sort of thing - have straight 110V inputs, so you will fry them if you connect UK mains. PCs and similar often have switchable inputs, some (e.g laptops) have universal inputs. Smaller electronic items use mains adaptors, so you can bin those and buy a UK equivalent. You do need to bear in mind that things like warranties probably won't apply outside the geographical boundary the item was sold in, and there will be mild irritations such as a US English keyboard.

    Also if purchasing on a visit to the US, note that many US sales discounts on electricals and similar are provided as 'mail in rebates', which ties them geographically to the point of origin, and there is a sales tax not on the ticket price which can presumably be refunded, though I've never done this.

    Just off to Boston on a business trip on Sunday, as it happens, with a very long shopping list... Been waiting for this sort of exchange rate for a very long time!


  • archived user
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Hi Miken,

    I initially tried to book with Holland America online directly, however I got errors when trying to make my booking and got fed up with that after a few times.

    I used a site called
    www.vacationstogo.com

    I have been using their site for a while and they seem to offer great prices.
    One thing in particular that I like about them is that they have an 0800 number that you can use so you can speak to someone whether you want free of charge (as a bonus because it's the US they are always there in the evening because of the time difference which is handy if you work).

    The first question I asked them was about ABTA and ATOL (most travel agents in the UK are ABTA bonded which means you get your money back if the company goes out of business).
    They didn't really know about these schemes (which is not suprising as I think they are a UK thing).
    However the answer to the question is that if you purchase anything on a credit card (over 100 I believe) then the consumer credit act makes the credit card company jointly liable.
    This means that if Holland America go out of business then the credit card company have to pick up the bill.

    I found them helpful and I'm happy that I can speak to someone anytime without having big phone call charges.

    The only downside is that you have to pay $15 if you want the tickets sent to you from the US (you can choose to pick them up at the dock if you don't want to pay this fee).

    Hope that helps
    :
  • Galstonian
    Re: US ex/rate means massive savings on UK list pr
    Me too. Unfortunately since the budget is held in the US the trip is too expensive to justify just now
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