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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post

    Interestingly, the best deal in Australia is actually on the "agency brands" - Miele, Gaganau, etc, where the importer owns the stock in the retailers store and rigorously enforces his pricing strategy. For kitchen items of "agency brands" the Australian retail price is commonly only 50% above European prices (Vs 200% or more for other brands). It seems that the "agency importers" are using retail price maintenance to stop the greedy little sh*t from raising retail prices - the opposite of what they are frequently accused of. [Neil; please note that I did not embarass you by naming the greedy little sh*t.]

    Fair Winds

    Graeme
    You can run into problems importing electrical items that "must be wired by an authorised person" as they will not have the all important c-tick.. Electricians are not supposed to wire in stoves etc that are not tested in Australia lest they create a singularity that all of creation gets sucked into...

    heh heh when I pointed out on another forum, that you just wire it yourself my post got deleted as "illegal" lucky this forum is much more liberal minded...

    All of those that buy those VFD's from china... Well you are all dirty criminals...
    Precision takes time.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini View Post
    The costs are still there even if scaled, they do not disappear but not be used as a prop to justify stupid mark ups as is happening now. Some people seem to think they are insignificant and should be ignored because they buy one item and it magically appears on their door step a week later. They are not insignificant and they can't be ignored.
    I agree, there's a massive difference between buying something online and having it posted or couriered out compared to actually "importing" something like a container or even single piece of machinery. However your comment about scaling was precisely my point Chris, many of the import costs don't scale at all, the fees are very nearly (or in some cases precisely) equal whether the person imports one lathe as I did, or a whole container load full of lathes as a direct importer would. The total costs of these fees for a full container sized consignment really are insignificant in my book, compared to the trivial amount sea freight costs (as opposed to the private person posting it out by air). I was frankly shocked at how little my lathe cost to have freighted from Hong Kong. It was when it landed in Australia that the gouges began. Nevertheless, amortize those costs over a full container of lathes and the costs (excluding the actual freight cost) might be something like $50 each. Peanuts in other words. I guess you import your cyclones Chris, so would know all this full well, the savings one can make once going to full containers is very significant, yet many of the "paperwork" costs stay the same. Importing one only is frankly a PIA and expensive, the importers know that and charge accordingly.

    Pete

    Edit: Incidentally I've had one PM about importing and don't want to give the impression that the costs Chris alluded to above are trivial, far, FAR from it. The fees and charges on Australian wharfs are simply disgusting. However my point was simply that many of them don't scale, or at the very least not linearly. So for a sole import the fees are VERY significant, but they're very VERY much less in relative terms if the importer is regularly bringing in container loads as full containers. Given that the thread is about Australian retailers in general, I just wanted to urge that the comments should be taken in that context.
    Last edited by Pete F; 27th Feb 2012 at 03:37 PM. Reason: added info.

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    You can run into problems importing electrical items that "must be wired by an authorised person" as they will not have the all important c-tick.. Electricians are not supposed to wire in stoves etc that are not tested in Australia lest they create a singularity that all of creation gets sucked into...
    Its not quite that drastic when importing from Western European countries, RC. When my brother returned from Switzerland he brought a houseload of new stuff with him and paid the 5% customs and 10% GST - mainly V Zug and Siemens brand - and had no difficulties with the electrical stuff but the gas cooktop was a pain. Apparently Europe and Aus operate on different gas pressures and it is difficult to change this??? Or he had to deal with the wrong person.....

    With the electrical gear he just had to demonstrate the the models imported were available in Australia, and therefore that model had been certified for Australia, even though there is nothing on the gear to say so. He got an "also sold as" chart from Siemens Bosh which listed the model numbers for identical products sold in different markets. Sometimes an oven might have a model number #1234UK for the British market, #1234D for Germany, #1234AU for Australia and so on; sometimes the numbers were totally different. [Note, this for stuff to be used by a private importer, not stuff for resale.]

    Fair Winds

    Graeme

  5. #34
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    With my surface plate..

    The total cost of shipping and handling fees was $862... The actual freight portion of this was US$250..

    Luckily for me the seller only included the US$250 in the quote as they forgot to include the freight forwarder charges. Otherwise I would never have got my beautiful plate...

    The charges are just obscene and it is not all the fault of the freight forwarder, the port charges stupid amounts for the bit they do...
    Precision takes time.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    With my surface plate..

    The total cost of shipping and handling fees was $862... The actual freight portion of this was US$250..

    Luckily for me the seller only included the US$250 in the quote as they forgot to include the freight forwarder charges. Otherwise I would never have got my beautiful plate...

    The charges are just obscene and it is not all the fault of the freight forwarder, the port charges stupid amounts for the bit they do...
    DITTO.

    When I imported a mill from China I thought I was pretty thoughrough in determining ALL the fees and charges in getting it landed in Melbourne. Having not done it before I was amazed at all the charges and fees on top of the freight. In fact the freight charges were the cheapest part and I negotiated with the supplier to include this in the purchase price, it was the forwarding, port charges import duty and GST that eroded much of the savings.

    It seems that as soon as everyone gets a sniff that you have some cash to spend, they all want a piece of the action too!

    My mill and accessories still ended up a fair bit cheaper than if I bought it here, and that was a one off purchase. If I negotiated a price from the manufacturer based on a container load then I would have cleaned up. Also the forwarding fees and port charges would be about the same or perhaps little more making the total cost per item significantly cheaper.

    Hence I came to the conclusion that places like H&F and the like must really bend us over if I can make a one off purchase and still compete with them.

    PS I didn't mind paying import duty and GST. Fairs fair but the port charges left me a little disappointed!

    Cheers,

    Simon

  7. #36
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    Simon, yes that was just my point that I was suggesting above; many of the fees don't scale up at all, or minimally, whereas the relative costs come down dramatically once full containers are being handled.

    The problem is once landed in Australia they know they've got you by the shorts. You want your consignment, then pay up! One of my "fees" was cash only if you don't mind. While I made sure I got a receipt I suspect that one went straight to the Christmas fund. What do you do? If you DID manage to make a fuss I have absolutely no doubt the consignment would be "damaged in transit". There are few people as organisations that I've dealt with that I have such contempt for as the A/holes on the wharf. I've never seen so many people sitting around doing sweet FA than when I go down there, they make a council road crew look like Chinese sweat-shop! I simply can't imagine what it must have been like 20 years ago.

    Pete

  8. #37
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    Hi Guys
    I can certainly confirm that some Aussie firms offer bloody awful service.

    I have had really ABYSMAL service from a local mob of long standing who really don't deserve to be around much longer and won't be if the service I received WAS any indicator. I wanted to buy a 200mm (8") wheel diameter bench grinder.

    I was surfed in and out of sites looking for the best combination of
    Watts, wheel thickness and rigidity of tool plate and wheel flange thickness.

    The one I liked the best based on its 900 watts of power and long Aussie made heritage but the site did not have a decent photo or all the info on the tool post (was it cast iron or pressed metal and I wanted some idea if the wheel flanges were not recycled jam tins as I have seen on lesser machines.The website also mentioned a replacement switch.I reasoned that being chinese made, the electrics would not be too flash and would a replacement switch be a good idea?

    I sent emails on three or four occasions.1 to the general site no answer after 2 weeks , no 2 to the general manager who passed the email on and it was replied to after 2 weeks but no answer to my original inquiries. Just a promise to chase up someone who might know the details. Finally an reply from someone telling me it would have been easier to make a phone call-but no details.

    Like a fool I had already ordered it at my local tool monger as I got a special on it. After 2 weeks my local supplier said it had not turned up yet as they, the manufacturer, had lost the order. When the bench grinder did finally arrive it came with a shattered wheel and a burred stud ( one that clamps the tool holder)

    Immediately I returned it for warranty where it sits now, I have asked the warranty dealer to inspect the shaft spindle as I suspect it may be bent.

    I suspect that sales staff have no idea about the grinder probably comes direct and they had no way of answering my inquiry.

    The reputation of this old well known Aussie company is no longer PEERLESS. For all Forumites trying to buy Aussie made or at least from an Aussie company that will not give you answers, I say why bloody bother.

    The lack of enthusiasm should have warned me.Service! before and after sales on decent products, is all that Oz companies really have as an advantage.

    No longer should we support companies just because they are OZ!

    Do what you always did and you'll get what you always got.
    Companies like DAWN and MUMME and taking the fight back to the
    Overseas mobs and doing well at it.How ? With good service and good products.
    Soon as our locals start recycling chinese crap as their own product, they are headed down the slippery slope into the gurgler.

    The trouble is ,where do we then go, when the manufacturers of decent products have closed their doors? Why do we keep on buying crap that needs replacement on an ongoing basis?

    Its a communistic conspiracy I tell ya and the likes of the GM others taught them about the "throw away"society. The chinese , not being stupid have refined into an art. Not be able to beat the West in other ways they have brought it to its knees, with out a battle and with its own most powerful weapon-the mighty dollar.

    Heres an idea then!
    Lets try to support the Companies and businesses that are having a good Aussie go.If you have something good to say about an Aussie company that has impressed you with product and/or service ,lets start a new thread.

    I for one want my grand kids to be able to buy good Aussie products. What do you all say?


    Steps down off soapbox and wanders off into the crowd.

    Grumpy Grahame the curmudgeon teacher,

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post
    For all Forumites trying to buy Aussie made or at least from an Aussie company that will not give you answers, I say why bloody bother.
    I sent Hercus an online query about a lathe part in early Jan. No response from them yet. I could ring them and chase it up, but as you say Grahame, why bother?

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    I sent Hercus an online query about a lathe part in early Jan. No response from them yet. I could ring them and chase it up, but as you say Grahame, why bother?
    In all fairness Hercus stopped making lathes well over 20 years ago! They are a power transmission company now. Nevertheless, personally I have found the staff at Hercus extremely generous with their time. I make a conscious effort NOT to contact them and encourage others to do likewise, in the hope that when people are REALLY stuck, the guys at Hercus who are still left from when they did make lathes won't mind helping out. Likewise I have bought all manner of trivia (DVDs, books, manuals) that I could have done without from their ebay site, just to try to encourage them not to abandon this area completely. Basically the only parts they still sell are from the old stock they still have lying around, and I dare say that will be gone soon too. If it's a part you're after I'd suggest you'd have more success asking Australian Metalworking Hobbyist

    Many of the Hercus lathes getting around are from the 60s, try ringing a Holden dealer and asking for a park for an EK! I reckon the guys in spares would get a real laugh out of that one

    Pete

  11. #40
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    Their website has a link to the Hercus 260 under PRODUCTS and also to their 260 refurbishment service under SERVICES. Therefore, I don't consider it unreasonable to for me contact them about my 260. The part I need IS in stock, I was just enquiring about the best way to purchase/pay for it.

    If Holden's website advertised a refurbishment service for EK Holdens I would similarly expect that they would respond to an enquiry about an EK.

  12. #41
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    I can only go by my experience with Hercus, and as a rule they have been exceptionally good.

    The only spare part Hercus list on their site is a chip guard for the 260, they also list their Text Book of Turning, neither listing mentions anything about stock levels. Which one is it, as I may also be able to assist. I agree, if you contact any company, whether they can, or even want to, assist or not, it is simply common courtesy to reply. It may be possible their on-line form isn't working correctly, I have absolutely no idea, simply that I (and I know of many other members also) have contacted them on a number of occasions over the years and have found them to go above and beyond what could really be expected.

    Perhaps you could try using the email link instead of the form. I've found the latter can sometimes be unreliable when contacting companies.

    Pete

  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete F View Post
    In all fairness Hercus stopped making lathes well over 20 years ago!

    Well maybe 10 years ago

    And as a hard working person that does some work close to the waterfront (usually within a metre of it) I resent all that vitriol directed to my fellow workers..... You have no idea of how stressful it is to work with no brain, to place a strap on a hook, then repeat for the next few hours.... Hell something like flying a plane would be a less stressful job, at least there you just sit back and let the computer do all the work while the Captaint/FO flirt with the hosties...
    Precision takes time.

  14. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete F View Post
    It may be possible their on-line form isn't working correctly...
    Possibly. The part is the crossfeed nut. I would happily purchase it from Australian Metalworking Hobbyist, but Mal only has bronze ones listed on the website. My 260 has a cast iron one fitted, so I wanted to replace it with the same material. I rang Hercus last year and they do stock them. I haven't pushed it because I can live with the worn nut (for now). When I can no longer tolerate it I'll ring them.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    Well maybe 10 years ago

    And as a hard working person that does some work close to the waterfront (usually within a metre of it) I resent all that vitriol directed to my fellow workers..... You have no idea of how stressful it is to work with no brain, to place a strap on a hook, then repeat for the next few hours.... Hell something like flying a plane would be a less stressful job, at least there you just sit back and let the computer do all the work while the Captaint/FO flirt with the hosties...
    Didn't Hercus stop production of the 260s in the early 90s?

    It was certainly eye opening to be down on the wharves, actually quite scary as those container loaders a huge and you don't argue with them! One time while I was ducking out the way of one I watched as the loader smashed the container into another stack, the container door flew open and almost got ripped off, then off he went as if it was a regular thing to do. I thought to myself FFS, if an idiot like myself can be taught how to land hundreds of tonnes of shiny metal at 200+ kph, surely these guys could manage to dodge a stationary stack of containers without incident!

    Pete

    Hell something like flying a plane would be a less stressful job, at least there you just sit back and let the computer do all the work while the Captaint/FO flirt with the hosties...
    Holy Cow, I hope not ... have you seen our hosties!!!*


    * I'm sure they're very nice girls deep inside :P

  16. #45
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    Early 2000's they stopped the 260... Then not long after that they built the last of the real South Bend lathes.. Retail priced at a pretty sum of US $18 000 each I believe..

    My 260 is from the early-mid 90's...
    Precision takes time.

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