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Plaza Japan query - UK buyers

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Hi all,

Question for those in the UK who regularly purchase from Plaza Japan, how reliable is economy air shipping option, ie shipping time etc.

Also not ordered from Japan for a very long time, does everything get hit with duty etc and royal mail hostage fees these days?

Thanks

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Never used Economy Air, but use Standard Air all the time and it’s been 100% reliable and doesn’t cost that much more. Usually takes about a week from despatch to delivery

Personally, I’ve never been hit by customs fees using that route. I used dhl/fedex once and it got hit, so haven’t used it since. Generally my orders are below £100 which is probably also good practice. Anything over £135 is increasing your risk of grabbing the attention of the customs peeps 

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I’ve got a body kit and some pinions on economy air currently, I ordered on the 25th and shipped 27th, I’m expecting it to arrive around the end of next week or the weekend, never had a problem with economy before and only ever had charges when I ordered some tools with my parts haul! Shan’t make that mistake again!

I find them pretty reliable with both methods of dispatch, I managed to get my T3-01 body and two set of pinions with postage for the same price as available in the uk, been after some fluoride coated pinions for ages so 4 assorted is a nice bonus!

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Just got a delivery today, ordered on 21 February. Economy Air is the only method I use whenever possible. Keep your order total below £135 and you will (usually) be fine. I used to order from them every 2 or 3 weeks and never got the entry "fines" for the past 12 months or so. Used to got a 50% hit rate before Brexit. 

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Hi @alvinlwh, I placed my first order from Japan on Sunday. I went with Plaza Japan, but had to go with the FedEx shipping. I kept it just under £100 including the shipping to ensure as much as poss that I get no fees. I have received no further comms from them, like a dispatch notice email with tracking etc. and in my PJ account is still just says 'preparing for shipment'. Is that normal for PJ? I've dropped them an enquiry email this morning, as it seems odd that that have done nothing with my order for 5 days. At this rate it will take forever to arrive, even with the more expensive shipping option I was forced to use as the Economy option is gone now. Seems a bit odd to me:wacko: What you reckon? This sit inline with your PJ experiences? Cheers

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They have always sent a shipping notice/updated my account. Sometimes things get shipped within a few working days, but sometimes it takes a week  I think COVID is impacting shipping options and affecting staff levels.

I ordered some items 15 March, they were shipped 22nd using DHL Express and they are out for delivery today. So not too bad 

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Thanks @thetamiyakid, they have responded lightening fast with the below -

"Thank you for contacting us.

As shown on our Ordering Information page below, orders could take longer to be dispatched depending on the product and the quantity of items ordered.
https://www.plazajapan.com/pages/ordering-information.html

Due to there being 34 items within your order, it is taking time to prepare it for dispatch.
This is because we have multiple warehouses for all of our products located in different places and it takes a few business days to combine all of the items together in one package.

Rest assured that your package is being prepared as usual however.

We would appreciate your patience.

Best regards,
PlazaJapan.com"

So I guess this is the norm. There may be 34 for items, but most are small parts in multiple quantities. This makes me think they source parts from other suppliers once they receive the order. No biggie anyway as long as I get the order within say the next 7-10 days.

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49 minutes ago, Kol__ said:

Hi @alvinlwh, I placed my first order from Japan on Sunday. I went with Plaza Japan, but had to go with the FedEx shipping. I kept it just under £100 including the shipping to ensure as much as poss that I get no fees. I have received no further comms from them, like a dispatch notice email with tracking etc. and in my PJ account is still just says 'preparing for shipment'. Is that normal for PJ? I've dropped them an enquiry email this morning, as it seems odd that that have done nothing with my order for 5 days. At this rate it will take forever to arrive, even with the more expensive shipping option I was forced to use as the Economy option is gone now. Seems a bit odd to me:wacko: What you reckon? This sit inline with your PJ experiences? Cheers

It is kind of normal for them to take days to prepare for shipping. The reason is they do not always hold stock on hand, sometimes known as "supplier stock" as seen on, say  Modelsport. I had once placed two orders, 8 days apart, the later order arrived before the earlier one. 

Now, the problem with Fedex is, even when keeping below £135, there is a risk that they will the tax for you first. For my most recent experience with them that did not happen, but the risk is there. That is why I am holding back my order until I can get regular airmail. Plus paying £16 deliver on a £26 order is just unacceptable to me. Also, in my case, Fedex (or DHL) actually takes much longer to get to me as they come on the boat while regular mail comes on the plane. 

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I had an order with them that stalled at customs in Osaka, turns out that after they sent it Japan Post stoped air mail to most countries, so DHL/Fedex is now the only option. The DHl reshipment of this order left today and is set to arrive on tuesday, so it's going by air.

courier shipping saps the potential savings and as been said runs the risk of geting taxed, but on the whole i've never had bad service from them. always been top notch.

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2 hours ago, matisse said:

courier shipping saps the potential savings and as been said runs the risk of geting taxed, but on the whole i've never had bad service from them. always been top notch.

100% agree, every order experience with PJ has been bob on 

And...free novelty rubbers!

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2 minutes ago, Juhunio said:

And...free novelty rubbers!

Hey, that's why I keep returning to them! 🤣

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Cool, thanks guys, I'll wait patiently and hope I don't get stiffed with import charges!! I'll update when the package arrives.

If I place another order whilst this one is being picked, you think it likely they'll try to combine the shipments? Which would take it over the £135 bracket. I'm tempted to wait, but would prefer to get the order in asap to avoid a long, long wait.

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1 hour ago, Kol__ said:

If I place another order whilst this one is being picked, you think it likely they'll try to combine the shipments? Which would take it over the £135 bracket. I'm tempted to wait, but would prefer to get the order in asap to avoid a long, long wait.

No, that was never offered as an option in the past and I doubt it will happen now. I know a few (like 1999) do it but not PJ. 

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2 hours ago, Kol__ said:

Cool, thanks guys, I'll wait patiently and hope I don't get stiffed with import charges!! I'll update when the package arrives.

If I place another order whilst this one is being picked, you think it likely they'll try to combine the shipments? Which would take it over the £135 bracket. I'm tempted to wait, but would prefer to get the order in asap to avoid a long, long wait.

No, i've offered to have that happen and even ordered again with DHL so they could combine with the order not shipped by japan Post, save them paying extra for no reason. Its not possible is the reply.

 

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2 hours ago, matisse said:

save them paying extra for no reason. Its not possible is the reply

They are not the one paying extra, you are. Therefore the "not possible" reply I guess. 

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Just now, alvinlwh said:

They are not the one paying extra, you are. Therefore the "not possible" reply I guess. 

There is no extra charge for the re-shipping of the cancelled  Japan Post package by DHL, so I assume they will incur some loss on this.

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1 minute ago, matisse said:

There is no extra charge for the re-shipping of the cancelled  Japan Post package by DHL, so I assume they will incur some loss on this.

Ah, I misunderstood. I thought you had 2 different DHL orders. 

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Ok, cheers guys, much appreciated:)

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Just went to make an order and noticed there's still no Japan post economy or standard air.

Seems they have brought it back for many countries, but not the UK, still stuck with DHL and FEdex. JP resumed EMS on the 1st July for the UK but the normal air options remain out of reach. Guessing this is partly down to the wonderful brexit and how awkward we made international shippping? If you go through the older updates, many countries already got Air back.

image.thumb.png.d3d7d1cf60445daa5d0477af7ec3d18b.png

A fresh round of resumed services coming from tomorrow. But guess who still isn't invited to the party?


Question: Has anyone been hit by DHL or Fedex for fees on an order UNDER £135 AND made SINCE the obligation has been on the sender to collect VAT?

I realise it was a gamble using those two shippers before brexit, but the new rules now, even as stated on the DHL and Fedex websites, is that they won't collect VAT on the on the customer end. But we all know DHL and Fedex make a significant amount out money from fees, so I'm not sure whether to trust it. 

Obviously, Japan post stuff comes via Royal Mail and they just seem to let anything below £135 in now, even without any kind of invoice on the package. Not sure if DHL/Fedex are that lax, though. 

Sorry, I know it's a long and meandering question, just wanted to try and judge whether it's worth the risk, again.

Just to clarify again, I'm talking about orders delivered with those two couriers AFTER the responsibility to collect VAT fell to the seller for items under £135 .

If in doubt, I'll probably just wait an hope.

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I've made quite a few orders using FedEx to the UK over recent months. The PJ prices are still low enough that the £18-22 shipping fees do not make it uneconomical. Sure it would be nice to go with a slower/cheaper service back on with Japan post, and it will come back at some point soon I hope.

That said, the Japan EMS shipping option has popped back on PJ recently, but I don't think that's the standard postage service as it's more than FedEx and DHL. Also, I added only one thing (a body shell) to my basket today and the shipping costs were like £40, so I've no idea what's going on there. Obviously wont be ordering from them anymore of that's what they're pulling.

Customs wise, 4 or so orders of around £100 and kept under £135 including the shipping have incurred no UK customs charges for me. One order I went with for about £235 and as expected got hit with customs charges and the FedEx admin fee.

Which website are you using to get the Japan post updates @nowinaminute?

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3 minutes ago, Kol__ said:

Which website are you using to get the Japan post updates

Japan post website :D

So just to confirm, you have made several orders using fedex and none of the ones under £135 have incurred a charge?

 

4 minutes ago, Kol__ said:

The PJ prices are still low enough that the £18-22 shipping fees do not make it uneconomical.

Absolutely. A lot of stuff is as little as 1/4 the price plus many UK sellers charge £4 for shipping anyway, so if you order enough of the right things, you could still end up saving 50% easily inc postage. That's why I was eager to know about the fees.

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@nowinaminute yup, standard Japan air is still not an option to the UK. EMS came back in last week, so maybe standard Air will be back soon? All options are available to ROI, so it can’t be a war / airspace issue, must be the glorious sunlit uplands of Brexit 🙄

I’ve been shipping stuff in from Japan over the last few months using the courier options, which has hurt, but some careful consolidation and at least one resale item in each shipment has taken some of the pain away

In every case where the invoice value was below £135, no charges. One shipment where the invoice was £140, ALL the charges!

Saying that, I’ve had numerous orders from Tamico since we left the EU and none of them have incurred charges, despite being over Tamico’s €160 minimum. Bearing in mind these are all essentially VAT free, that’s pretty good 

I no longer chance anything from Japan over £130, but based on personal experience I think Tamico is safe enough at any value 

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1 minute ago, Juhunio said:

so maybe standard Air will be back soon?

Well I suppose it's inevitable, just seems to be taking longer than other countries but that may be down our unique post brexit import system. Hopefully soon. Although I was more concerned about the fees than the actual shipping cost. Like you said, the right kind of order can still easily leave you laughing and even pay for itself with a couple of items to sell on.

 

4 minutes ago, Juhunio said:

In every case where the invoice value was below £135, no charges. One shipment where the invoice was £140, ALL the charges!

 

Ok that's good to know. Seems like they are simply assuming anything under the threshold has been sorted already, just like Royal Mail.

 

 

5 minutes ago, Juhunio said:

but based on personal experience I think Tamico is safe enough at any value 

Now that IS interesting! Good to know.

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Same here, anything under £135, never been a problem, with either Fedex or DHL (which some ended up go through Parcelforce).

Unlike @Juhunio, both my last Tamico orders have been hit with custom fees, both were just over the £135 limit, i purposely kept it low just in case, but made no difference. As such, I wont be order from Tamico now unless its something i really want and cant get elsewhere.

 

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