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anyone know why tires, components, etc are so cheap when bought online from the UK? Tires seem to run 50% off, I priced out a Dura Ace group the other day from probikekit and it was $400 less than the cheapest US online retailer. Is it taxes? If that were the case, I think it would be across the board, but some stuff costs the same amount. Is it supply?

Also, since stores like Performance and Jenson price match, do you know if they honor the prices from international stores?
 

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Not entirely sure about this, but I think that it has something to do with currency valuation. The US dollar is trading at such a low level, it makes those foreign purchases more attractive.

I purchased a set of Keo's from Probikekit a few weeks ago, and true enough, they were about 50% of US retail. Didn't even have to wait more than a week either.
 

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Vat?

I think it may have to do with VAT. European resellers cry to the manufacturers that unless they get good pricing, they cannot compete with U.S. based reseller's because all goods shipped with the EU have VAT charged. I think, but cannot confirm, that the manufacturers offer the EU customers better pricing so they will not be beaten on price by their US competitiors. If you are in the EU, by the time you add VAT, which a company like Performance does not charge, I would bet that the EU price and the US price are about the same. Only US customers get the advantage of the international loophole.
 

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ashpelham said:
Not entirely sure about this, but I think that it has something to do with currency valuation. The US dollar is trading at such a low level, it makes those foreign purchases more attractive.

I purchased a set of Keo's from Probikekit a few weeks ago, and true enough, they were about 50% of US retail. Didn't even have to wait more than a week either.
it probably doesn't have to do with currency valuation, because when the dollar is weak, everything outside the u.s. is more expensive.
 

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ashpelham said:
Not entirely sure about this, but I think that it has something to do with currency valuation. The US dollar is trading at such a low level, it makes those foreign purchases more attractive.
Uh, dude? That's backwards. If the dollar isn't worth much, that means that BUYING BRITISH POUNDS, in order to buy British goods, is more expensive.

The price level (in GBP) hasn't changed too much.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think it's the whole taxes and globalization thing, too. EU countries have no import on each other, and since non-EU citizens don't pay their VAT tax, but imported goods don't pay a DOMESTIC sales tax either, and the WTO insures that duties are low to zero on goods from the UK to the US, basically you avoid an entire hierarchy of txes.

Look at the cheap on Probikekit: stuff like Look pedals (France) are really cheap, Campagnolo stuff (Italy) is fairly cheap, but a Thomson seapost (USA) is actually MORE than from some US retailers. On 11speed.com, an Italian-based site, Campy stuff is cheaper still.
 

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sbindra said:
I think it may have to do with VAT. European resellers cry to the manufacturers that unless they get good pricing, they cannot compete with U.S. based reseller's because all goods shipped with the EU have VAT charged. I think, but cannot confirm, that the manufacturers offer the EU customers better pricing so they will not be beaten on price by their US competitiors. If you are in the EU, by the time you add VAT, which a company like Performance does not charge, I would bet that the EU price and the US price are about the same. Only US customers get the advantage of the international loophole.
VAT is simply a value added tax and in England for example its 17.5%, which is a lot but I get charged 8.8% sales tax by performance. Its true ordering from the US you don't pay VAT but even with VAT a lot of goods are cheaper than the US. For example, a pair of Sidi Genius 5's with VAT is 98 pounds in some stores, which roughly equates to $175 last time I checked the exchange rate. Typically aren't Sidi's about $225 here. There are several potential reasons for the disparity: one could be shipping from Europe to the US, another could be the sole importer of these goods fixes the prices at this level.

A weak dollar actually means goods from overseas costs us more, Europeans should be benefitting from buying US goods.
 

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geneseo said:
anyone know why tires, components, etc are so cheap when bought online from the UK? Tires seem to run 50% off, I priced out a Dura Ace group the other day from probikekit and it was $400 less than the cheapest US online retailer. Is it taxes? If that were the case, I think it would be across the board, but some stuff costs the same amount. Is it supply?

Also, since stores like Performance and Jenson price match, do you know if they honor the prices from international stores?
IIRC, for Sh*man0 parts anyway -dealers, at least in the States, are *required* to charge a (ridiculous) price set by Sh*[email protected]
 

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I think it has to do with combination of price fixing cartels, company pricing, shipping charges and import taxes.For example, Colnago frames are overpriced in US and check out http://www.maestro-uk.com/terms.asp website for more info on cartels.

Similarly US bikes like Trek and Cannondale cost more in Europe than here. I know a LBS that lost their Cannondale sale rights because they were selling bikes to Europe in US prices until Euro-distributor complained and LBS lost Cdale .
 

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stoked said:
I think it has to do with combination of price fixing cartels, company pricing, shipping charges and import taxes.For example, Colnago frames are overpriced in US and check out http://www.maestro-uk.com/terms.asp website for more info on cartels.

Similarly US bikes like Trek and Cannondale cost more in Europe than here. I know a LBS that lost their Cannondale sale rights because they were selling bikes to Europe in US prices until Euro-distributor complained and LBS lost Cdale .
You make it sound dirty???

A company decides how much they believe that they can get in a certain market and requires every one to charge that much. If someone sells for less, they refuse to sell to them at wholesale. The bike and component companies think they can (and do) get more in the US so that is how they set their pricing. Don't like it, don't pay it and it will drop.

Some learn how to get around the set prices by buying OEM stuff, take-off parts or grey market (like your UK connection).

TF
 

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It is quite strange to see the UK as a major source of grey market goods. Up until recently the UK was ridiculously expensive for all bike parts - visiting friends of mine would stock up on goods whenever they came over along w/their year's supply of Levi 501's.


It is interesting to note that Shimano parts are still relatively expensive - I'm wondering whether this has anything to do w/the yen being pegged to the dollar.
 

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TurboTurtle said:
You make it sound dirty???

... Don't like it, don't pay it and it will drop.

Some learn how to get around the set prices by buying OEM stuff, take-off parts or grey market (like your UK connection).

TF
I don't. I never pay MSRP for any bike parts or most stuff for that matter. I don't have problem with capitalism but price fixing is something illegal and it hurts the consumer. I just have a problem with distributors setting artificial prices instead of the market deciding for it.
 

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stoked said:
I don't. I never pay MSRP for any bike parts or most stuff for that matter. I don't have problem with capitalism but price fixing is something illegal and it hurts the consumer. I just have a problem with distributors setting artificial prices instead of the market deciding for it.
That's not price fixing. A company can sell it's product for what it wishes. They are not inhibiting competition. The competition can undercut them if they wish. Now if Campy and Shimano both agree that no top level shifter will sell for less than $300, that would be price fixing. - TF
 

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TurboTurtle said:
That's not price fixing. A company can sell it's product for what it wishes. They are not inhibiting competition. The competition can undercut them if they wish. Now if Campy and Shimano both agree that no top level shifter will sell for less than $300, that would be price fixing. - TF
Let me give you an example in this case. I am right now shopping around for road shoes. Sidi genius 4's were $189 3 years ago in US and genius 5's are $229.Almost the same shoe with a new number. Is it because Veltec decided to raise the price so high? Why is it that my gray market connection such as totalcycling selling the same exact shoe for $162 and other models for less thatn US prices as well? Are they selling OEM?It comes in a box. It is the same SIDI.

You can argue any way you would like but I am going to go ahead and buy my shoes from UK gray market instead of $229 plus tax in LBS unless of course US merchant beats the "gray market" price you talk about.
 

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I think we here in the US are being hosed by the importers. Places like probikekit and totalcycling have great prices, especially on Euro stuff. One factor is that we don't pay VAT (15 - 18.5%) outside the EU. But I also think the European manufacturers realize that they wouldn't sell much stuff if they tried to set prices at the high levels seen in the US - many European cyclists just don't have the dosh. Cycling is more of a working class sport in Europe compared with the US, where some of us have lost all sense of perspective about the value of certain components.

FWIW, when I lived in the UK over 10 years ago, most items seemed relatively expensive compared with the US. A rule of thumb was that an item's cost in pounds would be the same number of dollars as what one would pay in the US (e.g. 20 pound shirt would cost $20 in the US), despite that exchange rate of $1 = 1.75 GBP. Some of the online shops have trashed this rule of thumb.
 

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Well, consider me educated!

I really liked my experience buying from the UK. Some of that imported stuff here to the US undergoes a huge markup, that the LBS's doesn't always see the end benefit of. Heck, I didn't even fully understand how the auto dealers here in the US made money until I worked at a bank that serviced auto dealers inventory needs.

I didn't understand the whole concept behond "holdbacks", which is what the manufacturer pays a dealer to sell an item, thereby discouraging lowering the price to the consumer. If there is little profit in MSRP, then the holdback is all you've got as an end-retailer. If you negotiate off the MSRP as a dealer, then it's your holdback from the manufacturer that you're working against.
 

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geneseo said:
anyone know why tires, components, etc are so cheap when bought online from the UK? Tires seem to run 50% off, I priced out a Dura Ace group the other day from probikekit and it was $400 less than the cheapest US online retailer. Is it taxes? If that were the case, I think it would be across the board, but some stuff costs the same amount. Is it supply?

Also, since stores like Performance and Jenson price match, do you know if they honor the prices from international stores?
Too many middlemen!
 

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My guess is that the EU regulations forbid "bundling" of products at a lower price than the products bought alone. So groups sell at to-bike-manufacturer prices, or a retail approximation thereof. I believe places like probikekit.com are ordering through the same channel as the bike makers (their parts come in OEM packaging), and they have "equal access" to bulk pricing.

No such regulations exist within the US.
 
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