Saturday, December 27, 2014

1859 Austrian Double Shot

Usually, I do not tackle more than one BMU on the painting desk at once.  This time, an exception.  Mustering off from the painting desk today are two battalions of Austrians for the 1859 project.  Both will take their place in the OB as 4th battalions in Benedek's 8th Corps, 4th Brigade.  One marches off from the 18th Infantry Regiment; the other from the 19th Infantry Regiment.  Notice that the rank and file are in greatcoat but the command are wearing white tunics of kittel.  Really makes the command stand out. 
Each battalion is 18 figures strong and composed of Lancashire Games miniatures.  These are the first of the recently acquired Lancashire Games figures to undergo the paint brush.  Nice figures with minimal flash but the mold lines on the shakos are a bit misaligned.  The shakos are uncovered with shako plate showing.  A detail the Old Glory and Mirliton figures do not display as the shakos on their figures are covered.  These figures fit in well with the 15mm Old Glory and Mirliton figures present in the project. 

I liked the look of these figures enough to place a follow up order with Lancashire Games.  Luckily, a 15% Off Winter Sale is in force so I saved a few dollars as well.

Speaking of dollars spent and saved, shipping from the U.K is expensive.  It is not uncommon for a U.K. vendor to charge 30% to 40% of order value to ship to the USA.  Lancashire is no exception in that 40% is charged for shipping to USA.  For my order, that shipping charge totaled BP20.74.  Well, I did want the figures so I submitted the order.

When the package arrived, the postage cost was stamped as BP12.85!  My charged postage is a 61% markup over actual postage costs.  Do these companies use postage as an extra revenue center or does the 40% shipping cost on balance cover actual shipping?  Perhaps, the price-to-weight ratio in my case was not typical. 

As a figure purchaser, do you expect charges for postage to accurately reflect actual (or near actual) postage costs?    

14 comments:

  1. Good to see some Lancashire figures painted up - I probably should order those Prussian Guards/Grenadiers. :-)

    Postage costs have always been a major disincentive for orders from the UK and elsewhere, but it isn't much better re; shipping costs from the US to overseas, either.

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    1. You should get some Prussian Guard Grenadiers!

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  2. Lovely regiment there, Jonathan; pity about Solferino though...

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    1. Thanks, Evan! Yeah, pity about Solferino. With an Austrian victory, we might have had a longer campaign game.

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  3. While the units look lovely, I was surprise to hear of the postage over charge you had to pay. I hear you on this one! Mind you, the UK is probably one of the cheapest places to post out from in Europe, so I'd agree that the vendor you mention have a problem with their postage model. An established US distributor will typically charge 30% of the RRP, so as a UK based producer of miniatures I wonder if that wouldn't be worth it, in terms of local market reach in the US, and increased customs from US clients like yourself. Like you and Gonsalvo, I only buy from US Ebay, Amazon etc. if it's absolutely impossible to resist, because you end up paying for the product twice with the added shipping costs. Maybe you should suggest a US distributor to them :0)

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    1. Hi Soren, often we pay what we must to get the figures we want. My demand curve must be quite inelastic if I am willing to pay such heavy postage costs. Perhaps, a follow-up email to the vendor is appropriate?

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    2. Yeah, agreed. But I'd would certainly chance a friendly mail to the vendor with a question regarding the GBP 8 you payed extra. If they're smart, they at least give you a web shop voucher for that amount...

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    3. Soren, I received a reply from Allan at Lancashire Games and he has offered to provide a BP5 credit against my next order. Allan says my order was the only one in 2014 that fell under the actual postage rate.

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  4. Impressive work again, Jonathan. The holidays hasn't slowed you down a bit. Speaking of sales, I took advantage of the one BTD currenlty has and ordered a few more packs of HYW foot knights.

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    1. Thank you, Dean! True. My painting has no slowed down much. In fact, December is a good time for me to get in a little extra work at the painting desk.

      With BTD, you can regularly find something on 50% discount and I look forward to seeing the results of your recent purchase.

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  5. Love the battalions

    regards the postage I would contact them and inform them the difference. Some of the excess should be packaging if new but most of the excess I would expect to be refunded.

    I had the same issue with MMP in America that was charging 200+% extra for a few bits and I had to stop using them but I can buy their product in the UK anyway. Since then they have sorted out their postage costs I am happy to say

    Ian

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    1. Thanks, Ian! Glad you like them!

      I think I will send Lancashire an email just to make them aware of my disappointment.

      Perhaps we should form an alliance to send packages back and forth across the pond to each other in hopes of reducing extreme shipping costs?

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  6. Great painting and looking figures..

    cheers

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    1. Thanks, Phil! Beginning to wonder what might have happened to you!

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