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Thread: International Issues - MOTUC Subscriptions

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    International Issues - MOTUC Subscriptions

    Fellow He-Fans & She-Ravers that are international,

    Can you please explain your issue regarding the MOTUC subscription?
    Is it based on the cost of shipping and your countries' taxes and import tariffs?

    Is there anything your fellow US fans can do to help alleviate these concerns and convince you to be subscribers?

    Kowl
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    Heroic Warrior Rodster6's Avatar
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    It's not really mattys fault at all that I can't get a sub. It's the Greedy UK customs and postal service that doublt the price of each figure for me.

  3. #3
    Widget mondasian's Avatar
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    It's the UK customs. The prices of the figures and postage going up isn't good, but it is bearable. However with that the likelihood is every item we purchase will get a customs charge, which then puts the price overall far to high to justify.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodster6 View Post
    It's not really mattys fault at all that I can't get a sub. It's the Greedy UK customs and postal service that doublt the price of each figure for me.
    Can you explain the UK customs procedure to me? My apologies that I'm not super familiar with them.

    I know in the US, I once had to pay the US Govt another extra $50.00 because the packages I received from Germany were not labeled correctly in value.
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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior
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    The same. General shipping cost is increased, but the worst is that if we choose the cheapest one (USPS) we can not get any refund for lost or undelivered shippings. The safe option is DHL, cheaper then UPS but still really expensive.
    Then, if you talk about Italy, with cost raising, customs fee are 99%, thus meaning on overcharge of appx. 10 euro plus 21% of the item cost together with shipping fees. Can you imagine how much it is?
    The real solution to this problem is very simple: Mattel is present also in Europe. So, why can't we get an European distribution? We, EU He-Fans & She-Ravers, would get the same economic treatment as our US friends. Fair enough.

  6. #6
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    I have my sub for 2013. But I can't accommodate multiple subs because of tax.
    I probably have it worst of all since Norway is extremely tax regulated. There is a 25% vat added on top of the cost of the figure+shipping. Yes you read that right, figure+shipping. If there is a month with multiple figures, you can add the total there multiple figures+the shipping, 25% of that.

    I think I read somewhere that UK was 22% or 23% (in some places), but I might be mistaken.
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    Are these VAT fees the reason that international buyers are always asking US folks to label the packages as "gifts" ?
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    Widget mondasian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kowl View Post
    Are these VAT fees the reason that international buyers are always asking US folks to label the packages as "gifts" ?
    Basically. I had some Hot Toys figures from Hong Kong sent as "Gifts" which didn't get any customs charge, and the price of those figures are significantly more than MOTUC.

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Balthus Dire's Avatar
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    We Canadian fans are more fortunate in the sense that we don't get hit with crazy high customs charges as often as the UK/EU folks. Our postal service is supposed to be authorized to ding us on anything over $20 or something, but they usually don't hit us with customs on packages under $60.

    The new "better luck next time" policy on lost packages is worrysome, but further, I'm more worried about schedule shifts like this year. With the figures at $25 each, a schedule fiasco like this year's February (Sorceress/Photog/Fisto/Weaver) would absolutely destroy us in customs. So, that's also on my mind.

    TG says that DHL is the better option if we want trackable/refundable packages, but it's also ridiculously expensive AND apparently pretty much guarantees customs charges on every figure. So, we can either pay out the nose for DHL or we can pay out the butt for regular post and if there's any problems with the shipment, we're screwed. Neither are great options IMO.

  10. #10
    from Ze-Ro to He-Ro kochane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueHeaven View Post
    The real solution to this problem is very simple: Mattel is present also in Europe. So, why can't we get an European distribution? We, EU He-Fans & She-Ravers, would get the same economic treatment as our US friends. Fair enough.
    I completely agree with this and one of the main reasons I have never got a sub tbh is import costs which I have been stung with when I have bought figures from Matty. If there was a European distributor I would be more then happy to sign up, even with Mattels price increases

  11. #11
    Born A Monster wolfsfang's Avatar
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    basically any action from outside the EU which is not marked as a "gift" and is worth more than £15 has a chance of being hit with a customs charge which for a MOTUC figure is usually around £5 plus another £8+ for handling fees

    £5 + £8 = £13 which is approx the same amount a MOTUC figure is.

    This only used to happen when we bought 2 or more figs in one go but now with the increase in cost each figure has the potential to be almost twice the price for us international buyers and they want us to commit to a year of this...HAH. They are kidding right?
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  12. #12
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    UK customs charge a 20% fee on the value of the item plus shipping cost.

    Then you also pay a £8/$12.50 handling fee if you use the cheaper shipping or £1.25/$1.95 by DHL. Yes the DHL fee is reasonable, but the shipping cost is ridiculous (especially for months with only 1 figure!) The DHL option only really works if fans band together as you can then share the expensive shipping cost. Basically your looking at an extra $21 each month in fees (and thats just for 1 basic $25 figure!) Months with the multi packs and beasts will be crippling!
    8 figures I still need: 8/Perfuma (for completeness of POP ONLY!), 7/Filmation Tung Lashor, 6/Saurod, 5/Sprag, Sprocker and Spritina, 4/Peekablue, 3/Hunga the Harpy, 2/Filmation Clawful, 1/Dylamug.

  13. #13
    Greatful his pants are on bskcase's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with customs, but i do wish you guys would post and be active with TG and get Mattel on youf si
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    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    Sounds like we need to send He-Man after the EU!
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  15. #15
    Widget
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    I think the problem is that we were prepared for the price increase of the figures but not for this dramatic increase of the shipping costs.
    So what seemed at first to be $5 rise in cost per figure turned out to be a $10 increase and. This came as a surprise, at least to me!

    Here in Austria we have to pay customs fees for every import which has a value over €25. Unfortunately this value includes the shipping costs!!!
    So with the higher shipping costs I would have to pay customs fees for every figures which means: $30 + 20% tax + 13€ handling fees. At this price point you have to ask yourself if it's still worth it!

  16. #16
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kochane View Post
    I completely agree with this and one of the main reasons I have never got a sub tbh is import costs which I have been stung with when I have bought figures from Matty. If there was a European distributor I would be more then happy to sign up, even with Mattels price increases
    Thing is, wouldn't Mattel then pay the import fees to sell them within the EU? Remember MOTUC doesn't have the resources of a retail line.
    8 figures I still need: 8/Perfuma (for completeness of POP ONLY!), 7/Filmation Tung Lashor, 6/Saurod, 5/Sprag, Sprocker and Spritina, 4/Peekablue, 3/Hunga the Harpy, 2/Filmation Clawful, 1/Dylamug.

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    Heroic Warrior omee's Avatar
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    Its all about the shipping costs. The price increase for the figs I am fine with, but when you layer another $13 (the least most expensive option) + possible duty we international customers are looking at a $45-$50 PER FIG!!!

    I have great job and can afford to indulge in my childhood hobbies but $45-$50 for one fig, at minimum, each month and I'm looking at $600 for just 12 figs. Its just not financially reasonable anymore.

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    How would all of this be different if you were paying a figure from a fellow fan instead of through Digital River?

    Is it cheaper for you all to receive one figure at a time or multiples at a time?
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Balthus Dire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bskcase View Post
    I am not familiar with customs, but i do wish you guys would post and be active with TG and get Mattel on youf si
    I tried on the Matty site, even offering a few potential solutions, but TG just said:

    "if you want to guarantee replacements you need to use a trackable method. We can not longer replace untrackable shipments."

    No acknowledgements of any of my suggestions whatsoever. Sooooooo....

    Quote Originally Posted by omee View Post
    Its all about the shipping costs. The price increase for the figs I am fine with, but when you layer another $13 (the least most expensive option) + possible duty we international customers are looking at a $45-$50 PER FIG!!!

    I have great job and can afford to indulge in my childhood hobbies but $45-$50 for one fig, at minimum, each month and I'm looking at $600 for just 12 figs. Its just not financially reasonable anymore.
    This.


    Also, I find this whole situation kind of ironic, because TG has always touted that international customers make up a "small fraction" of the fanbase, and yet now that we're pretty much priced out of the line, the line is seemingly in trouble. Not that I'm happy about that, I'm actually pretty friggin devastated, but just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kowl View Post
    How would all of this be different if you were paying a figure from a fellow fan instead of through Digital River?

    Is it cheaper for you all to receive one figure at a time or multiples at a time?
    When buying from a fellow fan, the fan can mark the item as a "gift" and we don't have to pay customs on the package (at least, Canadians don't...dunno about UK).

    Further, the "fan" can mark the package at a lesser value (say, $10) which would eliminate UK customs charging extra on the package.

    Neither is possible from Mattel.

  20. #20
    Born A Monster wolfsfang's Avatar
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    considering the size of europe and other countries that make up the "international customers" how the hell could we be a small fraction?
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  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior Odrakir's Avatar
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    This happens more or less for every country in the EU. Portugal is the same. We pay VAT + Custom taxes if the value of the product + shipping is more than $50. Usually DR only declares the value of the figures on the outside of the box, if it's bellow $50 they usually don't open it to check the invoice. There are a few things that Mattel could do to help International collectors (and everyone else in the process):

    - Drop the quarterly figures and go back like it was in the beginning: 12 figures + sub exclusive + SDCC exclusive + 1 large beast or figure / weapons pack / accessory - Even with the price increase it would be doable for most of us and would keep the line for a few more years until we get all the figures.

    - Calculate the full sub cost with shipping and divide it by 12 equal monthly payments and declare that value independently of the package contents (1 figure, 3 figures, 1 large figure, you name it). I didn't do the math but I think this should be bellow $50.

    - Ensure that even with the lowest shipping plan we get the figures if they get lost. The cost per figure is too high for us to afford, for Mattel it should be a contemplated risk in their business plan.

    - Have a little more respect. As international customers, most of us make a bigger effort supporting this line than most of the US collectors who don't have to support taxes and customs.

    Just my 2 cents.
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  22. #22
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kowl View Post
    How would all of this be different if you were paying a figure from a fellow fan instead of through Digital River?
    A lot better. But who would want to risk buying subs and then maybe stuck with the figures though? I mean the suggestion has come up of someone buying subs shipped together so only one shipping and handling fee is paid each month, which would save folks $$$. But who'd want to risk such a large purchase? Especially with the track record of problems with Matty as well...
    8 figures I still need: 8/Perfuma (for completeness of POP ONLY!), 7/Filmation Tung Lashor, 6/Saurod, 5/Sprag, Sprocker and Spritina, 4/Peekablue, 3/Hunga the Harpy, 2/Filmation Clawful, 1/Dylamug.

  23. #23
    All Era-Warrior Barnster's Avatar
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    Man it feels like my record is set on repeat, but okay here is my version: $44 for a standard sized figure via USPS is too much. Via DHL ist would be somewhere around $62-$66 Dollars and that is insane. I have had a sub for the last two years, even one 30th anniversary sub and yes, I was one happy camper but a 3-Pack like the FFM is impossible to ignore at an estimated price of about $110-$150. It is not a MOTUC version of Spydor we are talking about, no sir, it's the FFM. A trio I have ZERO interest in.

    No matter how much I love MOTU I can not justifiy the money I (virtually) blow out the window for shipping. Imagine you got two subs, you got all the advantages to choose what to do with your toys whatever you want. You can keep the figures from the first sub and sell off the second to refinance yourself or whatsoever OR, just to give you an impression of how it feels to be a international buyer, you take your second sub and throw it right into the trash can. Then you get to know how it feels to pay for two but only get one.

    We already pay these prices since day one and now the hike has foced us to recalculate and we had to come to the conclusion: It is too expensive and too insecure.

    I wish every fan outthere they may get the figures he/she desires the most, but I am forced to cherry-pick my way through the rest of the line, even if it will mean the end.
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  24. #24
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balthus Dire View Post
    When buying from a fellow fan, the fan can mark the item as a "gift" and we don't have to pay customs on the package (at least, Canadians don't...dunno about UK).

    Further, the "fan" can mark the package at a lesser value (say, $10) which would eliminate UK customs charging extra on the package.

    Neither is possible from Mattel.
    The thresholds for customs fee (VAT) in the UK is £15/$23. Anything valued above $23 will get charged. If the item is marked as a 'gift' the theshold is £40/$62. Anything valued over $62 and marked as a gift will also receive customs fees. In both cases the fee is 20% of item value and shipping value plus handling fee.
    8 figures I still need: 8/Perfuma (for completeness of POP ONLY!), 7/Filmation Tung Lashor, 6/Saurod, 5/Sprag, Sprocker and Spritina, 4/Peekablue, 3/Hunga the Harpy, 2/Filmation Clawful, 1/Dylamug.

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior
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    I'm pretty sure they don't charge VAT on shipping, but the shipping cost has to be clearly marked on the package/paperwork. So if you had a parcel that was marked £14 value £10 shipping, it would be ok, but if it was just marked £24 total then you're charged on the full amount.

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