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Thread: A possible solution for shipping, custom fees, and monthly costs

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior King Tamusk's Avatar
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    A possible solution for shipping, custom fees, and monthly costs

    In regards to international subscribers...what if the initial sign up fee for the 2014 subscription equated to $5 off the figure price? In other words, let's say 2014 would have 12 monthly figures and a sub exclusive. So, the subscription fee would be $65 dollars (13 x $5 = $65). That would result in the figures being charged at the monthly price of $20 each for the rest of the year. Would that help bring it back into a customs bracket that would work for international fans? If that is something that would work, why not? Especially if Mattel would still be receiving the same amount of money, per sub.

    Of course, this amount could be adjusted if quarterly items return, but you get my point.

    In regards to shipping, whatever happened to the idea of shipping through Amazon? That was mentioned at Powercon last year and then never brought up again. Charging a flat shipping fee through Amazon would be ideal. Plus, Amazon has an international distribution system.

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    Heroic Warrior vid.tracey's Avatar
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    All good ideas but they are just too sensible for Matty to consider! Lol
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    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King Tamusk View Post
    In regards to international subscribers...what if the initial sign up fee for the 2014 subscription equated to $5 off the figure price? In other words, let's say 2014 would have 12 monthly figures and a sub exclusive. So, the subscription fee would be $65 dollars (13 x $5 = $65). That would result in the figures being charged at the monthly price of $20 each for the rest of the year. Would that help bring it back into a customs bracket that would work for international fans? If that is something that would work, why not? Especially if Mattel would still be receiving the same amount of money, per sub.

    Of course, this amount could be adjusted if quarterly items return, but you get my point.

    In regards to shipping, whatever happened to the idea of shipping through Amazon? That was mentioned at Powercon last year and then never brought up again. Charging a flat shipping fee through Amazon would be ideal. Plus, Amazon has an international distribution system.
    I remember someone bringing up this idea over a year ago, either on RGD or Ask Matty. I believe TG's answer was something to the effect of while we'd like to cater to everyone's personal collecting wishes, we just can't do that.

    It would likely take DR four years to implement that kind of system. Can you image the tizzy this would throw their system into? Every subber would be charged an extra $5 right off the bat, causing some cards to be declined, subs to be cancelled, figures to be missed. Then they'd try to refund the money and somehow mess that up. They'd finally charge the extra money upfront, but still charge $25 per figure, then more subs would be cancelled due to declined cards..... Then they'd somehow have to charge international addresses a different price. They couldn't do that even if they wanted to.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Balthus Dire's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter how good the solution is, they just close their ears to it anyway. Until sub numbers drop significantly, they won't bother to change anything.

    That being said, Amazon would probably be the absolute best solution for us.
    Last edited by Balthus Dire; March 22, 2013 at 07:46pm.
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    Heroic Warrior BrettX209's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, what you're suggesting is (strictly speaking) illegal. My guess is that is why Matty wouldn't want to do this. I understand that you're suggesting some sort of pre-paid coupon type thing, but as others have pointed out, do you really think DR can handle that? They can't even handle removing an item from their stock count once a customer has it in their cart.

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    Heroic Warrior King Tamusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrettX209 View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, what you're suggesting is (strictly speaking) illegal. My guess is that is why Matty wouldn't want to do this. I understand that you're suggesting some sort of pre-paid coupon type thing, but as others have pointed out, do you really think DR can handle that? They can't even handle removing an item from their stock count once a customer has it in their cart.
    It's not illegal. Other collector's lines do this; meaning a subscription fee. Some offer payment in installments. And I don't think the idea should be dismissed, based solely on a hypothetical situation.

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    In all honesty, I don't think it's the fans' business to come up with solutions.

    I mean, don't get me wrong : it's nice to try to propose things and all, but in the end, Mattel/Matty are the ones who should take care of this, who should THINK and PLAN and FIND SOLUTIONS. It is THEIR business, after all !

    IF Mattel/Matty actually WANTED to look for solutions, they'd have found them years ago ! But they just don't care.
    Last edited by Prahvus; March 24, 2013 at 11:25am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by King Tamusk View Post
    In regards to international subscribers...what if the initial sign up fee for the 2014 subscription equated to $5 off the figure price? In other words, let's say 2014 would have 12 monthly figures and a sub exclusive. So, the subscription fee would be $65 dollars (13 x $5 = $65). That would result in the figures being charged at the monthly price of $20 each for the rest of the year. Would that help bring it back into a customs bracket that would work for international fans? If that is something that would work, why not? Especially if Mattel would still be receiving the same amount of money, per sub.

    Of course, this amount could be adjusted if quarterly items return, but you get my point.

    In regards to shipping, whatever happened to the idea of shipping through Amazon? That was mentioned at Powercon last year and then never brought up again. Charging a flat shipping fee through Amazon would be ideal. Plus, Amazon has an international distribution system.
    All very good ideas. I wish someone would actually listen to them.
    Last edited by cax16; March 24, 2013 at 12:24am.

  9. #9
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it is legal or illegal, but I can kind of see why Mattel wouldn't be eager to jump on board with something like this.

    The problem is that by charging the extra money upfront and charging less for each individual figure, they would be declaring a lower amount of money as to the value of the merchandise being shipped. If a package were to get damaged in shipping, I would imagine that Mattel would be able to file a claim with the shipping company for the value of the merchandise, in addition to shipping out a replacement.

    Now, granted, losing a few bucks here or there on one or two 'one-off' damaged packages probably wouldn't hurt them any worse than having to ship out a replacement for a defective figure, in which they get no money back at all. But suppose, as unlikely as it may be, that they are shipping several packages at about the same time to several customers in the same country, and something happens along the way. A truck or other vehicle that they are on at some point ends up in a terrible accident and the packages are all destroyed. I know it's unlikey, but there's always that 'what if' chance.

    I'm not saying this is a bad idea or that it shouldn't be done. But I'm just coming at this from Mattel's typical 'by the book' thinking that they tend to use.
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  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior King Tamusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    I'm not sure if it is legal or illegal, but I can kind of see why Mattel wouldn't be eager to jump on board with something like this.

    The problem is that by charging the extra money upfront and charging less for each individual figure, they would be declaring a lower amount of money as to the value of the merchandise being shipped. If a package were to get damaged in shipping, I would imagine that Mattel would be able to file a claim with the shipping company for the value of the merchandise, in addition to shipping out a replacement.

    Now, granted, losing a few bucks here or there on one or two 'one-off' damaged packages probably wouldn't hurt them any worse than having to ship out a replacement for a defective figure, in which they get no money back at all. But suppose, as unlikely as it may be, that they are shipping several packages at about the same time to several customers in the same country, and something happens along the way. A truck or other vehicle that they are on at some point ends up in a terrible accident and the packages are all destroyed. I know it's unlikey, but there's always that 'what if' chance.

    I'm not saying this is a bad idea or that it shouldn't be done. But I'm just coming at this from Mattel's typical 'by the book' thinking that they tend to use.
    In that scenario, wouldn't it be considered a loss regardless of the value? I mean, either way, they'd be losing product, which is probably insured. So, I don't see the actual point here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    In all honesty, I don't think it's the fans' business to come up with solutions.

    I mean, don't get me wrong : it's nice to try to propose things and all, but in the end, Mattel/Matty are the ones who should take care of this, who should THINK and PLAN and FIND SOLUTIONS. It is THEIR business, after all !

    IF Mattel/Matty actually WANTED to look for solutions, they'd have found them years ago ! But they just don't care.
    So, you're suggesting that the customers say absolutely nothing and let Mattel continue to go about their business, not caring. Nice, Prahvus.

    Obviously, it is Mattel that will have the ability to make changes. I'm pretty sure people realized I wasn't going to be the one telling Mattel what to do. But, I don't see any problems offering solutions that other customers can support. Scott constantly says they are looking at ways to cost reduce the figures and help shipping issues. But, the topics in this thread have never been addressed by Scott as avenues that have pursued or ruled out. If Scott sees this and actually states that these options won't work and can actually give legitimate reasons why, without double talk, then I will tip my hat.

  11. #11
    Evil Villain!!! adam03's Avatar
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    They can`t do that that`s like going to Mc Donalds and ordering a extra value meal only you don`t get you fries and drink till next time you come in

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    Heroic Warrior King Tamusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam03 View Post
    They can`t do that that`s like going to Mc Donalds and ordering a extra value meal only you don`t get you fries and drink till next time you come in
    This is not like ordering an extra value meal. Not even close.

    First off, we already pay for the sub exclusive when we buy the sub, which is considered the "sign up fee". That's paying for the exclusive sub figure 7 months in advance and you get nothing from the subscription at all for the next 4 months.

    So, if you are going to make a comparison, that's fine. Just have it makes sense and be a valid one, please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by King Tamusk View Post
    This is not like ordering an extra value meal. Not even close.

    First off, we already pay for the sub exclusive when we buy the sub, which is considered the "sign up fee". That's paying for the exclusive sub figure 7 months in advance and you get nothing from the subscription at all for the next 4 months.

    So, if you are going to make a comparison, that's fine. Just have it makes sense and be a valid one, please.
    Ok. I disagree. Respectfully. The idea could perhaps help our international friends (maybe idk). But we would then be paying even more for the sub fee (isn't it the cost of the Sub Exclusive fig now)? So we would go from 27 - 30 bucks to 65 bucks.....I think it would be like Adam03 said, we are paying in advance for something we don't have yet......BUT...we are doing that now anyway paying for the sub exclusive in advance. My only issue would be paying double or more that what we already are to save a few bucks later....I would prefer it the way it is, just with lower shipping charges...just my opinion...respectfully...

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    Heroic Warrior Kid Canada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iron_pride View Post
    Ok. I disagree. Respectfully. The idea could perhaps help our international friends (maybe idk). But we would then be paying even more for the sub fee (isn't it the cost of the Sub Exclusive fig now)? So we would go from 27 - 30 bucks to 65 bucks.....I think it would be like Adam03 said, we are paying in advance for something we don't have yet......BUT...we are doing that now anyway paying for the sub exclusive in advance. My only issue would be paying double or more that what we already are to save a few bucks later....I would prefer it the way it is, just with lower shipping charges...just my opinion...respectfully...
    Actually, by the original math it would be a $95.00 sub fee ($30.00 for the exclusive plus $65.00 for the "membership"). It would have to be worded very careful that the subscription fee had nothing to do with reducing the cost of figures. Otherwise, it would be illegal to declare a figure with a $20.00 value that may indeed cost $25.00 or more.

    I can't see a lot of people dropping $95.00 now to save $5.00 a month in the future.

  15. #15
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King Tamusk View Post
    In that scenario, wouldn't it be considered a loss regardless of the value? I mean, either way, they'd be losing product, which is probably insured. So, I don't see the actual point here.
    The difference is that they would be insuring it for whatever they are declaring the value to be. If for each figure, international customers only pay $20 instead of $25 because they would have already paid the difference in their sub sign up fee, I would imagine that Mattel would have to insure each package for the same amount of money as they are declaring the value to be to prevent international customers from getting hit with higher customs fees. As such, they would only be insuring each figure for $20, not $25.

    Now a loss of that extra $5 may not be a big deal if only one or two packages gets damaged. But if somehow several do, or if (as unlikely as it may be) several international packages are on the same boat/plane/whatever some kind kind of disaster happens destroying those packages, then each of them are going to be insured for $5 less than they should have been. If this occurs during a month where there is more than one figure, or multi-pack or something (presumably with a portion of those items being paid for in the sub sign up fee as well), now each of those packaged was under-insured below the actual value of the item. Now Mattel is on the hook to send you a replacement or refund your money if they are out of replacements, and you aren't going to only want the $20 + shipping back (per effected figure)... you are going to want the difference in what you paid up front in your sub sign up fee. But when collecting the insurance on the damaged package, Mattel will be out that difference.
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    Heroic Warrior Wulff's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter WHEN the money is paid, Mattel will still have to mark the total value of the figures when shipping. That would be $25.

    Marking them down to skirt customs fees is clearly illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Canada View Post
    Actually, by the original math it would be a $95.00 sub fee ($30.00 for the exclusive plus $65.00 for the "membership"). It would have to be worded very careful that the subscription fee had nothing to do with reducing the cost of figures. Otherwise, it would be illegal to declare a figure with a $20.00 value that may indeed cost $25.00 or more.

    I can't see a lot of people dropping $95.00 now to save $5.00 a month in the future.
    No, I can't see it either Kid Canada....I mean, the op has some good ideas for International fans, but that would kind of put off stateside fans if they did that. I'm afraid unless they open up their overseas distribution center which seems unlikely, there just won't be a good resolution for our international friends. That is very unfortunate. I feel as though Mattel sees their bread and butter being in the U.S.

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    Matty can ship a mini comic with every figure and tell the post office it's a book being shipped, so we get charged the book rate.
    Or make the same amount of figures, but sell to the U.S. only and put the rest on Ebay. People will be too busy complaining about the purchase price to be concerned about the shipping.
    To save more money, cast figures in white plastic with numbers on them and sell MOTUC painting kits at mattycollector.com.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior BrettX209's Avatar
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    This is what I was getting at, just stated better. I also have to agree with the earlier sentiments of "this isn't the job of the customer". I mean really, Mattel is a huge corporation (despite not paying any taxes in the US). If they wanted to make it easier for international customers, they would have.

    I'm not trying to be harsh, and I think it's great that you have so much enthusiasm for the line. Just keep in mind that the enthusiasm isn't a two way street, with a few exceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulff View Post
    It doesn't matter WHEN the money is paid, Mattel will still have to mark the total value of the figures when shipping. That would be $25.

    Marking them down to skirt customs fees is clearly illegal.

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