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"another price increase at fighting 15s" Topic


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2,337 hits since 20 Mar 2010
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comte de Lasalle Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 11:11 a.m. PST

I dont normally moan about price rises but this new increase is the 4th time in 6 months, Ian has cranked the prices up and now at 65p a figure for an ab figure is daft, the excuse is the exchange rate, but as much of the range is cast in uk under licence they are not imported so maybe i am missing something but how does the exchange rate affect non imported goods, i can understand an increase on the imported items but across the board plain unacceptable.

in fact having done a small calculation cheaper now to import 24 figures or more from australia to uk. as even if you have to pay duty, it will still be cheaper than taking fighting 15s insured postage option.

Griefbringer20 Mar 2010 11:20 a.m. PST

the excuse is the exchange rate, but as much of the range is cast in uk under licence they are not imported so maybe i am missing something but how does the exchange rate affect non imported goods

If the licensing fee is defined in foreign currency terms (ie. the native currency of the copyright holder), then it would be prone to being affected by exchange rate fluctuations.

comte de Lasalle Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 11:25 a.m. PST

still leaves me dissatisfied that this is the 4th rise in 6 months, and the exchange rate has gone from £1.00 GBP = $1.74AUS to £1.00 GBP = $1.63AUS so the latest increase is well above that change.

colbert Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 11:29 a.m. PST

If you`re not happy, don`t buy the figures ?
Regards,

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Mar 2010 12:33 p.m. PST

TMP link

Scroll to the bottom of that page and read Ian's post there.

If you earn the same or less then he does out of supplying you with your little lead men, than there might, just possibly might, be a valid criticism here.

Given the margins in this business and the need of the suppliers to actually earn a living, the question that should always be asked is not how come the figures are so expensive, but how they manage to be so cheap.

Timmo uk20 Mar 2010 1:45 p.m. PST

Fairly sobering when you realise just how little of the 60/65p per AB figure actually ends up in Ian's pocket.

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 2:08 p.m. PST

I guess last month was the "Yell about the cost of rulebooks" month, and March is "Gripe about the cost of miniatures" month.

What's up for April? The cost of paints?

lebooge Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 3:18 p.m. PST

I'd like to congratulate the OP who apparently joined TMP today (or as I'm guessing an existing poster who created a new anonymous account) just to whine about the AB price increases. This is a hobby… If the price increases are unacceptable, move to smaller armies, cheaper figures, or find a new hobby entirely.

KatieL Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 3:24 p.m. PST

"as much of the range is cast in uk under licence they are not imported"

I too thought this was the case, but apparently it's not. As I understand it, Ian gets fairly regular shipments of stuff from Eureka which is why most of the ranges are usually in stock. If you're an awkward so-and-so like me and order odd things they take anywhere between weeks and months to wend their way from Australia depending on which of the shipments they get sent with.


On the subject of stuff from them, I'm wondering when either F15s or Eureka themselves are going to have new types of bears listed on the websites…

The Black Tower Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 3:32 p.m. PST

We are grown ups who play with toys as a hobby.

It seems as if some of us never grew up and are ready to throw a paddy because "I want it all and I want it now'
sounds a lot like the 3 year olds at the supermarket check out!

EagleFarm Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 3:58 p.m. PST

The pound is very weak against most currencies. The Australian dollar is extremely strong against most currencies. The Aust/Pound cross-rate is at a (fill in a large number of years) extreme.

The A$ has risen 50% in value against the pound since 2006 and has nearly doubled since 2002.

To turn this around, Aussies must find importing UK wargaming products pretty cheap at the moment. However, I guess Aussies crowing about how cheap wargame figures are may not cheer the OP up.

ethasgonehome Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 4:01 p.m. PST

I have to pay a 40% royalty on the AUD price for each AB figure I cast, plus metal costs, machinery costs and energy. Only a comparatively few figures are cast under licence in the UK (I only have 38 licensed moulds, so I don't take kindly to the misrepresentation that I cast much of the range under licence). Royalties and metal (I use an expensive high tin content alloy) mean an AB foot figure can cost me about 27p to make.

Or on imports I get an agent's discount of 50%, so an AB foot figure costs me about 27.8p. International shipping adds 12%, taking it to 31.1p. I pay import tax, so the cost of an imported AB figure is 36.5p, excluding handling fees.

A pack of 8 AB infantry costs 4.80, or 60p per figure, of which 17.5% is tax, and therefore making the price per figure 51.1p plus tax. Tax aside, there is a 20p margin per foot figure.

The extra margin on UK-cast figures compared with imports is slightly over 3p per figure. The margins have to pay for the running costs of the business as well, and with a net profit margin for last tax year of about 12%, that means just under 3p of every AB foot figure I sell is actually my own money. Got that? That's just 3p out of 60p.

You can work out the percentages and tell me if I'm gouging customers. Please bear in mind what the usual margins are for retailers or distributors. As an exclusive agent I should properly be aiming at 50% margin, on which basis the actual cost of an AB foot figure should be 62p plus 17.5% tax, or around 73p.

I charge 65p including VAT and including worldwide postage per AB foot figure for figures bought singly through the online shop (see the Single Figure Codes). Postage is typically about 10% on average, so charging 65p inclusive as against 60p exclusive is reasonable.

I do charge 65p per foot figure inc VAT and ex-delivery for non-online orders, which are almost always more complicated and time-consuming. This rarely arises because most customers buy online.

You can, of course, hunt for a bargain internationally by buying 15mm AB Figures direct from Eureka. The current AUD 0.91 price per foot figure works out at the current exchange rate (of AUD1.64 to 1) at 55.5p, ex-tax, ex-international delivery, ex-handling fees. Even just figuring in VAT on imports without a handling fee, that works out at 65.4p per foot figure.

If you order less than £18.00 GBP of figures direct from Eureka, tax and handling fees are not an issue; but please compare like for like on delivery options, i.e. UK insured vs international insured. I do state in my website FAQs that small orders can be had cheaper direct.

There are very few importers who actually offer figures at a broadly equivalent price to the figures in their home market. My prices are quite reasonable on that basis.

Over 18 months ago I was getting AUD2.40 to 1.00; now it's AUD1.64 to 1.00. It means the 40p foot figure of those halcyon days should cost around 58.5p if I don't even think about cost of living increases in that period. The current rise puts the figures in line with the prices I pay for them from Eureka based on the current exchange rate.

Fighting 15s is all that I do. Last tax year my net profit, which is my sole personal income, was 5,750. I can only survive on that because my wife is now back at work and because I own my house. If I had a mortgage to pay,I'd be doing something else.

By all means complain about figure prices. But please understand the maths behind them.

Ian

Andrew May1 Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 4:10 p.m. PST

Ok, so the producers want to charge more and the consumers want to pay less… Sounds like capitalism!
I got into historicals a few years ago when I was a student and was very, very poor! So, I just bought cheap figures, and all my 25mm Napoleonics are by Warrior miniatures. Yes, lots of people don't like them, but hey, they work for me and the price was right. Now I can afford to spend loads on minis, but I still really like buying the cheapo's where I can, and all my Napoleonics are still all by Warrior!
I guess all I'm trying to say is go with what you are happy spending as a consumer. And as far as the producers go, well, we understand that prices do have to go up occasionally, but we are also allowed to grumble about them when they do!
Cheers
Ace
laugh

ethasgonehome Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 4:11 p.m. PST

And I know I shouldn't rise to drive-by shootings from new posters. I'd hope the OP is not one of the customers to whom I have just refused a discount. :-)

adster20 Mar 2010 4:14 p.m. PST

Although AB figures have a well respected brand name due to their undoubted quality, the maths above suggests it would be a better business model to have a line of equivalent figures sculpted in the UK. Transporting metal figures half way around the world is always going to have a greater or lesser expense associated with it. That cost and the royalty could both be part of the profit margin if you owned the rightd to the moulds.

ethasgonehome Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 4:25 p.m. PST

Adster. You need to take on board the level of royalty. AB Figures had a premium price in the UK when they were made there, and any range of figures that worked on the same basis would of necessity attract a premium price.

Even if, for example, I had exclusive casting rights in the UK to 15mm AB, the sculptor's royalty means the price per figure would largely be unchanged because I could get the proper margins on sales. Anyone who bought 15mm AB from Mike Hickling before AB's restructuring will appreciate they had a premium price long ago.

I should add that the royalty gives sculptor Tony Barton a deserved income, and I don't begrudge a penny of it.

ethasgonehome Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 4:57 p.m. PST

in fact having done a small calculation cheaper now to import 24 figures or more from australia to uk. as even if you have to pay duty, it will still be cheaper than taking fighting 15s insured postage option.

Order three packs of 8 AB foot (24 figures) from me, cost £16.05 GBP inc VAT inc standard delivery (you can check that in my shopping cart). You can go for insured delivery and it will be 21.33.

Order 24 figures from Eureka direct in Oz. Current cost at AUD1.64 to the pound is 13.32. Now add international delivery to the style of your choosing. If it's less than 2.73, you can have yourself a bargain compared with my standard delivery costs.

However, you can easily check Australia Post's rates online. For a sub-250g parcel (i.e. non-letter) these are AUD11.00 (6.70) airmail and AUD23.90 (14.57) registered air, or totals of £20.02 GBP (standard uninsured airmail) and £27.89 GBP (registered air) respectively on an order of that size.

So, comparing uninsured delivery with uninsured, or insured with insured, what exactly is the relative difference in cost? Well the price per figure is 67p uninsured/ 89p insured from me, and 83p uninsured/116p insured direct from Eureka including delivery in both instances, and tax in my case. Eureka, however, will get your figures to you quicker if they are out of stock here.

Isn't maths amazing?

Jacko27 Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 5:06 p.m. PST

I would be very suprised also if the terms of the licence to cast figures in the Uk allowed them to be sold at a lower price than the figures cast in Australia.
Undercutting the main manufacturer isnt a good business model.
As a Uk gamer its irritating to see this happen because the range is now antipodean but I have no real issues with the position as I want Ian to make a living and I,m happy to see the range marketed properly again with Tony Barton adding to it occasionally-something that would never have happened in my view had the range stayed with the previous manufacturer

ethasgonehome Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 5:14 p.m. PST

I would be very surprised also if the terms of the licence to cast figures in the Uk allowed them to be sold at a lower price than the figures cast in Australia.

Richard, like any retailer I can set the price where I want. Suppliers can't fix the retail price (well, not here in the UK). I set prices so they are broadly comparable with the tax-equivalent price in Oz (assuming import taxes are paid on items obtained direct); and from the above you can see all the costs I figure into the final price.

I have had orders from Australia. However, I am against the idea of shipping figures halfway across the world, only to ship them back again, and point Oz customers back to their local and original supplier.

best, Ian

celtcraze20 Mar 2010 5:59 p.m. PST

Ian, I am displeased. The time you have spent returning fire to the drive-by could have been better spent working on the new edition of Huzzah!

Please get you priorities right! ;^P

Sean

Personal logo Dale Hurtt Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member20 Mar 2010 6:21 p.m. PST

Ian, thanks for the education. I appreciate it.

trailape20 Mar 2010 10:39 p.m. PST

For years Aussies have been getting creamed on the cost of Miniatures.
Now the Aussie Dollar is very strong and it's we (the Sussies), who are actually doing OK, (I say OK as we still have to pay postage).
I'm sure the "advantage" will swing the other way soon enough,…
It's our VERY GOOD fortune that ABs are made right here in Australia by Nic and the guys at EUREKA.
The Irony that they are designed by a Brit isn't lost on us,…
Just an observation.
;o)
Cheers

ethasgonehome Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 12:01 a.m. PST

Ian, I am displeased. The time you have spent returning fire to the drive-by could have been better spent working on the new edition of Huzzah!

I know! The time I spent adjusting prices in the shop took away my creative day for the week, so I am doubly a sinner in this regard. :-)

nickinsomerset21 Mar 2010 2:05 a.m. PST

My big gripe with Fighting 15s is delivery times, one package took at least 2 days to arrive!

Tally Ho!

colbert Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 3:16 a.m. PST

Nick,
Sometimes up to 3 days to get to Norway ;)
Regards,

comte de Lasalle Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 3:47 a.m. PST

To answer a few points I am a new poster, and having read the thread throughly will happily apologise if i caused offence.

I dont begrudge anyone trying to make a living in any way shape or form. I just wanted to express a personal opinion.
I dont care if I receive a discount to answer Ians point and further to this have never requested one either.

The plain fact of it is I love AB/ Eureka figures and realise quality has a premium, just as a member of a country deep in the financial mire, found 4 increases in cost over a 6 month period hard to swallow.

guess I was miffed that i looked at what i wanted monday went to buy thursday and found i was short of money, and therefore vented a bit of frustration. My order was only small 24 figures ( i know not a big amount i usually order far more) and the site sort of points to protecting with insurance, as it was a total less than £36.00 GBP expected it to be recorded delivery which adds 75p in uk to postage but it wanted over £5.00 GBP as P+P.

So Ian I apologise directly to you.

adster21 Mar 2010 4:05 a.m. PST

Adster. You need to take on board the level of royalty. AB Figures had a premium price in the UK when they were made there, and any range of figures that worked on the same basis would of necessity attract a premium price.

Even if, for example, I had exclusive casting rights in the UK to 15mm AB, the sculptor's royalty means the price per figure would largely be unchanged because I could get the proper margins on sales. Anyone who bought 15mm AB from Mike Hickling before AB's restructuring will appreciate they had a premium price long ago.

I should add that the royalty gives sculptor Tony Barton a deserved income, and I don't begrudge a penny of it.

Fair enough.I suppose the business model works (and you are the best one to know that) as AB figures are in a class of their own for quality. I sympathise with the position though; the current infinitely variable exchange rates make life inporting of exporting very tricky right now.

ethasgonehome Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 4:59 a.m. PST

So Ian I apologise directly to you.

Accepted.

I appreciate it's annoying if you're budgeting for a purchase and the price goes up by the time you get to the shop.

But with four shipments – around 120kg in total – from Eureka in or due in this month and next month at the worst exchange rate I've had since 2005, I just had to increase prices. It was that or find something else to do.

Best, Ian

throughthegap Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 5:50 a.m. PST

All sounds open and fair to me. Case closed?

Andrew May1 Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 6:14 a.m. PST

I'll second that!

vexillia21 Mar 2010 10:33 a.m. PST

expected it to be recorded delivery which adds 75p in UK to postage

That's the cost to Ian. He would have to charge you £0.88 GBP to cover this as he has to levy VAT on delivery charges.

--
Martin Stephenson
Vexillia: Wargames Miniatures & Accessories
vexillia.ltd.uk
vexilliagallery.blogspot.com
pikeandplunder.blogspot.com

ethasgonehome Inactive Member21 Mar 2010 11:43 a.m. PST

Anything I send out insured delivery in the UK goes by Royal Mail special delivery.

Ian

Marc the plastics fan24 Mar 2010 4:24 p.m. PST

Seems a lot for an 18mm, but it is an open market. I need 4 18mm figs to fill the same area as a 28mm guy at 50p from Renegade, or 8p for my favoured plastic 1/72. So each to their own on what they buy and how much Ian wants to sell figures for. What is a Minifigs 15 these days? There is always choice in the market, so i guess we are all entitled to buy what we want, and to moan at what we cannot afford.

Damm Ferrari – still ripping me off

ethasgonehome Inactive Member30 Mar 2010 4:57 a.m. PST

Seems a lot for an 18mm

I have an incredible feeling of deja vu…

artaxerxes Inactive Member30 Mar 2010 10:41 p.m. PST

You know what guys? Gamers/consumers in Australia and New Zealand (and South Africa) have been on the pointy end of the exchange rates for years. Two years ago the AUD$ bought about 35p. It ain't fun, ever, but consumers in the UK have had a good run for a long time.

Marc the plastics fan31 Mar 2010 5:02 a.m. PST

Sorry F15 – I know it must seem that way, so I should have expanded. I know you have set out costs – all I was saying from my consumer persepctive was that I do not understand the 15mm market, as I have replaced with plastic figures. Hence my tongue in cheek Ferrari comment.

At the end of the day, I have no real issue with people charging what they will, either tobe a charity or to make a living Brian Ansell style. But as a consumer, I have to vote with my wallet. As I result, I moved away from 15s over ten years ago (and mine are ABs mostly), just have not got round to selling them yet.

And don't get me started on 6's :-)

blucher Inactive Member31 Mar 2010 5:09 a.m. PST

AB are by far the best 18mm avaliable. If you go for a cheaper make and paint them well they will look just find from 3 feet away.

If you want the very best than you need to pay for it.

Yes they "appear" overpriced but Its pretty clear to me that Ian isnt the cause.

If you want to pay less there is no lack of competition – knock yourself out.

Marc the plastics fan01 Apr 2010 8:09 a.m. PST

Agreed on the competition front – which is, I suppose, the point of this thread.

Mind you, I do worry when people end up arguing for higher prices – turkeys and Christmas?

Maxshadow02 Apr 2010 5:14 p.m. PST

BTW I've just seen some of the new AB French Cavalry casualty figures. They are pretty nice. The detail is of their normal high standard but I'd consider poses to be of diorama quality.
Max

Lord Hill03 Apr 2010 1:49 a.m. PST

cheaper to go 28mm! – Perrys/Victrix work out far less than that!

Timmo uk03 Apr 2010 12:48 p.m. PST

Plastic 28mm may be cheaper but I still prefer AB's. Each to their own of course and aren't we lucky to have so much choice at such high quality?

Theword03 Apr 2010 9:50 p.m. PST

Since when has it been inappropriate for people to complain about prices? Surely that is one thing, as the consumer, we are entitled to do?

You're businessmen/woman; be creative. If a customer complains about the price, at the very least take the complaint seriously. Have you done everything possible in terms of marketing and offering deals to move more units? Have you looked at your over-heads? Can you do things cheaper?

As much as I appreciate the fact that your efforts bring me war-gaming figures, appreciation isn't what separates you from other suppliers. Price, service, and marketing are what will get you across the line with most consumers.

I recommend listening to the OP unless you have some sort of comprehensive international market research going on that can allow you to ignore him as an anomaly.

TW.

Littlearmies04 Apr 2010 10:15 a.m. PST

Theword – I can only think that you have failed to read the thread in full. Ian Marsh provides a great product, with great service – he has been unfailingly helpful at dealing with my queries about the figures and has always speedily delivered the same. Unfortunately when the foreign exchange rates move violently against you there isn't a hell of a lot a business can do – except either suck it up, or raise prices.

I'm happy to pay a premium for great figures – I suspect that if most of us analysed our hobby spending we'd find that the cost of the figures themselves were a relatively small part of it, with the bulk going on paints, brushes, history books, wargames magazines and travelling to wargames shows.

Marc the plastics fan06 Apr 2010 8:38 a.m. PST

Ooh! Does that mean we can now start moaning about the cost of wargames shows in the UK?

Griveton Inactive Member07 Apr 2010 1:25 p.m. PST

I don't understand. Do you people work at McDonalds or something and make less than minimum wage? This is a hobby, expect costs. If you can't afford it, get out or save until you can. To me, complaining about the costs of miniatures or painting services is just silly. We have a free market and be thankful about it. If you don't like the price of A go to B. Simple. You can use that in all of life. I don't like the cost of a new house so I am going to buy a used one and fix it up. I don't want to pay for a Ferrari so I am going to buy a Saturn.

Ian does a great job and has competitive pricing. Sure there are cheaper but I prefer quality over quantity. Mind you I don't do Nappys in 15mm so I don't need as many. DBA and Armati armies tend to not cost a fortune.

lebooge Inactive Member07 Apr 2010 4:15 p.m. PST

This is "The Moaning Page" (TM), so moan away. grin

The only reason many wargames businesses survive is because you have proprietors who are passionate enough about their hobby or product to try and make a go of it and accept lower wages than they could earn in other jobs. Most of these are too small to employ economies of scale, so how exactly are these small businesses supposed to drive down costs? How much 'fat' is there to cut in a one-man operation?

Ours is a niche hobby that is horribly fragmented into different periods and scales of figures that split the 'demand' up into many small parts. There's no way to unify that and therefore the whole 'supply/demand' and 'economies of scale' arguments really don't do much. There's not enough competition to drive price wars like in larger sectors of the economy.

As has been said many times before in this thread: this is a hobby. If you don't want to pay for the top end figures, be satisfied with cheaper alternatives or play games that don't require so many.

Marc the plastics fan08 Apr 2010 5:06 a.m. PST

No, I have a very well paid job. But I like moaning.

Theword08 Apr 2010 5:15 a.m. PST

lol.. yep I am paid rather nicely too as is my wife so no major dramas here.. in general I buy what I want (however Son starts at private school next year so that may have to change.. a little).. just thought I'd chip in and play devil's advocate.

In fact I tend to buy some of my GW stuff where I live from a slightly more expensive shop than I have to simply because I like the guys there.. and I want their little business to succeed.. so they are doing something right.

TW.

bavoisSYW Inactive Member08 Apr 2010 6:32 a.m. PST

For years Aussies have been getting creamed on the cost of Miniatures.
Now the Aussie Dollar is very strong and it's we (the Sussies), who are actually doing OK, (I say OK as we still have to pay postage).
"I'm sure the "advantage" will swing the other way soon enough,…
It's our VERY GOOD fortune that ABs are made right here in Australia by Nic and the guys at EUREKA.
The Irony that they are designed by a Brit isn't lost on us,…
Just an observation.
;o)
Cheers"

Oh soooooo True. Aussies have been copping the high costs of miniatures for years. Even now with the Aussie dollar figures and rules are expensive. But that is how it is and I for one will not begrudge a man his living. Eurpoe and Amreica have never realised just how good they get it regards wargaming until now when a bit of the costs have been repaid back to them.

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