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Thread: UK prices

  1. #1

    UK prices

    I know there was a thread about the differences between prices in the UK and the US (someone even got banned ).

    I spent some time looking at different prices in EU countries. It seems that high UK prices cannot be simply explained by currency exchange rates or VAT levels.

    For example, you can buy Blaser R93 Luxus in Poland for 7,000 Polish zlotys, which is eqivalent to 1,350.
    I want to say it is not a cheap store as the prices there are usually higher than in other stores. There is also 22% VAT included...

    They must be making money of this so I guess they buy R93 from Blaser manufacture for less than 700-900 to make a decent profit and cover all the costs they have.

    How about in the UK? Is there any significant hidden tax or duty I am not aware of not present in other EU countries that would explain 100% difference in price?

    Thanks in advance for any explanation.

  2. #2

    As far as US prices are concerned remember, they do not include sales tax. You walk into a US store and it says $10 on the label. You go to the till and you pay $10 PLUS the appropriate sales tax. In the EU retail price includes VAT.

    I would expect a retailer to mark up 50 - 100 %. Normal rules of business.

    In a perfect business payroll should be 12% of turnover, other operating costs 20% of turnover and a MINIMUM net profit of 20% to make the whole point worthwhile.

    You can therfore see why a MINIMUM markup of 50% is a starting point.


  3. #3



    However you bend it we do get shafted in the UK on prices in my view also.

    I used to buy alot of parts & bits & bobs from overseas on the bay before they got funny about listings & parts in the US & EU.

    I guess we live on an island so the imported goods do have to touch many hands before they reach the shelf & everyone wants a little slice!

    With buying equipment from the states you will always bet hammered on duty from the larger stores anyway I have found, however on occassion a small shop of seller could be happy to mark an purchase as a gift-(not that I have ever done that of course)!

    Since 9/11 the loop has been ever closing tighter on what you could bring in & I have even had friends have trouble getting scope rings or bases sent through the post & in pretty much all cases its now a Firearms import license I think for larger component parts.

    However you look at it equipment in the States is dirt cheep in comparison to the good old UK, but then again whats the use of cheep gear if you are only able to shoot one or two deer in a season which only lasts a few weeks!

    Regards Lee

    Regards Lee

  4. #4
    You can therfore see why a MINIMUM markup of 50% is a starting point.
    My point is that if you expect Polish store to make money selling Blaser at 1,350 price, according to your numbers a rifle price at Blaser in Germany must be about 700. However, you will strugle to find Blaser r93 Luxus in the UK below 2500...
    Is there any additional duty/tax on firearms in the UK that is not present in other EU countries?

    If not, why not buy from a shop in Poland at 1,350. Claim 22% VAT return. Bring it here and pay 15% VAT? I am not good with tax laws so do not know if it's possible...

    But even if not, 1,350 is a pretty good deal..


  5. #5

    In the UK you can't buy direct from Blaser, you have to buy from a RFD who in turn buys from the sole importer.

    So, using the example of factory price of 700, importer will mark up 100% so the RFD pays 1400 and he in turn marks up 100% to give you 2800.

    Actual markups will probably be less but in gerneral terms every stage will add 50 - 100%

    Look at Poundland's latest financials. They make 76% gross profit.


  6. #6
    It's worth bearing in mind too that many importers/wholesalers/manufacturers do not want their products sold at cut prices, thus devaluing the product. They reserve the right not to supply retailers if they have a habit of selling too cheaply.

  7. #7
    Manufacturers fixing prices at the retaier is against the law in the UK. I remember Barbour getting draged over the coles for this years ago. I am not saying it doesn't happen there is always ways and means.


  8. #8
    In the past few weeks I have been getting quotes from various different retailers on serveral rifles. What strikes me is the variabililty in price from retailer to retailer.

    I was initially interested in the prices I could get for a CZ 550 and Tikka T3, under the impression that the CZ would be the more cost effective option. After ringing around, I failed to get a quote for a CZ whoch was less then the lowest I had for a Tikka.

    Understandably this could be to do with inventory, maybe with the Tikkas being held in stock whilst the CZ may have to be imported directly, hence becoming more expensive due to the exchange rate. However, I can't help thinking that the variation in prices seems to be a lack of competition between retailers, combined with barrieers to entry along the supply chain, which is allowing a monopolistic position within certain areas of the country.

    If we have a sole importer and highly restricted sellers (due to having to get RFD etc..), as we do here, what more can you expect except higher margins along the line. Just my own thoughts but willing to be corrected.

  9. #9
    As it seems we are again being ripped off here in the UK perhaps it is time for one of our legal types to explore the possibility of driving over to Germany & buying a Blaser from a shop over there. I would imagine that as long as you have the appropriate variation on your certificate, a European Firearms pass & German permission etc you should be able to enter the rifle onto your certificate when you declare it on import. As for taxes, as long as you have paid EU taxes & VAT when you bought the rifle you should have nothing more to pay.

    HMRC guidance copied below:-

    4.2.2 UK residents returning with a firearm purchased in another Member
    State or being sent to them by mail order.
    Firearms/Shot Gun Certificate issued by the Police for the
    area in which the importer lives; and
    Transfer Licence issued in the Member State of purchase.
    Firearms may be imported against police authority to acquire or purchase
    noted in the importer's Firearm Certificate.

  10. #10

    1. You can't enter anything on your own FAC.

    2. You can only get an EU License for what you already have.

    3. You can only get a "local" FAC equivalent if you are resident.

    4. Firearms etc. are outwith the EU Directives on Single Market Trade.

    5. UK Border Force only log firearms in/out with relevant authority. Importing is a different issue. Can't be done as luggage.

    6. Remember, warranty and after sales support does not rest with the manufacturer but with the retailer. Consumer rights only apply if you buy at retail. B2B transactions are not covered. An "off account" transaction will not be a retail transaction. Any business with excess inventory that has a back door sale is not a retail transaction.


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