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Purchasing from outside the USA
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Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Off Topic on 09/20/2007 19:38:11 MDT Print View

"Brian, I think main reason why the executive is so strong under Bush is because he successfully used "fear" and "patriotism" to line up the American people behind him (70% supported the war). When most folks are ignorant about the outside world -- except for what they see on CNN and their president telling them that "it's a dangerous world" -- we end up with this "circle the wagons" mentality and an almost grostesque whooping up of patriotism.

Legislators, being the politicians that they are, read the tea leaves and few dared to stand up to Bush. Even the judicial was uncommonly deferential. In a democracy, the people deserve the government they have.

Still, the other two branches still served to moderate the executive, even in the heat of passion. I dare say that laws like the "Patriot Act" -- and travesties like Guantanamo and secret CIA "shuttling servuces" -- would have been even more pervasive and dangerous if the Executive was truly unchecked."

I for one do not appreciate the diatribe. I have spent a good part of my adult life in the US Army. No reason to bring this low level political discussion into this topic.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: Off Topic on 09/20/2007 20:36:28 MDT Print View

"I was in the army, so don't give your opinion." It's a stretch.

It's a thread asking why some Americans sell only to other Americans, as if they didn't know that the rest of the world exists. How could that not drift to politics/foreign policy/Americentrism a little bit?

Or perhaps those subjects are not relevant, and the real reason is that there just aren't enough maps?

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Uh no on 09/20/2007 20:56:18 MDT Print View

"I was in the army, so don't give your opinion." It's a stretch.

If you are going to quote someone attempt to get it right.

Blame your Canadian taxes and customs duties for import troubles.

If you think a Teen Pageant contestant is representative of me or anyone else in my family well it is you with the narrow minded views.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: Uh no on 09/20/2007 21:07:09 MDT Print View

"I for one do not appreciate the diatribe. I have spent a good part of my adult life in the US Army."

You said "don't talk about politics" and the only reason you gave was "I was in the army". I guess my inference was wrong; sorry about that.

I don't understand the rest of your post. Our dollar has grown 60% against yours; no import troubles there. I believe it's a question of "Americans unwilling to export" -- the original post.

I included the link to be ironic man.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Campmor DVD purchase on 09/20/2007 21:16:00 MDT Print View

I would be willing to purchase your DVD from Campmor and send it to you for my cost plus shipping. I'm leaving on a weeks backpacking trip to the Lost Coast but should return by Sept. 29. Send me a PM and let me know if you want to do this.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Mailing Costs on 09/20/2007 21:19:23 MDT Print View

I was referring to mailing costs with the comment regarding taxes and import duties.

More than likely the demand is not there for American businesses to ship overseas. If there was profit to be made with our world domineering capitalism I'm sure there would be more backpacking gear exports.

I think it is silly to blame a simple cost benefit analysis on American egos.

I have tried to order from several UK firms Rab and Montane items when they are on sale. Without the VAT there are some decent deals. Pine Needle Mountaineering is a well stocked Rab dealer but their pricing is too high for me.

I have ordered with great success and hassle free from Tower Ridge in the UK.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: on 09/20/2007 21:57:08 MDT Print View

Christopher and I are in almost complete disagreement here. However, I see myself more at fault for turning an "export thread" into a "political thread" -- so I propose that we simply agree to disagree -- and turn our discussions back to gear. Peace and good hikes.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
overseas purchase on 09/21/2007 03:26:39 MDT Print View

This is certainly not a thread about Americans selling to Americans, it's too bad it's gone political also. I don't like American-bashing whether it's from non-Americans or Americans.

I mainly just wanted to give Bucks County Outfitters a pat on the back and discuss purchasing from a different angle.

Companies selling from a web site via credit cards do not have to worry about foreign currencies. The credit card company and the buyers bank worry about that. When I buy from an American web site the seller gets US$'s for the product, my bank charges me an exchange rate fee. The only thing the seller needs to know is how much to charge for postage (which is also in US$s) otherwise I am just another buyer. This is what's so great about the internet, I have access to all companies around the world set up to sell via a web site and they have access to the world market.

For me who has travelled overseas a fair bit, this is just normal, I very much live in the world not just my small part of Australia. And I love America, if that sounds like a suck-up I don't care.

I just noticed this . . .
I believe it's a question of "Americans unwilling to export" -- the original post.
A very wrong thing to say. I mentioned that some companies are not set up to sell to anyone that goes to their website.

One thing bad about the internet is when a thread goes off topic.

Edited by ianwright on 09/21/2007 03:30:32 MDT.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
overseas purchase on 09/21/2007 03:58:09 MDT Print View

As an example of saving some $s

I bought a Marmot Precip jacket from Bucks County Outfitters which was on special. The total cost to me including postage and exchange rate fee was $110 Australian.

One retailer here is selling the Precip for $250 Australian! And even if it went on sale they would only take off 10%.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Unwilling to Export on 09/21/2007 10:17:39 MDT Print View


It is simply a statement of fact that many American companies won't bother with overseas shipping. This is what prompted your post to begin with, right? Nothing wrong at all with calling it as you see it. We're all big boys and girls here...

I know that many gear makers are members of this forum. If this post prompts some of them to consider overseas shipping, then it will be all worth it.

Edited by ben2world on 09/21/2007 10:19:45 MDT.

Harald Loeffel
(hikingharry) - F

Locale: Tyrol - Austria
Ordering in the States on 09/21/2007 11:08:57 MDT Print View

>I know that many gear makers are members of this forum.
>If this post prompts some of them to consider
> overseas shipping, then it will be all worth it.

As I tried to explain before, the 'small' gear makers have no problem with shipping to oversea destinations.

So I bought already from Thru-hiker, Ray Jardine, Tarptent and BPL. No problem at all. And for me personally that is more important, than what the bigger companies do.

And with the help oft the nice people like Ben or Denis here at BPL I even can get things from other companies. :)

Edited by hikingharry on 09/21/2007 11:14:13 MDT.

Andrew Lush
(lushy) - MLife

Locale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
Re: Ordering gear from the US on 09/21/2007 22:05:11 MDT Print View

This is a pretty interesting topic. Here's a few of my thoughts on the matter.

Here in good old Australia (a place that President Bush recently renamed Austria, while he was actually here in Sydney) we're like Canada. We, too, have got Queen Liz II, a GG and a PM. We have also got lots and lots of open space, and you can spend weeks in the National Parks without ever seeing a ranger, or anyone else for that matter. That's the good bit.

What's not so good is that our gear manufacturers and retailers are still largely stuck in the era of heavy, bombproof, indestructable gear for which they charge massively inflated prices. When asked about lighweight gear the response is usually along the lines of "we need tough (aka: heavy) gear for Aussie conditions". Which, of course, is crap.

Anything that is imported is even more expensive (except if it's from Asia).
For example, local retailer, "Paddy Palin" charge US$563.00 for a Western Mountaineering Summerlite s/bag. That's a massive US$273 mark up from what I can buy it for from US companies like Bent Gate or Backcountry Gear($290). It's blatent profiteering and given that they are the only local importer of WM, if you want one you gotta pay.

The result of this is that I buy nearly all my gear from the US, via the WWW. I have never had any trouble. I have often encountered companies that do not service the international market, but I have always been able to buy the same product from another company that will.

Companies I have dealt with include: Backcountry Gear, Bent Gate, TarpTent and BPL. I have bought stoves off Tinny from Mini Bull Designs and a pack from - all of which arrived safely and promptly. I can recommend them to my fellow Aussies and anyone else for that matter.

darren stephens
(darren5576) - F

Locale: Down Under
Re; Re: Ordering gear from the US on 09/22/2007 04:47:39 MDT Print View

Just back on the subject for a sec, A few years ago i was in the market for a macpac amp, after searching local and the web i bought one from the US, paid $40 US for shipping and it arrived at my house $60 cheaper that i could have bought it in Sydney. So i have a pack that has gone from New Zealand to the US and back again.
As far as your offer goes Ben thats very nice of you. I might just take you up on that offer one day. I hope no one rolls you in the mean time.

Edited by darren5576 on 09/22/2007 04:52:35 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Question on 09/22/2007 05:19:23 MDT Print View

re still stands. Who is the head of state of Canada?

Rick Mercer

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Ummm... on 09/22/2007 05:23:28 MDT Print View

I personally believe that there are some US Americans living out their in their nation that do not have maps.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Seriously... on 09/22/2007 05:46:48 MDT Print View

With the Canadian at parity now and rising... and, in my experience, MOST online stores selling only to the US... they are about to a) get inundated with emails from Canadians asking "Do you ship to Canada" and b) lose a lot of business because they do not.

Two rules for Canadians shopping online...

1. Always look for their shipping policy first to see where and how they ship. Email them if you have to to find out

2. Never ever buy anything shipped via UPS or you will get dinged in the worst way.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
Patagucci on 09/22/2007 05:52:57 MDT Print View

Some brands usualy dont accept overseas shipment

ex Patagucci as some call them.
they are supposed to be a french brand, ( at least at start ) but are often 2X more expensive in France,
and we got the autumn collection available like 2-3 months after the US.

it would be cheaper for frenchs to buy Pata in the US , but most web sites that sell other products overseas, wont sell PAta gear overseas.

Andrew Hedges
(alhedges) - F
Roper survey on 09/23/2007 15:11:25 MDT Print View

I feel like I should point out in on the 2002 Roper survey (the one that basically shows that some huge percentage of Americans can't find their head...), the Canadians and British did only slightly better - only 20% of Canadians (but 50% of the British) couldn't find the pacific ocean.

Really, you have to be a lot more sophisticated about these kinds of surveys anyway: this one was conducted by the nat'l geographic society with - I am certain - the hope that dismal US results would support their push for greater teaching of geography in school. This is why, I assume, only the US portion of the survey had separate results for 18-25 year olds - presumably (and in fact) because they would do worse.

Having said that, of course there is a lot of geographic ignorance - not limited to the US, of course - but I doubt that it has anything to do with internet shipping policies of US-based retailer. The shipping policies are probably based on: (1) contractual arrangements with suppliers (sometimes you will only have the right to sell a certain brand in the US); or (2) contractual arrangements with fulfillment centers that don't account for shipping to foreign countries. Although I think this is becoming less common.

Sometimes companies won't ship to certain countries due to widespread credit card fraud (typically eastern Europe), but this doesn't seem to come into play here.

Valentin Zill
(Valentin.Zill) - F

Locale: Europe
International Orders on 09/24/2007 15:50:54 MDT Print View

As a SUL hiker I've got to purchase allmost all of my gear in the US. This was rarely a problem, especially the cottage manufacturers like Mountain Laurel Designs and Gossamer Gear do everything they can to satisfy their international customers. Thanks Ron, Glen and Grant! Ray Jardine does very well, too. BPL is also OK, but their problems with product availability are very annoying. ProLite gear - great. Nunatak - OK, but my first quilt arrived with a puncture due to insufficient packaging and uncareful customs officers in Germany. Backcountry Gear ships internationally, but I wouldn't recommend them.

In my experience, the only problems with ordering in the US from outside the US are caused by
1. the wrong carrier (never choose UPS, go for USPS)
2. customs officers in the country of destination (in July this year they managed to FORGET a parcel from BPL to me in their cellar. I had chosen USPS Global Express Mail, had to wait five weeks instead of two and only got it after several phone calls with Deutsche Post and stupid, barefaced officers!)

Due to the weak USD it's relatively cheap to order in the US at the moment, at least if you live in the € zone. To save customs fees, contact friends or relatives in the US and let them "donate" you some gear... Just tell them to tick "gift" on the customs declaration. It's better to NOT indicate the real price on the form. Well... Yes, it's ILLEGAL! You would flim-flam your home country. It's your own decision if you want to do that or not, but of course I do not recommend you to do so!

If you live in the European Union, you might want to take a look at the following mailorder services:
Winwood Outdoor (UK) offers products from Gossamer Gear and GoLite (Germany) offers lightweight products from various companies, they are gonna offer products from GoLite and Innov-8 (Germany) will organize most everything for you, except for cottage manufacturer's products, but including GoLite, Smartwool, Western Mountaineering etc. But that will be very expensive...

Shahrin Bin Shariff
(zzmelayu) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Table Mountain
Purchasing from outside the USA on 10/31/2007 08:19:03 MDT Print View

I see that your location is the Alps. Maybe you can help me out. I live in Tripoli, Libya but I use my company address in Paris to order my SUL/UL gear. None of the company mail directly to Libya. The Paris office then DHL the stuff to me in Tripoli. So far my orders in the last 2 months from GG, BPL, TT went through without any hassles. Today, my order from GG is being held by French Customs.
1) How much tax do you have to pay to clear Customs? 25%?
2) What other advise can you give me regarding orders from USA? Any tricks?

Thanks, Shah