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HP Forum Archive 17

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HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #1 Posted by Matt on 9 Aug 2007, 11:08 a.m.


And here with EU shipping

And also here

So that's about £60, which is about $120!
Do the American's here think the 35s is worth $120?

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #2 Posted by Ed Look on 9 Aug 2007, 12:33 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Matt

Perhaps! the HP-32SII back when it was still manufactured was sold for $70 USD (although I got mine for for $60 ;) ).

Now, the 35s is clearly superior to the 32SII in terms of number of storage registers and programming space, but remarkably very similar in most other ways.

If we account for inflation, and I am no expert at the rates, and accounting for the functional improvement, and that a full featured forearm length graphing calculator from any company costs well over $100 USD, I am surprised HP did not recommend between $80-$90 USD for it... though I am very happy they did recommend it for $60!

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #3 Posted by frank skipwith on 9 Aug 2007, 1:01 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Matt

The price of 60 or $120 seems to include shipping and Value Added Tax (VAT) at 17.5%. If you strip these costs out for a fair comparison the price comes out at about $94 which is still high compared to the USA

But In the UK everything is expensive! Petrol (Gas) costs about $2 per Litre, a small 2 bedroom house will cost $400,000 (a lot more in London), a New Ford Focus basic model costs around $25,000 Most electronic goods seem to be twice the US price, If it costs $50 dollars in the USA it usually seems to cost 50 pounds in the UK

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #4 Posted by Ed Look on 9 Aug 2007, 2:07 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by frank skipwith

There may be a bit of marketing psychology here; imported stuff in any country seems to cost more. (Unfortunately, too many things have to be imported which used to have a domestic source.) I suppose the cost of farming out the manufacturing of (in this case) HP-35s's may save HP in costs over manufacturing it in the U.S., even if shipping and other importing costs are avoided.

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #5 Posted by Dave Shaffer (Arizona) on 9 Aug 2007, 5:30 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Ed Look

imported stuff in any country seems to cost more.

Everybody except those of us in the USA seem to get screwed! Since the 35S is, in fact, imported to the USA, it's VERY hard to argue that shipping cost is the reason. It can't cost that much more to run a boat or airplane to any point on the globe. Moreover, it doesn't make much sense to "import" it first to the US and then "import" it AGAIN to the next country on the list.

I think we Americans have low taxes and tarifs compared to just about anybody else. The true effect of this on our economy is debatable - i.e. do we gain or lose because the Chinese now make almost everything we use? Prices are better, but we lose jobs and experience. I guess that's why we have Republicans (free trade, damn the social costs) and Democrats (damn free trade, to preserve jobs) - a somewhat simplified view, but not too far off.

We're now rather far off-topic, but I'd be interested in hearing from non-US folks their perception on their country's balance between taxes, tarifs, and social costs. i.e. do you feel it "worth it" to pay twice as much for your HP 35S because there is a great social umbrella protecting your society?

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #6 Posted by Les Bell on 9 Aug 2007, 8:21 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Dave Shaffer (Arizona)

This kind of thing is traditionally down to "transfer pricing". In other words, the US head office charges international subsidiaries a high "wholesale" price. The intention originally was that international subsidiaries should have low margins and hence low profit, to avoid paying high tax rates, and the real profit is effectively repatriated tax-free.

In practice, international subsidiaries and distributors have to show a healthy profit anyway these days, so we get slugged twice.


--- Les

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #7 Posted by James Biddlecombe on 10 Aug 2007, 4:50 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Les Bell

Well I'm in the UK and wouldn't pay the prices they are charging here on principle. I'll either get one sent over from the US with the cheapest postage I can or get somebody to bring one back for me. Even if pay $20 postage it's still cheaper. I was almost thinking of starting another thread on here to see who has the world's most expensive 35s advertised. I think the UK dealers must be in with a reasonable chance of winning!

In fact I hope most people buy from the US, so when HP see the low foreign sales they might just realised that people are fed up getting constantly fleeced. As someone has mentioned earlier, they are not made in the US so there is no transport cost specific to the UK, taxes are a fraction of the extra cost, etc.

As for the calculator itself it looks great, although the criticism of the way the base conversion works does concern as me since the functions I use the most on a daily basis as percentages and decimal/binary/hex conversions.

Cheers, James.

HP 35s at 60 USD, 60 GBP, 60 EUR
Message #8 Posted by Nenad (Croatia) on 9 Aug 2007, 3:14 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by frank skipwith

If it costs $50 dollars in the USA it usually seems to cost 50 pounds in the UK

Yes, that's the point. It's always 60 of something. I've received mine here for a total of 60 EUR;)

This reminds me of a scene in the film "Dogs of War" w. Christopher Lambert in the title role. After the leader of the team selects the weapons (necessary for a coup-d-etat in an African country) to buy from a weapons dealer, they agreed the price as follows.

Leader: "Is this still 100,000?"

Dealer: "Certainly, as always. 100,000 pounds"

Leader: "No, I thought 100,000 marks"

Dealer: "OK, let it be 100,000 dollars"

Leader: "OK"

Re: HP 35s on sale in the UK
Message #9 Posted by AJ on 10 Aug 2007, 12:25 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Matt

Now i have some sympathy with this thread but not a massive amount as I am afraid most of us live in this thing called the real world.

In reality you can pick the HP35s up today in the UK for 54.95,(less in some cases as I hope some other UK buyers will mention) given that it came out about 5 minutes ago I am sure this will be down to around 49.95 within a week or too as online etailers begin to compete on price. Strip out the 17.5% VAT and you are talking 42.5 or $85 equivalent based on the exchange rates that are currently working in our favour in the UK. Now I know this is still more than the US but this is for many many reasons and I have listed but a few below.

1. A little thing called economy of scale - the total UK market is around the size of California's. It costs more per product to ship in small amounts than it does in large amounts and if the disty in the US is buying 100 times more than the disty in the UK - I'm guessing he's going get a better price.

2. In the EU we have implemented a 2 year warranty, this costs money (quite a lot of money in the case of some recent HP calculators...)

3. In the EU we have had to implement WEEE regulations and ROHS regulations again all at a cost.

4. The cost of fuel in the UK is about the equivalent of liquid gold in the US.

5. The distribution channel in the EU is very different to that in the US, we have a longer supply chain in Europe, this means more logistical costs are added, the reasons for this I don't have time to go into here but you have to accept this and that without the longer supply chain the product wouldn't be available in many EU countries at all.

6. The RRP in the UK has not fluctuated with Currency exchanges, what had an RRP of 60 when it was 1.5$ to the pound still has an RRP of 60 when it is $2 to the pound, and will still have a RRP of 60 when it is $1.5 to the pound again.

7. The internet dealers you quoted are all HP enthusiasts and calculator specialists it seems a little unreasonble to compare their sell prices to Walmart and Staples in the US, their prices are based on volumes sold and ironically the more UK buyers buy in the US the worse this will be.

8. Transfer pricing - I am sure this is true to and makes up an element of the extra cost. At the end of the day The US sets the base price for it distributors based I am sure on what it believes makes the best business sense not on a one price for all strategy.


So James - you buy your product in the States, support the US economy and not your own, avoid paying the legally due VAT, and thus help to sustain the very thing it is you are complaining about!!!

I hope yours arrives in pieces having been bounced across the Atlantic for 3 weeks by a US carrier charging you $35 for the privalege and HP Europe refuse to help you. Still at least you may have saved a tenner.

Rant over - nerve ending repaired ;-)


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