The Day Of The Triffids (1981, BBC) on Blu-ray......

David Norman

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Except for the recent examples (due to the global pandemic), the only other BD/DVD items I recall them not shipping to the USA are the items that were temporarily price-lowered for UK Prime customers.

I really wish Prime benefits were global (be a Prime member on one of the local Amazon sites, get the pricing deals on all). I do understand they cannot offer the video and music streaming across other regions due to copyright, I get that. But keeping some items exclusive to Prime customers on the local site only seems a little much if you're a paying Prime customer elsewhere in the world.
Starting about a year or so ago I started noting certain items would not ship to the US from various AmazonEU stores. I never noticed a Prime only flag on them and often within a week or so the restriction would go away.

PostCovid there have been time where nothing would ship, or it would ship Priority Only for a while for most instock media and some preorders, then nothing at all for much of July and some of August, then back to Priority only and recently Priority and Std shipping returned for most non preorders again

I can't see them offering Free Shipping internationally and there are so few benefits to Prime otherwise I'm not sure if there's anything to offer. The only things I can remember are occasional Black Friday or Prime Day benefits and I've done Free Trials more than once to get those. Never found a single useful item on Prime Day, but BF deals when UK and DE used to have great deals though the last 2-3 years they've been nonexistent.



I just chatted with Amazon UK asking them to send out an email when shipping costs to US return to normal. I received a confirmation email from the agent promising to escalate the issue.

I suggest you and your friends do the same for Prime benefits, make sure you get confirmation, they may listen, surely everybody wants to do more business?
I'm not sure I understand -- std £3 shipping had been back at AmazonUK for several weeks now. AGS is still the same cost as Priority so there isn't a middle ground. I'm not sure shipping costs will be returned to normal since politics decided to blow up the International Postal agreements as punishment to certain companies
 

Bartman

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I'm not sure if there's anything to offer. The only things I can remember are occasional Black Friday or Prime Day benefits and I've done Free TrI'm not sure I understand -- std £3 shipping had been back at AmazonUK for several weeks now. AGS is still the same cost as Priority so there isn't a middle ground. I'm not sure shipping costs will be returned to normal since politics decided to blow up the International Postal agreements as punishment to certain companies
I put together an Amazon UK order for five regular Blu-rays a couple months ago and again a couple of weeks ago and the shipping charges were 28 pounds, half the order cost, so I didn't order, is that the new normal? In the past it would have certainly been <10 pounds.
 

David Norman

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I guess it depends on the titles, but I did an order for 5 titles in late Aug or early Sept and the old rate of £7-8 applied. There was a discussion about it in one of the threads (?3D) when the preCovid rates showed up if it was an error or if Amazon would cancel those, but for a few weeks everything shipped without a problem

I ordered Gamera AUG 25 from UK and the shipping was listed £3 -- though I had several other high fragility items so I ended up bumping to Priority anyway.

EDIT: My apologies. I just looked again and it appears they've changed the shipping rates yet again. Std shipping for a single item now lists at about £7 though 6 items including a couple multidisc boxsets was £15. For now it looks like it may be a week to week or even order to order thing/ I would have sworn when we were discussing Day of the Triffids a day or two ago the shipping was £3, but I was looking more whether it would ship than paying attention to the cost
 
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Bartman

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I've always used Amazon UK but are there any other reliable international media retailers that subtract VAT and offer lower shipping costs?
 

David Norman

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I'm not sure if there is another general sales site at all that ships internationally and has a wide selection of titles. There are some studio specific stores that may do both, but most do one or the other at best (Eureka, Powerhouse Indicator, BFI, Arrow).

Rarewaves doesn't seem to remove VAT either via website or ebay store. Shipping cost aren't great. I've always thought of them as an Ebay/Marketplace store and just recently found they had a website you could order from. I pretty decent variety of titles from multiple EU countries.

Zavvi definitely doesn't remove VAT and shipping is $10/ £10 depending on which site you use unless you have a free shipping promo code on the US side.

Base.com has cheap shipping, but I don't think removes VAT. They also appear to have limited inventory.

There was an Irish site some people were using when Amazon shut down all orders that may have done both, but their general prices were on the higher side and inventory was small
 
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Bartman

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I'm not sure if there is another general sales site at all that ships internationally and has a wide selection of titles.

Rarewaves doesn't seem to remove VAT either via website or ebay store. Shipping cost aren't great.
Thanks, I've just price checked Amazon UK vs Rarewaves for four items (plus shipping) and they are within a couple of dollars of one another. Amazon shipping and price guarantee was a whopping $26+ on a $42 order! We've had it good at Amazon UK for many years, pity it had to end.

In early March (just in time) I ordered a backup Region B LG Blu-ray player from Amazon UK, I believe the shipping was $6.
 

David Norman

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That shipping still doesn't seem like it should be that high for 4 items if they are all shipping directly from AmazonUK -- is there something unique about the items like exclusives or multiple packages? I had 7 items in my cart this afternoon including 2 heavy boxsets and was only £16 ($20).

Do you mind listing the items?


Checking over at Bluray.com and there are some posts there noticing the new higher std shipping just within the last couple days so some things are definitely in flux again. There was a thread started 8/15 noting the old standard rates (£3 + 1 ea added) had returned replacing the Priority only phase in late May and June and the July 2nd shutdown on all orders.
 

AndyMcKinney

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I put together an Amazon UK order for five regular Blu-rays a couple months ago and again a couple of weeks ago and the shipping charges were 28 pounds, half the order cost, so I didn't order, is that the new normal? In the past it would have certainly been <10 pounds.
Nope. I recently ordered two seasons of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the larger DigiPak versions with book included. TOTAL postage cost (i.e. for the pair) was just over £4.07. More than reasonable!

Were all the items in your basket "fulfilled by Amazon EU S.a.r.L.," though? Maybe some were actually from marketplace sellers (those sometimes become the 'default' on the site if they're the cheapest price). If so, they're naturally incurring separate shipping, even if "marketplace fulfilled by Amazon".

Another thing that can sometimes impact the price (and whether they can ship to you or not) is whether you're shipping to a PO Box or a physical address. Sometimes changing the address from one to the other can make a difference.
 

Bartman

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Thanks for the help, everyone. I'm trying to order plain Blu-rays/DVDs, sent to a residential single family address. These higher shipping rates have existed since late March. One of the four was from a marketplace seller (my bad), when I deleted it, the shipping fell to 22pounds on a 30pound order, crazy. Are others having this problem?
 

Bartman

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I chatted with Amazon, they offered to refund the shipping charges, after the order is received by me, that sounds dodgy.

Could the reason for the shipping cost difference be, that I'm being assessed estimated US customs import charges and others are not?

I tried my wife's Amazon UK account and she gets the same high charges as me.

This rabbit hole has been a lot of work (I just want to see The Day Of The Triffids, he cried) but is worth pursuing for future orders.
 

ptb2020

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Postage apart, which has got outrageous of late all over Amazon, no matter where you are, and I don’t see how they can blame that on covid, I think we should be glad the BBC is releasing anything on Blu Ray as they seem reluctant to release most things in anything other than dvd, even their new productions.
 

David Norman

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I chatted with Amazon, they offered to refund the shipping charges, after the order is received by me, that sounds dodgy.

Could the reason for the shipping cost difference be, that I'm being assessed estimated US customs import charges and others are not?

I tried my wife's Amazon UK account and she gets the same high charges as me.

This rabbit hole has been a lot of work (I just want to see The Day Of The Triffids, he cried) but is worth pursuing for future orders.
No customs on Movies being imported to US so that's not an issue (at least on orders less than $800)

Zavvi has a current 12% promo code ZAVEH12 so maybe with their flat rate shipping and 12% off the total could be lower.
Note they don't remove VAT and do add US sales tax for many states now. I noticed an odd thing recently and I'm not sure if this is new -- on the ZavviUK portal if you check out in GBP the shipping is £9.99, but switch to USD and it's $9.99. They use a slightly higher exchange rate to let them switch to USD (like Amazon does), but the $3+ savings on shipping more than offsets this until you are well above $100 order.

SPAWN10 (10% off) seems to have been around forever but is still active -- codes don't stack

Postage apart, which has got outrageous of late all over Amazon, no matter where you are, and I don’t see how they can blame that on covid, I think we should be glad the BBC is releasing anything on Blu Ray as they seem reluctant to release most things in anything other than dvd, even their new productions.
Actually they can. When all the economy services are shut down from UK to US from late March until sometime in the late summer and still continuing to a lesser degree now) and they have to use Priority Courier then they have to raise the prices, eat the costs themselves, or shut down orders. 90+% of flights were cancelled so freight had no way to get from Point A to B and in addition the Postal Distribution services were almost non manned from much of the spring and early summer -- the backup in packages at the warehouses looked like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark

Then the US threat to blow up the International Postal System if they didn't raise postage on incoming packages and the new rules that were put in place starting in July are a different issue and very likely account for much if not all of the recent raised rates.

I'm not sure why postage UK to CA has remained at max levels and why AmazonCA is shut down for all CA to US orders though
 
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jayembee

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I've always used Amazon UK but are there any other reliable international media retailers that subtract VAT and offer lower shipping costs?
Base.com has cheap shipping, but I don't think removes VAT. They also appear to have limited inventory.
Actually, they do. Their FAQ says:

"All prices listed on the site include VAT (where appropriate). Some items priced less than £18.00 may be fulfilled by Online Commerce GmbH (Switzerland) based on stock availability and will not incur VAT. This will be confirmed on the dispatch email. Delivery from Online Commerce GmbH (Switzerland) is still by Royal Mail Post and takes on average 3 to 4 days. As no VAT is incurred we will not provide a VAT receipt."

I just placed an order with them for three items:

The Razor's Edge price listed: £12.99 price charged: £10.83
The Gunfighter price listed: £16.49 price charged: £13.74
The Day of the Triffids price listed: £15.95 price charged: £15.95

The first two are what I would expect for a VAT subtraction (roughly 17%). The third is said to be "Dispatched and sold by BaseCH", which I assume is the Swiss outfit mentioned in the FAQ above. If I'm interpreting that correctly, the £15.95 is the normal price without VAT included, hence the charge was the same as the listed price.

On edit: One downside to base.com is that they ship by untracked Royal Mail. Which means it can be a nail-biter as far as wondering when your shipment will appear, or whether it'll be lost. I've had 10 shipments from them so far, and none of them were lost, and generally showed up in 10-15 days (all during Covid). The longest was one time when it took 21 days. (This is to New Hampshire.)

Another downside is that they seem to always ship items separately. So, yes, you'll always pay the £2.99 shipping cost per item.
 
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jayembee

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Regarding shipping costs at Amazon...the costs they list are (or at at were, not long ago) per package/order. At the beginning of August, I ordered four Blu-rays from Amazon DE (the four sequel mini-series to Lonesome Dove). Shipping was given as €22 for each one. All four were sold and fulfilled by Amazon itself, not a Marketplace seller, and when I placed the order, the shipping charge was still €22, but it was for all four, so €5+ each. They ended up shipping one separate from the other three, but that didn't increase the shipping cost.
 

David Norman

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Actually, they do. Their FAQ says:

"All prices listed on the site include VAT (where appropriate). Some items priced less than £18.00 may be fulfilled by Online Commerce GmbH (Switzerland) based on stock availability and will not incur VAT. This will be confirmed on the dispatch email. Delivery from Online Commerce GmbH (Switzerland) is still by Royal Mail Post and takes on average 3 to 4 days. As no VAT is incurred we will not provide a VAT receipt."
Good to know. Apparently not paying attention.

EDIT -- went back and looked and apparently I was being fooled since all the items I must have been choosing in the past for test carts were from their BASECH site whose price was the same in the Item site and Checkout. I just put a larger group of random items in and about half dropped the 20% VAT and the other half from BaseCH stayed the same.

Regarding shipping costs at Amazon...the costs they list are (or at at were, not long ago) per package/order. At the beginning of August, I ordered four Blu-rays from Amazon DE (the four sequel mini-series to Lonesome Dove). Shipping was given as €22 for each one. All four were sold and fulfilled by Amazon itself, not a Marketplace seller, and when I placed the order, the shipping charge was still €22, but it was for all four, so €5+ each. They ended up shipping one separate from the other three, but that didn't increase the shipping cost.
The amt shown on the Item Description pages appear to be the charge as if you were orders items individually \. Most AmazonUK std orders that I can remember have always been a base amt for the 1st with an added itme amt -- it used to be 3.08 + 0.99, starting Thursday or Friday is seems to be £6.96 + 1.49 now. Extra large boxsets occasionally might have an extra amt esp on non-UK sites.

Some of the non standard shipping AGS/Priority have had different rules and often seem to be weight based. In the past I've had 3-4 single titles would be cheaper AGS than Std, but 4 boxsets would be significantly higher $$.

I'm not sure what's going on with Bartman;s items since 4 items sold directly by AmazonUK (not MP, not FBA, etc) should never be £24-28 with std shipping no matter so there's something screwy with an address or the items themselves -- it does sound like they are processing like they are 4 individual orders. I looked at 4 Gamera sets weighing 7+lbs each would have only been £6 total shipped 2 weeks ago when they were in stock. Even after the shipping bumped in the last couple days, I had 7 boxsets in my cart yesterday ( Jodorowsky, one of teh Python boxsets with the heavy book and several Indicator Boxsets) and the total was £16 I think
 
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Bartman

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Thanks, everyone. This has become too complicated and too risky for me. In the meantime, I've ordered the Day Of The Triffids PAL DVD via Ebay ($10+ inc shipping) that will tide me over until things return to normal and I can order the Blu-ray.

I've just received an order from Go Peachy in Florida, 8 used Blu-rays plus the Mission Impossible S2 used DVD set for $25+ inc shipping. The items are all in excellent condition, packed well, inc tracking but took 10 days to get here (with tracking that's of no concern to me). As happened with CDs 10 years ago, the price of used Blu-rays/DVDs is bottoming out, get them while you can!
 
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David Norman

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FWIW -- there appears to be some strange stuff going on with Amazon International orders. Reading a couple other forums with the new rules/rates apparently that showed up Friday morning is causing weird side effects:

Some people are getting std shipping option on most/all AmazonUK orders (direct Amazon, not including MP or FBA), others aren't seeing std as an option at all for any orders, and one person is seeing std shipping for up to 5 items but not for 6 or more,

At least one person reported that Amazon did refund the excess shipping costs when they asked like Bartman;s CSR contact.

So far it hasn't been narrowed down why some US customers are seeing different rates -- it doesn't seem to be preorders vs existing items, so far no connection to Prime or Not Prime in the Main Account, size or weight doesn't seem to be the deciding factor.

Location is still the most likely cause, but so far not enough locations being shared to see if there's a pattern. I've tried several combinations of items, huge boxsets vs all singles up to 24 items, I 've played with multiple different shipping addresses in 5 states I have saved in my address book and haven't run into a combination that triggered a Priority Only selection. The only factor I can think of I haven't tried is changing my billing address to see if that's a trigger.


EDIT: Narrowing down the culprit it seems certain items even if shipped directly by Amazon are causing issues. The fulfilled by Amazon items almost all seem to be bumping shipping to Priority level. Certain items shipped directly by Amazon but have different Delivery Charges listed on the item page (one item said +£9.08 Delivery, another £8.99 instead of the now normal 6.96) are removing std shipping from the options. Actually I had better luck with Direct marketplace sellers like Rarewaves than FBA since the direct sellers the cart split those items out with it's own shipping charge and allowed std shipping on the rest instead of bumping the whole cart to Priority (or AGS with near priority cost)
 
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Bartman

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Location is still the most likely cause, but so far not enough locations being shared to see if there's a pattern. I've tried several combinations of items, huge boxsets vs all singles up to 24 items, I 've played with multiple different shipping addresses in 5 states I have saved in my address book and haven't run into a combination that triggered a Priority Only selection. The only factor I can think of I haven't tried is changing my billing address to see if that's a trigger.
David, have you tried asking a relative in another state to check charges? I've reported high UK to US shipping costs to Amazon three times. During my recent chats I've asked them to escalate the issue, which they did and I have emails as proof and; asked if my account is flagged for higher charges, they said no. All I can suggest is that anyone else bothered by this call Amazon, eventually they will get the message.
 

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