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294 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 228687 17-Jan-2018 13:13
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So..long time amateur and capable DIY'er. I've recently found my passion for wood again. So have been scouting around various sites - carbatec, bunnings, mitre10 + many others to locate good quality woodworking tools. I also have bought from UK and USA stores for diamond sharpening stones and chisels etc.  I generally avoid cheap cheap brands as they don't seem to last, be upto the job or indeed be square and true.  That's not to say cheap(er) tools aren't useful as they often are.

 

I have been perusing for both power tools but also hand tools.  The example below is fairly typical of what I see this side of the planet - and yes I understand we have some challenges re buying power, logistics, shipping etc but I'm beginning to think it's more price gouging, exclusive suppliers to NZ / OZ that are artificially price hiking / anti competitive.

 

 

 

Good quality sash clamp in UK - https://www.screwfix.com/p/irwin-record-135-series-sash-clamp-48-1219mm/67348

 

The identical sash clamp in NZ - https://www.bunnings.co.nz/irwin-flat-bar-sash-clamp-1220mm_p00109916

 

UK price - $15.99 including VAT

 

NZ price - $109 including GST.

 

 

 

That's a multiplier of nearly x7.  The current exchange rate is x1.89 

 

 

 

While appreciating I can import or source in different countries and ship here, the challenges I am coming up against more often than not are " we don't ship that to NZ as they have an exclusive and / or  local distributor", we can ship it but for 6 clamps it's going to cost $400 etc etc.  

 

I have read similar complaints for folks living in OZ but I find their prices to be significantly cheaper than NZ and a $4.5K table saw there turns into a $5.8k purchase here - from the same company / supplier. Doing the simple conversion rate brings it closer to $4.9k.  It's similar for other power tools. 

 

Am i missing something. Are there NZ suppliers out there offering competitive pricing on good quality tools or am I chasing down a rabbit hole on this ?  Keen to hear thoughts and any suggestions are sourcing tools.

 

 


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BTR

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  Reply # 1941511 17-Jan-2018 13:27
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Have you tried looking for good older tools on trade me, often people sell grandads "old" tools at bargain prices because they don't know what they are worth. I have seen people selling quality hand planes for $5 because they have no idea what they are worth!

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1941514 17-Jan-2018 13:31
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There are a number of the big-name brands that are just expensive here. In most cases they are exclusive distributors, who get away with it because, as you've found, it's difficult to source elsewhere, and plenty of people want to go for the known brand with reputation etc.

 

In most cases, there will be an 'off-brand' equivalent for about 1/2 to 1/3 the price - still expensive by overseas standards, but not nearly as bad. Construction quality varies - some are just as good as the bigger names, and some are decidedly not.





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  Reply # 1941516 17-Jan-2018 13:32
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Try Google “rip off Britain”

1) I think we are being price gouged
2) I think everyone outside the USA is being price gauges too!

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Geek


  Reply # 1941518 17-Jan-2018 13:37
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I bought a bunch of Festool gear in from the UK from Axminster tools, and the process was a breeze even selling ex Vat - they organised the freight so all I had to do was pay TNT the clearance charges and I opted to collect from depot.
Landed cost was around 40pc cheaper than local, plus it was the newer model with extras.
Shapton stones, saws and other hand tools from Amazon, generally half the price of local. Sash clamps I was happy to buy second hand locally, I do think freight could be a killer but from memory my shipment from UK was reasonable.
Love Carbatec to walk around but only ever bought glue and sandpaper there.
Check out Axminster, it was 18 months ago I used them and would happily use them again.

Let us know if you come across any other tips!



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1941523 17-Jan-2018 13:43
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Crikey that was quick. Yep I am indeed sourcing tools from trademe but it would appear those in similar predicaments are doing the same.  All my planes are 20 to 60+ years old and bought via trademe but even over the last 12 months I've seen a $40 plane go for $100+.  I've still to find that diamond where nobody knows it's value :) 

 

 

 

I tried an off brand equivalent that bunnings sells - it was the Fuller heavy duty sash clamp as below and a fair bit cheaper at $38.50.  I had high hopes after seeing it online.

 

https://www.bunnings.co.nz/fuller-heavy-duty-sash-clamp-1200mm_p00187490

 

 

 

On the surface they look identical and the fuller is indeed heavy duty. It appears to have been machined/ has been put together with a blunt axe.  The threads / winder on the 4 i tried all kept sticking and jamming until i realised the 'pin' that was used to hold the clamping head onto the thread had simply been hammered through and the protuding ends simply bent around the handle so each time you rotated it the bent over ends of the pin were jamming in the threads / against the interior.  It was that roughly made I didn't buy it. 

 

thanks for the suggestions. 

 

 

 

RE Axeminster - Yep. Have used them recently for a Veritas router plane. About 50% cheaper than our friends in Auckland and that was landed.

 

 

 

I will continue to keep an eye out. 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1941528 17-Jan-2018 13:51
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Been wanting to purchase a Bosch  GST 150 BCE jigsaw

 

Now looking on  Axeminster ,wow it does look at least 40% cheaper than local prices :)


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Geek


  Reply # 1941531 17-Jan-2018 13:55
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Has anyone bought anything direct from Rockler? Their sure foot aluminium clamps look easy to work with, just calculated shipping and it’s $$.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1941533 17-Jan-2018 14:13
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Does anyone know - I mean factually know - the situation with importers and distribution into NZ.  I recently read on an OZ forum that laws here  (NZ and AUS) allow / enable single distributors to tie up the country without fear of competition i.e some other company couldn't source and distribute the products into NZ alongside the official distributor therefore creating a level of competition and price differentials.  

 

Or is that just rumours  ?


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Geek
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  Reply # 1941541 17-Jan-2018 14:29
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I agree with what you're saying - sash clamps are very expensive here, particularly if you're looking for quality.

 

I got around it by buying decent quality pipe clamp heads from overseas then getting a local engineering company to provide lengths os 3/4inch steel pipe with threaded ends to make up some good clamps of various lengths that can be joined together. I've joined many table tops and cabinets with these over the last 10+ years and been happy with them.

 

I believe you can also buy clamp ends that can use wooden bars - but I haven't tried these myself. You'd probably need really strong bars of oak or similar to get these to work with reasonable strength.

 

 


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  Reply # 1941557 17-Jan-2018 15:02
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For hand tools I tend to order a bunch from the US and ship via you-shop, being careful to stay under the GST threshold.  if you lurk on the US woodworking forums you can soon learn what the well regarded brands are.

 

Not an option for electric power tools (110v) and sometimes not great for measuring tools (inches vs mm).

 

 





Mike

neb

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  Reply # 1941565 17-Jan-2018 15:08
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BTR:

Have you tried looking for good older tools on trade me, often people sell grandads "old" tools at bargain prices because they don't know what they are worth. I have seen people selling quality hand planes for $5 because they have no idea what they are worth!

 

 

+1. About two years ago my mum sold off somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen large sash clamps (to get back to the OP's topic) for somewhere between $100 and $200, just to get them out of the house. It's not just people not knowing that they're worth, it's also just wanting to get rid of large piles of accumulated stuff that's been lying around for years.

 

 

In any case, definitely look on Trademe.

mdf

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  Reply # 1941665 17-Jan-2018 19:55
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I hear you! I find even screws and nails expensive here much less tools. I can usually get really good screws shipped here from Amazon cheaper than the local prices.

Have a look at the Toolshed if you haven't already. They do a lot of house-branded stuff that they source directly from the factory. Not always the cheapest, but usually strike a pretty good balance between a quality and price. They do have periodic sales where you can pick up some really bargains too (like, an *actual* sale, not 5% of half the stuff in store).

Talk DIrtY to me
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  Reply # 1941668 17-Jan-2018 20:09
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Where abouts in the country are you? I've found some fantastic bargains at flea markets and stalls, over the years. A lot of the time people have no idea how expensive some tools are. I found a really good quality tap handle (for holding thread tappers) and got it for 50 cents. An engineer fella I knew told me it probably would go for about $80 new.


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Geek
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  Reply # 1941691 17-Jan-2018 20:56
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gedc:

 

Does anyone know - I mean factually know - the situation with importers and distribution into NZ.  I recently read on an OZ forum that laws here  (NZ and AUS) allow / enable single distributors to tie up the country without fear of competition i.e some other company couldn't source and distribute the products into NZ alongside the official distributor therefore creating a level of competition and price differentials.  

 

Or is that just rumours  ?

 

 

I do not know the situation in Australia but here in NZ parallel importing has been legal since 1998, as can be seen in This link.  

 

As a tradesman I like to buy quality tools and it has become more difficult over the years. The market has been flooded with cheap junk, so much so it seems that's just what people have come to expect. I have not tried importing directly from overseas but have heard good reports from people who have. Buying reasonable quality tools locally here you are better off cost wise going to a dedicated tool supplier rather than Bunnings or Mitre 10, though it is still going to be expensive. I guess perhaps as a small country we just do not have the buying power of say Australia or USA..  ...Or I am just being naive and we are being price gouged. 


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  Reply # 1941692 17-Jan-2018 20:57
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Seems my link did not work. Not sure what I did wrong.  - http://www.nzlii.org/nz/journals/VUWLawRw/1999/18.html#Heading11


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