Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

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SPR Models
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Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by SPR Models » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:01 pm

Hi all.

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is John Bennoch, from Auckland, New Zealand, and I’ve been a follower of the Scale143 Forum for a number of years. I haven’t registered earlier, because I’m in the model industry, and assumed that the Forum was exclusively for collectors. However, a couple of my Customers (who are also members of Scale143) rightly pointed out that I was a collector before I was a model distributor. So as a model collector, hopefully I can contributor to this Forum.

My collecting started over 50 years ago with Fun Ho, Matchbox and Dinky toys. Then I took a break for many years, while I played with 1:1 scale racecars. About 20 years ago I got back into model collecting, initially with 1:18th scale. However once the collection reached 100 models, I ran out of space, so they were all sold and the switch was made to 1:43rd scale. The other reason for the change in scale was because, at the time, most 1:18th models were road cars, and I was a racecar collector.

In 2001 my adventure in 1:43rd started with the purchase of a couple of Ferrari 333SP Le Mans cars from Spark. These were bought during a business trip in Asia, and I was really impressed with the quality and level of detail. However, once back in New Zealand, I couldn’t find any hobby shops stocking the Spark range. An e-mail to Spark in China confirmed that they had no Distributor in NZ. So a few more e-mails and phone calls later, and I found myself the official NZ Importer / Distributor for the Spark and Bizarre ranges. That was 2002. Over the next 13 years SPR Models added the TSM, Brumm, ARMCO and LookSmart brands to its portfolio, and we now supply collectors worldwide – including members of Scale143.

I look forward to sharing thoughts and information on models with you all.

Cheers,
John

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jj2728
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by jj2728 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:25 pm

Welcome to the best die cast forum on the web John. You'll find many knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly collectors here. Was also impressed by your website. With very few exceptions, I am strictly a 1/43rd race car collector and since you are from NZ I'd be willing to bet that you may have in your collection a few cars that were driven by Bruce, Denny, and Chris. I'm also archiving my dad's extensive photo library that spans 65+ years of motorsport. I've attached a photo taken by him of Chris and the winning Ferrari 330 P4 during practice in 1967 at the Daytona 24 hours.

John
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Baxter
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Baxter » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:54 pm

Hi John! Is Bizarre out of business now? Their website is gone and I'll be disappointed if Fernando Pinto has packed it in. People may disagree, but I think that spark was the catalyst that broke us out of the Minichamps doldrums of the same set of German cars repainted every year. I immediately took to the variety and attention to accuracy that Spark showed. I didn't visit your website but I live in the USA and shipping is likely prohibitively expensive and not worth getting excited over your wares.

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by RaceOddity » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:34 pm

I was wondering when you would finally arrive.
Well at least confess to being here as opposed to lurking. :lol:
Welcome John.

Scott
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by ljplemans » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:36 pm

Welcome on board John, being one of your customers, I know you have the passion. Enjoy :D :D :D

Larry

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by rotormotor » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:17 pm

Good stuff..another Kiwi to tip the balance back in our favour :mrgreen:
Welcome aboard John, this IS the best 1/43 forum on the globe but lurking you'd know that already.

I be one of the 'customers' you speak off..waits patiently for the NZ arrival of 1/18 Spark

Image

being #2 entry on my 2015 wishlist.

I was looking at the Armco Holden FC wagon and utes, maybe you be stocking those, being mostly wankel here, Spark caters pretty damn well as did Bizarre to further my line up..still have holes in my LM rotaries.

You might have to turn your handle orange
memberlist.php?mode=group&g=9
Lars

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Stu935 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:20 am

welcome to S143 John

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Jager » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:28 am

John, nice to have you on board after all those years of lurking. I'm sure we'll al be interested to hear what its like viewing the hobby from the retailers side and hearing any new industry developments, trends and rumours you can share with us.

Baxter, as another here who is a satisfied SPR customer, I suggest you have a quick look at the SPR website. I think you'll find John's prices are less than those in the US thanks to the weak NZ Dollar, which also means postage costs are also not as high as you might expect. I guess Larry (ljplemans) down road from you in Atlanta wouldn't be an SPR customer if the total cost of buying from SPR wasn't competitive.
“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.” - Steve McQueen

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by scalainj » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:10 am

Welcome to the forum John

Feel free to be both a retailer/distributor and collector of models on this forum, we, I promise are not precious at all
Andy

British roads have history. Some were built by the Romans. British road investment being what it is, they have only been re-surfaced a few times since.

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Stu935 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:01 am

Jager wrote:postage costs are also not as high as you might expect
I agree with Ian on this. I've bought a few Spark models from John, usually a small batch of 3 or 4 at a time and the postage costs to the U.K. are not that much more than what I'd pay from some European retailers

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by grinbergs » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:12 am

Welcome to the forum. :)

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Tom » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:12 am

Welcome to S143!

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by JSB33 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:56 pm

Hi John, nice to have you here and posting.

As Andy alluded to, we are not the type of forum that shoos away industry people because we are afraid that you might make a penny by mentioning your company. Manufacturers, distributors, sellers and collectors are all in this together. Post away, would love to hear your take on the hobby.
Only 2 rules here, be cool to others and have fun. :)
Jeff
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by dbonser » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:35 pm

Welcome to the forum! As Jeff said we're an easygoing bunch here.

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by DeadCanDanceR » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:26 pm

Hello and welcome! :)
-Julio-

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by R32Dave » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:38 pm

Hi John,

Welcome aboard mate!

I've just been showing off some of my latest purchases from your very shop in NZ.
I'm really happy with the service and would like to continue using your stock as you have alot of what I'm looking for(mainly Spark Le Mans placers 1:43).
One gripe though, which I'm not sure you can help with but I'm going to try(I'm putting this on here in case anyone else had the same problem).

Like Stu, who is also based in the UK like myself, I tend to buy in batches of 3-4 cars to make the relatively expensive(but perfectly reasonable postage costs in comparison to EU suppliers) costs stay low.,
However, on my latest batch I was slapped with a £21 Customs charge. I've bought from you before and I was surprised to get this - have you got any idea why?
Has anyone else who bought from SPR had this problem?
I can't understand the reasoning and I'd like to stress that I blame you in no way at all - it's most likely nit-picky customs officials on this side that are causing problems - I just wondered if you had any further knowledge on this.

Otherwise, keep up the good work!

D

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Stu935 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:17 am

R32Dave wrote:Hi John,
However, on my latest batch I was slapped with a £21 Customs charge. I've bought from you before and I was surprised to get this - have you got any idea why?
Has anyone else who bought from SPR had this problem?
I can't understand the reasoning and I'd like to stress that I blame you in no way at all - it's most likely nit-picky customs officials on this side that are causing problems - I just wondered if you had any further knowledge on this.
D
Dave, I've been caught by customs once out of the three orders placed with John. I thought it may have been down to value of the contents/number of items ordered as i had ordered 6 Spark cars when i was hit with a similar charge as yourself. The other two packages had 2 cars and 4 cars and i wasn't hit with custom charges for either of those.

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by rotormotor » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:46 am

we get slapped into NZ with GST of 15% ( like Vat) on orders complete item cost incl shipping at $400NZ..I have never been over so never had to pay it.
Lars

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by schmikey » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:23 am

Welcome John, nice to have you on board. I'm sure you will see many of your sales shown on here (as I can definitely attest to :lol: )

Cheers,
Michael

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by GBOAC002 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:13 am

On both occasions when I've bought from your neighbour country Australia I've had to pay import duty at UK end. Luck of the draw I guess. Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by thetrooper » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:53 am

Welcome to being a poster instead of a looker ;)
Steve

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Jager
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by Jager » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:05 am

Stu935 wrote:Dave, I've been caught by customs once out of the three orders placed with John. I thought it may have been down to value of the contents/number of items ordered as i had ordered 6 Spark cars when i was hit with a similar charge as yourself. The other two packages had 2 cars and 4 cars and i wasn't hit with custom charges for either of those.
Googling it, it seems the "Vat Free" limit in the UK is about £135 - 150, though it seems a bit hit and miss. The physical size of the parcel is also something UK Customs use to select which parcels to investigate futher, sot he smaller your parcel the better.

What is interesting though is there is a lower rate of 5% VAT for "collectibles" rather than the usual 20% VAT that applies to everything else. It appears some of the coin and stamp collectors have been able to enforce this, but whether you could do the same for model cars is perhaps debatable. Eg

No VAT on collectable figures :

http://www.dutycalculator.com/dc/52785/ ... gdom-is-0/

But 20% VAT and 4.7% duty on model cars :

http://www.dutycalculator.com/dc/71951- ... rs-is-4.7/

Sellers will often describe models as "Toys", but perhaps that's not the best way to deal with the VAT issue ?
“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.” - Steve McQueen

KJ143NZ
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by KJ143NZ » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:00 am

Nice to see you here! I bought a model off you several years ago, and looking at your lineup I think I will be buying another one soon!
Kevin

R32Dave
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Re: Hi from John at SPR Models (New Zealand)

Post by R32Dave » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:22 am

Jager wrote:
Stu935 wrote:Dave, I've been caught by customs once out of the three orders placed with John. I thought it may have been down to value of the contents/number of items ordered as i had ordered 6 Spark cars when i was hit with a similar charge as yourself. The other two packages had 2 cars and 4 cars and i wasn't hit with custom charges for either of those.
Googling it, it seems the "Vat Free" limit in the UK is about £135 - 150, though it seems a bit hit and miss. The physical size of the parcel is also something UK Customs use to select which parcels to investigate futher, sot he smaller your parcel the better.

What is interesting though is there is a lower rate of 5% VAT for "collectibles" rather than the usual 20% VAT that applies to everything else. It appears some of the coin and stamp collectors have been able to enforce this, but whether you could do the same for model cars is perhaps debatable. Eg

No VAT on collectable figures :

http://www.dutycalculator.com/dc/52785/ ... gdom-is-0/

But 20% VAT and 4.7% duty on model cars :

http://www.dutycalculator.com/dc/71951- ... rs-is-4.7/

Sellers will often describe models as "Toys", but perhaps that's not the best way to deal with the VAT issue ?


Thanks for the input folks.
This batch was the biggest one I've ordered from SPR thus far, and I suspect the customs charge kicks in with regards a certain size parameter, like Stu said. Order total was in the 120 to 150 range if memory serves so I think best strategy is to stick with 3 models per order Max.
John, not asking too much here I hope, but if you could do your best to keep the package size down, while still going the model good protection, that might just save some pennies. I know you treat them with ample care, so needless to say, if they require that level of protection to cross the world, then id rather pay the £21 for an undamaged model.
Nowoff to the website for more hunting..

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