Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

Fighting 15s and the new VAT rate

Fighting 15s is one of the few small wargames figures businesses that is registered for VAT, and as a result we will be affected by the temporary drop in VAT from 17.5% to 15% on 1 December 2008.

Because WorldPay and PayPal charge customers’ accounts at the moment of purchase, the majority of orders placed in the shop are covered by HMCE’s guidance in that orders for which payment is taken before 1 December but which are fulfilled on or after 1 December are charged at the old VAT rate of 17.5%. Therefore, if you place an order before or on 30 November, your invoice will show tax at 17.5%.

The tax change is hardly convenient for businesses with thousands of individual items to re-price, and therefore when the rate of VAT falls to 15%, Fighting 15s will apply a cost of living increase of about 2.2% so that the VAT-inclusive prices of all items in the shop remain the same as at present. This simply involves us changing the VAT rate in the shop rather than altering every price.

Customers who live outside the European Union are recommended to order now to benefit most from tax change.

Our lists, currently dated 25 July 2008, will not be updated now until after 1 December. The current lists will be invalid from 1 December, and new lists will not be sent out now until that date has passed.

The change in the VAT rate is intended to help small businesses, not the general public. In effect, using our approach, for one year it allows a modest cost of living increase in prices without actually increasing the price of items to our customers. You’ll forgive us if we turn a deaf ear to anyone who objects to us taking the extra income, which amounts to less than one penny per 15mm figure, as our income is way below national average even for the seriously deprived Isle of Wight.

When the temporary VAT decrease comes to an end on 31 December 2009, prices will rise to reflect the rate of tax. At this point we will have to alter all prices in the online shop, but at least this way we need to do so only once and can get it done during a comparatively quiet holiday period, not during this year’s Christmas rush.

Festive season orders and closing dates at Fighting 15s

The last date for Christmas orders from UK customers for items that Fighting 15s has in stock is 10 December 2008. Items that are out of stock or available to special order are not likely to become available until well into the new year.

A backlog of orders is inevitable in the run-up to the festive season, and takes time to clear. A serious illness in the family means that Ian is only working part-time on Fighting 15s. The festive backlog will therefore take longer than usual to deal with, and accordingly we have brought forward the date for last orders. In practice, the last date on which we can practically dispatch orders is Friday 19 December. Customers can, of course, order after the cut-off date of 10 December: we will try to get these orders out in time for Christmas but cannot guarantee to do so.

Items that are out of stock or available to special order may not arrive in the UK until late February. Our main supplier, Eureka Miniatures, shuts for two weeks over the festive season, and on its return in January immediately has to get ready for a big show in Australia. This affects our shipments, and experience tells us that orders for AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures that we place with Eureka in late November to early December may not arrive until early spring. This is the grim reality of shipping economically in bulk.

With luck we will receive two more bulk shipments from Eureka before the end of the year, which have to tide us over until late February.

Fighting 15s itself does not usually close in the festive season, except on 25 and 26 December and 1 January.  Family commitments this year, however, mean that we are closed from 20 December to 28 December. The online shop, of course, remains open all the time.

Fighting 15s looks Sharpe at Warfare

The Chained Eagle. 15mm Britihs infantry from AB Figures

Flags for AB: The Chained Eagle. 15mm British infantry from AB Figures

The world of Napoleonic wargaming is full of what-ifs, and in the run-up to Christmas, Fighting 15s is delighted to add to this speculative pastime.

What if, for example, there really were a South Essex regiment in the British army? What if there really were a Lieutenant Sharpe, and what if he actually captured a French eagle at Talavera in 1809? What if his feat were commemorated by the emblem of a French eagle in chains on the regimental colour of the South Essex?

More importantly, what if the maker of one of the finest range of paper flags for one of the finest ranges of 15mm Napoleonic figures were to make such a flag? And what if you could get it free with the purchase of a battalion of 15mm AB British Napoleonic infantry at Warfare this weekend?

Well it’s an end to all those what ifs. Pop along to the Fighting 15s stand (we’re with Black Hat Miniatures as usual) at Warfare, which is on 22 and 23 November at the Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading, buy a 30-man battalion of 15mm AB British infantry for the usual price of GBP13.10, and we will give you a sheet of flags bearing a regimental colour of a chained eagle on a yellow field and a plain old King’s colour in not just 15mm but 28mm as well.

Or you can pop along to the Fighting 15s stand with two shiny modern “sovereigns” and buy the sheet alone for GBP2.00. That’s one pair of 15mm flags and one pair of 28mm flags for GBP2.00 (it’s a prince regently sum, but we have a designer to keep fed and watered).

Offer is limited to available stock only. If we run out of flags or figures, we run out. Only one sheet of flags or one battalion with flags per customer.

This “chained eagle“ offer, brought to you by Fighting 15s through its Flags for AB range, will be repeated for customers of our online shop (www.fighting15sshop.co.uk) in December 2008. Attendees of Warfare simply get first dibs. Fighting 15s is the EU agent for Eureka Miniatures and 15mm AB Figures.

Please be aware that although Fighting 15s is on course to attend Warfare as usual, a serious illness in the family may mean we have to change plans at the last minute and without warning, and that may mean we cannot attend the show. In this event, the “chained eagle” offer will be available through the Fighting 15s online shop in December. Do not get seriously peeved with Mike of Black Hat or his helpers if Fighting 15s is not at Warfare by some unfortunate chance.

Changing currencies in the Fighting 15s shop

f15s_currency_selector1

Fighting 15s has just added the US dollar to our Worldpay payment system, which means we can display prices in dollars as well as pounds sterling and euros in the shop. The option to change currency appears at the bottom right of the website, as in the picture above.

Prices displayed will still include VAT at 17.5%, which is removed for US customers in the cart on choosing appropriate tax region. So a displayed price of USD3.72 for a pack of Oddzial Osmy 1:600 vehicles, for example, becomes USD3.17 on removal of tax. And a pack of eight 15mm AB infantry at USD5.70 becomes USD4.85 on removal of tax – just over 60 cents a figure. All based on exchange rates current at the time of writing.

Although prices are displayed in currencies other than pounds sterling, final transactions may be carried out in pounds sterling using the live exchange rate at the time. Final transaction value may vary slightly, therefore, from the total displayed.

A reminder that the Fighting 15s shopping cart charges postage at cost based on the weight of the items sent, in weight bands according to Royal Mail banding for large letter or small packet rate.