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futurejames

Shipping

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I would like to thank Ultimaker for looking into their shipping and seeing about cutting the cost of some items.

What would be really nice though, is if you had distributors in other parts of the world. Our local hackerspace ended up declining the purchase of an Ultimaker due to the amount of cash that would be spent on shipping.

I've been feeling the pinch myself, I completely hesitate on purchasing from Ultimaker unless its a group buy, otherwise the shipping is just brutal.

Any chance of international distributors in the future?

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My shipping costs to the west coast of the U.S. were somewhat brutal ($USD 154.41) but, on the upside, DHL did a great job. My printer was shipped on Friday and it arrived on Monday! I was in a hurry to get the printer for my business so I probably would have paid for next day air delivery on a state-side purchase too, which would've cost somewhere around $100 or a bit more.

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Yes, the shipping costs are somewhat "brutal" even within Europe even after they added the option with PostNL. In the last order the charged me about 8 times the normal shipping costs of PostNL. It's in particular severe as many parts in the Ultimaker are failing frequently and replacement parts need to be ordered.

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I 100% agree.

Ultimaker seriously needs to consider working with distributors in other regions.

I don't think it's so much the machine as such. Whilst it is a hefty amount to pay (in the case of Australia there are also around 15-20% import duties payable by individuals vs. the usual 10% sales tax) I think the machine at this time is still worth it. When I bought it there was a pretty long leadtime though which wasn't great - I'm sure people would appreciate it if they didn't have to wait as long too - but I haven't met anyone who was considering an Ultimaker who was hung up on that.

There should be no problems finding willing and competent distributors. I have spoken to a local company which distributes certain other machines like the UM and they're pretty much keen on taking on the channel if UM was willing to open communications with them.

One major thing though is to do with the upgrades - I'm quite cautious about selecting the budget shipping as it is both unregistered and uninsured, and upgrades are easily in the vicinity of 70 euros plus shipping, which is not a small amount to place bets on. At the same time the guaranteed option is a very steep at 46 euros (that's what, 50% of what I'm shipping? if it was just the hot end that's almost 90%!).

If UM could start a spare part and upgrade distribution network that would already be a very, very good start.

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Maybe they could just open up a US location... I hear Seattle has a thriving additive manufacturing scene ;)

Plenty here to make someone from the Netherlands feel at home as well.

On a serious note, there are lots of government grants and incentives to get into manufacturing 3D printers in the US right now.

Shipping and conversion rates certainly made me choke a little. Little fluctuations in the dollar/euro exchange are pretty painful, but Paypal checkout certainly added a few percent on top of that as well.

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Actually, I live around Louisville, KY, we have a FED EX and UPS hub here and shipping to all parts of the US is reasonable from here, and quick!

Louisville would be a great place for a distributor.

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Amen brothers!

Between the exchange rate and the shipping, my Ultimaker purchase has cost me over $3000, so far. I really want a backup set of hot end and feed parts, but there's no way I'm paying hundreds more to get them. I'm going to buy a second printer and it will NOT be an Ultimaker because of the additional shipping and exchange rate costs of owning and maintaining this printer. I won't buy anymore supplies from them, either. I can't afford to waste $75 for a tiny spool of filament. I just ordered 40 pounds of filament from Ultimachine for the cost of 5 kg from Ultimaker. I just won't buy from the Netherlands again. It's a money pit.

If they had a second manufacturing and distribution center here in the U.S., I'd reconsider my position on never buying from them again. As it is now, I'm looking elsewhere.

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Weren't they considering getting Amazon involved? There was a thread a while back asking people to order some PLA via Amazon that Ultimaker had shipped to them.

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They could probably use Amazon fulfillment for PLA sales now. But, I'm guessing in order to use Amazon fulfillment for printers, they'd have to reach a much higher level of production volume. As it is, they're still having trouble keeping up with their own online orders. In reality, opening a second manufacturing/sales center on this side of the world makes more sense, because production volume is their bottleneck right now.

I think once they lose all the plywood parts, and retool the printer for precision mass production, the sky is the limit on what they could sell, especially through Amazon fulfillment. MakerBot has the right idea with their move to a steel chassis on their Replicator 2. Another really good looking unit is the aluminum chassis Sumpod. I like the look of the Sumpod better than any other personal 3-D printer. Heck, even Leapfrog in the Netherlands has a better looking unit. Having spent $3000+ on this printer, I really wish it looked like it was worth that much money. As it is, my wife took one look and said, "THAT'S what you got for all that money?" I would have spent a couple hundred more to have it look as good as a Sumpod.

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