Go back to PatrolBase.co.uk

Category Archives: TokyWoky


Pet peeves with Airsoft retailers: Our perspective

In this blog post I'm going to be discussing a post which was recently made on the UK Airsoft Community group page. There's been a few threads going around like 'What is the thing you hate most about Airsoft', and 'What do you hate most about Airsoft Players', and other meme worthy threads, but one which caught my attention was the post about people's biggest pet peeves with Airsoft retailers. What's quite interesting is that quite a few people had the same gripes, but what I found most interesting is that the thing that people hate the most is not even something retailers can really control. Hopefully this will be interesting to some, and go towards explaining exactly what causes the problems we have.


Pricing, and expensive products


Quite an interesting one, and there can be a couple of explanations for this. The most standard explanation is retailer economics: what sells for one company may not sell for another, leading to reduced costs on certain lines in an attempt to sell them. Below are a few lesser known reasons which can also factor into the equation.

Vs other UK Company

Nowadays there's a hell of a lot of Airsoft sellers online now so it's hard to keep track of every single product across every single website. We try to do our best to keep an eye on our best selling products and ranges, but sometimes less popular products slip through the net.

Non EU Pricing

Another reason can be people comparing prices to shops from outside the EU, such as from America. Sure, the prices look cheaper at face value, but once you've paid import duty, the postage services handling charges (literally the worst thing known to man), and postage then the item will usually be the same price, or in most cases much more expensive. If you're buying a product from a UK company the chances are they've gone through the hassle of importing it, paid the import duty, and then have to pay tax on the sale itself again. Prices in the UK can look higher, but that's because the cost of the product is drastically higher due to import costs.

EU Pricing

Sometimes pricing can vary a lot between UK shops and shops within the EU. This is typically down to costs over getting it across here, and the exchange rate at which the products were purchased. Sometimes the price of currency can fluctuate wildly (Especially with politics the way it is at the moment), so some things can become cheaper or more expensive overnight. We attempt to keep our prices as reasonable as possible, but sometimes we can get stung by the exchange rate.

Vs non-VAT registered business

This isn't as much as of a big thing as it was a few years ago, or something which is exclusive to Airsoft, but be careful when you're buying online. There are a lot of easy one push button retail website packages available now, so people can start up a business and advertise all the stock they want with little or no cost and simply drop ship it from a distributor. When selling as a non-vat registered company you pay the VAT up front, and any money after that is profit, when selling as a VAT registered company you pay on the total cost of the sale instead, meaning you save about 8-10% as  non-vat company, allowing you to reduce your prices whilst still earning the same money.

Of course, the offshoot of that is you might not get that extra quality of service. Sure you can save yourself a bit of cash, but will you really get the service, aftermarket support and warranty you would with a larger retailer? Possibly not, worst case they're drop-shipping from their house and won't accept returns, or at absolute worse just run off with your money.

Don't get me wrong, some of the upcoming business offer good service, but for an extra £5-£10 is it worth the risk? Always try find out if a company has a physical location before buying or a number you can call, and look at how good their descriptions are, it's usually a good sign they're more legitimate.


FPS ratings variations

This can be a bit of a tough one, but this usually crops up with AEG and Gas replicas.

Gas Replicas

An FPS variance issue is quite a complicated issue when it comes to gas guns. There's a huge array of things which can affect the power of a replica, from gas type, to gas temperature and how well lubricated the pistol itself is.

Gas temperature is the main problem, a pistol which fires at 340 fps at 12°c may drop off a cliff when it comes to lower temperatures in the colder months of the year. Most Airsoft replicas are designed in Taiwan and other warmer country and fire a lot more consistent in warmer temperature, when they get over here to the sunny UK they can't quite handle the lower temperatures. You'll usually find temperature is a huge problem with the heavier slided pistols.

AEG Replica

Some retailers can have a huge problem with this due to FPS being wildly variant between batches of weapons, this is typically due to where the replicas were bought as some country have lower and higher fps limits than us. We try to update all our descriptions as soon as an FPS change is brought up during weapons testing which is how we're able to avoid this problem quite well, but other shops may not have the ability to test every single weapon before it leave the door.

We had it where one batch of guns came in originally at 340fps, then the next batch came in at around 270fps and we had to upgrade all the springs. Luckily we're big enough to handle this, but some smaller shops, or shops who drop ship might not spot this.


Couriers

Couriers are an issue when it comes to Airsoft, if you've ever tried to return or post any 2nd hand Airsoft sales you'll know how little companies will ship replicas. When it comes to commercially delivering Airsoft products retailers options are very limited, only certain courier services will accept parcels which contain RIF. Courier services know that we're limited in our options, and they certainly know how to charge.


Stock Levels

We see this a lot, and I mean a lot, you have to remember that Airsoft kit isn't like other consumables. Unfortunately Airsoft kit isn't produced in volumes like super markets.

There's only a certain amount of distributors for products who bring stuff in, and again, there's only a certain amount of stuff produced because there's only a small amount of factory to produce the stuff.

In Airsoft, demand is way higher than the supply.

If something is out of stock, it's probably because we can't get it back in even if we wanted because there isn't a big enough supply. And on the flip-side, if we do get an extremely popular Airsoft product back in then it usually sells out very quick.

There's a few problems to deal with:

  • Lack of production
    There's the winchester lever action rifles that are only produced 1-2 months out of the year in small quantities, they sell out so fast. Similarly its the same with KRYTAC, there's not enough available coming into the UK, we order as many as we can, then they sell out fast.
  • Time for delivery
    Some products, like TM products, sell out faster than we can get them in. It might take months to ship, depending on what happens in transit, and then they sell out way before this.
  • Suppliers
    Once the suppliers run out of stock, that's kinda it until they get their next delivery (see time for delivery, they're in the same boat).
  • Exchange rates
    No one wants to pay double what they could have paid a month ago. This is a huge problem for Airsoft at the moment, as kit could soon be coming in much more expensive than it is today. As an example, we looked into getting more TM MK23 in, with the current exchange rates and after import taxes the cost of the replica would be £40 more, with no more profit in it. Is it worth the risk to buy the volume we would need to satisfy the order, and not have them sell due to the increased pricing?

Hopefully this has answered some of the main questions you have when it comes to Airsoft. These problems aren't just universal to any one Airsoft retailer, they're the same across the board. We're all trying our best to make the experience as seamless as possible, so we only ask that you understand why things the way they are, and we're not just trying to mug you off 🙂

Do you have any more pet peeves? Let us know in the comments below and we can have a look into it for you!


Black Friday Airsoft 2018

The end of the year is coming up fast, and this can only mean one thing: Black Friday 2018 is almost upon us! Grab yourself a bargain during one of the best times of year for Airsoft blowout sales, running between 23rd - 26th of November!

Here at Patrol Base we are going to have a range of Airsoft products on sale, including Guns, Vests, Rigs, Ammo, and more! You're sure to find something you want, or even some great sneaky bargain on Christmas Presents to save yourself some extra cash.

Don't delay, check out our Black Friday Airsoft 2018 page for more details!

What is on offer this year?

While we can't tell you what we're getting in ahead of the time, we can tell you that there are going to be some seriously cool offers up for grabs. In addition to the products which will be reduced over the entire period we'll also be having flash sales on specific products, so make sure you check back often for the latest deals available!


Will there be any Black Friday Deals this year?

Visitor
Are you guys doin black friday this year?

PatrolBase Jonny
Yes we are! We're running Black Friday 23rd - 26th, so make sure you check us out then for the best bargains! Hope this helps 🙂

Can I get notifications on deals?

Visitor
Can I get notifications about the deals, so I don't have to keep coming back on the page?

PatrolBase Jonny
If you don't have a chance to check for deals your best bet is to go follow our Facebook page, where we will announce the deals. Hope this helps 🙂


Christmas Two Tones: Order early!

TL;DR Version: We recommend that the latest you place a Two-Tone Service to arrive for Christmas is: Monday 17th December 2018 to guarantee delivery.

It's coming to that time of year again: when footsteps old and young gleefully slam down the stairs at times only reserved for night shift workers, to try and get a sneak a peek at their long-awaited Christmas presents and gifts! But this story does not have a happy ending, as unfortunately little Timmy's targets will go un-peppered this Christmas. Though try as they may little Timmy's parents attempted to order their little angels Christmas present the day before, not leaving enough time for their Airsoft Two-Tone service to be complete. Though a sad state of affairs, there was nothing that could be done, and the only thing which was saved was the family hoover, which did not have to pick up all the BBs.

We've seen this before, and we have managed to save the day, but it can be a bit touch and go whether courier can actually deliver on time due to the busy festive period (Sometimes delivery times can be increased). On the ramp up to Christmas we get asked this question a lot, so we've put together this blog post to keep you on the loop, and try and avoid any problems this Christmas!

Don't leave it too late to order your BB Gun or Airsoft Weapon!

As always, keep an eye on social media, we'll usually announce via our Facebook Page if there are going to be any delays.

When is the last time I can order a Two-Tone Service?

We would recommend that the latest you place a Two-Tone Service to arrive for Christmas is: Monday 19th December 2018. You will still be able to place an order for a Two Tone after that date, but we cannot guarantee that our courier service will be able to deliver them on time after this date. We've had it before where some next day parcels have taken an extra day or two because of the festive period, so we suggest you plan for an extra few days should something happen!

As always, keep an eye on social media, we'll usually announce via our Facebook Page if there are going to be any delays.

When should I order my Two-Tone service by?

The earlier the better! A number of things can affect the delivery of a Two-Toned order, so the sooner your order the less chance you have of disappointment. We suggest that you order realistically a week in advance of our deadline, and order around the 12th of December.

If you already know what you're going to be buying, that's perfect, we would suggest ordering as soon as you possibly can to avoid the weapon going out of stock before you get chance to order it. Some delivery take a while to come from our suppliers, which is only hindered by the festive period, and some we've literally bought out all of our suppliers stock, and there won't be any until the new year!

If you're ordering a two-tone service for a gift, and absolutely must have the product for Christmas, we would suggest allowing for an absolute worst-case scenario of 8 days delivery (5 days for the paint service, and 3 days delivery).

As always, keep an eye on social media, we'll usually announce via our Facebook Page if there are going to be any delays.

Why can it take longer for Two-Tone service over Christmas?

There are a number of reasons why it can take longer to complete and deliver a Two-Tone Service over Christmas, and below are some of the things which can slow the process down! Though hopefully rare, we just want to make you aware so you can plan when to order.

As always, keep an eye on social media, we'll usually announce via our Facebook Page if there are going to be any delays.

Volume of Orders

Though we say a Two-Tone service can take between 1-5 working days, we usually have them done very quickly, but this can obviously vary based on the number of orders we receive. We typically complete our two-tone services in the order we received them, so the earlier you get in, the earlier it gets done.

It's worth bearing in mind that the completion of a Two Tone service means: Testing the weapon, then stripping down the weapon into its component parts, painting the parts, waiting for the parts to dry, rebuilding the weapon, testing the weapon, and then sending it out for shipping. This is quite a lengthy process! So the more weapons we have to do, the longer, unfortunately, it's going to take.

We do have up to 5 dedicated people two-toning weapons, but over the heavy Christmas due to the volumes there can be delayed, though don't worry we've planned for it this shouldn't be a problem!

Weather

Cold weather and snow: the simple words which strike fear into any couriers hearts. We all know, the smallest bit of snow on the ground and couriers lose their minds. It's best to plan for such an eventuality because it's something we cannot control, and unfortunately as hard as we try we can't really blame mother nature. The earlier you order, the better your chances are of receiving your weapon, simply because if it snows then parcels can be delayed by days. If it does look like it's going to snow please try to order a week earlier to avoid disappointment!

Cold weather can also affect the curing speed of spray paint, which will increase the processing time of the two-tone service. As long as you always plan in the maximum 5 days to complete the service it should not be a problem. We've also started heating our spray booths to try to counter the cold problem, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem!

Volume of Delivery

This is more of a problem that can be caused by couriers than ourselves, we'll be able to get all orders out the door, but the closer it gets to Christmas the higher the chances there are for delivery to be delayed by our couriers. Even the biggies like Amazon can sometimes have problems with this, so try and order as early as possible.


How long does a two-tone service take?

Visitor
How long does a two-tone service usually take?

PatrolBase Jonny
A Two-Tone service usually takes between 1-5 working days, this includes stripping, painting, rebuilding and testing the weapon. Usually, we have a quick turn around time, but try to make sure you plan that it could take up to 5 days depending on conditions at the time. Hope this helps 🙂

If it snows will my parcel be delayed?

Visitor
It's looking like a white Christmas, will my parcel be delayed??

PatrolBase Jonny
Usually, when it snows you'll find that parcels are delayed. It mostly comes down to conditions on the major motorways which connect the courier's parcel services. If there are huge delays on the motorway, you can usually guarantee that postage times will increase. Your best bet is to check our Facebook Page and check if there have been any announcements relating to delivery time. Hope this helps 🙂

Will you deliver Christmas eve?

Visitor
Is my parcel going to be delivered Christmas eve?

PatrolBase Jonny
This year Christmas Eve falls on a Monday, so couriers should still be operating. Please be aware though, that due to the volume of parcels there could be a delay in delivery times. Your best bet is to get in touch with customer services on 01484 644709 and request a tracking number. Hope this helps 🙂


Back to top