As a consumer, more competition can be a good thing. Competition in manufacturing brings innovation and might help drive core pricing down, whereas competition in selling pits retailers against each other to see who will accept the lowest profit margin. In the US, Newegg is a big name when it comes to computer components and pre-built PCs, but also sells hand blenders, sporting goods and toys. It also allows third-party sellers to get in on the act, and as such you can navigate to Newegg to purchase a dust pan and brush.

For users outside the US, sometimes Newegg’s deals seem almost ridiculous. Part of that is because of the different tax regime, but sometimes there are US only parts (laptops spring to mind) that are unavailable elsewhere. Back at Mobile World Congress in February, I met with Newegg. I was told (with glee) that Newegg would be coming to Europe and other regions over the course of the next few months. Last week the official announcement was made: Newegg is now selling to the UK and Australia. If I log in to Newegg today I can get UK pricing:

All promotional codes I can find seem to work with any UK purchase. There are some initial downsides, mostly related to import tax. The price you see on the product page is not necessarily the price you pay.

In the UK, when importing goods from outside of Europe, the government (via the postal service) will levy up to a 20% tax plus an admin fee. For those in the US, normally the price we see is the price we pay in the UK, so that might come as a shock to UK buyers. Eligible items will show as above with the pricing and an ‘add to cart’. Shipping, as you might imagine coming from the US, is not free. But moving through to the checkout adds the following:

As you see here, the K6000 is normally £3500, but reduced to £2989.90 due to a Newegg sale. The tax and duty comes to £600.37, with £13.94 shipping and discount code brings the total to £3544.40, just above the original price. The way Newegg will work is that they will charge the consumer in advance for taxes and duties so that items will not be held in customs and delivery targets can be met. Hopefully this will be met by the delivery services and any discrepancies will not cause issues to the buyer. I notice that tax from the shipping cost is not taken into account. I have been charged tax on shipping to the UK before, and I discussed this with Newegg.  Newegg stated that the aim is to include all the costs at the point of sale, such that items are quickly sent through to the buyer.

Distance selling is stage one of Newegg’s expansion, with further stages to come. These stages should be centered around selling to the rest of Europe, as well as locating a warehouse in the region. Newegg has not given me any definite indication of what the plans are or timeframe for such plans, but the end goal is to bring what is sold in the US to the global market.

One question that I have seen asked since this news was released is whether the market (in the UK at least) needs another retailer.  This goes double for one aiming to sell long distance. Without a specific deal at Newegg, most items (or the several I had looked at) work out around the same price (due to taxes) but take a few days longer to post, and thus it makes more sense to purchase locally. For those rare items that we cannot get in the UK, at least there is now an outlet. But with SCAN, OverclockersUK, Aria, Dabs, eBuyer and even Amazon in the mix, it might be hard for Newegg to gain a profitable foothold beyond distance selling.

Currently Newegg is offering a small selection through the website, with aims to expand the offering during the course of 2014.  This will include access to Rosewill, Newegg’s in-house brand. More information can be found via Newegg’s blog post about the expansion.

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  • Lonyo - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Someone should let Newegg know they need to sort out their Global Store before launching it.
    I add an item just to test something about taxes. Go to shopping basket. "You have no items in your basket". Apparently the item I added from the front page of their global store can't be shipped to the UK. So why is it shown with a price in pounds on the Global Store page that it redirects me to after I select UK as the store I want?
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Apparently the whole thing just doesn't work. Add an address to my account within the Address section. Doesn't show up when I try to process an order. Add an address when trying to process an order and the server is somehow broken.

    Not exactly a well executed launch...
  • Taurus229 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    First order of business should be to satisfy it's US customers. NewEgg is not the same company it was 10 years ago when all was returnable with one exception, processors.No restocking fees and paid return shipping, and no hassle. Now they give you a hard time if you want to return a defective product. NewEgg's current policy is making people uncomfortable to buy from them!
  • dylan522p - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    They sent me a defective Motherboard and wouldn't take ti back. Since then I have stopped buying from there. I spent thousands and thousands over the years, and they lost me as well as pretty much all my friends money because I tell them where to buty what computer components.
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I agree. Newegg used to be head and shoulders above everyone else selling computer related goods, but now they are just another etailer. I still buy from Newegg, but not preferentially.
  • pata2001 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Yup. I used to order pretty frequently from them. Then they started shipping hard-drives bare, only wrapped with thin layer bubble wrap, which is ridiculous. When I tried to return one of the drives that was damaged during transit, I had to pay for return shipping. After that, I stopped being a regular customer. They are just another retailer. I only bite if there's a good deal on something specific.
  • kamm2 - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    They actually gave you bubble wrap...lucky you! I did not mind when I ordered OEM hard drives and they packaged them in a lot of bubble wrap. Not only did they cut down on the amount as you saw but then actually shipped drives with no protection, just the anti-static bag it was sealed in. Sometimes in an otherwise empty box or with other unprotected drives. Imagine how much they banged together in shipping. If you didn't see it was broken before opening the bag they would claim you broke it. The last one I ordered was shipped with no protection. Thankfully the outer box had other parts boxes in it so the drive couldn't move too much. Like many others I too bought computer parts almost exclusively from Newegg but now it is more the exception then the rule. FInd what you need at Newegg then order from Amazon.
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    For all of the people complaining about returns, I'm curious if you actually spoke to people in customer service and they gave you a hard time (minus bent pins on motherboard folks who are normally screwed)? I've never had any problems returning items, even those listed as non-refundable. And even before ShopRunner they were almost always willing to print a return shipping label on their dime. The outward facing policies have changed, but my experience in dealing with them hasn't really changed in the last 10 years. I typically buy a few things a month from them, and my most recent return was a Kingston V300 SSD after the story here about the asynch NAND switch. It was just one of several "non-refundable" items that they let me return for a refund. And I didn't have to pitch a fit, the first CS agents I've spoken to have always taken care of things with nobody getting annoyed on either side. Just my experience. I get that Amazon is super awesome about returns, but they also often lose tens of millions of dollars per quarter. Most etailors can't afford to do that.
  • Impulses - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    They charge restocking fees for a lot of stuff, I've been charged restocking for incompatible RAM which is annoying (old client computers, impossible to know it wouldn't work when the certified lists have long disappeared)... I was still shopping mostly at Newegg until recently cause of their great site, selection, AND ShopRunner but more and more items seem not to be eligible for the latter after they introduced their own Prime-like service.
  • Penti - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    What no UK warehouses? Can't see them compete against other e-tailers then at all. Thought their expansion was well based on expansion. Amazon UK got excellent warehousing and distribution i.e. logistics, too bad free super saver delivery doesn't cover Sweden any more, but at least they still send here. Great for miscellaneous goods and stuff that aren't available here. Seems to be no major retailer with hundreds of employees in this field in UK though, pretty strange when such firms exist here in the Nordics. Selling stuff that needs to be localized across borders mostly goes haywires however.

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