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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  • PaulLFC - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Every product page I've viewed on the "UK" site (and I've tried quite a few) is listed as "Unavailable" - so either they have no stock, or much more likely, their site just doesn't work. Not a good launch.
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Showing AU prices is all well and good, but every item I've looked at is "unavailable in my region" so I can't actually order it. Colour me disappointed.
  • f0d - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    when factoring in delivery costs pretty much every item is cheaper to just buy from a local store
    even without delivery costs the prices are similar to what i pay anyways

    so for me its no big deal that newegg service australia now
  • Jon Tseng - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Presumably another downside is we don't get covered by UK Distance Selling Regs? (no quibble right to return up to seven days after receiving goods; a useful layer of protection in some cases)
  • Evil_Sheep - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Newegg already expanded internationally years Canada. Yes we Canadians are fortunate enough to have access to our own special website with significantly higher prices and somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 the inventory of the real Newegg. Considering the sorry state of retail competition in Canada we can't even be entirely unhappy with this choice but in general offers little that can't be obtained elsewhere at better prices. Why they can't simply ship items directly to Canada and charge the exchange difference without going to the trouble and expense of creating a parallel and inferior retail outlet for a relatively small market is beyond me.

    To echo the other posts here, I'd advise my fellow Commonwealth citizens not to hold their breath.
  • Leyawiin - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    After NCIX opened their California facility and US website within the first year or so the inventory pretty much mirrored the Canadian website. Its a shame Newegg can't/won't do the same for their Canadian operation.
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Competition is always good.

    Bring it on.

    Dabs - go suck a fat one!
  • Aslan7 - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Good to see Newegg expanding. I've always had a great experience with them in the USA.

    There's 50 states in the USA and the tax code hasn't been properly updated for the internet age, thus so long as there isn't a Newegg warehouse in your state, you are not assessed taxes on your purchase. Which is not to say you're not required to pay taxes on the purchase, but in practice no one does.

    Living in the USA I buy from Germany perhaps 2x a year. They've got 0 for tech stuff that runs a computer, but they're crazy good at the premium accessories. Fans, cases, wires, and such.
  • Aslan7 - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    I also meant to say, not living in Europe, I don't pay VAT either, and no import costs, just the cost of shipping internationally. :D
  • Aslan7 - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    As for Anglo-centrism, when you speak English it's a heck of a lot easier to do business where people speak English. Also most people that speak English are in the first world, so you have the easy combo of people with money who speak English, to ease expansion. Once you've got the growth experience you can work on growing in countries where they don't speak English.

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