More about eBay shopping & Iceman
eBay: When the vendor is overseas
A reader from the Netherlands emailed me about his experience ordering a goban from Yellow Mountain Imports. His product experience was satisfactory, but the shipping charges and European value-added tax wound-up doubling his total cost.
It's a good idea to always contact the vendor about shipping costs before submitting a bid; particularly if these costs are unclear in the auction write-up. Depending on what you're getting (book, stones, goban) and how you're shipping it (surface, air), you could easily be looking at shipping and handling fees ranging from about $25 to $400.
When possible, also investigate if your country charges a duty on imported goods.
eBay now allows communications between all buyers and sellers, regardless of whether they are involved in a transaction or not. I've been taking advantage of this to get in-depth reviews from buyers about their experiences with certain sellers. This was part of the research I did before buying my set from YMI.
Using this method for research, I've discovered that folks in the US didn't have to pay any duties on merchandise that shipped from vendors overseas.
Chinese Wei-Qi vendor: SLQP
Speaking of Yellow Mountain Imports, they had informed me that they would be visiting SLQP next month in Henan. This vendor manufactures that 22cm piece of eye-candy pictured above.
Regretfully, YMI will probably not add this emperor-sized floor goban to their inventory for 2006. Given the softness of kaya and shin-kaya, a board of this size and weight would be too costly to protectively pack for shipping.
New items that they expect to offer by the end of February of this year include:
- Size 36 (10mm) glass stones
- Go Seigen bowls
- Large magnetic teaching wall boards with magnetic pieces
- Beginners' 9x9/13x13 reversible boards
The Iceman teacheth
Some of you on Kiseido Go Server might encounter a new player by the name of Iceman; currently ranked at 24k.
While his login name might suggest some taciturn nature, this gentleman is, in fact, an elementary school teacher who is working to introduce Go to children from 3rd to 6th grade. I really envy what he's doing and am glad that he was able to get even a small grant to start this project.
KGS has been, by and large, a friendly and supportive community for me. I hope Iceman gets an even warmer welcome to help him with his learning and teaching efforts.
In other news
Huzzah! ChiyoChan topped the second round of her school's spelling bee and will be moving on to the district finals. Her 5th Grade classmates were cheering and excited for her.
She was mildly shocked when the announcement was made via the school's classroom loudspeakers today. She entered the competition on her own "just for fun", although she did ask me to give her four 1-hour practice drills last week.
The next round will pit her against other children up to middle-school (8th Grade). Our district tends to field very strong competitors that have made it all the way up to the national finals. My understanding is that no district representative has ever come from below 8th grade for the past six years.
Given the nature of the competition, I've counseled her to prepare as she wishes, but to also adjust her expectations. For me, it's already enough that she demonstrated initiative and drive for the first two rounds. I'm very proud of her!