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Alpha Knife Supply

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Griff, May 5, 2018.

  1. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Alpha seems to have a great selection of steel, more importantly a multitude of thicknesses that no domestic supplier can match, with the added bonus that they -actually- ship to Canada unlike Mr.Bruno (frustrating:mad:).

    Has anyone dealt with Alpha on steel? I am looking for a comment and an estimate of how much you were dinged by the boarder patrol! Thanks!

    Let me know,

    Cheers!
     
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    You have to call them at NJSB and do the transaction over the phone, web site is not set up for international orders
     
  3. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Thanks John. Odd that they wouldn't be set up, not like it's a fledgling business and its 2018 FFS! I see that as set up to just deter international orders.

    I have noticed some U.S guys pricing shipping to outrageous levels simply so they don't have to deal with brokerage. Take a grinder for example, on average $150-$200 to ship to any U.S state, but $800+ to ship to Ontario, laughable. Northridge Tool has blown me off twice on a quote (after saying they will ship to Canada) and the most gracious response was from Mike Reeder of Reeder Products Inc, what a gentleman, but as I said hefty shipping (If I am buying from anyone it will be them).

    The other example of this is if you order a grinder from OBS directly btw, you could expect to pay between $500-800, but if you buy through their eBay store, because of eBay's international flat rate shipping it drops to $150 even on something as heavy as a 2x72. Wish more companies would open an eBay store and let us take advantage of this program.

    Well that turned into something else entirely. Anyway I'll give Alpha a try, much prefer to deal with people already set up and willing to deal outside of their own boarders.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I run into a few who do not ship outside the States but for the right amount of money and offer to be a distributor opens a few doors.
    So far I have Maker's Leather Supply and real soon Turntex.

    Some companies have run into packages vanishing after customs and then shipping same product twice, also insurance is something most people skip over to save the customer money and in the end they give up on our little market.
     
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  5. jonliss

    jonliss Active Member

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    It’s been a while since I ordered from them, but Masecraft was fairly easy to deal with.
     
  6. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Jonliss, thanks for the lead on handle material! Very cool!

    Though I am interested in steel purchases, (mainly the weight) what you thought of shipping cost and any import gouging ;)

    Actually I will broaden that to any and all experiences of getting steel from the states.

    Thanks!
     
  7. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    A UPS Account and set them up as a broker can save some cash. Also a 1,000 Lb order saves 20%

    I was just trying to decide what I wanted a thousand pounds of:roflmao
     
  8. jonliss

    jonliss Active Member

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    Shipping costs were reasonable, if memory serves me correctly, and I don’t recall getting dinged on import duties.
     
  9. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    Just ordered some stuff from Sheffield in Florida because they are going out of business and were offering a 15% discount.
    Nearly had a bloody heart attach when I saw my VISA bill. The amount in US dollars was $150 and by the time exchange and freight were added in I paid $265.50 Canadian.
    Then when it crosses the border I am sure I will get dinged PST and GST.
    Nothing is cheap anymore when it comes to getting stuff from the US.
    The rule of thumb should be US dollars X about 1.8 is what you are going to pay by the time exchange, freight and cross border taxes are all added in.
     
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  10. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I have run into 1.75 quite often
     
  11. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I frequently also get hit with duty or customs agent fees. Even when I purchase from amazon and it is labelled as "having no import fees" or belongs to the particular "easy international shipping" policy they use, I still get the occasional shock with a COD charge or a bill from a customs agent. I don't understand why it's so hard to find decent suppliers here, in Canada. There are some good places but they seem to know they have you over a barrel. You pay shipping costs and higher prices here or duty and exchange from there. It's expensive being Canadian, but well worth it too.
     
  12. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    the big part is the US versus CDN dollar right now with us getting 76 cents to the dollar. I always thought Canada post was high priced until I needed to ship some stuff by UPS ouch.

    At least Cactus juice is no longer $180-200 per gallon but steel well we are going to get bent over with tariffs for some time
     
  13. Nieman Knives

    Nieman Knives New Member

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    Old thread I know but thought I’d chime in.

    I’ve placed 3 orders through AKS and all have been between $100-$300 USD. By the time it is delivered to my door it is only costing me an average of an additional 35% on the listed American price.
    That means that when I see 0.131” x 1.5” x 11.6” HRPA AEB-L listed at $5.20 it is showing up at my door about 2 weeks later for $7 Canadian through USPS. I haven’t had to pay any additional taxes or brokerage fees as I have with other shipping methods but maybe they are lagging behind or maybe is it that those things don’t effect flat rate USPS boxes?
    Anyways, this is by far the cheapest I have found any steel for anywhere but I’m still new to this whole thing.
     
  14. Scott Kozub

    Scott Kozub Member

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    I order most of my steel through Alpha and have had no issues. They did get into a little tiff a couple years back with Niagara Specialty Metals I believe due to issues with CPM Steel and stopped carrying their steels which is unfortunate because I really like S35vn and want to try the s45vn. I think it was resolved but they still don't list CPM steels.

    If I remember correctly, their shipping increases about 3 times to ship to Canada. Then you have duties and tax on top of that. I'm fortunate that I live 20 minutes from the boarder (Niagara Falls) so I have it shipped to a PO box and pop across to pick it up. Unfortunately this year I have $400 order of steel and $300 order of belts that I can't get because of the boarder closure. I'm getting worried that my PO place will shut their doors and I'll lose my order.
     
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  15. Nieman Knives

    Nieman Knives New Member

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    well hopefully I don’t get some weird, crazy expensive bill in the mail down the line. My first order through them arrived well over a month ago now and it was only about 35% more than their listed price after the exchange rate and shipping. The same piece of steel would be $24 from knife maker.ca before shipping and I’m getting it here for $7 even if there is some fees still headed my way after all this time I will likely still be ahead.

    All this ordering over the border stuff is complicated and I can’t get a straight answer after talking with different companies and shippers.
    I got a bill from fedex 2 months after an order arrived this spring for the same amount as the order, around $150.
     
  16. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    For the UPS FedEx and DHL
    add $50 for processing, 5% for GST and any customs fees tied to importing steel
    Fedex may bill you after but the other two prefer pay before receiving which is better when keeping track of expenses
     
  17. Nieman Knives

    Nieman Knives New Member

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    Are all these expenses still paid at some point when things are shipped through USPS? Flat rate boxes?
     
  18. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Customs and GST are the two you may have and it all depends on if they bill it or let it go through untouched
     
  19. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Total crapshoot. I’ve ordered from them and had the package left on the doorstep with nothing to pay, and I’ve had some where I’ve had to go pick up and pay.

    Regardless (And I’ve said it before in other posts) I am a big fan of AKS’s selection, billet sizes and thicknesses. I like their amazing inventory control...if you are signed up, you get messages saying they have done an inventory count, and also messages if they have added anything new to inventory. There’s none of this ‘select what you want’ only to be told when you add it to cart that it’s freaking unavailable!

    Im not paid by them to say this, but for the foreseeable future, if I order steel from the U.S it’ll be from Alpha Knife Supply.

    The other guys I hear good things about is Ground Flatstock in the U.K...but I haven’t tried them yet.
     
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  20. Nieman Knives

    Nieman Knives New Member

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    Major correction!!!
    To correct my earlier post about only adding on 35% to the listed price at AKS. I’ve been getting my shop and business end of it more organized and while getting all my costs for materials etc put together I realized I had done the math on the US price of the order total, not the subtotal.

    What I had previously meant was if you took the listed price and multiplied it by 1.35 you would get the CND delivered price...that was incorrect, my bad.

    To get the cost of something delivered to my door from them I am actually averaging an additional 245% across 3 orders on top of the listed price so....

    when they list a piece of AEBL 0.131”x11.6”x1.5” for $5.20 US it costs me $12.74 CND to show up at my door. So...

    So in actuality it should be
    5.20US x 2.45 = $12.75CND

    So far no additional bills for taxes or brokerage fees.
     
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