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Thinkgeek Alternative for EU Residents?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the don't-forget-those-geeks-overseas dept.

Links 24

Sam Lowry asks: "I was looking for a kind of Thinkgeek alternative for European consumers for whom the shipping price at Thinkgeek is sometimes bigger than the price of the gadgets. As for now, I could not find any. Do they actually exist? European geeks should feel desperate not to be able to offer themselves a Debian mug or a /. T-shirt." Sometimes it's difficult to get the necessary clearences to ship certain things overseas (like products with caffeine additives, for one). Maybe some entrepreneurial person will take a look at this and correct the problem...

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TG franchise (1)

NicoMorgan (136437) | more than 13 years ago | (#158983)

What we really need is a franchise , such that we can then buy exactly the same stuff (well, perhaps made under license in Europe) and pay local P&P...

australia? (1)

crazney (194622) | more than 13 years ago | (#158984)

aus also is in desperate need of a thinkgeek alternative.. as far as i know the only geeklike online shop here is everythin linux, not good enough for the 'general geeks' who want a "i read ur email" shirt, a "WTF?" mug or a cool lava lamp ;(.

anyone know of any?

APO??? (4)

kruczkowski (160872) | more than 13 years ago | (#158985)

Why can't they ship to APO, AE???

I'm with the US military here in Germany and if I want to order something I need to order it to a friend in the states and he has to ship it to me.

There is no cost differance between shipping to APO than to anyother location within the USA!

I find it amazing (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#158986)

That you idiots have a problem with manipulative advertising in almost every form, but regard ThinkGeek as some sort of 'community' icon.

ThinkGeek is the Slashdot equivalent of 'South of the Border' on the North Carolina-South Carolina border or any gaudy tourist trap.

It's pretty damn sad that VA Linux is so desperate for ad dollars that it needs to plant troll advertising as a legitimate 'Ask Slashdot Question'.

This is almost as pathetic as the multiple front-page ads (...err stories) for the dude who sells Atari 2600 games.

EU alternative, kinda... (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 13 years ago | (#158987)

The gadgetshop is a kewl place to look for neat stuff. Not geek-only stuff, but they have their supply of talking fish.

Last time i was in downtown London i bought one of those gigabot's. A geek-tamagotchi, i got sick of it within the hour, it'll drive you completly mad. It does look kewl with a joint stuck in its mouth |o)

It doesn't have "i 0wn u" t-shirts, but it's better than nothin...

Re:APO??? (3)

The Mayor (6048) | more than 13 years ago | (#158988)

Depending upon the final destination, there are numerous restrictions on APO packages (letters get through fine, but not packages). Some places have 1 lb. restrictions. Other places cannot take packages larger than a certain size.

Unfortunately, short of the vendor knowing details about the military's mail delivery (that is, after it reaches New York), the vendor cannot know what the restrictions are. In these cases, the vendor simply refuses to ship to APO addresses.

I am very familiar with this. My parents lived in Saudi Arabia for 9 years, and I had to deal with the Post Office not even knowing what can be sent. There was more than a few times that I had packages returned to me after a week or more, as they were refused at the APO site in New York.

There are other considerations besides cost!

I Also Find It Amazing... (2)

Clifton Wood (213) | more than 13 years ago | (#158989)

How cynical people can be. First off, I'm bypassing moderating your comment DOWN because I do believe you deserve a response, despite your rudeness and cynicism. Secondly, "ThinkGeek" is it's own entity and is not a "Slashdot equivalent" of anything. Yes, we are owned by the same company, but there is little communication between the two camps.

It's pretty damned sad that you can't see the question for what it is (a request for help, and a valid Ask Slashdot) than as a "troll for VA ad dollars". Not a once do I even mention VA in the story (I even say entrepreneurial in the text! Since when does "entrepreneurial" imply "VA Linux"?)

I posted this question due to the fact that there have been several questions hitting the bin mentioning that ThinkGeek has problems sending certain products to certain countries. There's not a damned thing they can do about it, either. Simple things like caffeine-added products (Penguin Mints, anyone) are ILLEGAL to send to places like Sweden!

So there are people out there that can't get what they want from ThinkGeek and they are looking for alternatives. Just what in the hell is wrong, or amazing in all of that?

Turn the question around... (2)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 13 years ago | (#158990)

As an American, I want to know if there are any ThinkGeek equivalents in Europe or Asia so I can buy cool gadgets that are otherwise unavailable in the USA! Damn the shipping, I want cool toys that none of my friends have -- and that they can't find at Sharper Image or ThinkGeek.

Where do the Japanese (OK, I can't read a Japanese web site -- Australian, then) buy cool gizmos online? Where do the Brits shop for toys when they shop on their Nokias? What do the Italians buy when they want to upstage their German friends?

Inquiring geeks want to know!

Group purchase maybe? (1)

jhein (194635) | more than 13 years ago | (#158991)

Why not get together with other people and make one big purchase?
That would seem to make the shipping price a much lower percentage of the entire cost of the purchase than you would get by only ordering stuff for yourself.


Print you own T-shirts (1)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 13 years ago | (#158992)

You can get special iron on transfers for your ink jet printer...

Pirate T-shirt HOWTO

Most important point - wash the T-Shirt dry it and iron it before transfering your design. This gets the starch out of the fabric and gives you a nice smooth surface to transfer to.

Now fire up the GIMP and make your first T-shirt which should be a test T-shirt to see what the colors look like after transfer. Make a range of color swatches in various tints (don't forget to identify the color formula used i.e. % of Cyan, yellow, Magenta and black). No reason to waste a T-shirt so type in "The original pirate T-shirt color swatch shirt"! Maybe add a pirate flag motif...

Once you have printed the transfer and ironed it on let it cool down then check which colors print best.

Now go over to Think Geek and check out some T-shirt designs. Another good spot is Make your design and don't forget to sign it "I stole this T-shirt design from...". Hey! Credit where credit is due.

This HOWTO is to be used only in countries where postage rates prohibit importing the real thing.
Copyleft all rights reversed... Blah Blah

Re:Group purchase maybe? (1)

spacefem (443435) | more than 13 years ago | (#158993)

ha ha, you're implying that geeks are social there, the above action would involve human contact. I tried to do this once, my geek friends were too retarded.

Re:I Also Find It Amazing... (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#158994)

You just got trolled. Check out his posting history [] and you'll see.

Re:Print you own T-shirts (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 13 years ago | (#158995)

Craft stores (Think Jo-Ann Fabrics in the US) sell them. You might be able to find another thing every geek needs at a craft store... but she'll make you not look at so much porn.

Re:Group purchase maybe? (1)

alman (86957) | more than 13 years ago | (#158996)

This may not work out, even at with a group purchase. I recently made a group purchase at TG. The total (before shipping) came out to $160 CDN, just over $100USD. Add $44USD shipping, plus another $44CDN to broker the items accross the border!! The total was $110 CDN Shipping for a $160 CDN purchase! So that nice $10 dollar item at TG quickly doubled in price.

Even ordering in bulk isn't the best solution, because that adds weight to the package and shipping is usually calculated by package weight and distance to destination

Re:Print you own T-shirts (1)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 13 years ago | (#158997)


I got mine at my local supermarket...

Re:Turn the question around... (1)

goodEvans (112958) | more than 13 years ago | (#158998)

Mmmmmm... Japanese laptops [] ...

Re:I Also Find It Amazing... (1)

terpia (28218) | more than 13 years ago | (#158999)

What I really find amazing is that a group of people dedicated to analyzing systems, and fixing them (HACKING), has such a hard time finding a social hack for a simple problem. Find an American or Canadian friend. (thats the hardest part) Trust them (Actully this is the hardest part), and them have them order & receive and repackage your loot and mail it to you. Ive done this before in order to get my favorite alcohols into and out of the US. Sure, cuban cigars might get picked out by customs dogs... But caffeine mints? Especially if its one friend just innocently sending a package to another friend, clueless about import/export laws. Nobody goes to jail for that sort of thing. And if you lose a package due to your Bawls, that sucks. Try again. Just dont send whole cases, customs people dont like quantity. C'mon people figure it out! Of course a EU satellite franchise definately would be cool, and most likely profitable!

Re:yet another example of American cluelessness (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 13 years ago | (#159000)

ThinkGeek is 6 or so people. We aren't ALL MegaCorps over here in the US. . . . And if I put a warehouse in Asia, I'm not sure New Zealand is the spot I'd want it. Singapore, maybe. Indonesia, perhaps. But not at the absolute edge of Australasia: the logistics aren't smart. (3)

Echo|Fox (156022) | more than 13 years ago | (#159001)

Up here in Canada I too avoid shopping at Thinkgeek because of the bloody ridiculous shipping charges. When one is already paying in US dollars (vs our "weak" Canadian dollar) getting gouged on shipping totally sucks. Thankfully, the "other" geek t-shirt'n'stuff place, [] has much more reasonable shipping to north of the border. It was only a couple of bucks on the last T-Shirt I ordered (the oh so spiffy BOFH t-shirt). I have no idea how their shipping is to Europe, but given that their shipping to Canada was a fraction of what Thinkgeek wanted, my guess is it would be a comparable difference.

Re:yet another example of American cluelessness (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#159002)

Sigh...your comment is semantically flawed. To wit: American[1] is not American[2]. The huge American corporations that "talk about global markets" (and more to the point, lobby for them and otherwise try to shove them down our throats) are established around the world. Look around in any country where people have money. See all the Coca-Cola billboards? McDonald's franchises? People wearing Nikes?

yet another example of American cluelessness (1)

Quietti (257725) | more than 13 years ago | (#159003)

Americans are the first to talk about global markets, yet they fail to open branches outside USA. Clueless... If ThinkGeek's people had half a brain, they would already have a warehouse in Ireland and another one in New Zealand, to serve the European and Asia-Pacific markets.

kangaroot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#159004)

Try Kangaroot [] , it's a Belgian company. They sell software, books and some gadgets.

Re:Print you own T-shirts (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 13 years ago | (#159005)

You can get special iron on transfers for your ink jet printer...

Nice HOWTO, but you left out the most important part: WHERE can we get these special iron on transfers?

(wait, wait, don't tell me, they sell them at Think Geek, right?)

Tip for Canadians (1)

gwyrdd benyw (233417) | more than 13 years ago | (#159006)

For Canadians who live near the border (about 90% of us), it's not difficult to find a post office on the US side of the border, and use that as your shipping address. For example, in Vancouver there is a *wonderful* little post office 10 meters over the border in Point Roberts WA, just 30 minutes drive from downtown, and you can even take the city bus there to pick up your loot (one of the Delta/Tswassen buses goes right to the border)! The customs officials there are very laid-back and will generally wave you through if you give them a big smile and a "howdy". And even if you get charged duty, you'll still save big on the shipping costs.
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