The BlueFly varios are shipped from Canberra, Australia. Normally they are shipped within 1 to 3 business days. Most of the time orders are packed at about 7am local time and dropped at the post office in the afternoon. You will receive an email notification when your order is packed. Please make sure your Shipping Address is 100% correct as it will be copied to the shipping label.
The default shipping option is Free Shipping and it is included in the price. If you want any of the other form of shipping please include it as part of the checkout process.
- Free Shipping (cost $0 to any destination worldwide). This uses the Australia Post International Airmail letter service. The vario is packed to be less than 20mm thick and can therefore be sent as a letter when using standard Airmail. I have shipped many varios via Airmail and is generally reliable to most destinations, but it is not tracked and we share the risk equally. Most of the time it takes one to three weeks for international shipments or under a week for Australian shipments. However, a few take up to six or eight weeks. I will send you a photo of the package on request.
- Standard International Parcel (cost $26 for up to 500g). The Australia Post Standard International Parcel services generally are a little quicker than the International Airmail used for free postage, and to most destinations it is tracked end to end.
- Express International Parcel (cost $55 for up to 500g). The Australia Post Express International Parcel service uses the global EMS system for delivery. It is tracked end to end and normally takes less than a week.
Designing, testing, making and shipping BlueFlyVarios is more popular than initially expected. When this started I thought I would make about 50 varios, mostly for friends and others who wanted to get a bit technical and get involved in development. Now I am shipping over 100 every month. Some folks have got involved in the development aspects of the project but most people who have purchased one are just interested in getting something which works, the BlueFlyVario prototypes meet this need.
The price of a BlueFlyVario is based on:
- The cost of components used in manufacture. This accounts for about half of the price you pay. I get the components from about ten different suppliers around the world. The component prices include exchange rate fees I have to pay and the cost of shipping components to Australia. I generally try to buy components for 100 to 1000 varios at a time from most suppliers.
- Some component wastage in production and some of the components I use in development. This is about 5% of the component cost.
- The cost of consumables and production overheads. This includes solder, the ongoing upgrade and maintenance of tools and equipment used for manufacture and some of the cost of improving the production workshop.
- The cost of packaging and postage. I have managed to drive this cost down by shipping the vario un-assembled. This means it is less than 20mm thick so can be sent as a letter.
- Paypal or credit card fees (about 3% of the transaction cost). I forgot this early on and was a little out of pocket.
- Exchange rate fluctuations. I set a price based on the expected exchange rate between the Australian and US Dollars over the coming months. Sometimes I win a bit, sometimes I loose a bit.
- The cost of time for production and support for each vario. The time includes ordering components, manufacture, testing, shipping, and some limited support. I do not include the time I spend in development.
What you do not pay for:
- The time spent developing hardware. I probably spend as much time developing varios as I spend producing them.
- The time I spend developing software.
- The opportunity cost of the money invested in components. I spend thousands of dollars on components, and do not get the money back until I sell varios a few months later.
- A formal dealer network, which would include the time and support a dealer might provide. I have had a few people ask me if they can be dealers, but no pilots have asked me if they can pay more for the vario just to have someone in their country provide them with support.
- Profit to return a dividend to investors or an income to owners.
- Certification testing: What you see is what you get with the prototypes. I have not done any certification testing to ensure that the devices meet any kind of standard.
- A warranty: I will help you out to try to get your vario working while I continue this hobby, but I can not offer a guarantee like a business that has a shed full of employees.
- Website fees: I have the website anyway, and as you can see I have not paid anyone to design a professional one.
I estimate that if you were to pay for all of the stuff you don’t pay for the price of the BlueFlyVario would almost double.