Just thought I'd share my experience buying from Paul C Buff for anyone else thinking about acquiring some of their products. There isn't much specific info around for us Aussies on the subject.
This is not an endorsement or anything, just the facts and numbers of my dealings with them.
If you've looked into buying any PCB stuff before - you'll notice that there is quite a price difference between PCB USA and PCB Australian web stores. Somewhere in the vicinity of 150% mark up. There is a spiel on his USA site about why this is the case. Given that you are not allowed to purchase from the USA store without a valid US credit card - I tried to look at other options to get the best deal.
I was lucky in that I had a friend in the US and I was able to purchase from Paul C Buff USA and get it delivered to my friend, who will then forward it to me. I had to pay by wire transfer as PCB don't accept PayPal.
So I purchased from PCB USA:
1 x Einstein 640 flash unit $ 482 AUD
1x Vagabond Mini Lithium pack $ 226 AUD
1x 8.5" reflector $13 AUD
1 x Strip box and grid $164 AUD
USPS $32 AUD
Wire transfer fees $59 AUD
US> Oz USPS shipping $140
Total cost to me including US and Oz shipping, customs, wire transfer fees, plus the 3-4 week wait: $ 1167 AUD
While waiting for this order to come - I decided that I'd need another pack and head. I originally didn't buy two from the US as I wanted to keep the package under $1000 to avoid the extra GST costs.
This time I ordered from the Australian PCB distributor:
1 x Einstein 640 flash unit $709
1x 8.5" reflector $54
1 x Vagabond Mini lithium $401
Total cost to me inc overnight shipping: $1195 AUD.
So in the end, I still saved a fair amount by buying direct from the US. Subtracting the stripbox and grid (and its extra shipping charge for being oversize), which makes the orders identical and there is a difference/saving of $242.00 AU
It was a pain in the rear with all the phone calls, wire transfer and the inconvinience for my US friend, but yeah a saving nonetheless. Would have been a heap easier if they accepted Paypal and whatnot.
Hope this helps anyone else going down the same path.
Will post my thoughts on the actual product once I've had a chance to play with them.