If a Shapeways model is printed in the Netherlands, UK customers pay NO import taxes at present. Anything of value sent from outside of the EU gets hammered with tax! (Another BREXIT issue!)
Good points, Lars!
Resin kits are much improved of late, but remain, comparative to injection-molded plastic, very expensive, too expensive for many modelers, limiting the size of the market.
Consider how many resin manufacturers are no longer in business. In most cases, it is widely known that those businesses went out of business due to insufficient/declining sales, not because they weren't producing a good selection or good quality.
3D printing has tremendous potential. Presently, material well-suited for plastic modeling remains, however, expensive. The biggest complaint I receive from customers is cost. It is by far the number one sales killer. Shapeways, for example, has yet to have a profitable year. Shapeways' board replaced the CEO just two months ago. Material prices have been generally stagnant for 3 years and just after the new CEO took over, several materials were abruptly cancelled.
Shapeways customers buy best during sales (free shipping, 10% off for select materials, etc.). But Shapeways had just one "free shipping" weekend sale in all of 2017. It had 4 such sales the year before.
Back to location, Shapeways produces its products in different locations, mostly in The Netherlands and in New York, but also by partners in places like Utah and the Czech Republic. Customers in the UK, Australia and Canada pay huge taxes and customs duties, often dwarfing the cost of the product itself, fees and duties that make many products unaffordable to customers there.
As you know, production location is also significant because it directly relates to size of market, market access and production costs (larger market helps keeps product costs down as does cheaper labor).
That's why Airifx outsourced to India and why Revell's production is in Poland. However, it should be noted that those places typically associated with cheap labor (Asia, eastern Europe) are becoming increasingly more expensive as wages in those locations rapidly increase. Although Asia continues to be a good source of cheaper labor, what was recently affordable to produce in Asia, is becoming less so. Consider Tamiya, for example. Since Trumpeter produces its products in a government-owned factory, it is widely believed that the cost to produce Trumpeter model kits is effectively subsidized. On other words, the price we pay is artificially lower than the actual cost.
From a modeler's perspective, these are certainly very good times. But from a business perspective, and long-term industry perspective, there is much to be concerned about.