If you are a UK amateur and you like Chinese radios you’d probably never think of buying them from anywhere other than direct from China or Hong Kong, most likely using eBay. Ham radio dealers in Britain are widely regarded (rightly or wrongly) as rip-off merchants who work out the price by replacing the dollar with a pound sign and then adding on a bit more for good measure. Their pleas that the UK price includes VAT and the cost of providing a warranty usually fall on deaf ears.
In one of the discussion groups someone mentioned buying a radio from a British firm called Sinotel UK. I went to their web site and saw that they carried several models of hand-helds from China, including a new one I hadn’t seen before: a TYT UVF9 (pictured right.) But what particularly caught my attention was their prices, which were little more than what I have been paying buying on eBay. Their cheapest model, the Vero Telecom UV-X4 (similar to the Baofeng UV-3R) was just £29.99 (yes, a brand new dual band radio for 30 quid.) A UV-5R eas £34.99. The radio that had caught my eye, the TYT UVF9, was £47.99. It would cost me $68.50 from 409shop and I’d have to wait a couple of weeks for it.
I am not associated with Sinotel UK and have not even bought anything from them but if I want yet another Chinese handy to add to my collection I probably will.