At the moment, here's the list of people who might be interested to order a small USB host cable like the iRiver one or the StreamLineCPUs one:
1 x beowolf
2 x systemparadox
1 x ztep
3 x steliosx
1 x euroclie
So I think I can safely order 10 cables.
The shipping costs for such a small parcel would most certainly be less than US$10 to get it to my friend near Chicago (streamlinecpus mentioned a US$3 cost for shipping 5 cables to Chicago, I don't know how much iRiver charges for such a delivery), and then, to be safe, let's consider a US$20 shipping fee from the US to France for the same parcel. After that, shipping every cable individually to other European countries would cost around $2 per cable (rough estimate).
All in all, I expect something close to US$5 of shipping fees per cable. I don't think that I'll have to pay custom taxes for such a small number of cables, but that might happen, though... (VAT is 19.6%, and there are other taxes and fixed fees involved as well... Unlikely to happen, but I'd rather mention them just in case, so that people can factor them in and have a good surprise in the end, instead of ignoring them and finding myself with unwanted (a bit more) expensive cables at home!
So if we go for the iRiver cables (which are backordered until June 30th, at the moment), that would be approximately US$10 (best case scenario) to US$15 (worst case, with custom fees) shipped to your door (in Europe).
For the StreamLineCPUs cables (US$10 iso US$5), that would be US$15 to US$20, but the cables are readily available.
I can wait a bit (especially if you guys decide to go for the iRiver cables), and see if more people are interested, this might lower a bit the final price (though not by much, one or two dollars, I'd venture...).
OTOH, I'm not willing to handle a mass order of dozens of cables to ship individually afterward (hey, I have a daytime job, too!
) and I don't want to spend too much cash in advance either ($100 or so is OK, though)...
As far as getting my money back is concerned, I have a PayPal account, and I'm open to any (sensible) suggestion for those who do not want to use PayPal...
Let me know what you guys think about all this: does the resulting price seem right to you? Are you in a hurry to get the cable and ready to pay $5 more, or do you prefer to wait two months? If we were to reach, say, around 20 cables to order I could order half from iRiver for the patient/broke users, and the other half from StreamLineCPUs for the rich/impatient ones...
Last note for those who would find this message in a few months/years from now (April 2005) using a search engine: I'm not opposed to doing this again from time to time to help the community, but I don't intend to do this on a regular basis...