Ignoring the irrational judging you're copping in this thread, I suspect I'm in a similar (import-wise) situation to you, in that packages over $1k incur a tax penalty, but this is a lot less than courier fees. If you know you're going to use the film, buying early makes a lot of financial sense because of significant price rises that have and will continue to occur.
If you're definitely keen on buying $5-10k worth of film, you're talking quantities on the order of what a retail outlet or three would push in a year, which means you may be able to negotiate directly with a manufacturer to get a good discount by cutting out the distributors, wholesalers and retailers. That obviously works best if you spend the whole amount with one manufacturer, but whatever. Given their small size and human presence on APUG, if I were you I would directly contact Ilford to enquire about a bulk purchase and surface shipping. Surface shipping a pallet of goods will save you significantly over internationally air-couriering a little 5-10kg package every month.
I wouldn't stock up more than 2-3 years of colour though, and I would make sure I bought chemistry at the same time to cover me for my film stock on hand. Getting colour chemistry may become quite hard soon I think, edging towards impossible if films are not being manufactured and sold fresh. And colour chemistry (E6 especially!) does not keep well, so that kind of limits the quantity of colour film stock you might want to keep.
OTOH, RA4 chemistry is meant to keep pretty well, so I have no qualms about buying concentrate for 20L (2000 sheets) particularly because RA4 chems are so cheap. But then, I think RA4 will long outlast the other colour processes because it's used by digital photofinishers, so it's not in imminent danger of discontinuation and not worth stockpiling.
Last edited by polyglot; 11-13-2012 at 12:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.