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Prices Drive Australians To Grey Market For Hardware and Software

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the markets-should-be-bright-green dept.

Australia 280

An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government has been running an inquiry into why technology is so much more expensive to buy down under than in the U.S. In response to the price difference, many consumers are turning to the Internet to buy tech that is imported through unofficial channels at cheaper prices from the U.S. Not to miss out on sales, some retailers are starting to set up special websites that sell this way too. The so-called 'grey market' can save you cash, but could it cost you more in the long run? This article looks at some of the potential problems for people buying technology this way." A companion article examines some of the nitty-gritty of price differences between Australia and the U.S., including the observation that entry-level salaries skew higher in Australia.

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Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41067163)

I buy grey market Lenses from Canon. Because of the price fixing they do for the US market. I can save hundreds, and in some cases THOUSANDS by getting a grey market L series lens over the US market lens.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067283)

This is a major factor.

A few years back, I bought Canon's 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens from the US. Including shipping, customs charges (which included GST), and the like, it was around $AU1400. The local price? A mere $2000 or so (can't remember offhand, but I do know it was a significant saving.)

A similar story: I bought a box set of the first four series of Doctor Who from the UK (Ecclestone and Tennant's series, basically.) Cost: about $AU60. A single series in Australia costs $AU90 - so I got all four series for less than the price of buying one locally.

There's no doubt that Australia is being gouged. The only question is, what's a reasonable markup, given that we are a small, geographically spread nation? (Population: about 7.5% that of the USA. Land area: about that of the 48 contiguous states. You do the math.) That there almost has to be a markup is a given ... but I don't think that what we're currently paying is particularly reasonable, all things considered.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41067337)

There is no "reasonable" markup argument when they do region and country price fixing. I can buy any canon lens significantly cheaper from friends in Japan and pay for shipping than at any location in the USA. Canon is marking up HARD the lens prices for other countries.

I've been buying lenses at prices that many dealers would kill for. And the lens was bought at a retail camera stop in Japan and packed in a box and shipped to me here in the USA.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067441)

I've been buying lenses at prices that many dealers would kill for. And the lens was bought at a retail camera stop in Japan and packed in a box and shipped to me here in the USA.

Having succumbed to the dark temptation of higher-end DSLR ownership, your statement intrigues me, and I suspect I might be able to pay the equivalent retail price for L-series glass, but instead of just getting lenses, I could actually go to Japan, pick them up, and do some shooting/tourism without spending an additional cent.

global market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067495)

The yen is stronger then US dollars. It's the same reason Honda/ Toyota is moving most of their manufacturing to the US (so it can sell it to US markets) instead of assembling it in Japan and then importing it over to the US. If the latter is the case, the price would be considerably higher (like your L-lenses).

Re:global market (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41067903)

Still prices for these lens are still cheaper in Japan, strong yen or not.

Re:global market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067927)

The yen is stronger then US dollars.

Which makes it even more amazing that he can buy it cheaper in Japan, given that he's got to convert his weak dollar to yen.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067881)

When I bought my point-n-shoot Canon camera a few months ago I had the opposite experience. Here in Japan it cost around 650$ (in one of our "Best Buy" style stores, called Yamada denki).
I waited until I had a trip to the US and bought it in Best Buy for 450$.

I live in Japan. The camera was made in Japan by a japanese company. Yet the transaction had to take place in the opposite side of the world for the price to be acceptable. At the end this doesn't benefit Canon or myself as a customer, it only benefits Best Buy and the state of California that kept the tax.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#41068487)

It's not because of the shipping. Entertainment (bits) costs more than 2x the US price in Scandinavia, because they think people will pay more for it. Is it fair? Don't know... Imagine if they used the US price in China, people would have to take up a mortgage for a CD.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067377)

I am very interested in this as well. I live in Norway and we always end up paying way more for everything, and I would really like to know why. Some things are obvious like food, because it is locally produced and there are high tariffs. However electronics, movies, toys etc has no import duties and yet often costs more. I think the pattern I have seen is that things which are quite expensive are reasonably priced here while small cheaps things are more expensive. Often by magnitudes. Perhaps they speculate that we would not import from abroad pencil sharpners and post-it notes because the hassle is not worth it given the absolute amount saved.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41067381)

Is there a reason that there 'almost has to be a markup'(beyond the costs of shipping)?

Australia's position relatively far from anywhere, and small population is never going to do your shipping costs any good, nor your economies of scale(so expecting to pay more to get the item at retail, immediately, seems logical, as does paying more and waiting longer to have it shipped in from somewhere else); but small population otherwise only kicks in if the Australian customer isn't willing to deal with EN_US or EN_GB localized products, or if Australia is foolish enough to bake its own weird TV broadcast standard or something of the sort...

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#41067427)

So why is downloaded software marked up by similar or greater amounts?

And how come I can get a camera from the US cheaper than a vendor who would presumably have access to cheaper shipping than individuals?

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

dosius (230542) | about 2 years ago | (#41067465)

The difference between en_AU and en_GB is quite small, less even than the difference between en_US and en_CA. And Australia is where a lot of UK anime DVDs are mastered, because they're both PAL regions.

-uso.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#41067527)

Is there a reason that there 'almost has to be a markup'(beyond the costs of shipping)?

I don't know if this applies to Australia, but some products are more expensive in the EU because the legally mandated warranty for the product is longer than for the US. I can buy a TV here in the UK, and if it breaks within three years there's a good chance it's the place I bought it from's problem (there's some complication, depending how long it lasted). If a manufacturer makes shoddy products, they're either going to do some QA and try and send the better products to the EU, or increase prices to cover the increased costs.

(Similarly, a company might increase costs in the USA to pay for the higher cost of liability insurance.)

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (2)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 years ago | (#41068107)

Also, in Germany, 20% tax is included in the price. In the US, tax is added to the price.

So a $1,200 computer in Germany is actually the same price as a $1,000 computer in the USA, before tax.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068291)

Sales tax is 19%, not 20%.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (2)

general_re (8883) | about 2 years ago | (#41068411)

Also, in Germany, 20% tax is included in the price. In the US, tax is added to the price.

So a $1,200 computer in Germany is actually the same price as a $1,000 computer in the USA, before tax.

Since there's no place in the US that charges anywhere near 20% sales tax, that's small comfort. The price you pay at the register is still going to be less in the US as a result.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | about 2 years ago | (#41067619)

This does not explain why it's often 30-50% cheaper to buy from a foreign source and pay individual shipping from overseas. Even taking into account the 10% GST it's obvious Australians are being charged more becsause people think they can get away with it.

These same people are now kicking and screaming because the internet destroys their easy scam.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (2)

jquirke (473496) | about 2 years ago | (#41067973)

Is there a reason that there 'almost has to be a markup'(beyond the costs of shipping)?

Australia's position relatively far from anywhere

It's closer to the heard of world manufacturing than Europe OR the USA, by a long margin.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41068549)

Is there a reason that there 'almost has to be a markup'(beyond the costs of shipping)?

Depends on the laws of the land, actually.

In Europe, for example, import duties (25%+) and VAT (20%+) are added on to the cost of a good you see. When the price tag says $700, you pay $700. Not like North America where it's $500+tax.

Of course, the other reason is local distributors are often the cause. You see, a manufacturer rarely if ever sells direct to the retailer. Instead, they sell to local distributors, who usually get exclusive distribution rights to a geographic region. Usually a country-sized portion, sometimes a continent, othertimes much smaller. Depends how big the manufacturer is, and how much product gets moved - the more popular, the smaller the regions tend to be.

That distributor is who determines the local price based on the MSRP and what they sell to retaliers at. And often times, that distributor enforces the distribution agreement for multinational retailers. Exceptions usually are the likes of Amazon (who may shift US inventory to other countries), or Walmart (who has their own huge logistical department who may receive goods from many distributors at a central warehouse in another region). Or have sufficient muscle to be able to shut out a local distributor if they try to gouge (e.g., Wal-mart).

In Canada, the retailers are often complaining that the Canadian distributors are the ones marking up the goods - they can't really move too much on prices because they're paying more.

And yes, I've seen many small businesses complain - they often will admit that a customer can buy the same product from Amazon.ca cheaper than what the store can get it from their distributor (which is why the store doesn't stock the product).

And there can be multiple layers of distributors as well. When some store claims to "cut out the middleman", they're lying. There's always a distributor somewhere along the line (and if there isn't, on of the existing distributors will offer it, if possible).

And yes, said distributor can often be a subsidiary of the company - e.g., Canon USA, Canon Canada, Apple Australia, etc. Or a separate company (e.g., Ingram Micro, Digikey). Sole distributorships are also possible (e.g., comic books and stuff are practically only available through Diamond).

And yes, they often do rather monopolistic things as well - like refusing to honor grey-market warranties - they'll suggest you send it back to the store you bought it from).

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068005)

Yeah, but don't most Aussies live on the east coast?

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (4, Funny)

RDW (41497) | about 2 years ago | (#41068319)

A similar story: I bought a box set of the first four series of Doctor Who from the UK (Ecclestone and Tennant's series, basically.)

Well, that highlights the real dangers of buying grey market. Instead of the first four series (Hartnell and Troughton), they fobbed you off with some modern imitation with Billy Piper in it!

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068471)

not enough considering it has to be dubbed twice! Once from American then to English and finally to Australian.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068543)

The markup is easy:

You buy a lens halfway across the planet, ship it to yourself and you pay 1400$. That means the price for your local shop should be around 1400$. Your local shop can save some bucks from that transportation cost that you couldn't with bulk purchase, better rates etc...
So if you can get product X delivered to your house at price x$, Going out to buy it at your local shop can't cost much more.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41067303)

If we want to talk US, the oh-so-terrifying-scourge of drugs-identical-to-their-us-counterparts-but-marked-'only for sale in Canada' is probably worth mentioning. Based on the amount of not-at-all-self-interested hysteria about the safety concerns surrounding these (much, much, cheaper) drugs, you'd think that Canadians were some kind of alien organism with a metabolism based on cryogenic sulfur compounds for which drugs had to be specially formulated...

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (4, Informative)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41067449)

You think that's bad... try being in Canada, our drug prices may be less, but our prices on almost everything else are significantly higher than in the USA. There was actually a news article here a while back about cars that were built at a plant in Canada, being $10,000-$20,000 cheaper in hawaii than they were at the dealership accross the street from the plant. I frequently buy other things online to avoid the ridiculous markup in Canadian stores too.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

Vireo (190514) | about 2 years ago | (#41068155)

Same thing here. Home theater stuff can generally be found at half the price in the US vs Canada. Same thing with kitchen and bathroom hardware. Also bizarrely I found some stuff that is "designed in Canada" and is distributed in the US but not in Canada. Using www.kinek.com and other border mail services, Canadians can benefit from free shipping (e.g. from Amazon.com) up to the border. Buying cars (typically a few $k less after taxes and duty and import regulations are taken care of) and tires (easily half the price) in the US is also popular.

Books (2)

DarthVain (724186) | about 2 years ago | (#41068539)

Books are a sore spot for me. Forever we have always had on the jacket 11.99USA/26.99CAN and it really pisses me off.

Sure in the past they could argue about there being a currancy differeance. However how long has the Canadian dollar been at par or better?

Sure they could argue a lag in distrabution, etc... but they still do this for magizines...

It really is silly.

The other thing is electronics? Why? Its not like they produce them... They are all shiped from Thailand, China, Taiwan, etc... Smaller market, distrabution centers, maybe but still I don't see it.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1, Troll)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41067555)

you'd think that Canadians were some kind of alien organism with a metabolism based on cryogenic sulfur compounds for which drugs had to be specially formulated...

Canadians are not as fat, so on a mg of "whatever" vs Kg of body weight basis Canadian pharm should all be like 10 mg per tablet anytime you'd see 30 mg per tablet in the USA.

That said, if your doc tells you to take 30 mg of "whatever" per day, you're OK taking three Canadian "daily doses" of 10 mg each because 3 * 10 = the same 30 even though its "three daily doses per day".

Where this starts getting weird is OTC. I would theorize, and /. should research, that perhaps a Canadian "aspirin" tablet would be about half the size of a USA tablet because Canadian women are about half the size of US women for example so on thus providing a constant mg/Kg ratio.. Ditto vitamin pills and supplements.

I'll go first. I am in USA and I'm holding in my hand a box of advil ibuprofen tablets 200 mg per tablet. Now its getting late in the morning so if a canadian out there could put down his second molsen breakfast beer for a moment and shovel the snow to make a path to his or her medicine cabinet and report the size of a canadian advil / ibuprofen tablet I'd appreciate it. My hypothesis is that skinny canadian advil tablets are a mere 100 mg per tablet or maybe only 75 mg as opposed to the fatty american 200 mg tablets.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (4, Funny)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#41067651)

I am in USA and I'm holding in my hand a box of advil ibuprofen tablets 200 mg per tablet. Now its getting late in the morning so if a canadian out there could put down his second molsen breakfast beer for a moment and shovel the snow to make a path to his or her medicine cabinet and report the size of a canadian advil / ibuprofen tablet I'd appreciate it. My hypothesis is that skinny canadian advil tablets are a mere 100 mg per tablet or maybe only 75 mg as opposed to the fatty american 200 mg tablets.

I checked with a skinny canadian friend of mine. He said that he usually just looks at photographs of American 200 mg Advil. That keeps him going for 2-3 days.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41068007)

I checked with a skinny canadian friend of mine. He said that he usually just looks at photographs of American 200 mg Advil. That keeps him going for 2-3 days.

We need that much Advil because of the severity of headaches that come from seeing what our politicians are doing with our tax dollars. It has nothing to do with our weight.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

dsvick (987919) | about 2 years ago | (#41068347)

Of course their tablets are skinny, if their half the size then ..... errrr ... nevermind

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#41067955)

I'll go first. I am in USA and I'm holding in my hand a box of advil ibuprofen tablets 200 mg per tablet. Now its getting late in the morning so if a canadian out there could put down his second molsen breakfast beer for a moment and shovel the snow to make a path to his or her medicine cabinet and report the size of a canadian advil / ibuprofen tablet I'd appreciate it. My hypothesis is that skinny canadian advil tablets are a mere 100 mg per tablet or maybe only 75 mg as opposed to the fatty american 200 mg tablets.

Dunno about canada but here in the UK you can buy 200 mg ibuprogen tablets off the shelf and 400 mg ones over the counter. Smaller dose ibuprofen tablets don't seem to exist in the adult medicine range (I haven't tried looking in the kids medicine range recently). IIRC larger dose tablets exist but are prescription only.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068099)

My hypothesis is that skinny canadian advil tablets are a mere 100 mg per tablet or maybe only 75 mg as opposed to the fatty american 200 mg tablets.

200mg is the typical daily dose we have in the cupboard, but not recommended for long term use (e.g. I have a headache today, not I have migraines every day).

I believe the long term dose is something around 75mg.

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#41068315)

http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Value-Health-Ibuprofen-200mg-Tablets-16_44701/ [boots.com]

200mg in the UK, and 40p for 16 tablets.

http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Pharmaceuticals-Ibuprofen-3-Months-Plus-100mg-5ml-Suspension-Strawberry-Flavour-100ml-_1225226/ [boots.com]

100mg dose available for babies and children ("strawberry" flavoured).

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#41067809)

I was about to ask if it is about the high prices, or because of lower income/less purchase power.
But with this simple example you just made that redundant. Actually, if any moderator would score this 'redundant' I won't be mad.
Honestly, I won't ;-)

Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (2)

fotoflojoe (982885) | about 2 years ago | (#41068073)

Isn't the major differentiating factor (in the US) that camera gear is grey market because it doesn't come with a US warranty, but a so-called "international warranty"? That is, if your grey market L lens breaks, you can't just bring it back to the shop where you bought it, or even send it to an authorized US warranty repair center. In order to get it fixed under warranty, you'd need to ship it back to the factory - presumably in Japan or Southeast Asia. This would be an example of a manufacturer's US warranty network not having to support a piece of equipment. That represents a cost savings of a specific USD amount that's reflected in the equipment's price.

Grey Market? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067179)

Sasha Grey is an overrated SNOB. And the frenzy around her about how she is a renaissance woman or something. She probably has an IQ of 115 and knows NOTHING.

Anyone feel any differently?

Re:Grey Market? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067209)

anal

Re:Grey Market? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067471)

Dude seriously? You DIDNT think she was stupid? Isn't this the same girl that did HP (heptuple penetration) with a bunch of guys with AIDS as an anti-AIDS demo?

FUD all the way down (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067243)

Read the 'article'. Was not impressed. Sounds like a press release from the 'white market' sellers telling Aussies that the 'grey market' is risky at best and could cost them twice as much.

This is so with any product purchased any where from anyone no matter which color they choose to paint their store.

Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41067267)

Worldwide scrounging for the cheapest labor, juciest tax breaks, and laxest regulations for them, region coding and 'grey market' for you.

Low friction international capital markets for them, border and immigrations controls for you.

See, 'free trade' is awesome!

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41067607)

Yeah; I'm waiting for the day they abolish prices altogether and just list the cost of everything as a percentage of your income. That's the pricing model everything is moving towards anyway -- not what something is worth, but what they can get away with charging you. And if any of you asshats stand up and make an "invisible hand" argument, you're waking up tomorrow with a horse head next to you. This is not the result of free trade, but the restriction of free trade. Those corporations are shoving region coding down your throats, signing exclusive contracts and manipulating distribution channels to artificially alter the prices, and buying off government officials to make it all legal. That is not capitalism. It is not free trade. It is exploitative, and should be stopped.

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41067739)

just list the cost of everything as a percentage of your income.

Isn't this pretty much how housing has traditionally been priced for a century or so? Your mortgage payment will be 1/4 your income, the only thing that varies is how much money you rent from the bank = what price the house sells for, depends on the current interest rate and level of financial "innovation" at the time of sale?

And the price of a average mens business suit has always been "about" a average weeks pay? (now at the higher end a fancy suit has been 1 ounce of gold for more than a century, but thats a cultural difference between income and wealth)

Just saying its not new.

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41067787)

Just saying its not new.

And you're right. I'm concerned about it becoming a mainstream practice, not that it happens in niche markets.

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#41068311)

I'm concerned about it becoming a mainstream practice, not that it happens in niche markets.

It already is mainstream - the international import and export of clothing is restricted. In the UK, Tesco famously lost the court case [telegraph.co.uk] over grey importing of Levi jeans, which they were selling at half the retail price of the officially imported jeans. And so now the only jeans you will in the UK (and the rest of the EU) are officially imported ones. The same thing happens with clothing, motor vehicles, basically everything where there are official distribution channels.

Allowing grey importing would ultimately lead to convergence on a single global price for everything. I think that would be interesting, but let's play devil's advocate - some publisher release a movie. Americans and Europeans are willing to pay perhaps $10 to download. Indians and Chinese are willing to pay perhaps $0.50 to download. But in a single, free market, there can be only one fixed price - so what should it be? If you price it closer to the Western price, then the product is inaccessible to Chinese and Indian people. But if you price it closer to the lower salaries, then your profit margins will be much lower, so you aren't going to do that. You can't please everyone when there is such huge wage disparity in the world. So, you conclude that the practical pricing model is the one that restricts distribution to only Westerners and wealthy people from elsewhere. So there is a counter-argument that dividing the world up and practising price discrimination actually helps the consumer, by enabling them to access the product they want at a price that they are able to pay. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with that point of view, but that's the counter-argument. Price discrimination is an important concept in business; having a range of similar items at varying price points allows your customer to pay a price point that they are comfortable with, rather than forcing them to choose between simply buying or not buying. See, for example, Starbucks coffee.

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#41067843)

That's how things were priced back prior to the 19th century.

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067805)

Yeah, baby! Yeah!

Globalization as they call it. Here in Brazil thousands of families are loosing their farms because of a crack on chicken and pork meat market. Just because soy and corn prices doubled last month on international markets. Something related to a production under the expectations in USA.

At the same time we pay US$1,850 for a MacBook Air and US$1.40 for a liter of gas (or US$5.27 per gallon). So in Brazil prices are the same of US or totally different, but never lower.

We pay 100% taxes on any imported goods, be it wine, shoes or Intel processors, except for books. If you think it's hard in Australia try to make it in Brazil.

Re:Ah, the sweet smell of free trade... (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#41068335)

We pay 100% taxes on any imported goods, be it wine, shoes or Intel processors, except for books. If you think it's hard in Australia try to make it in Brazil.

I'm curious as to how that works. If you order a tablet from Hong Kong, do they open all incoming mail, try to figure out what you paid, and assess a fee on the buyer before you can pick up your package? That sounds pretty expensive and manpower heavy to implement.

Can't really blame corporations (1)

longhunt (1641141) | about 2 years ago | (#41067301)

Companies set a suggested retail price in each market to maximize profit. (It depends on thngs like elasticity, incomes, availability of substitutes, etc.). You can't blame them for trying to make money. If you really want to save money you can always find a better deal on something, from so called grey markets, etc. But there is nearly always a trade off in your time, or lack of warranty, or some other factor. It reminds me of when I used to buy "international editions" of textbooks from Singapore. They were much cheaper than the books in our college bookstore, but I had to spend time finding them online and sometimes the homework problems would be different and I'd get screwed. Everyone--retailers, wholesalers, and consumers--is just finding their own trade-off to try to maximize their own utility. Basic Economics.

Re:Can't really blame corporations (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41067379)

so people in Australia make 2 to 3 times what people in the USA make?

Re:Can't really blame corporations (1)

longhunt (1641141) | about 2 years ago | (#41067523)

It's not necessarily a linear relationship. Elasticities of demand are usually differential equations in the real world.

Re:Can't really blame corporations (3, Insightful)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#41067721)

Companies set a suggested retail price in each market to maximize profit.

Yea, usually its not the companies fault that capitalism has failed to create a competitive marketplace, well unless they have taken steps to manipulate the market to reduce competition, like region coding, price fixing, cartels, mergers and buyout etc.

Its probably the governments fault for not regulating the market and making corporations understand they trade at the pleasure of countries in which they operate, they cant do whatever they like.

Well, unless the government doesnt even have any control over what buisness can and cant do in the country they are supposed to be governing, because of WTO rules, free trade agreements, international cartels etc.

So yea, dont blame the corporations.

because of the extra staff needed (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067325)

Companies like Newegg and Amazon must employ extra staff to invert the contents of all the packages to be sent to the Australian market. It's hard to have robots do this because of the sheer variety of size and contents. Most electronics are made in the northern hemisphere also to be sold there, so are naturally constructed rightside-up for that market. Employing so many people to flip the products over costs money, which is naturally passed on to customers in that market.

It sucks for our AU friends, but it's the natural cost of being in such a small niche market.

Re:because of the extra staff needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067657)

:D

Re:because of the extra staff needed (5, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41068077)

Not to mention the fact that discs spin in the opposite direction down in Australia.

Very true (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#41067365)

Traveled there for work over the years and checked out the computer stores while I was down there. Everything was more expensive by a fair margin, enough to put me in shock. Not just computers either, food, clothes, household goods etc.

Talking to the locals they got in the habit of buying from the US and hoping the warranty wasn't needed. Massive problem and I'm surprised they are finally doing something about it.

I still want a Ute though. Was very disappointed when Pontiac got axed right before they were going to import 500 of them....

Re:Very true (1)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#41068453)

Did you check the wages as well? Prices for lots of things are higher in Canada than the US, for example, because for the longest time our dollar was only 85% of the $US, and our wages were higher.

I mean, it's not like someone somewhere just said "Hey! Let's charge more here than in the US!" and the world colluded on the prices. It's more complicated than just looking at the $US to your currency exchange rate.

The contrary here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067371)

In Argentina our goverment is the one blocking the import of technology. Until recently, the normal case was to pay twice the price for the same product in USA.

For example, my Dell XPS laptop used to cost 700 dollars on Dell USA. The same machine in Dell Argentina costed me 1400 dollars. Today, Dell Argentina is no longer selling laptops.

I'd say until recently because since a few months ago the customs office has been blocking the entry of most imported products. Today, even getting some medical supplies can be problematic for hospitals.

used to do that for mobiles in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067425)

I did that for years on mobile phones in the US. That was more based on availability versus prices.

Currency Higher than Normal (0)

Luthair (847766) | about 2 years ago | (#41067437)

I imagine part of the reason at the moment is that the Australian dollar is much higher than it has been traditionally. Canada has had the same issue, though I know in our case there has always been additional markup, and the UK has often been 50% more expensive.

Mostly it's distribution channel lock (4, Insightful)

Zuriel (1760072) | about 2 years ago | (#41068055)

The exchange rate is part of it but locked down distribution channels are the larger part.

A while ago, one US dollar was worth 1.7 Australian dollars. So something worth US$50 in a US store would be put on shelves here for AU$85. And then the exchange rate changed. One US dollar was worth one AU dollar. But things don't sell for their cost, they sell for as much as the seller can get and that's the pricing Australian consumers were used to. So that US$50 item would still be sold for AU$85 and someone would pocket the AU$35 difference.

The second part of this is distribution channel lockdown. Companies producing goods make deals with their US distributors to force those distributors to refuse to sell to Australian buyers. That leaves Australians and Australian retailers forced to buy from the designated Australian distributor at inflated prices.

What the grey market does is break that distribution lock. That's all. Some US citizen buys goods in the US from the US distribution channel, pays the US price, ships them over and sells them in Australia for far less than the authorised Australian distributor charges Australian retailers. If it wasn't for the locked down distribution, Australian retailers would skip the authorised Australian distributor and buy from a US distributor at US prices.

Another reason Australians are complaining is, with Internet sales, people nowdays can *see* the prices being charged elsewhere. 15 years ago, you'd have no idea what something sold for in another country. Now, we see Skyrim appear on Steam for US$50 for US gamers and US$90 for Australian gamers.

Yes, we get charged US dollars on Steam. 90 of them instead of 50, because the US Steam site sees I have an Australian IP address. And you have to send the packets much harder to make sure they get all the way across the ocean, you know? There's sites where you can order a game and they'll go to their local retailer, buy the game, open the box and then email you the Steam key. You can type it in your Steam client and download the game. Absolutely ridiculous.

1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (4, Insightful)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#41067469)

"Grey Market" used to mean refurbished product, especially the warranty-return product which either worked to begin with (brought back to retailer out of "buyers remorse") or was simply repaired or upgraded. As sales became more global, Corporations negotiated different warranty expectations on new products in different countries, so goods sold in a country with lower consumer warranty guarantees were cheaper, and might find themselves transported to where they were covered by stricter warranty (increasing risk to the manufacturer if the product was faulty).

Today, few of the products sold are actually made by the Corporation whose name is on the warranty. Factories like Taiwanese-owned Han Hoi (Foxconn) churn out product not just for Apple, but for defunct brand names like "Polaroid". The term "grey market" today is applied (by groups like Anti Gray Market Alliance) to patent claim products and plain old "used" sales. The term "grey market" as used in the article is so general that it is really meaningless. Even the product you buy from a "factory direct" website may be the exact same good as the one you buy with another corporation's name on it, entirely. How "grey" is that?

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#41067675)

The term "grey market" as used in the article is so general that it is really meaningless

Not so at all. In fact your use of the terms "Grey Market" is the one that is vague and meaningless. These days Grey Market is quite clearly a distinct term that means in the LEGAL GREY LAND between normal Consumer Market and the BLACK MARKET. So it is clear to all that products bought in this manner are not exactly a forthright business deal, but not illegal either.

On the other behind, your examples are clearly refurbished, pre-owned or privately labelled -- Which have nothing to do with market legality, since the legality of those items is never in question and the terms "pre-owned", "refurbished" and "privately labelled" are all that is needed to convey the status and origin of the equipment.

So maybe no one uses the term as it was used in the '60s (if indeed it ever was commonly used) because it's use in that manner was way off since it brought to mind a comparison to the Black Market.

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067859)

Posting AC to avoid undoing mods:

These days Grey Market is quite clearly a distinct term that means in the LEGAL GREY LAND between normal Consumer Market and the BLACK MARKET.

Well, that's just stupid - This "LEGAL GREY LAND" of which you speak is a complete fabrication. Something is either legal, or it's not. Period.

BTW, just who is it going about, changing the long-accepted definitions of terms, and why the hell would you take their word for it? --CanHasDIY

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068171)

Grey Market, as used in this summary/article, means imported products not intended for distribution in your region. It's generally legal, but not approved by distributors who like to monopolize markets.

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | about 2 years ago | (#41068395)

It's really simple: black market - illegal; "white" market (although no-one uses that phrase) - legal, and approved by the manufacturer; Grey Market - legal, not approved by the manufacturer. It's not a fabrication, and it's been a well-known term for many decades.

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (3, Informative)

Relayman (1068986) | about 2 years ago | (#41068115)

I can be more specific: Grey market goods are new, authentic goods bought through a distribution channel not approved by the manufacturer. Grey market goods do not have to cross borders; I can buy Cisco routers on the grey market in the U.S.

You can also extend the definition to include used/remanufactured goods that cross borders as well.

(I notice the British/Australian(?) spelling of "grey" is displacing the American "gray".)

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067933)

In the case of canon lens, they came in a white gray box, instead of the regular canon logo on for the normal market boxes.
This is a literal "gray market".

Re:1960s Terminology in Y2K Marketplace (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#41068407)

In the video game world, the term "grey market" has been used to represent non-authorized international sales channels for at least two decades. And I'm pretty sure the term was used before that for VHS video tape imports.

Its not just technology (4, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41067501)

I have rellies from Oz who when they visit the US stock up on hand and construction tools. Last time they were here they loaded up a suitcase with (among other things) a nail gun and as many of the brads as they could carry. They were really helped out by the fact that their 5 year old son was entitled to the full luggage allowance when flying. You don't do things like that unless it is worth your while.

Re:Its not just technology (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#41068089)

Pro-Tip!

1 - Contact a ship owner (that is a commercial entity)
2 - Have him make a 'contract' that makes you the contractor to do some work for him off-shore (US in this case) make him a nice deal :-)
3 - Mention your new status to the airline company and tell them that you need to carry around more KG of luggage on your return-flight (due to equipment and spare parts) and show them your contract with a stamp on it, as a maritime/off-shore contractor.
4 - Get an extra allowance for free! (depending on the airline company, KLM and SwissAir have that I believe)

Reason that they do this 'little extra' is because people in the maritime/off-shore sector fly a lot, so they will pay it back after all, and usually their equipment is slightly heavier than a laptop. Bitching about some KG more or less would make you lose that customer.

      - - - Disclaimer... I am out of the off-shore business for a couple of years now, but I think this might still be an option - - -

Globalization works both ways. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067517)

The owners of capital shop worldwide for the best deals in low wages with the loosest regulations and more tax breaks.
I'll do the same and shop where to price is better.

Logistics (1)

neurosine (549673) | about 2 years ago | (#41067583)

Three aspects of Australia that make everything more expensive: Thing 1: Densely populated areas are clustered most often far away from each other, meaning it costs more to get products to a dense consumer bases. Thing 2: We do not have a source of cheap labor in Australia. Trade workers will hardly roll out of bed for less than a grand a day. Thing 3: Large global interests take advantage of this real economic situation to create a false economy, reasoning that..."Hey, everything else is more expensive...we're just keeping up with traffic." Microsoft does this. A Volume license key costing 175.00 US will cost over 350.00 AU....for no reason other than tangible items are also more expensive and people expect to pay marginally more. These organizations are not helping our situation. Nevermind how you color the market. People will pay the least amount possible for any given product as long as the consumer surplus remains the same. speak wit yo wallet

Re:Logistics (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41067801)

Densely populated areas are clustered most often far away from each other, meaning it costs more to get products to a dense consumer bases

Then why does it cost much less for a gray marketeer to send 1000 separate parcels via your postal service than a local retailer to send one pallet? If the cost were transportation dominated then gray market should be immensely more expensive due to the individual handling costs and packing inefficiency. Yet evidence is its the other way around.

I've noticed this when buying technical things from China on ebay. Why is it cheaper to buy a single endmill shipped individually in a hand addressed box airmailed from China than to buy it locally from a corp that imported a whole shipping container of them? The mind boggles.

Re:Logistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068129)

Then why does it cost much less for a gray marketeer to send 1000 separate parcels via your postal service than a local retailer to send one pallet?

Probably because the company doing the shipping of the 1000 separate parcels doesn't treat them as such (until the end). They are shipped much of the way with a much larger volume of goods. bringing the transport costs down to the pallet load.

The extra cost is in the number of middlemen who all add their own profit for providing little tangible benefit to the consumer. In days gone by, this was the only way that goods would move around (the middlemen did their own form of shopping and reselling, but now they can be cut out). They need to provide some new form of value-add (like better warranties - although even that is dubious) to be of any use, but instead they resort to legislation.

Re:Logistics (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#41068479)

Probably because the company doing the shipping of the 1000 separate parcels doesn't treat them as such (until the end). They are shipped much of the way with a much larger volume of goods. bringing the transport costs down to the pallet load.

Not in my experience. The stuff I get from China on ebay arrive in a small packet via post which has clearly been sent direct from China. And the shipping is almost always _free_. A similar product purchased by mail from a US supplier is 3 to 5x the cost _AND_ the US supplier tacks on a criminally excessive shipping charge more than the cost of the item itself.

Re:Logistics (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 2 years ago | (#41068385)

I don't know either...

I've noticed similar things when buying from DealExtreme. I can often buy things from them (which they ship free from Asia) and the total price is less than it would cost me to ship the same item to a neighboring state. How they manage to sell these things for less than anyone local *and* ship it from Asia...I have no idea.

So what's the downside? (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | about 2 years ago | (#41067623)

I can't get someone to step me through a bunch of useless processes, only to tell me that they can't help me and that whatever part I need isn't covered?

Not A Good Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067659)

All the arguments in the article are equally valid for non-imported items. Even if you buy goods through "proper" channels there is no reason to expect there to be a repair center in your own country anyway. Unless you are talking about NTSC vs PAL then what kinds of "technical incompatibility" might you encounter. Even region coding is not a technical incompatibility but a legal one. Aren't pretty much all the retailer warranty arguments completely invalidated by the fact that the manufacturer will almost always have a longer warranty than the retailer?

No way man! (5, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#41067707)

You mean when you artificially jack up prices, people will try to find a way around it?
I'm shocked.

Many factors involved (2)

markdj (691222) | about 2 years ago | (#41067833)

There a number of factors that lead to price differentials between countries.

1. Tax differences - Aussie GST is 10%. No US state has a sales tax that high. Aussie prices are quoted with tax included. US prices are not.
2. Labor costs- US retail workers are paid less
3. Size of the market - Costs in the US can be spread over a much larger customer base than in Australia.
4. Shipping costs - Shipping to Australia is more expensive than to a US address, even from Asia!
5. Import duties differences
6. Copyright and patent licensing fees differences
There may be others.

Re:Many factors involved (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#41068197)

1. Tax differences - Aussie GST is 10%. No US state has a sales tax that high. Aussie prices are quoted with tax included. US prices are not.

In many cities in California, the sales taxes (state, city, etc.) add up to 9.75%. The real difference is the second statement you make (sales taxes not included in prices).

Re:Many factors involved (1)

Relayman (1068986) | about 2 years ago | (#41068215)

1. was discussed in the article. When you import, you still pay the GST. Not a factor.
3. Unless the product is different in Australia, the cost should be the same. Not a factor.
4. That will be similar for regular store vs. grey market. Not a factor.
5. They should be the same regardless of source. Not a factor.
6. They should be the same. Not a factor.

That leaves 2. as the only difference and that's not enough to explain the price difference.

Re:Many factors involved (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 2 years ago | (#41068555)

1. Tax differences - Aussie GST is 10%. No US state has a sales tax that high. Aussie prices are quoted with tax included. US prices are not.

Clearly you've never been to Chicago (yes I know its not a state but more people live here than in many other states). Ok, fine, so its not 10.25% general sales tax anymore after the county lowered rates a bit--now its just 9.5% unless you are buying prepared food near the center of the city in which case its back up to 10.5%.

I always wonder why the Apple store on Michigan Ave does so much business...You could order the same thing from amazon (and have it tomorrow with Prime) and save an extra $100-200 in taxes. You could even order it online from Apple (or drive to an Apple store across the county line) and only pay the 6.5% state tax which still saves you a decent amount on a $2000 MBP.

Same in Mexico... (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 years ago | (#41067991)

A lot of electronics in Mexico are 20-50% more expensive compared to the USA. The Apple MBP is 500 USD more expensive, for example. And then there is the warranty bullshit. Yesterday I bought a SHDC memory card with, according to the packaging, 5 years of (limited) warranty. Upon opening one finds a small paper that "replaces all warranties" and gives only 90 days. I am not sure about the legality of this, and if it actually "replaces" the warranty. When I asked around a bit, Western Digital claimed that if I buy an external disk with 3 years of warranty I have 3 years of warranty, no matter what additional paper, added by the importer states. Moreover, warranty here often seems to be split in 3 parts: first period with the shop that sold the goods, next period with the importer, and finally one has to turn to the manufacturer. Sounds all nice, but when recently my 2 month old router kept losing its connection I wanted it replaced. The sales person and a manager did their utmost best to try to send me away and insisted that I contact Cisco so they could check the issue remotely, via the Internet. After 40 minutes I stated that I wanted a new router within 5 minutes or else the police would be called. And that did finally the trick.

On one hand I can understand the price difference; the market is smaller and stock sells very slow. If something has to be ordered it's not uncommon to have to pay 50% ahead, and no money back when it's not what one wants (one gets "electronic money" or a raincheck which has to be used within the same shop within a short amount of time). But on the other hand it is painful to have and to pay 50-60% more for a Nikon camera lens (for example) and have only 1 year of warranty (in the USA one gets 3+ years or so on the same lens).

And then there is the "made for Latin America" thing.... I really have the feeling that some electronics are made with way less quality compared to similar products in the USA just because the manufacturers can get away with it. And while there is a kind of consumer protection organization in Mexico (PROFECO) in my experience it's a bit of a hit and miss besides that it eats up a lot of time (most people here probably don't even bother).

Just one example (1)

jeti (105266) | about 2 years ago | (#41068105)

Here's an extreme example:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (16GB, Deep Grey)

Amazon US [amazon.com] : $499.99

Amazon DE [amazon.de] : EUR 716,77 ($890.87)
Note that the German price include VAT.

Imperial Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068135)

It's the tax we non-USians must pay to help support the lifestyle in the US.

Sweden has similar issues (4, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | about 2 years ago | (#41068175)

Here in Sweden it's not just a matter of pricing but also with delayed releases since manufacturers want to sell localized products.

What this means is that even if I'm fine with an English-language version of a product (or in many cases, Swedish-language version with a quickstart pamphlet in English) no one is selling the product because they hold off on introducing it to the Swedish market until the initial rush for the product in English-language markets is over.

Case in point, the Nexus 7 tablet. No company in the US will sell it directly to Swedish customers, Asus has announced they're going to start selling it in october(!) and the only way to get one right now is through some grey import channel (have it shipped via some address in the US/UK or from some small fly-by-night company that caters to early adopters).

It used to be that even software suffered from this, many older Swedish gamers will remember having to wait for months while games were translated to German, French and Spanish before being released to the Swedish market (with most Swedish gamers playing games with the language set to English with a handful using Swedish if its available).

I'm all in favor telling corporations they can have their precious "free" trade only if the same freedoms are given to everyone, no "We own the trademark so you can't import our product from a market we give a fuck about and sell it on a market we don't care about" crap, if you're selling it anywhere then anyone should be free to ship it to somewhere else and sell it there as well.

Massive Software pricing disparity (1)

PerMolestiasEruditio (1118269) | about 2 years ago | (#41068227)

Solidworks, an engineering CAD and analysis package, was nearly twice as much in Australia as in US a few years ago (not peanuts, close to AUD $20k vs around US $10k for full analysis package) . Very hard to understand reason. US engineering salaries were about he same as Oz, so this imposes significantly higher cost of business for any Australian corporation trying to compete internationally. I would have expected similar prices in countries with similar wage costs.

Actually worth hopping on a plane, buying it and installing from a reseller in the US and then getting a US proxy for updates and servicing.

Governments of the abused customers should specifically legislate to make the laws that support such predatory pricing illegal regardless of copyright lobby, because our businesses have to compete with the countries that get the advantage of cheaper prices.

Well they asked for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068253)

They wanted globalisation and they got it. There's two sides to the coin (thank fucking god). Here in Aus we do have a good base wage which justifies some of the extra cost, but common opinion is that we are being fairly gouged on top of that. If we can ship things OS for cheaper then its within our rights to do so, and I regularly do so these days. If the market cant bear it then it will have to adjust. Its economics, not rocket science.

Worse for uncommon items (1)

dackroyd (468778) | about 2 years ago | (#41068375)

Although there is an unjustifiable disparity for the common items they examined, it's even worse for specialist equipment.

E.g. I would like to purchase a large format printer to be able to print and sell my photographs. The price difference between the US and Australia is over 100% !

B and H - $1,575.00 [bhphotovideo.com]

computeronline.com.au - $3645.00 inc GST [computeronline.com.au]

camerapro.net.au - $3,156.00 [Includes GST] [camerapro.net.au]

Although Australia is a smaller market than the US, and so there are higher stock costs and lower turnover, having something cost more than twice as much here as it does in the US is just ridiculous.

Here in CH (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 2 years ago | (#41068399)

Here in CH we have a similar or perhaps even worse situation. Anything we buy comes at a premium price for no apparent reason. Sure, we get the best products available -as most developed countries do- but service can be quite rough. As procedures are in place and mostly high end products are sold, there are very few defects and/or dissatisfied customers. When something breaks then the CH business are either inexperienced in dealing with such cases or only see their side of the coin and complain about loosing money. No kidding.

I accept 10 to 15% higher prices for luxury goods in CH. Anything above that triggers an order in DE, UK or US with me or a visit to DE.

The Swiss then tend to wine about Swiss business lost. Sure, the boys from the import cartels that mainly scratch their bottoms and push boxes will not get my money that easily.

Get an ABN, buy from distributors (1)

YankDownUnder (872956) | about 2 years ago | (#41068437)

...is that hard? Nah. Not hard at all. Been doing it for years. On top of that, show up at a Sydney computer wholesaler (like at Capitol), tell 'em you're buying via ABN, and voila: you've got cheap. Is that hard?

Paid for by taxes (1)

CodeInspired (896780) | about 2 years ago | (#41068445)

The conservative argument against universal health care is pretty simple. If it's paid for by taxes, the middle to upper class pay significantly more than everyone else for the same service. And those people don't like doing that.

Personally, i'm on the fence about the issue. I definitely see the benefits of a simple, efficient, single payer system. And I also feel it's important that everyone has access to affordable health care. However, I do find it annoying that a huge percentage of the population pays little to no taxes but expect more and more free services from the government. I think health care is a personal responsibility that everyone needs to budget for. Similar to buying groceries or paying rent (extreme poverty cases aside), everyone has to pay. I see far too many poor people buying iPhones and $100 data plans, yet claim they cannot afford health insurance.

Re:Paid for by taxes (1)

CodeInspired (896780) | about 2 years ago | (#41068515)

crap.. logged in to post and posted to wrong article.

Unions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41068457)

As usual you can blame the unions. Once you factor in the outrageous demands from these scumbags why would you be surprised that your stuff costs a LOT more? You want cheap stuff, get rid of your communists, mates.

Not always so expensive in AU (1)

suprem1ty (1854894) | about 2 years ago | (#41068567)

While the big name retail stores in Australia are nearly always really expensive, when you shop around a bit you can normally find pretty cheap places. My local computer store for example got $2333AU all up for the software category on the article, where their US shop got $2120 and their AU shop got $3183 - and thats with me including the price of Project 2010 standard from Microsoft's AU site rather than my shop, because they only provided 2010 Pro there. So while it's definately more expensive when you go to retail stores and the like, you can nearly always find good prices shopping around a bit.

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