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Thread: Why Australians are paying higher prices for technology??

  1. #1
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    Why Australians are paying higher prices for technology??

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/aust...-1226074497752

    HUGE price differences in consumer electronics sold here and in the US continue, with local retailers appearing not to pass on the advantage of our surging dollar.

    Australians who buy locally still pay through the nose for some desktops, laptops, tablets, computer games and consoles and music bought at online stores, compared with consumers in the US.

    Computer firms are still setting their recommended retail prices often up to 50 per cent higher in Australia compared with the US.

    The base model of the popular Lenovo X1, for example, is reduced on Lenovo's Australian site from $3428 to $1979, but a similar reduction on its US parent site lists it at $US1191 ($1130).

    The 16GB model of the ASUS Transformer without keyboard sells at Harvey Norman for $598, but in the US it can be bought for $US400.

    While Apple's Australian mark-ups on iMacs, MacBook Pros and iPads are not as severe, they were significant, as Apple can control the distribution and cost of its goods.

    The discrepancy in costs between a US and Australian iPad 2 is $80-$120, while a new iMac in Australia can cost up to $250 more.

    Despite the Australian dollar's value at about $US1.05 last weekend, music bought through iTunes in Australia typically costs 30 per cent more than when bought through iTunes in the US

    ....
    So how much are we being ripped off?
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    Because they know we are suckers...

    Buy from OS, that will be the only message local distributors and retailers will listen to.
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    I think the bigger question here is WHO are we being ripped off by?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post



    So how much are we being ripped off?

    Too bloody much!!
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    A bricks and mortar shop front - fair enough - they provide some level of service and have overheads etc.

    But! Apple iTunes ? there is NO excuse. Ditto Microsoft products.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I think the bigger question here is WHO are we being ripped off by?
    Last year, Apple justified its higher prices (than US) for music downloads on the weak Aus $ (than US).

    Now we have a $ worth about US 105-107 cents, nothing has changed.

    No wonder the use of proxy sites is soaring

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    Is not cheap having overseas operations
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Is not cheap having overseas operations
    You're right. they should close down all the US branches.

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    I am totally against the high retail prices, like most of us. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Australian average weekly wage ( which I know is a joke ), against the American, which I believe is very low. Any thoughts ?
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    The facts are that running a warehouse here in OZ is more expensive than running one in say Los Angeles.
    The rents are similar per square metre, but their labour rates are far cheaper than ours.
    Our minimum wage is around $19 per hour + 4 weeks holiday pay, super, sick leave, long service leave, workers comp and even payroll tax, whereas in the US for example, the minimum legal wage is around US$7.50 an hour, with only 2 weeks leave, no super, no long service leave etc.
    Fuel is much cheaper in the US, which means that goods can be transported cheaper, and as their roads are better than ours, the goods get their faster too.

    However, the BIG difference is volume.
    Where a store here may order a pallet load of a certain item, in the US, they talk about truck loads, and the bigger the shipment, the lower the costs.

    Retail margins are similar between Oz and the US, but the staff get paid less and they sell a lot more.
    Don't forget that the US has around 15 times our population so competition is even fiercer than it is here.

    Compare a good camera shop here with a good shop in the US.
    One of the better stocked stores I frequent is Digital Camera Warehouse.
    Now they have lots of stuff in stock, with most Canon and Nikon lenses on display, but go into B&H's store in New York, where you have 3 large floors of every camera and accessory you have ever heard about, then multiply it by 4!
    Just the vast range of goodies wil make you want to buy!

    I guess we do get ripped off somewhat here, but that is the price we pay for high wages and overheads I'm afraid.
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    A major factor not usually brought inbto these discussions is the impact of Mr Lowy, et al, who charge extroadinary rents in his Westfield centres, try 30%+ premium over the strip shops. The retailer has to pass this on somehow.

    leaves you with-
    Higher wages for all here
    Higher rents
    Lower volumes (particularly for fast updating product, tech, fashion, etc)
    Same to similar marketing costs as denser markets (eg US, etc)

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    Quite frankly, I believe the real culprits here are the Distributors and Importers. I have been shown the prices that Harvey Norman pays for their Canon gear, and it is more expensive than I pay retail in the US. If HN can't get better wholesale prices with their bargaining power, then something is wrong. That is where I'd be applying the blowtorch.

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    I think it's not only the Technology products that has this situation of "over pricing". It's almost everything. For instance, in the US, a can of Coke only costs US$1.00 in retail which is cheaper than our AU$2.50!

    Yes, we can buy what we can from the internet but in the whole scheme of things, we are trapped by our own local retailers.

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    I think we are being slow to accept the new paradigm: big, brash retail is dying.

    Borders collapse is a prime eg. Big, flashy (expensive) retail won't survive for selling generic products - such as most photography equipment.

    Sure, their will be those who like to touch / feel etc. But, this will become a niche thing.

    Why would a but a new book at borders for $45 when I can get it from Amazon for $25 or even download it to Kindle, Kobo, iPad etc. for $15?

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    Booksellers outraged over minister's predictions

    http://www.smh.com.au/small-business...614-1g15n.html

    Booksellers' jaws dropped today upon hearing that federal Minister for Small Business Nick Sherry had predicted that online shopping would wipe out general bookstores within five years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Booksellers outraged over minister's predictions

    http://www.smh.com.au/small-business...614-1g15n.html
    I just heard the minister on 702 - ABC.

    He says he is a very frequent customer of a certain & famous specialist bookstore in the Sydney CBD. He isn't against bookstores, he just sees writing on the wall.

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    The simple fact is that the government supports and actually legislates to the detriment of the local retailer who is already as stated faced with higher tenancy, higher wages and higher compliance costs than our overseas counterparts. A perfect example is this week itunes has started to sell Lonely Planet Books, which we because of government restrictions can only source from one supplier and as such they dictate our cost price with no competition, we then actually sell these at a reduced margin to give us a perceived advantage(albeit a small one)- well not any more, the itunes site has one of the best selling titles for free, thats right FREE, how do we compete, quite simply we cant and when all the bricks and mortar stores are gone and the online retailers own the market and they will push margins back to where they started and should you wish to browse or ask a question, return an item or even just get general type knowledge and interaction - guess what ? Then everyone will be moaning about the good old days.
    Yes there are some woefully pathetic retailers out there but retail is the single largest employer in australia and if you find a good retailer you should support them as much as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cris View Post
    The simple fact is that the government supports and actually legislates to the detriment of the local retailer who is already as stated faced with higher tenancy, higher wages and higher compliance costs than our overseas counterparts. A perfect example is this week itunes has started to sell Lonely Planet Books, which we because of government restrictions can only source from one supplier and as such they dictate our cost price with no competition, we then actually sell these at a reduced margin to give us a perceived advantage(albeit a small one)- well not any more, the itunes site has one of the best selling titles for free, thats right FREE, how do we compete, quite simply we cant and when all the bricks and mortar stores are gone and the online retailers own the market and they will push margins back to where they started and should you wish to browse or ask a question, return an item or even just get general type knowledge and interaction - guess what ? Then everyone will be moaning about the good old days.
    Yes there are some woefully pathetic retailers out there but retail is the single largest employer in australia and if you find a good retailer you should support them as much as possible.
    May I suggest a reason I stopped buying dead-tree books from local book-stores. Not to start a row but, to explain.

    I walked into a Borders (too big and brashy for me), I was surprised by how comfortable they made me feel. They provided seats to sit and flip pages etc. = great. But, I tried to support the small players who sold for roughly the same price anyway.

    Then, I walked into a certain CBD book store, I picked up a book (photography - btw) and started to flick. I was then harassed by the guy behind the counter, "Hey, mate this aint the library."

    Sadly, I've had too many similar experiences.

    Another famous bookstore in Newtown: I went in to find a well known book (Breakfast at Tiffany's). They didn't have it (fair enough). I asked the girl at the counter if she could get it in. 'Oh, who's that by?' Duh! What's the advantage when they put illiterates at the counter?

    If I'm going to get bad service, I may as well get it online at 1/2 price.

    Scotty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    May I suggest a reason I stopped buying dead-tree books from local book-stores. Not to start a row but, to explain.

    I walked into a Borders (too big and brashy for me), I was surprised by how comfortable they made me feel. They provided seats to sit and flip pages etc. = great. But, I tried to support the small players who sold for roughly the same price anyway.

    Then, I walked into a certain CBD book store, I picked up a book (photography - btw) and started to flick. I was then harassed by the guy behind the counter, "Hey, mate this aint the library."

    Sadly, I've had too many similar experiences.

    Another famous bookstore in Newtown: I went in to find a well known book (Breakfast at Tiffany's). They didn't have it (fair enough). I asked the girl at the counter if she could get it in. 'Oh, who's that by?' Duh! What's the advantage when they put illiterates at the counter?

    If I'm going to get bad service, I may as well get it online at 1/2 price.

    Scotty
    You unfortunately have hit the nail on the head and it is those bad retailers that are screwing it for all of us, I know that our predecessor did exactly what you said, I would implore you to seek out a better retailer who does appreciate your business and support and in the absence of such a retailer, then go online I know I would and unfortunately do. But there are many smaller retailers out there who pride themselves on customer service and will provide service intelligently when required, I don't care if you read the whole book in store, we will order any title you chose, we even let people remove packaging so they can more closely inspect the product. I would be upset if we did any less.
    I just want everyone to understand that there is a bigger picture at play here.

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