Import ripoffs

Submitted: Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 17:42
ThreadID: 30974 Views:1976 Replies:8 FollowUps:13
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What is the deal with super high prices on anything imported? Before I turn this into a Aussie pride war, I must say I always buy products that are made in Australia (i.e. China lol), but there are some product that are ether premium quality or necessary and made over seas.

My recent examples: (exchange rate as of 20/02)

4 D cell MagLite AUD $ 90 vs. US $23 (AUD$ 31.03)
Maglite rechargeable AUD $450 vs. US $125 (AUD$ 168.63)
Plasma rope AUD $375 vs. US $117 (AUD $ 157.81)
QuadraJet Reconditioned AUD $470+ vs. US$165 (AUD$ 222.56)
750ml Jim Beam AUD $35 vs. US $16 (AUD$ 21.58)
Coleman dual fuel lantern AUD $85 vs. US $25 (AUD$ 33.72)

This is crazy! No way shipping costs 3X the price! It’s all a frick’n rort!
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Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:08

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:08
If you think/believe that you can get it cheaper from O/S and are willing to take the chance/option that it is a dud or you may get ripped off, then use the Internet.

I do on a regular basis and mostly come out way in front.

Never been ripped off, however had one experience where I didn't read the fine print and had an absolute nightmare paying for the sucker.

Never ever use (buy from ) anyone who only takes Western Union money orders from O/S customers.

Eg of a really successful purchase in mid 2005

40M 10mm Amsteel plasma rope USA AUD$375 Aust $750

Aluminium Hawse for above rope profiled machine to take ARB offset.

USA AUD$46 Aust $90 straight machined (offset not available)

US$50 delivery (air)

Arrived two days later on front door step.

Just makes you wonder sometimes about Australian suppliers and their multi layered Distribution rip off machine.
AnswerID: 156050

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:22

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:22
So true. The internet helps, Ebay is my new best friend. You can really save money from the States if you can talk the business your dealing with to ship US Post air mail instead of UPS or FedEx. I think 6KG is about US$50.

I about poo'd my shorts when I want to buy a MagLite and the price was $90AU. I've been in OZ for a year and still can not get over the import prices.
FollowupID: 410057

Follow Up By: SteveL - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 22:04

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 22:04
Just watch out if you buy something on ebay from Europe.If they don't take credit cards then the banks will charge you $40 to do a direct deposit and the Commonwealth will not transfer less than $100.The wife has an account O/S so luckily didn't have to pay this.Freight is also expensive and they have a habit of charging "handling fees".In my case 37 Euros all up for something less than 200grams in weight.
FollowupID: 410163

Reply By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) 4124 - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:25

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:25
Ok..... how about Moto Guzzi Starter Motor retail from Germany or the US about $300. Ring Moto Guzzi here and get a quote for $1145.
Yes we get taken for a ride at times.

AnswerID: 156058

Follow Up By: Exploder - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:25

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:25
Tool’s I.E Snap On, Oh my god
Just about everything automotive oil’s, part’s all cheep and what they consider expensive we dream about paying that price.

Just one example, Ford radiator for a Explorer in the U.S $450 from a dealer, Aftermarket radiator $140

In Australia, Ford $1100 or after market $450.

But that’s the difference when you have a large population and lots of industry and all the pollution and cite that goes with it.
FollowupID: 410091

Reply By: Utemad - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:38

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:38
I was quoted $270ish for that rechargeable maglite. I wasn't interested in getting one but the shop guy did say it was a fantastic price.

I have a friend who frequents the USA and always comes back with a suitcase full of cheap stuff. I remember my Dad doing the same thing in the 80s so I guess things haven't changed. I just use the internet and have it posted. Cheaper than airfares LOL
AnswerID: 156064

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:45

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:45
$270 is a great price in Australia, if I had not order one for the States I would ask where you found it. Three weeks ago I want shopping and found them range from $350-$500, granted I did most of my pricing on the internet.
FollowupID: 410067

Reply By: F4Phantom - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:12

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:12
I know may people here will know more than I about big business but I do have one price break down for you from a product we used to import. It retailed in the US for $995. We sold it here for $1995. We bought at $850 AUD inc import costs, we wholesaled so the W/S price was $1250. There was $450 in it for us and $745 in it for the retailer. The factory sold the unit from taiwan for around $350. So the US company who own the factory has to make a cut, then normally they would W/S within the US. When we wanted to bring it here we became the second middle man so an extra cut is created, then add to that import costs and it adds us pretty fast. Also in case your thinking there is a bit of meat there, remember we also had to warrantly the product and the wholesaler needs to foot the bill for replacement parts and the retailer (in our case) had to pay for labour. I think this situation only really happens when the company is located in Australia.
AnswerID: 156084

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 22:42

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 22:42
Great point, but another point I don't get is (besides the import thing) why are products that are made in Australia not too much cheaper than the imports.

An example (bourbon of course :)) Imported bourbon is around $35 750ml and locally made boubon is around $25. What is wrong with this picture? Australia grows corn, sugar for rum, potates for vodca etc, etc, and has the infrastructure and economy to produce a local sprit which should price the same in relation to the local money. You cant even get bottom shelf spirts for under $20. In the States a bottom shelf spirt is around $7 (free headache included). It is the same with commodities, grain, sugar, dairy, meat, natural gas, coal.

I just dont get it.
FollowupID: 410177

Follow Up By: F4Phantom - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 09:14

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 09:14
I think there may be differences in our economies, I would say ours is not as developed as theirs. EG was talking to my mate who just got back (i have not been) he said you get takeaway chinese or something, $5 gets you all you can eat rice, and all the other stuff you want, I think he said he fed the family for around USD $8. Then another day he tried to do the great Aussie lunch, got some rolls, ham, all that for a DIY picnic with all the basics, over here that would cost maybe $12 from supermarket. he said it cost $30 - $35 US. So basicly eating take away is way cheaper than preparing basics yourself which is not the case here. They are a pre packaged society.
FollowupID: 410249

Reply By: age - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:20

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:20
I think some of the price differences ares worse than listed. When I stay with my brother in New York, the liquor shop around the corner has Jim Beam for $7.50 with a free hip flask - how much are we being ripped here - aaarrrggghhhh Bourbon
AnswerID: 156087

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:39

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:39
oh yes bourbon!...I started my intravenous drip last year and have not pulled the needle since heehee :)
FollowupID: 410124

Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 02:55

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 02:55
As some of you know I live in Seattle at the moment and I bought a 1.75L bottle of Jimmy 2 days ago for $ mouth was hanging wide cheap
FollowupID: 410221

Reply By: Eddy - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:47

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:47
How do you Guys get on about import duty on your purchases?
I thought only gifts and second hand machinery were exempt from it ?
AnswerID: 156108

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 21:05

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 21:05
auto parts and the like are duty free if your not bringing in lots of the stuff and selling it. Alcohol is around just under 2L I think, the gray area with alcohol is you can make multiple mail orders under 2L a few times a week before the red flag is up :D. The Australian Customs website has all the info.
FollowupID: 410134

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 15:58

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 15:58
If the total cost is under a certain amount ($250???) they dont bother - some items are also exempt from duty (eg aeronautical navigation systems) - there is a website with all this on ...soemwhere

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FollowupID: 410331

Reply By: Pterosaur - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 21:42

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 21:42
I've also wondered myself - in principle, I like to provide support for Oz retail outlets where possible - what I can't work out is why product pricing in the US and other foreign markets (which has an inbuilt component in the pricing to allow the merchant to make a reasonable profit), PLUS the freight for an individual item (which does not include discounting for bulk purchase etc.,), is so much different (less!)from the prices available in Oz.

The additional markups which appear when gear gets to Oz seem to be without justification.

Think I'm with you on this one Pneumatic !
AnswerID: 156127

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 15:55

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 15:55
As you can notice by now I'm from the US (I frick'n hate the place) and have been in OZ for about a year. Now that I have done the exchange/supply math IT IS MORE EXPENSIVE to live in Australia than the States via local money. Not that I really care, there is no way im going back to the States, but am I the only one noticing this?
FollowupID: 410330

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:13

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:13
Also had a positive US experience. Wanted to buy a joiner cable to connect 2 Honda 20i's - AUD 200+ if and when they stock them. These are a simple cable witjh banana plugs. Located a willing seller in the US and got it posted for US$50.

Sure it is a risk and people do get caught but I have found it to be a good way of getting a good price.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 156277

Follow Up By: Pneumatic - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:53

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 16:53
Get caught??? Every item you post out of the US has to have a Custom decoration filled out, thus the items in the box are clearly stated for Australian Customs to read. It is not a crime to buy something overseas, I have never been charged duty for an item I buy overseas and every time it states exactly what I bought on the Customs disclaimer. Personal use one-off items are of no concern to boarder patrol.
FollowupID: 410346

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 08:58

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 08:58
Sorry Pheumatic I meant in as goods that don't arrive or the postal charges are excessive etc. However I understand that every now and then the Customs people will pick a parcel and deem it dutyable or slug it with GST and the like.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 410500

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