Can't Figure Out Film Pricing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by hdeyong, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    Central Cana
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm getting ready to buy some film for two upcoming trips, and I checked around a little. It gave me a headache. Take a look.
    (All prices converted to Canadian dollars at today's bank rate).
    Ilford HP5+ (Made in England) - In London - $8.07, in Paris - $9.03, in Toronto - $6.99, in New York - $5.02
    Kodak Tri-X (Made in the US) - In London - $8.08, in Paris - $6.70, in Toronto - $8.99, in New York - $4.75.
    These prices are single rolls, at major retailers.
    So, I can buy film which is made in England for about 60% of the price in New York, for what I can buy it for in England, (um…. where it's made).
    I can buy film made in the US for the best price in New York, (reasonable), but why is it much more expensive in Toronto, (about 400 miles away), than it is in Paris?
    HP5 ran the gamut from $5.02, (New York), to $9.03, (Paris).
    Tri-X went from $4.75, (New York), to $8.99, (Toronto).
    This makes absolutely no sense. Even figuring in the inclusive taxes of England and France, there is still a huge discrepancy.
    France and England have the same sales tax rate, and yet Tri-X is almost $1.30 a roll less in France than it is in England.
    Luckily, I'll be in Toronto for a couple of months, and can buy my film in New York and have it sent to me there.
    It looks like it's every man for himself.
     
  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    the UK is a very expensive place to live
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,040
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's the definition of capitalism. Never leave money on the table.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2013
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,645
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Supply, demand, shipping, storage and of course tariffs and taxes. I suspect the the UK and France have some value added taxes [VAT] hidden in there.
     
  5. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    well VAT is 20% in the UK, but $8 is more than 20% more than $5 ...

    in fact, it can be cheaper for UK buyers to purchase Ilford film from (say) Freestyle, including the cost of shipping, import tax and duties and VAT , and thus reimporting it to the country where it was originally manufactured and from where it was exported, than it is to buy in the UK
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,645
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you think that the UK prices are high, the Australian prices are so high that the APUG members there post on APUG to get big combined mail orders from the US to get around the taxes and share the shipping costs.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,239
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a feeling that competition is fiercer in the US, which I believe is the largest film market today.

    In addition to sales tax, there is also the matter of how much it costs any manufacturer to sell their film in specific countries. How much they are taxed on their sales to distributors, etc.
    Fuel costs for transportation, cost of inventory, turnover, etc.

    You may also wish to consider purchasing power parity between individuals of the countries.

    In combination with the rules of supply and demand, I'm sure that answers a lot of the questions.
     
  8. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They are high.
    I'm not saying that prices are not higher elsewhere (I've read enough threads from Oz to know that), I'm simply reporting what the case is in the UK as part of the discussion
     
  9. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,486
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you are going to be staying in one place for a few days during the trips, consider buying from one of the online European sellers and having the items delivered to your location, at better-than-highstreet prices. I'm not sure how adaptable they might be over payment terms though.

    Alternatively, buy at the best price you can find at 'home' and take a stock with you ?
     
  10. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I work for an international company, selling industrial things. We have a thing called GRP, for Group Reference Pricing. It's designated in Euros, and it's a reference level for the average price of something. But some markets can tolerate different pricing, depending on demand and competitors and all that.

    Some types of our products are very popular in europe, there's a huge market and lots of competitors, so the units sell for less than the GRP. Here in Aus we don't use those types of products (to do with the weather and the way houses are built), noone sells them because noone wants to buy them. But the very few that we do sell, after converting exchange rates and all that, sell for two times GRP, because we can and the market will tolerate it, we're not going to get any more business by dropping the price so we don't (and it's really a hassle and work to sell non-standard things, so higher prices sort of cover the extra work).

    For a different type of unit, there's a lot of local competition from well established competitors here, we had to drop our selling price to well below GRP just to break into the market. Over in Europe, they sell for well above GRP because over there we are the established name of quality, we charge higher there because we can get away with it.

    I could relate to you my entire economics-degree worth of explanations, but in short:
    UK charges higher for film because they can (dropping prices is not going to increase revenue), and they have to (local wages and taxes and rent and all that).
    Film is cheaper in the US because they have to (charging more would lose customers to competitors), and they can (taxes, wages, and volumes mean they can get away with smaller margins on bare products).

    edit: seeing as someone mentioned that it's cheaper to purchase from Freestyle than from the UK: exactly. There is no UK equivalent of Freestyle (or B+H, or Adorama) in the UK (at least, that I know of from the other side of the world).
    Freestyle etc are cheap because they've got a huge operation set up, they ship more units so can tolerate smaller margins on each unit. Compare that to your average corner store, they can't compete with that, they have to have a higher margin per product just to pay wages and rent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2013
  11. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm sure we all realise those things, but knowing why things are the way they are doesn't make it any less unpleasant to have to pay over the odds compared to other folk ... especially if one is on a limited income (or no income at all). Almost everything is expensive in the UK, and the pressure is persistently downwards on wages and salaries for most people in real terms.

    also it's raining.
     
  12. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,575
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I watched BBC last week , amazon want their workers work 10 hours a day and pay 80 pounds a day. If 22 days , it makes 1700 pounds , 2500 dollars per month. And I watched a london home costs 700 000 pounds. Whiskey invented for a reason.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,325
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Economics 101 teaches that you can charge whatever the market will allow. As simple as that.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. wy2l

    wy2l Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's high film prices that will drive me to the 'dark side' (if you know what I mean, and you know you know what I mean).

    At this point I would normally add a sarcastic comment about the you filthy rich !astards (i.e., those who earn more than USD $20,000 per year!) not wanting to pay their 'fair share' in taxes, but I don't want to cause a 'flame war' from people who can't tell I'm making a joke.

    Always with the jokes,

    Kris
     
  16. Felinik

    Felinik Member

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I live in France, most of the time I buy my film from the US. Even with shipping accounted for, it's cheaper than the same film, WITHOUT the shipping included, here in France.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,645
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I understand the anger and frustration.

    I suggest that you order several bricks of film from FreeStyle or B&H and store it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Also see if there is an APUGger near you so that you can combine an order.
     
  18. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,881
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    price variations are largely import n duty taxes as well as exchange rates.

    I buy a crap load of film, throw it in the freezer. Then the next time I buy I am overwhelmed by future shock.. HOW MUCH? :sad:
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,231
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well that certainly is what manufacturers want us to believe and what "the market will bear" strategy is not as comfortable for the manufacturer as the " prices are governed by forces beyond our control" argument as this then becomes the unwelcome and less wholesome guest at the feast who is taking advantage of our goodness. It makes the producers just a little bit less loveable and we all like to be loved. Being loved is good for business as well unless the product is a distress purchase when it doesn't matter. To a large extent I fear that analogue material has reached that point where if not a distress purchase i.e. one that you must have and cannot live without, it has got to the inelastic demand point where price matters much less for sales volumes.

    pentaxuser
     
  20. Nuff

    Nuff Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think all the people in Europe should check http://www.macodirect.de/
    Their prices are pretty good and I bought film from them and B&H.

    As for biggest film market, I think it's still Japan followed by USA. They have more choice of film than any other place in the world and at very good prices, except Ilford is very expensive over there.
     
  21. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,535
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sadly, very true. I passed up a chance to live in the UK, which would be a dream come true for me, due to the massive cost of living there. Even though I would have loved to live in the UK, it made NO financial sense whatsoever to make the move.
     
  22. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,710
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's raining here in my part of Florida too, AND it's cold. The high tomorrow will be a frigid 70 degrees. It's tough all over.

    There have been some enlightening reasons on the high cost of film in different places. The consensus seems to be that this is mainly due to higher wages and better benefits being paid to workers in other countries, along w/ higher taxes and transportation costs. Along w/ the old economic truism that companies will charge as much as their markets will allow them to charge. Since that is not going to change, the only recourse would be, as has been suggested, to go in w/ some cohorts and order a LOT of film from Freestyle, then stick it in the freezer. Even if that means putting it on a credit card, the interest on that would be small change.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,645
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It must be tough to have to wear a sweater all day in December. That is like a cold snap Los Angeles. I can understand.
     
  24. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,486
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    35mm
    70F ?!?! We might have that next June, if we are lucky (I'm not joking unfortunately). On the positive side, there are fewer alligators here.

    Regarding costs of living, I left UK to move to NL largely because there seemed to be a better match between earnings and house prices. Most materials are now ordered from German online-stores, though some items are still more practical from UK oddly enough.
     
  25. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Spare a thought for us over here, 40C by thursday (that's 104F to you guys on the archaic system). Can't go out film shooting, it'll be expired by the time I've finished the roll.
    And yeah, London's expensive, what my sister pays in rent for a damp basement 2br flat in Hammersmith is what I pay on my mortgage for a 4br standalone house 2km from Adelaide city-centre and 4km from the beach (which is where I'll be going on thursday arvo).

    Depends where you are, of course. When I was there, the rent on my 44m² 1 bedroom (with a bathroom so small that the door didn't shut when I sat on the can) in The Hague cost me about 1/3 of my monthly earnings...
     
  26. thegman

    thegman Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Having moved from the UK to Australia, I can say that the cost differential to the UK is quite significant. Australia is a lot cheaper a place to live. Taxes are only the beginning.

    Rent is a lot less here, my much nicer house, twice the size of my UK one, costs less than half what the UK one did to rent. Transport costs less, food costs less, even furniture and some electronics costs less. In the UK, you don't just bear a higher tax burden, but everything costs that little bit more, and that makes a business cost more to run, and therefore the prices it charges must be higher.

    I don't criticize the UK for this, it's high taxes and high costs do probably reflect in a higher level of public service. The price has to be paid somewhere though.