Is it crazy to buy film retail here?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by munz6869, May 18, 2011.

  1. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    Yes it is. I just added up all the costs of buying my annual order of film:

    4 boxes 4x5" TXP-320, 5 boxes 4x5" Portra 160, 5 boxes 120 Portra 160
    Freestyle: (incl postage and overseas transaction fees) AU$573.22
    The exchange rates were rather good that week - about $1.08

    Local Retailer: (if I just walk there and pickup) AU$826.21

    All up I've saved AU$252.99, EVEN WITH POSTAGE & TRANSACTION FEES!!!!

    To me this is just extraordinary :confused: - TXP320 is not much dearer here (AU$6 dearer), but a pro pack of Portra 160 is more than double the price!!!

    Ordering Kodak film from the US, it's probably fresher, too...

    Marc!
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Yes, it is!

    I only buy it here when it's more convenient. For instance when I need/want it quickly or when it's out of stock elsewhere.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If you feel guilty, send the AU$826.21 to me and I will buy the film and ship it to you. That way you will get the same products and still stimulate the economy. I would just have to take a "hit" for the team!

    Steve
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Yes it is Marc — absolutely, while the dollar is dazzling. I'm now well and truly set with 215 mixed rolls of film for my around-Australia trip leaving 30th. :smile:

    B&H is doing a roaring trade from me with film, but the sting is remains in the air freight, which seems to be measured by cubic volume, not weight. Three rolls of 120 ProPack Provia (this is a small package when you think about it) in a huge box incurred a US$54.00 air carriage, but I still saved $69 over Australian retail.

    I have just garnered a refund from a Melbourne camera outlet who overcharged me on a roll of Fuji Acros 100, which I had to buy a fortnight ago in a hurry, not by choice.
     
  5. OzJohn

    OzJohn Member

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    You're crazy to buy anything photographic except chemistry (freight costs) in Oz and that freight paid to B&H probably would have been the same if many more rolls had been ordered. By the way, I believe good old Australia Post might have been the first to "discover" the concept of cubic mass as a means to gouge more money on lightish parcels - now there's a good export of know-how if ever I've seen one!

    I read a missive the other day from the pen of the guy who owns Maxwells whinging about how they are doing it so tough because of internet shopping and suggesting that when they were the Australian importers of Nikon they only made about 3% on the deal. You need a Woolworths' type of turnover to run a business on that sort of margin - one wonders why they kept the agency until Nikon themselves took it over if there was so little in it.

    I have no guilts whatsoever about buying offshore since we in Oz have been shafted for decades by manufacturers and wholesalers particularly and retailers to a lesser extent. These guys have finally woken up to the fact that consumers today can find out in a flash if they are being ripped. Yeah the dollar is making a difference right now but even when it was 75cents, it was still worth it to buy cameras and lenses from the States. GST makes a bit of difference as the retail clique likes to point out but the main factor is the base prices are just much lower.

    OzJohn
     
  6. mrbishi

    mrbishi Member

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    Yeap - every few months its bulk order time from the states :D
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Yeah it's insane. Not just film either ($10-15/roll vs $5/roll incl shipping) but hardware too - I bought my first flash from B&H for $300 (+$50 shipping) instead of $1100 at the local shop (for local people).

    I'm pretty sure it's the distributors to blame, not the camera stores. Doesn't matter though if the stores aren't smart enough to be importing it themselves.
     
  8. NDP_2010

    NDP_2010 Member

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    yes it is very crazy :smile:
    anyone doing an order, I need more stuff. :tongue:
     
  9. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    The manufacturers and distributors are more then happy to play global when it comes to manufacture and sourcing products, but want to play regional when it comes to sales.

    Places like CR's DON'T CARE. I'd has it a guess that to them, film is but an inconvenience, but since they have the market sewed up…..

    And who suffers in the end? It's the retailers. I know of one retailer who has gotten in products that are not on their Distributors lists, but quake in their boots, in case the said distributor finds out.

    Yes, I am guilty of buying overseas like the rest of you, but I also like to be able to go into my local and get some wet chemicals when I can, or a quick spare roll of film. If we don't support our locals, what is going to happen if they stop stocking EVERYTHING?
     
  10. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Hoffy,
    There aint no guilt in buying overseas like the rest of us. Whinges and wails from the likes of billionaires Gerry Harvey and Solly Lew only make me mightily determined to do things my way (like literally millions of other Australians) rather than pay exhorbitant prices for anything from a USB cable to a replacement lounge castor.

    My B&H order was changed at the $1.09 mark, so it was a rip-snortingly good transaction! :tongue:
     
  11. wotalegend

    wotalegend Member

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    Like most here, I have been buying both gear and materials from overseas for some years and I don't feel an ounce of guilt. Why should I? About the only photographic item I do buy locally is chemicals because of the difficulties attached to importing them, particularly wet chemicals. And that is what concerns me the most about the future. There are precious few Oz retailers selling photographic chemicals even now, and selling chemicals to a small band of amateurs like us is not going to keep them viable. What happens when they disappear? Will we then have to learn to mix our own? Will the formulae be available? And where will we get the raw ingredients to do so?

    And the current big retailers campaign against GST-free imports under $1k is flawed in more than one respect. Not only is the price difference in most cases a lot more than 10%, but there are many many products within our range of interest which are simply not stocked in mainstream Australian retailers. In which department do Harvey Norman and Myer keep their films and chemicals, and where is their second-hand camera department? Yes, I know that there are still a few specialist photographic retailers, mostly big city CBD based, who do stock these things but they have to cope with high wholesale prices and the high cost of their mostly CBD location and we all know the result of that.
     
  12. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I'll ask too, anyone doing an order?
     
  13. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    There was a group in Adelaide pursuing an order just very recently, but I think it's been and gone now.
     
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  15. Ambar

    Ambar Member

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    Let me illustrate the brazilian problem with a quick look at prices of several things. These quotes are current (got them yesterday) and currency exchange has been the best in many years (meaning it's been cheaper than ever to buy things in the US). I'll convert all brazilian reais (local currency) to US dollar so as to make things easy:

    1L Ilford Multigrade developer - $44.12 (B&H - $7.95 for the 500ml, say $16 for 1L)
    1L Ilford Rapid Fixer - $43.5 (B&H - $9.95)
    5L Ilford ID-11 - $57 (B&H - $9.95)
    25 pack Ilford Multigrade RC VC paper (8x10'), glossy or matte! - $61.76 (B&H - $18)

    Cheapest roll of Tri-X I've ever seen here - $17.67 each (B&H - $3.59)
    Cheapest roll of Velvia 50 was scandalously cheaper than the Tri-X ($16.47)!! I guess this illustrates insanity..

    Never mind equipment. Stores don't even carry new analogue equipment. They generally need to be special ordered and imported (Guess a price.. you're low.) Long live the awesome and bustling used market that floats around here!!
    Any attempts to import through the mail will be squatted by a blanketing 50% tax rate over any order that is greater than $50 (here's the catch.. this include shipping cost!). There's also a special 6.5% tax on any purchase done in a foreign currency with a credit card. This is extra bonus though, not counted or discounted during import tax.

    After writing this, I think I feel like curling in the fetal position and crying for a few hours.. excuse me..
     
  16. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    You poor bastard. Literally, after you buy some film and paper :sad:
     
  17. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    And I imagined that in Rio, everything is grand. Apparently when it comes to analog photography, that aint necessarily so... :sad:
     
  18. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    Are you sure that the customs do not scan the film heavily?

    I to buy stuff from freestylephoto (I live in Europe). The difference in price is that big that it pays of even when the customs add tax to it.
     
  19. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    ^
    If Customs did, there would have been a rash of alerts about it here on APUG. Not the sort of thing any of us would necessarily not notice if it was going on and damaging or degrading film by whatever amount.
    The Customs declaration is so detailed (7 pages of it, in duplicate) that I doubt Customs would give it a second glance.
     
  20. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I bought 13 rolls of film yesterday at Vanbar for a wedding shoot this weekend and the total was over $168. I usually buy film maybe two or three times a year from B&H, and even with postage it is always way cheaper.
     
  21. Ambar

    Ambar Member

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    Things REALLY are grand and beautiful.. Just don't take a picture of it!!!!!!!! :D

    Thanks for the "transworldly" votes of compassion! I think I can recompose myself now.. Yet somehow film goes on!! :smile:
    Cheers!
     
  22. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Damn. I'll definitely remember to bring my own film to Brazil!
     
  23. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Where's that Vanbar guy that responds to questions like this?
     
  24. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    And reporting from the UK ...

    Portra 400 8x10

    UK Price ---> $257 (£159)

    US Price ---> $109 (Badger Graphic)

    135% more expensive in the UK!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2011
  25. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    I've heard that people in the UK are buying Ilford products from the USA because of the huge markups, that'd be funny if it wasn't sad. So it's not just people in Australia getting screwed, it's other places too.

    My theory is that it's the distributors screwing the retail shops, and the retail shops are (understandably) too scared to upset the distributors. It's a no-win situation.
     
  26. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    Well 8x10 FP4

    UK Price --> $184 (£114)
    US Price --> $82

    Ah that's OK then - only 124% more expensive!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2011