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  1. #1
    munz6869's Avatar
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    Is it crazy to buy film retail here?

    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 - 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!
    Marc Morel
    President, Melbourne Silver Mine Inc.
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    http://mrmarcmorel.wordpress.com/
    http://silvermine.org.au

  2. #2
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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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. #3

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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.

    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.

  4. #4

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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

  5. #5
    mrbishi's Avatar
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    Yeap - every few months its bulk order time from the states
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"

    - Mark Twain

  6. #6
    polyglot's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    NDP_2010's Avatar
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    yes it is very crazy
    anyone doing an order, I need more stuff.
    pentax 6x7,canon eos 300, crown graphic 4x5

  8. #8
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    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.
    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?
    If you get a chance, check out my new Facebook Page, Kustoms On Silver!

    Hoffy's Flickr Photostream (Not quite analog Only, but nearly!)

  9. #9

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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!

  10. #10
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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.

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