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  1. #1
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    Can't Figure Out Film Pricing

    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. #2

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    the UK is a very expensive place to live

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdeyong View Post
    It looks like it's every man for himself.
    That's the definition of capitalism. Never leave money on the table.

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 12-16-2013 at 08:50 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Complete the thought...
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    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.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5

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    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. #6
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    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.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  7. #7
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    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.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    If you think that the UK prices are high, .
    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. #9

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    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. #10
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    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 Dr Croubie; 12-16-2013 at 06:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

    f/64 and be there.

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