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  1. #21
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Then how is this possible? And why can't retailers in Australia do the same?

    (Click on the "Imported" link under the price.)

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 03-24-2013 at 01:25 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Geez Ken, learn how to spell Australia, will you?
    "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

  2. #22
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Then how is this possible? And why can't retailers in Austrailia do the same?

    (Click on the "Imported" link under the price.)

    Ken
    Well yes, they can, read http://www.current.com.au/2011/11/18...XFWUZCBHL.html for example. But they were one of the first, and only last year (besides a few online retailers, they were certainly the first bricks'n'mortar shop to do it). But seeing as Canon won't honour overseas warranties, JBHifi themselves are offering their own 'equivalent' warranty (ie, if it breaks, you return it to one of their shops, they send it off to repair, they foot the bill). Things needed for that are shops and size, I would gladly set up a business importing stuff and selling it very cheaply (compared to AU prices) but don't have the resources to honour warranties.
    (and now i've just gone looking for them, and found this. It was only consumer 550D-esque level stuff, but it's sad that it's gone).

    I've no doubt that other companies could do the same. Places like DigitalCameraWarehouse (still on the example of my new printer) selling it for $1350 are no doubt paying a lot less for them. But why should they sell it for $800 like B+H can, when they can sell it for $1350, undercut rrp by $150 (10%), and still make a very tidy profit? The market's just not big enough here, don't forget we're 22million compared to what, 313mil in the USA? More people, bigger market, more competition, more pressure on prices. Plus don't forget they're a "richer" country, average wages are close enough but their Gini favours a lot of über-wealthy where premium items like high-end printers sell in more volume (hell, almost *any* photography besides P&S and iToys count as a luxury good, these days that's film too, 3 rolls and a camera is more than a low-end digital for 'unlimited' shots).

    Anyway, getting sidetracked by my inner-economist and outraged-consumer fighting in my head. Looks like we'll be having higher prices all around then, as stock of cheaper-bought stuff gets used up, direct-import or not, we're going to have to pay just a bit more (and I'm glad I just bought a nice shiny new (huge) fridge).
    Still, as others have mentioned, if it's the choice between higher prices and no Velvia at all, then I'll just pay the higher prices. I've just started getting back into film on 135 then 6x6 and 645, I'm almost tempted to buy my first 4x5 to celebrate the fact that I can use it for a while longer...

  3. #23
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Croubie View Post
    But why should they sell it for $800 like B+H can, when they can sell it for $1350, undercut rrp by $150 (10%), and still make a very tidy profit?
    Well you've almost answered your own question. They shouldn't sell it for less that $1,350... unless they have to in order to preserve their market share. And they'll reach that point when someone else comes along and self-imports and sells it for $1,340. And then someone else drops to $1,330. And then...

    Eventually they'll reach a point where they are selling it at the lowest price point they can, and still be covering their overhead and making a workable profit. That probably won't be $800. But it will be a lot less than $1,350 or $1,500. The only way they can continue selling it at $1,350 is if they are the only ones doing so.

    And when it comes to high-priced film, the subject of this thread, we're now talking a short-term consumable. Not long-term hardware. So the warranty issue essentially vanishes. How many purchasers have ever discovered a defect in their brand new film and returned it for warranty service?

    Ken
    "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. #24
    MattKing's Avatar
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    In Canada, commercial importation of relatively small quantities adds a lot of overhead costs (shipping, duty, taxes, customs brokerage, etc.).

    Our population isn't hugely different from Australia.

    I wonder how the numbers compare for Australia.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #25
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    In Canada, commercial importation of relatively small quantities adds a lot of overhead costs (shipping, duty, taxes, customs brokerage, etc.).

    Our population isn't hugely different from Australia.

    I wonder how the numbers compare for Australia.

    23 million.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    There is a real possibility that the distributor for film in Australia is also the distributor for other items that the Australian retailers are more dependent upon for their sales.

    So if they try to work around the distributors and import "grey market" film, the Australian retailers may mess up their contracts with the source for the majority of their profits.
    That's exactly it.

  7. #27
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Silly American question, then...

    If you guys can skirt the (forced, for whatever reason...) high prices by purchasing direct from Freestyle, B&H, or MacoDirect, then why can't the Austrailian retail outlets do the same? Seems to me that would be a quick way for them to beat the competition on price—and apparently by a lot—and also create lots of new, happy customers.

    Are there laws prohibiting such sideways grey-market importing?

    Or would the wholesale distributors come after them with pitchforks? And even if they did, so what? It would seem that those distributors are no good to them in the first place if they are forcing prices so high that end-user customers are doing the self-importing thing anyway. A lost sale is a lost sale.

    Ken
    The problem is that the manufacturers have given the wholesalers/distributors exclusive rights to the country (probably for a fee) and the distributors are thieves. They have no interest in there being price competition when they have a monopsony position. If a retailer goes behind the distributor's back on film, they are in contravention of their supply contract and the distributor will (threaten to) punish them, e.g. by withholding goods or cranking that store's prices up. So if a retailer wants to direct-import film, they basically need to direct-import absolutely everything photographic-related that they sell, which is a huge time/labour sink. That's the story I got from my local store; B&H are big enough that they can do all that warehousing themselves and have their own little grey market.

    My guess is that the retailers see all those lost sales as less-bad than either not being in business at all, or having an even-less-profitable arrangement whereby they import everything themselves. Of course no serious photographers buy their film here, but they still sell a bit of it to people who are either dabbling or urgently need a couple rolls.

  8. #28
    erikg's Avatar
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    Silly American? I guess I am, I really had no idea the price could vary that much globally. I can't see how that can continue and I hope it doesn't, but I feel for you. No chance of popping into a shop for a roll or two unless you are crazy rich.

  9. #29
    polyglot's Avatar
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    While the prices are bad, chromes are the worst examples. B&W is usually only 50-100% marked up, not 500%.

    And of course most of us buy enough that we never need to go near a store.

  10. #30
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    23 million.
    Boy, was my post confusing.

    My wondering about the numbers was oriented more toward the other numbers (shipping, duty, taxes, customs brokerage, etc.) then the population numbers - but thanks.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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