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
Well, take the instance of a printer I'm (attemtping to) buy. Probably the Epson R3000 (but a tough call to the Canon Pro-1).
For a start, look for a price in Australia. Find a price lower than $1350 retail, I dare you (and tell me please?). (i've found it $1180 on 'special' but that's still almost double the NorthAm price.
Go to B+H, and see that it's $800, or $650 with a $150 mail-in rebate. Now add it to your cart, and click for shipping costs to AU. See the error "due to export or manufacturer restrictions we cannont post to AU". Same when I wanted a scanner, v750 (hey, the v750 isn't even available in AU, max is v700, I got my v750 2nd-hand off ebay from France).
So yes, it's Epson leaning on B+H telling them not to post it overseas. Apparently Canon do it too, I just tried for the Pro-1 as well. Not to mention Canon's famous 'same-product-same-factory-different-country-so-no-warranty-screw-you' policy.
Try Adorama? For some reason, epson don't lean on them as much, but still it's $780, plus $550 shipping please.
Even on Fleabay from a (supposedly) trusted seller in Asia, it's well over $1000 shipped. We just can't win.

It's such a problem there's even been a recent Government Inquiry into m$, crapple, and a dooby, about their prices. We've got a good consumer-advocate group here that are actively encouraging the general public to circumvent geo-blocking for software downloads. If I were going to, I'm thankful I can log onto my company's VPN on my work laptop and attach to the Fresno node, others aren't so lucky.

Back to film though, at least shipping costs are relatively low. Velvia 50 and 100 might be fine, but I also shoot Delta P3200 (only in 120-size, then the grain is manageable). Importing from overseas, there's no guarantee that your package won't be X-Rayed and fogged in the process, actually there's a fairly good change it will. Thankfully there's guys like Cheap_shots_au who buy in bulk in a proper import, and thus bypass the xray that happens to small packages. Anyone ever imported really high-iso film and had it fogged by xray?