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.)

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...