back to article Digital shoppers ripped off @.com.au

Australian gaming, tech and software consumers selecting to buy from local online stores vs offshore etailers are paying up to 91 percent for the pleasure, according to consumers watchdog Choice. Choice has revealed in a submission to the Productivity Commission’s retail inquiry, that pricing disparities between many items sold …

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Finally!

Finally somebody like choice has noticed what most of us have known for years!

I once sent an email to 'Ahead' regarding their pricing policy as we pay far more for their products as soon as you tell their website that you are from oz.. their response was soemthing lame relating to exchange rates and international policy... complete shite given the aussie dollar was at near parity at the time.

Adobe, Steam (funnily they still price in US dollars on the australian website - although the pricing is different to US), Ahead, Microsoft are among companies that all do it/have done it in the past with no good reason that they can explain when specifically called out on it. No wonder some people prefer to pirate software as opposed to being ripped of just because of where we live!

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Overseas not always cheaper

When the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out for World of Warcraft, I looked at how much it would be to to buy it direct from Blizzard rather than going through an Australian e-tailer. At first glance it was about two-thirds the price - Blizzard wanted $40 for a DVD copy of the game and local e-tailer Game Planet wanted $65. So there's your Aussie ripoff markup.

So what made me buy it from Game Planet? The fact that Blizzard wanted a HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS in postage and handling fees over and above the cost of the game. I mean, what the fuck? Did they think they were shipping it to Alpha Centauri or something? Since buying the game direct from Blizzard would thus have cost me $140, while buying it from Game Planet cost me $65 shipping included ($60 for the game and $5 to post it!), I went with the locals.

I still haven't gotten over that to this day. And people reckon Australian retailers are ripoff merchants! Where the fuck do Blizzard get the gall to charge that kind of money for posting a fucking game box across the Pacific?

So the moral of the story is, check what you're paying for shipping. While buying from overseas retailers may seem cheaper, when you add the shipping charges it doesn't always work out that way. Buyers should check how much their savings buying that cheap tat from china are actually worth once they add the shipping costs in.

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Devil

Australia's Retailers suck s#@&!

books from usa or uk

stereos, chainsaws and other goods blocked from being shipped to Australia through PriceUSA to bypass bullshit retailer blocks and pay 1/5th the price of local!

That is all.

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Meh

Let me know when they look into physical goods

Especially cars!

Australia is even more ripped off than the UK. The price of goods from foreign providers, including shipping halfway across the planet, should not be cheaper than buying locally. But it is, and by far more than the GST.

Just a shame you''re not allowed to get cars shipped from other countries.

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Ripped off??

If people are prepared to pay the price, then it is surely not being "ripped off".

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Facepalm

Fair point.

Though, it is the fact that more and more people are NOT prepared to pay the price that got the retailers whining in the first place. Which is in turn what put the spotlight on the whole pricing issue (icon is for those retailers).

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@Charles Manning

You're confusing "prepared to pay the price" with "not having a choice". Until very recently it was near impossible to get many items due to lockups with regional distributors and the fact you forgo a warranty on so many items. You still suffer the latter. Now more sites have sprung up to cater for the fact they know there's a country out there full of shoppers who'd happily buy from them to save money. Global recessions can sometimes have good outcomes as companies have to diversify their income sources.

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Coat

Gridlock

It's a bit of a gridlock/catch-22 situation, everyone is having to pay high prices for labour, housing, petrol, utilities, food etc so that means we all want higher wages which, lo behold, come from charging more a lot of the time. Of course it's an absurd situation that things are 2x the price compared to the US, I'd be expecting 25% but not much more.

The sad thing is, the more we pour money directly offshore the less there tends to be to grease the domestic economy engine.

:bleah: :(

( coat because I'm trying to find another $2 to buy some bloomen milk )

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Unhappy

I agree with him

But it will never happen.

The Aussie consumer has always been shafted, and always will be....

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FAIL

Goes for big brands too

Adobe are shockers for this. Student versions of common applications are have large differences in price. Acrobat X Pro is US$119 or A$148. Lightroom 3 student is US$89 or A$111. Photoshop CS5 Extended is US$119 or A$182.

The downloads are sold from Ireland for Australia, so there is no GST (those prices are the GST free ones). The same 80% discount is applied, but to the rip-off full price.

When students see price differences like that, is it any wonder that they choose the BitTorrent store instead? I'll wear the extra cost, but only because I will pay for software I use and my supervisor is covering some of the costs.

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WTF?

Say What?

"companies are employing blocking methods such as banning international IP addresses and credit card numbers"

What companies are doing that? That's a pretty bold assertion to add to the end of an article as a throwaway line.

Sounds like bollocks to me.

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Facepalm

RE: Say What?

Try having an AU credit and buy some stuff from the US...... I'm lucky I have US and Canadian friends so I bypass the artificial barriers. There is a roaring trade with US shipping handlers acting as a middle man for AU customers.

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Unhappy

Yay capitalism

Welcome to the joys of having a thriving economy and a strong currency. Am from Ireland, and this is what's been happening for years. Now that we're screwed, so there's nobody buying, and retailers are complaining that no one is giving their money to them instead opting to find a better deal online or over the border in N.Ireland. As people are now shopping out of the country we're being called unpatriotic, which is laughable, because their definition of being patriotic is to be robbed blind, and to be thankful.

Chains which had an online arm to their shops, and were/are open in both the UK and Ireland had different prices depending on which country you delivered to. You'd pay at least 25% more for the Euro price compared to Sterling price, and that's even when the Pound and Euro went to parity.

Lived in Australia a few years ago, and visited again earlier this year, and in the few short years it has become a very expensive country.

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Unhappy

Paddy in exile

It's almost impossible for me to return. Can't get a job.

Thing is, life here (down under) is, by and large, so much better.

WTF have we done? Seriously...

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WTF?

Re: Say What?

""companies are employing blocking methods such as banning international IP addresses and credit card numbers"

What companies are doing that? That's a pretty bold assertion to add to the end of an article as a throwaway line.

Sounds like bollocks to me."

Try buying somthing from Steam(US) when living in Australia and your Aussie credit card does not work - also an Aus shipping address will redirect to the Aus version (some steam titles also will no sell in Aus at all!) I am pretty sure that they IP block as getting to the US steam site (and logging in) from Aus requires a proxy last time i tried it.

Try buying from Ahead software and same goes... if you tell them you are in Aus then they change the rate - have not yet tried telling them i am US and using an Aus credit card - im not paying for anything they have to sell if this is their business model.

Have a look around for steam - there are sites dedicated to "Gifting" where a *friend* from the states (or wherever the stock is cheaper) buys it on your behalf as a "gift" and you transfer them the money - or buy them a title in return which they do not have access to...

This is all for digital content that does not attract shipping rates..

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Not having a go at aussie retailers here by the way

Note - i am not having a go at aussie retailers here... (although mostly they are ripoffs too) - i am talking about international retailers capitalising on the fact that Aussies will pay more, or still using currency exchange rates from the day when $1AUD only bought $0.60US???

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FAIL

<sigh> let's get one fact straight

Please, please get one thing straight - GST is assessable on all imports at point of entry.

So let's abandon this stupid statement about "imposing GST on imports of under $1000" as if it doesn't happen now.

What we are arguing about is that Australian Customs operates a debt collection policy to not try to collect amounts under $A100 for items entering via the "informal entry" system for shipment direct to final consumers (meaning low-value one-time shipments going direct to us mug buyers).

That $A100 represents all charges due to Customs including duty, tariffs (if any) and GST. It is just not worth their effort to chase and collect small amounts. Sometimes they get lucky, and Australia Post has a chance to collect for them. With the boutique agents working with fast couriers like FedEx, DHL and the like, there isn't enough time to handle the paperwork or the payment.

This policy does NOT apply to Entry 10 (normal customs clearance) through a broker or agent. If a business has an ABN then the broker is to collect from their customer whatever amount is due even below $A100. This is usually done by EFT and is vastly more efficient.

As many other posters (whether named Bill or not) have pointed out the difference is not merely 10% for GST but a swag of other factors causing online shoppers to shun local etailers.

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Goose / Ganda

As someone else said before on one of El Reg's forums, why is it that companies tell us it's OK for them to shop overseas for the best prices (e.g., outsource) but not for customers to do the same?

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