Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

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Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by cartesia » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:19 am

OK,

Given the current exchange rate, right now I could buy a single synth from a retail outlet in america, import it to australia, and then sell it for less than retailers sell for here and still make a profit - and this is not a sudden spike in the currency value, its been steady for a long time now.

So WHY is there no comptetitive pricing here? Its like all the stores have agreed on a fixed-markup. Surely being linked up with distribution/etc, buying large quantities of products, theyre getting things alot cheaper than I am capable of buying them from overseas?

Wouldnt it be a massive advantage to a store if they just started selling things at a smaller profit margin to undercut everyone else?

Can someone with any experience in this kind of business explain what is going on to me? It seems there must be a reason, but I have no idea what it could be.

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:18 am

are you including import duty in your calculations?

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by Hybrid88 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:44 am

Well, people forget that we're isolated here in Aus, meaning there is less competition and also much higher freight costs to get it this side of the equator. Or at least there *was* less competition, now with the jump in the dollar and the rise in internet shopping wayyy more consumers are savvy these days and just buying overseas. The downside is things are looking bad for the local retailers. Look at Allans, I always thought their prices were ridiculously above the norm and now the inevitable has happened and they've gone bankrupt.

There is a lot of factors at play though, like the cost of running a real business with overheads verses some ebayer in the US in his back shed.

I hate to see what this is doing to the local industry and losing more jobs hurts everyone here at the moment, but I agree we have to be more competitive to both let the local stores make a decent living and be able to buy goods for a comparative realistic price.

To me one solution would be to do away with the dodgy wholesalers in Aus from whom the retailers buy all their gear. I know one from my dealings at my local store and they are a*s's and don't care about customer service, I think of them like the mafia, just want their slice of the cake and nothing else. *That* is where the big difference is, because they obviously take their share of what you pay at the end of the day. So you're paying; Cost price + wholesaler markup % + retailer markup % = Retail Sale Price

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by intrancewetrust » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:41 am

i agree, the wholesalers/distributors are apparently the ones killing the retail business, in my industry anyway, logically this would not be the only case...

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by cartesia » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:17 am

yeah, I guess it is the wholesalers... I suppose there are probably still alot of people that do buy from local retail, for the convenience or just habit or whatever.. but to someone like me who's grown up with ebay/etc, it just seems crazy!

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:34 am

depends on the shop too... like there is a place where i live that sells only headphones... they have huge racks of all the different types, and you can bring your device in there and try them all out, the staff are helpful and quite happy for you to spend hours in the shop auditioning headphones... the price is a little bit more than you could get online but not unreasonable. i am happy to buy stuff there, because i feel like i get more than my moneys worth.

in other shops, where people are too lazy or rude to be helpful, they can go the way of the dinosaurs for all i care

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:24 am

Ashe37 wrote:are you including import duty in your calculations?
There's no import duty on items below $1000, and often things that are over that come through without any either.

There are quite a few places in Australia where you can get things at competitive prices to the US, equinoxoz for example sells modular stuff at about the same price as US price + postage, often less. Awave also sell things at competitive prices, you need to actually speak to them though rather than just pay the price they have on their website.

When I'm buying stuff here I go in knowing how much it would cost getting something from the US and factor in the shipping cost and time and make my decision that way. Sometimes I buy from Australia (most of my recent modular stuff, my Ultranova) sometimes I buy from the US or Europe. The people who work in shops here know what the prices are in the US as well and if you just talk to them, tell them you'd rather support a local business if they can offer a competitive price they'll usually be able to sort you out.

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by madmarkmagee » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:17 pm

madmarkmagee wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
Ashe37 wrote:are you including import duty in your calculations?
There are quite a few places in Australia where you can get things at competitive prices to the US, equinoxoz for example sells modular stuff at about the same price as US price + postage, often less. Awave also sell things at competitive prices, you need to actually speak to them though rather than just pay the price they have on their website.
I totally agree. It's where you go. Has anyone noticed that Allans music is closing down ? (BTW, go to there website to get bargins though idk what's left). I fear that they are closing because there listed prices were so expensive. I usually pick up stuff when there is a sale. Good things come to those who wait. Shops have to pay GST on everything, plus distributors/ manufacturing companies taking advantage of our isolation (they set the rrp?). This is the case with everything. But I find you get a good deal if you know where to look and/or be patient. I prefer to buy new things from retail shops so that if it doesn't work all I have to do is bring it back, and you get a warranty. I notice on the back of korg manuals it warns that if you buy it from another country doing so could, "invalidate" the warranty.

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by madmarkmagee » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:32 pm

Btw, has anyone noticed that used gear can be more expensive in Australia as well?

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:00 pm

yeah thats annoying too, i guess its because stuff is more scarce over here.

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by Hybrid88 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:27 pm

Yeah, a lot of the american classics didn't make it this far back in the day cause of the greater distance and people nowadays don't want to have to pay the above ridiculous prices UPS/USPS ask, so it's a fairly fixed market.

Our distance away from other countries is also one reason why there seems to be more Roland/Korg/Yamaha stuff kicking around than SCI/Oberheim/Moog.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that there is an above average amount of vintage synth lovers (ie hipsters with too much money) per capita in Sydney and Melbourne. haha :D

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by madmarkmagee » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:43 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:
I also have a sneaking suspicion that there is an above average amount of vintage synth lovers (ie hipsters with too much money) per capita in Sydney and Melbourne. haha :D
Totally agree. We do have high GDP and lots of hipsters!!! Plus I guess if the new stuff is more expensive, then the old stuff is more appealing, pushing up the price.

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by elsquirrel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:56 pm

Yeah, it depends a bit on what it is, but generally used gear in the US is considerably cheaper. I would agree that it's largely a matter of scarcity. Even so it seems like you regularly see things that belong in the 'ridiculous ebay starting bid' thread that leads me to believe some people are just out of touch. I guess you just have to be more patient. I missed picking up an akai s612 about a year ago, kept an eye out since, then missed one again the other day by about 10 minutes. The search goes on....

I mainly buy used gear so I'm pretty much stuck with ebay for anything I need. (or is there something I'm missing?) Be nice if there was a popular equivalent to a craglists or something. A site like this (with larger local numbers) where you could sell/trade for an agreed upon reasonable amount would be ideal. I always prefer that, similarly, knowing there's a better chance that the seller knows what they're talking about. Even after prolonged questioning I've been burnt a number of times by 'mint' gear that turned out to have obvious problems. Probably true of everywhere, and as far as a site like that existing maybe there just isn't that much used gear for sale here.

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:08 pm

after about a *year* of scanning gumtree *daily* (no joke) i found a prophet 600. a polysix came up once too but it was broken. but yeah its slim pickings... i get so jealous when i see US craigslist stuff... if i really want something specific (that happens to be japanese analog) modeless factory is good too. i regularly scan ebay, but the price they ask for the risk your taking is 99% of the time no good. anyway the situation here makes modular seem quite attractive imo... i think i might start building one and see how that goes...

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Re: Australian Music Gear Prices (Revisited..)

Post by elsquirrel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:14 pm

intrancewetrust wrote:after about a *year* of scanning gumtree *daily* (no joke) i found a prophet 600.
Yes, but you're probably an expert on guitars, broken amps and accordians now though. :)

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