Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Yes (likely)
7
6%
No (unlikely)
102
88%
Maybe
7
6%
Don't know
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 116

Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby apsilon » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:36 pm

dobby wrote:All I ask is that you read what I wrote earlier, this issue is not unique to Australia, it is happening globally.

If you send something to the UK, VAT is collected on items over 38GBP (about $55 to $60 Australian Dollars), similar to Canada and a little higher to NZ (but not a lot). The decision has been made there that it is worthwhile to levy VAT or GST - so as Australians we get no advantage from exports to those countries - but our buyers do gain from imports and tax exemptions - so business loses twice - it is a really really bad policy implication - similar to a reverse Marshall Larner principle. Australian business loses on exports to those countries due to their restrictions - and loses from imports here.

If someone imports commercially it is ok to levy them witha Customs fee, Duty and GSt at a figure 8% higher than purchase price (freight and insurance is added to the purchase price at the exchange rate at the date of purchase - which sucks if you hedge currencies or buy your currency forward in a strip hedge for a series of imports - but that is a story for another day) - same must apply to buyers importing privately, charge them a fee for Customs Clearance, and Duty and GST at the FOB cost.

The storage fee is called "demurrage" and every importer pays it if their paperwork isn't in order - so why should the consumer be exempted too?


I understand other governments do it but perhaps they're more efficent than our and aren't as bogged down in as much red tape or as many levels of government? Perhaps they're just more competent? Don't know as it doesn't interest me enought to look. Using your example though if they only charge for say over $50 that'd be $5 for us but isn't the UK VAT currentl 20% and therefore would be $10 for them? Right away they have twice the value to work with in order to make it cost effective.

As for private importers paying customs fees and duty, they do but again customs only bother if it falls over the $1000 value probably because they're even smaller amounts than GST and again not cost effective to collect(and BTW that $1000 limit does also take into account shipping costs, not just item value). Most duty rates are only 5% (there are exemptions, especially alcohol and tobacco products) but there's also a wide range of duty free products and also some of our trade agreements also allow for duty to be waived (eg most US made products purchased from the US). The customs fee, which these days is really a fee to register in the customs cargo system, is a hair under $50. Demmurage is also charged to private importers if they don't get their act together and complete the clearence quickly so the system is fairly similar in those regards, it's just the GST free amount that differs.

What do you think the limit should be if not $1000? I think we agree a blanket applying it to everything isn't practical. At a guess, I figure a customs admin officer must earn say $20/hr. Let's say it takes 15min to asses and issue a GST notice so in terms of labour $5. Say another $5 to cover stationary and credit card merchant fees to issue and collect payment so let's say it costs $10. That would make everything up to $100 impractical. I'm probably being conservate in these figures as well. Do you know the limit used to be $500 for courier deliveries? Wonder why they changed it? Maybe it wasn't cost effective even then? It wouldn't surprise me. At a guess and looking at my own purchases (several a month) I'd say 80% are probably under $500.

Anyway, I don't know what the actual happy medium figure is but obviously the government believe's it's currently $1000.

oxford, noted. Didn't realise that though I'd say by the time I retire it won't be the case.
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by BNA » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:54 pm

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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Oxford » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:54 pm

apsilon wrote:oxford, noted. Didn't realise that though I'd say by the time I retire it won't be the case.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Xplora » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:01 pm

Redbull wrote:The ATO uses classic bully tactics - mostly everyday folk have no choice but to comply (or they feel the full force of the ATO and their righteousness) whereas money and power are treated a whole lot differently and settlements are often negotiated.

As someone who deals with your tax system regularly, trust me, they are not bullies. They are trying to get people to pay what the democratically elected MPs have determined they should pay. Everyday folk need to pay their taxes, just as much as the Packers and Murdochs and Forrests, and yes, they don't have a choice but to comply. Australia is a tax system that doesn't have an "opt in" clause.

And (segue) that is precisely why the overseas GST under 1000 bucks is such a ridiculous exemption. The businesses that collect the GST aren't in a position to say "its too hard, just let it go". No matter how small or insignificant the purchase, they must charge GST and wear the full cost of administering that collection and remittance to the ATO. This gets passed onto consumers, and in the end we ALL pay for that collection.

That's OK - life's tough like that - but don't think for a second that exempting imports under a grand is saving anyone money. GST costs money for local businesses to administer, but when it comes to the Government collecting it, it's too hard? That's two sets of rules. It's worth remembering that GST costs a LOT of cash to look after. If you can't see the barriers that are in place for local businesses, then you need to think harder about the issue.

Australians do not win. The people who suffer the most from this tax dodge are the least well off, the poor people who can't afford computers and internet, aren't smart enough to use them, and can't spend enough money on Wiggle to make it worthwhile. The instant you create loopholes that only the wealthy will take advantage of, that's the moment that you have an unjust system.

If you don't like the laws, get your MP to change them. If they won't, run for office yourself. There are options, but crying on the internet that you deserve to avoid GST because you shouldn't have to pay tax on an imported good that your neighbour would have to pay tax on if he buys it down the street is incredibly shortsighted, and quite childish.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Oxford » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:10 pm

I think some people are missing the point. almost all of us me included would be quite happy to pay GST and excise if levied as we would still pay less than domestically, so the only winner is the government and by proxy society I suppose.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Xplora » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:31 pm

Oxford wrote:I think some people are missing the point. almost all of us me included would be quite happy to pay GST and excise if levied as we would still pay less than domestically, so the only winner is the government and by proxy society I suppose.

No doubt - my only beef with the GST crybabies is that there is some assumed right to avoid paying the tax, and present ridiculous arguments like cost effectiveness, forgetting that Coles has to charge you GST on a Mars bar worth $1.50. After working a checkout, I can assure you that if it's even remotely busy, a sale for $1.50 costs a business money.
I think it's quite insane that prices are so much more expensive here, and quite frankly I think Australia is digging itself an economic grave with the Workcover, public liability insurance, etc etc etc. Our prices are more expensive because global manufactured goods must pass through our Customs, taxation and industrial relations regime before a consumer gets to touch it. This is directly attributable to ALP policies over the past 30 years.

As a result... I don't agree with the protectionism afforded to our workers - no one has been reaching down to wipe "MY" backside in the workplace, so I don't support Australian companies if it doesn't suit my needs. I am happy to be labelled a scab or whatever name you want to throw around - Australia will be wiped out in any serious economic, military or cultural assault, and I really think we need to be knocked down a peg or two.

so yeah. I'll still buy overseas, duty or not. Australia cannot, will not, compete.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Oxford » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:06 pm

the big difference though is that collecting GST domestically is a by product of the sales process, they're collecting the sales proceeds, so an extra 10% is just a minor administrative column in the cash book. we can say thnaks to the morons in canberra for making it harder by exempting some things and making financial institutions have a reduced rate.

for most businesses GST was only a wake up call for two basic reasons, their book keeping and recording was woeful at best so they had no real idea how the business was actually going and most importantly they suddenly had to cough up dough on a regular basis (ie cashflow issues were highlighted). GST actually did a lot of businesses favours by making them keep better records. when I ran my business, I found GST to be a non event, you just kept good records, kept the dough aside and no issue.

contrast that with collecting GST from many individuals, individually and assessing each item on its merits and trying to weed out the recipients trying the scam the system, its not really all that easy, possible but not easy. retail outlets don't have that issue, they take in $110 through the till because that's what the price is they keep $10 aside and submit it once a month or once a quarter, very easy. there are of course some issues with GST free items, imports and exports etc etc, but if you have good records its not really an issue.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby mianos » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:23 pm

Or would could go back to the old days, where clearing agents have to process all incoming packages.
A $500 item will have 10% GST + $50 clearing fee (how much it costs to have an idiot type spend about 1 minute typing a few numbers into a computer and maintain access to such) + credit card processing fees for those fees (or take 2 more days while they 'clear' your EFT) and charge an extra $20 bucks for the slowest most expensive and unreliable courier service to deliver it from the clearing agent to your door. Those fees may make sense on a container of goodies but on your 100 gram Garmin GPS?

On the other hand with so many people simply charging 'what the market will bear', people won't 'bear' it and with all that it's probably going to be cheaper to mail order it anyway.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:28 pm

Xplora wrote:If you don't like the laws, get your MP to change them. If they won't, run for office yourself. There are options, but crying on the internet that you deserve to avoid GST because you shouldn't have to pay tax on an imported good that your neighbour would have to pay tax on if he buys it down the street is incredibly shortsighted, and quite childish.

The only people "crying on the internet" have been the big boys in town, the top end retailers who are secretly bunking for an exclusion from GST for their goods under $1000.

Me, I'm happy for the rules to remain the same, but if the government did decide that Customs needed to chase GST on every little $10 imported product I guess I'd pay it..... and still be ahead for most of the sorts of overseas purchases I've been making. When products are a) not available in Australia, b) sold at a 60% - 100% price premium; a 10% GST makes little difference to my purchase decisions.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby apsilon » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:05 am

Oxford wrote:the big difference though is that collecting GST domestically is a by product of the sales process, they're collecting the sales proceeds, so an extra 10% is just a minor administrative column in the cash book. we can say thnaks to the morons in canberra for making it harder by exempting some things and making financial institutions have a reduced rate.


Exactly, the retailer is already collecting payment from the consumer, for imports, customs would be collecting solely for the sake of GST. There an adminsitration difference in adding a GST line to an invoice that already being generated to generating an invoice solely for GST. As said though, I wouldn't care if GST was levied across the board, it'd have no impact. I was buying OS before there was GST, I was also buying back when the AUD$ was down around the $0.60 mark compared to the US$

mianos wrote:Or would could go back to the old days, where clearing agents have to process all incoming packages.


How long ago was that? I've been importing privately for 21 years now and have never been required to use a broker. It certainly wasn't easy in the early days as it was harder to find the required info but it could be done and was easy enough once you figured it all out.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby DavidS » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:40 am

In theory if we charge a GST on a low price good in Australia then we should do the same for a low priced imported good. The problem is that collecting the tax is likely to cost more than it raises. Imagine the hue and cry if a Labor government altered the tax laws and made a loss? The conservative press would go ballistic.

One of the biggest weaknesses of this campaign to levy a GST on low value goods is the proponents. These are large companies who are notorious for avoiding as much tax as possible. Additionally, as I stated earlier, a lot of this is just a smokescreen so they can set up internet shops in China and avoid the flac. Where were Hardly Normal et al when Australian manufacturing was being put out of business by cheap imports? I'll tell you where they were, they were on the phone to China to be the first to bring in the cheap imports and at the same time lambasting Australian manufacturing for not being competitive. Bunch of hypocrites, the shoe is firmly on the other foot now.

As for those who say they get nothing from taxation, have private health insurance and the like, you do realise that the private health providers still get the medicare rebate and the your health insurance company just pays some or all of the extra your provider charges? I choose not to have private health insurance (and cop the extra levy) because I believe a public health system is fairer and more efficient, and I present the US health system as evidence of this. I too don't get family tax benefit, never got a baby bonus etc. I do have a kid but we earn too much to get these benefits (as probably most people here do). However, I do not have a problem with helping those less fortunate than I. I also have no problem with paying taxes.

To those who harp on about labour costs in Australia, just how little do you expect your employees to live on? Could you survive if you were working a 40 hour week and earning say $10 an hour? I doubt it.

As many here have pointed out, a 10% GST is not going to stop people buying overseas on the 'net because the price difference is substantially more than 10%. Oxford's example of software which is downloaded anyway is possibly the best example, just why is that more expensive here?

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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby dobby » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:43 am

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 6032273275

CYBER-SHOPPERS are costing the federal government $1.3 million a day by buying tax-free imports over the internet, the Treasury has revealed.

Lost revenue from the GST -- and the savings to consumers -- are forecast to grow 10 per cent each year to hit $610m by 2013-14.

The Productivity Commission has found Australia's $1000 tax-free threshhold for imported products to be the world's most generous outside Hong Kong, where all imports are tax-free.

In a report that will fuel pressure from traditional Australian retailers to restrict tax-free imports, the commission says it would be "preferable" to give all retailers the same tax treatment.

"The number of parcels entering Australia under the low value importation threshold has risen in recent years and is likely to increase further as online shopping becomes more prevalent," the commission says in an issues paper published this week for its inquiry into the retail industry.

"Consistent with the principle of minimising distortions in resource use, it would be preferable to apply the same rates of taxes to all imports so that competing businesses were treated equally."

Retailers are lobbying the Gillard government to overturn the Howard government's decision in 2005 to raise the tax-free threshold for imported goods from $250 to $1000, on the grounds it cost Customs too much to police.

Overseas goods bought over the internet -- including fashion, perfumes and cosmetics -- are exempt from the 10 per cent GST as well as Customs duty of 10 per cent for clothing and 5 per cent for footwear. But Australian "bricks-and-mortar" retailers, which import goods in bulk to sell within Australia, have to pay both taxes, which they pass on to shoppers.

The Treasury has calculated the exemption will save shoppers $460m in GST payments this year -- enough forgone revenue to pay for the government's promise to fix hospital waiting lists.

The tax break is forecast to widen to $500m next financial year, $550m in 2012-13 and $610m in 2013-14, according to Treasury costings.

The commission paper reveals that Australia's tax-free threshold is 50 times higher than Canada's, three times higher than in New Zealand or Singapore, and eight times higher than Japan's.

It says the commission "understands" that the average value of parcels entering Australia is less than $100 -- 10 times below the tax-free limit.

"Based on the preliminary evidence available to date, it appears that even a large reduction in the threshold may not necessarily have a significant impact on the number of parcels not subject to GST and duty," it says.

The commission refers to claims by some retailers that smaller retailers are "abusing" the tax-free threshold by buying goods valued at less than $1000 from overseas, and onselling them to customers without paying GST or Customs duties.

"There is nothing illegal about this practice, but some have alleged that the current regulations in this regard put larger local retailers at a competitive disadvantage," the report says.

The report says some consumers buy over the internet because they "simply cannot purchase an equivalent product from a local supplier".
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby apsilon » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:09 pm

dobby wrote:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/internet-shoppers-saving-13m-a-day-as-lost-revenue-grows-10pc-a-year/story-fn59niix-1226032273275


Interesting. So that means we spend $14,300,000 every day on private imports. That $5,219,500,000 per year. I believe the latest figure is that about 38% of us shop online so if we all did it that figure would be around $13,735,526,315 per year. Still seems pretty small compared to local retail sales of $250,000,000,000 per year.

Wish we had greater statistical break down. eg how much of that daily $14,300,000 are sales under $100, under $250, under $500 etc.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby dobby » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:36 pm

I'm sorry but if your sums are correct 5 billion worth of retail sales is a little "large" to be considered "private imports" anymore.

there is no way of ever gauging the correct amount of private imports because who says the Customs Declarations are correct on the incoming articles?

Retail figures include food and fuel - remove those and you will see 5 billion is quite a percentage of discretionary retail.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Oxford » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:31 pm

DavidS wrote:......To those who harp on about labour costs in Australia, just how little do you expect your employees to live on? Could you survive if you were working a 40 hour week and earning say $10 an hour? I doubt it......

Suppose it depends on what the definition of survive is. Is surviving having two cars and driving them to work instead of a suitable alternative? Is it having streaming internet 24/7, game consoles, bling bikes, a boat and other things? There are many things that we do not need to survive. But try telling that to the average Australian bloated on excess consumption and the overinflated opinion of being owed something.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Xplora » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:10 pm

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:If you don't like the laws, get your MP to change them. If they won't, run for office yourself. There are options, but crying on the internet that you deserve to avoid GST because you shouldn't have to pay tax on an imported good that your neighbour would have to pay tax on if he buys it down the street is incredibly shortsighted, and quite childish.

The only people "crying on the internet" have been the big boys in town, the top end retailers who are secretly bunking for an exclusion from GST for their goods under $1000.

Me, I'm happy for the rules to remain the same, but if the government did decide that Customs needed to chase GST on every little $10 imported product I guess I'd pay it..... and still be ahead for most of the sorts of overseas purchases I've been making. When products are a) not available in Australia, b) sold at a 60% - 100% price premium; a 10% GST makes little difference to my purchase decisions.

This isn't true. There are dissenting voices against the importation exemption, they just aren't loud. A lot of taxes are inefficient - stamp duty is a classic and without it, our states would stop working. The GST as a tax is efficient, but not efficient to administer. Yes, the GST is COLLECTED as part of the purchase process, but GST also needs to be claimed back as well, and this requires an annual, quarterly or monthly bookkeeping exercise which ends up being quite onerous on a business, particularly a small one. In effect, the ATO is taking money from 3-4 groups of people, and giving various amounts back. The end consumer is only one that truly pays, but a number of businesses have had to spend hours upon hours every year working out what they can claim back, as well as sending a bunch of money on a regular basis.

It's not the big end of town - we all pay for GST collection, and I don't think this is a good enough excuse to not charge it for imports.

Interesting point... I paid the NOOB TAX for locally purchased Shimano shoes. One store didn't stock them anymore, couldn't compete online, I paid DOUBLE what I could have bought them online for. I didn't argue, I won't buy there again - I simply needed to try on the shoes. Funnily enough. they charge 20 bucks to try on shoes if you don't buy (to discourage the internet shoppers). Even at 20 bucks, it would be cheaper to try and then go online.

There has to be a better businessplan LOL
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby gururug » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:28 am

Xplora wrote:Funnily enough. they charge 20 bucks to try on shoes if you don't buy (to discourage the internet shoppers). Even at 20 bucks, it would be cheaper to try and then go online.


Nasty. I get it that there are a few walkin's that use an LBS for "sizing". Poor form to charge people to try stuff. A bike test ride maybe, but a pair of shoes :(
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby DavidS » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:24 pm

Oxford wrote:
DavidS wrote:......To those who harp on about labour costs in Australia, just how little do you expect your employees to live on? Could you survive if you were working a 40 hour week and earning say $10 an hour? I doubt it......

Suppose it depends on what the definition of survive is. Is surviving having two cars and driving them to work instead of a suitable alternative? Is it having streaming internet 24/7, game consoles, bling bikes, a boat and other things? There are many things that we do not need to survive. But try telling that to the average Australian bloated on excess consumption and the overinflated opinion of being owed something.


So just what would you consider a reasonable reaonable wage for say a retail worker?

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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Oxford » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:11 pm

DavidS wrote:
Oxford wrote:
DavidS wrote:......To those who harp on about labour costs in Australia, just how little do you expect your employees to live on? Could you survive if you were working a 40 hour week and earning say $10 an hour? I doubt it......

Suppose it depends on what the definition of survive is. Is surviving having two cars and driving them to work instead of a suitable alternative? Is it having streaming internet 24/7, game consoles, bling bikes, a boat and other things? There are many things that we do not need to survive. But try telling that to the average Australian bloated on excess consumption and the overinflated opinion of being owed something.


So just what would you consider a reasonable reaonable wage for say a retail worker?

DS

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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby stryker84 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Haven't read most of the thread, but had an interesting yarn today with a owner/manager of an LBS, about how online shopping's been affecting their business.

Apparently they're being priced out by online stores, due to most of these online shops having head offices in Ireland, where the tax the company pays is almost non-existent. Seems Ireland wanted/needed a quick boost to their economy (and from my meagre understanding, they WERE going down the crapper a recent while back), and provided the tax breaks to attract businesses to set up there. A quick google search seems to corroborate this, though I haven't really gone into it too deeply. NB: this is all hearsay, just an interesting perspective I heard.

Also, while it worked initially to atttract companies, with the huge boom in online business, seems the Irish Govt is now actually losing money from having to provide infrastructure, but because of the tax breaks, they aren't seeing a corresponding benefit anymore to these companies. Which means that in a few years, the situation might be changing again... or so the LBS hopes. I suppose what it means is.... buy NOW, and watch this space!


..... also says that the LBS does know, and indeed they too can purchase theuir stock (in sub $1000 lots) from OS, and save on the tax, but then they lose the orthodox supplier's business, which means they'll be able to provide competitive pricing on the big consumables, but for smaller goods and LBS services and parts (not full components, but workshop parts e.g., jockey wheels, proprietary parts, etc), they won't be able to get supplies, so they're tied to the regular wholesale channels, and associated tax markups, which has to be passed along somewhere. Something to think about, anyway.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:57 pm

stryker, your right - this is one factor that has contributed to the the price differences and speaking to cycling trade I have heard some good stories of how brands loose track of their own product as they pass through dodgy (OS) distributers and over borders. The good brands take action, the bad ones ignore this which gives has a negative rub-off effect on their other international distributers.

An LBS would run into trouble if they didn't get their products through the right channels - one aspect is fulfilling warranty claims which in the case of an product from OS would have the following chain: customer > LBS > overseas shop > distributer > brand
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby ausmomo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:00 pm

Australian shoppers are simply ripped off by either the retail outlets or the suppliers.
Here are some examples I've come across myself over the past 12 months;
a) Nikon D7000. US RRP USD$1200. Aus RRP AUS$2100. That was on release. Prices have come down since.
b) KitchenAid mixer. US best price I found ~USD$290. Here... $650.
c) a book I bought today cost me AUD$56 delivered (from the US). In the shops here... $135.

I'd happily pay 20% GST as I'd STILL make a saving.

I feel ZERO loyalty to the shops here when they charge so much.

As for bikes...
my LBS sells a Knog computer for $110. I can get it from the UK for about $60. Aren't Knog a Melbourne company?!?!
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby CyclistInOz » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:30 pm

Coming from the UK where shoppers quite often get the raw end of the deal compared to other countries (US) it surprised me that Australians seem to get ripped off even more.

There seems to be some real price gouging going on. I suspect on the part of both retailers and distributors. A lot of products come from Asia which is right next door to Oz, yet are still cheaper in the UK or USA.

I find shopping online in Australia a frustrating experience. There doesn't seem to be any concept of real time stock levels. The process goes something like this. 1) Find and order product (a frustrating experience in itself on poorly designed website) 2) Get a email sometime (more often than not a few days later) confirming order 3) Get a email back a week or so later saying that there is no stock and it is on order 4) another week or so later get another email saying stock has arrived 5) another week or so later finally get a delivery. I realise that Australia is a logistical nightmare due to its size and population concentrations but if retailers want to stem the flow of customers going overseas then improvements need to be made! Just in time is not an acceptable stock control process for retail.

Compare this with purchasing in England or America via internet from oz 1) Find and order product (sometimes frustrating but generally slick) 2) get instant order confirmation 3) get dispatch confirmation (and sometimes tracking number) 4) receive goodies (normally under a week!)5) Save a stack of money - even taking into account postage!
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Xplora » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:50 pm

Blame the union movement here, because they have been responsible for some incredibly high and unreasonable wages here. Fact is, a coffee is a coffee, and paying a barista twice as much doesn't mean you get better coffee, and has a major impact on the end cost of the product. Retail just looks unreasonable because the product comes from elsewhere, and they do nothing except sell the product.

Would you take a 25-50% pay cut tomorrow? I wouldn't like to, but I bet a lot of Australians could take a major haircut if they controlled their spending (including nondiscretionary purchases like fuel, rent, mortgages and food). SMH had a ridiculous article about a North Sydney couple on 190K a year combined bleating about a cut to govt benefits would mean they'd have to delay a big renovation. My heart bleeds :roll: That's the perfect example of what we're talking about - Australians can have a totally unrealistic view of what is really important in life when it comes to money.
It's a simple fact that our country is run as if it was the USA or the EU, but we lack the population to truly be like those economic blocs. We can't afford to live the way we do as a nation, evidenced by the cost of retail. These businesses can't survive without the huge markups. Retail isn't the biggest sector in the country. That should tell us that these prices aren't unreasonable for the lifestyle that our people want to live. The retail bloke isn't a charity, he's a businessman. If he can't compete, he'll leave. It's been happening for decades already, and the prices are still high.

You can't pay the barista twice as much and expect the coffee to cost the same.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby Oxford » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:42 am

ausmomo wrote:my LBS sells a Knog computer for $110. I can get it from the UK for about $60. Aren't Knog a Melbourne company?!?!

I live a stones throw from the Velocity bike wheel company, yet it is cheaper for me to buy them from OS, the LBS cannot compete. Not that I would buy them anymore. It is ridiculous.
Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.
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Re: Would a 10% GST surcharge stop you from buying overseas?

Postby waynohh » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:00 am

On the weekend I bought a helmet from a LBS. It seemed to fit, the sales person didn't say anything and there's no lights in the change room where the only mirror in the store is. I get home and read the AS/NZS 2063 book that comes with it and find out it really doesn't fit me; it doesn't cover the forehead at all. I go back to the bike shop the next day. NO REFUNDS. I get a different helmet, they won't refund the $40 difference, or even give a store credit. I had to buy 2 of the cheaper helmets and spend an extra $60 to cover the difference. Later after I get home, I notice 1 is bigger than the other and discover the useless LBS has labelled one the wrong size. The manufacturer sticker with the actual size is covered up. I didn't try it on, because it was supposed to be the exact same size of the exact same model.

I don't see how people can wonder why local retail is such a crock of showtime with service like that. Every time I step foot in a LBS i get screwed.
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