The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby Howzat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:48 pm

Customs has got to start charging duty and GST the same for everyone... just so we can compare on an even basis.

Ideally, we could start by scrapping the GST entirely.
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by BNA » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:50 pm

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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby simonn » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:50 pm

Howzat wrote:Customs has got to start charging duty and GST the same for everyone... just so we can compare on an even basis.


They do.

If anyone or any organization imports something under the value of $1000 they don't pay GST.

The whole online vs traditional retail GST thing is an utter red herring. Get that through your skull, seriously.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby Howzat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:55 pm

That's just the problem - the limit is so high that consumers often dodge duty and GST. Scrap them for everyone I say.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby dynamictiger » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:28 pm

Not wanting to derail this topic too much. However an observation that may apply to some retail practices in this country.

A bloke at work walked into my office this morning, proud as punch of the new laoptop he bought last night and asked me to help him set up some of the software on it. He had been sold this 'deal' by a big box retailer. He thought it had office installed on it, when it only had demo on it, and was sold a bag and norton as part of the 'deal' for a $1000 i5, 4gb RAM, 750 GB HDD. In other words in my mind ripped big time.

I am not a total a...ole so haven't told him he was ripped. I have installed Open Office for him to write his letters and do spreadsheets, installed AVG free for virus protection and cleared all the shareware crap stuff preloaded on the machine.

Okay this is a computer and I suppose like a lot of things it is buyer beware. However it does leave me wondering how many times this sort of tactic has been used in the past to pass off cheaper products with a 'discount' only for the purchaser to later realise how badly ripped they were. And to question whether this sort of practice is still present in the retailers mindsets?
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jcjordan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:40 pm

Howzat wrote:That's just the problem - the limit is so high that consumers often dodge duty and GST. Scrap them for everyone I say.


So your happy for your taxes to be used to used to subsidise the cost of collection by millions of dollars a year for no benifit.

Why?
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:14 pm

jcjordan wrote:
Howzat wrote:That's just the problem - the limit is so high that consumers often dodge duty and GST. Scrap them for everyone I say.


So your happy for your taxes to be used to used to subsidise the cost of collection by millions of dollars a year for no benifit.

Why?


We ship a bit of gear to NZ. I havn't read up on their rules but a customer explained it to me based on his understanding. I think their threshold for tax free is either $300 or $400.

Over that threshold you pay a processing fee of something like $37.00 + whatever the taxes are.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jcjordan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:19 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
jcjordan wrote:
Howzat wrote:That's just the problem - the limit is so high that consumers often dodge duty and GST. Scrap them for everyone I say.


So your happy for your taxes to be used to used to subsidise the cost of collection by millions of dollars a year for no benifit.

Why?


We ship a bit of gear to NZ. I havn't read up on their rules but a customer explained it to me based on his understanding. I think their threshold for tax free is either $300 or $400.

Over that threshold you pay a processing fee of something like $37.00 + whatever the taxes are.

So in NZ they focus on just the importers to pay the subsidies
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby simonn » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:28 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
jcjordan wrote:
Howzat wrote:That's just the problem - the limit is so high that consumers often dodge duty and GST. Scrap them for everyone I say.


So your happy for your taxes to be used to used to subsidise the cost of collection by millions of dollars a year for no benifit.

Why?


We ship a bit of gear to NZ. I havn't read up on their rules but a customer explained it to me based on his understanding. I think their threshold for tax free is either $300 or $400.

Over that threshold you pay a processing fee of something like $37.00 + whatever the taxes are.


Perhaps conditions in NZ (i.e. lower salaries & lower population) allow a lower GST limit to be worthwhile.

I just don't get why everyone should suffer so an inefficient industry can profit. I can sort of understand subsidising manufacturing as that requires a skilled workforce to a far greater degree than retail.

(Not criticizing you jacks1071, IMHO and FWIW, I think you apear to be doing the right thing, know your market etc etc)
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jasonc » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:45 pm

simonn wrote:(Not criticizing you jacks1071, IMHO and FWIW, I think you appear to be doing the right thing, know your market etc etc)


also worth noting simon that Pro-Lite Oz prices are the same as OS prices. This to me means that the company is globally set up correct for today's global market.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:19 pm

jasonc wrote:
simonn wrote:(Not criticizing you jacks1071, IMHO and FWIW, I think you appear to be doing the right thing, know your market etc etc)


also worth noting simon that Pro-Lite Oz prices are the same as OS prices. This to me means that the company is globally set up correct for today's global market.


Thanks Jason.

I can certainly see the argument from both sides.

There is little doubt that the current threshold will reduce, by how much and what system will they come up with to collect the taxes is the current unknown.

The NZ system sounds pretty fair to me, user pays.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:37 pm

jacks1071 wrote:The NZ system sounds pretty fair to me, user pays.

And Wiggle, CRC et al are still cheaper. Some protection given to retailers, more taxes paid but overall, nothing changes...
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby elantra » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:35 pm

ThePhil wrote:When you export (sell) from the uk you don't have to charge the vat. Same rules if an Aussie sells o/s you don't charge the gst.

Australian government claims that it is not economic to charge GST on incoming retail goods is just a massive cop-out by Canberra.

Australian taxation system already revolves around honesty in disclosure of incomes and expenditure, "encouraged" by an auditing process.
It can't be too hard to have a incoming goods come with a value in aussie dollars, with government collecting 10% of this amount.
With the occasional inspection to encourage honesty.
Not collecting GST on imported retail goods is a massive slap in the face to small business in australia.
If Wiggle/CRC etc wanna do business in Australia, they can collect tax for Australia just like any other business does.
Not that you can blame them for not doing so until it is mandated by law, in fact they must think our tax system is a gift from heaven.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:57 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:The NZ system sounds pretty fair to me, user pays.

And Wiggle, CRC et al are still cheaper. Some protection given to retailers, more taxes paid but overall, nothing changes...


There is a little more to it than just the taxation revenue.

The NZ customer told me anything over that threshold often got delayed for up to 2-weeks while customs process the duty collection. Add 1-2 weeks for postage and some OS orders might take a month to arrive.

If the price gap is reduced, and you have to wait up to a month for the order - is the OS option not loosing some of the shine?
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jcjordan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:06 pm

elantra wrote:
ThePhil wrote:When you export (sell) from the uk you don't have to charge the vat. Same rules if an Aussie sells o/s you don't charge the gst.

Australian government claims that it is not economic to charge GST on incoming retail goods is just a massive cop-out by Canberra.

Australian taxation system already revolves around honesty in disclosure of incomes and expenditure, "encouraged" by an auditing process.
It can't be too hard to have a incoming goods come with a value in aussie dollars, with government collecting 10% of this amount.
With the occasional inspection to encourage honesty.
Not collecting GST on imported retail goods is a massive slap in the face to small business in australia.
If Wiggle/CRC etc wanna do business in Australia, they can collect tax for Australia just like any other business does.
Not that you can blame them for not doing so until it is mandated by law, in fact they must think our tax system is a gift from heaven.

The Australia government can't enforce a tax on a non Australian entity.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jaffaman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:38 pm

I have just imported a frame set from US of a bike not available in Aus. Four days to make it to the local airport. 3 more weeks to get it through the customs process, so yes, it adds a lot of time.

Drivetrain to go on it just over $800 from CRC, wiggle was a bit more and didn't have everything I want. Competitive Cyclist in US about $1100. Quoted today from an LBS just under $1000. I figure that is pretty good and I will buy locally. I've also sourced wheels and lights locally. If we want to have a good local industry we will need to be prepared to support it. I don't mind paying 20% for that and the ability to have someone close who can help me if I need it. The more we buy locally the more likely it is that local prices will stay reasonable.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby sogood » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:48 pm

jaffaman wrote:I have just imported a frame set from US of a bike not available in Aus. Four days to make it to the local airport. 3 more weeks to get it through the customs process, so yes, it adds a lot of time.

Similar import times will need to be covered by a margin for our local distributors.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby boss » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:13 am

sogood wrote:
jaffaman wrote:I have just imported a frame set from US of a bike not available in Aus. Four days to make it to the local airport. 3 more weeks to get it through the customs process, so yes, it adds a lot of time.

Similar import times will need to be covered by a margin for our local distributors.


3 weeks to clear customs for a 'port to port' shipment is not typical.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:29 am

jacks1071 wrote:If the price gap is reduced, and you have to wait up to a month for the order - is the OS option not loosing some of the shine?

Not at all. My internet purchases are planned well in advance, they are not impulse buys.

I always have a supply of basic spares at hand - tyres, tubes, chains, cassettes, cables, brake pads etc., and batch orders to get discounts and free shipping.

If an order takes a month to arrive it's not going to bother me.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby dynamictiger » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:35 am

RonK wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:If the price gap is reduced, and you have to wait up to a month for the order - is the OS option not loosing some of the shine?

Not at all. My internet purchases are planned well in advance, they are not impulse buys.

I always have a supply of basic spares at hand - tyres, tubes, chains, cassettes, cables, brake pads etc., and batch orders to get discounts and free shipping.

If an order takes a month to arrive it's not going to bother me.


One of my 'internet orders' took from September to this week to get to me...yes I saved money a considerable amount being at least half the purchase price in Australia, and no it was an ebay deal not a retail deal. However I did start to get impatient once January 5th was showing up on the calendar.

What I am saying is if you know something is coming, and it is not absolutely urgent then you will wait if the price is low enough or your budget is too restricted to present options or you can't get the whatever in Australia.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:42 am

jaffaman wrote:I don't mind paying 20% for that and the ability to have someone close who can help me if I need it. The more we buy locally the more likely it is that local prices will stay reasonable.


Which most of us have been saying anyway...
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:59 am

jaffaman wrote:The more we buy locally the more likely it is that local prices will stay reasonable.

I am sceptical of this. Do you really believe in that? When the demand is there, there's typically no incentive for merchants to reduce their price, and profit. It's healthy commercial competition that brings prices down.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby rkelsen » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:43 am

sogood wrote:It's healthy commercial competition that brings prices down.

Indeed. That's what this is all about, isn't it? If everyone bought locally, the distributors would only continue to gouge us.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jcjordan » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:07 am

RonK wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:If the price gap is reduced, and you have to wait up to a month for the order - is the OS option not loosing some of the shine?

Not at all. My internet purchases are planned well in advance, they are not impulse buys.

I always have a supply of basic spares at hand - tyres, tubes, chains, cassettes, cables, brake pads etc., and batch orders to get discounts and free shipping.

If an order takes a month to arrive it's not going to bother me.


I have never had a OS order take longer than 2 weeks to arrive.

Mind you I have had a order with a LBS take 5 weeks before they were advised that the distributor had just made a order and I had to wait another 3 weeks.

Cancelled the order on the spot, went online and 8 days later had the part.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby jaffaman » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:54 am

sogood wrote:
jaffaman wrote:The more we buy locally the more likely it is that local prices will stay reasonable.

I am sceptical of this. Do you really believe in that? When the demand is there, there's typically no incentive for merchants to reduce their price, and profit. It's healthy commercial competition that brings prices down.


Yeah, I do. It's a volume thing. The more you sell the less you need to make on each one. If no-one buys locally there won't be LBS's - there will just be chain stores with mass market product and OS online shops.

In terms of LBS's there is healthy competition now- there are lots independent shops, but they compete more on service than price.

The bigger problem is that in terms of parts there's no real competition. Components are basically 2 brands. Tyres maybe 3 or 4. Tools 1 really. Even frames are dominated by 5 companies. If they give same prices to all then the competition lives on in service. If they give cheaper prices to one over another, then that is where we will end up with two or three large online companies and not much else.

At least that's my theory. Could be rubbish, but makes sense to me.
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Re: The Overseas Purchasing Debate

Postby sogood » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:53 am

jaffaman wrote:The more you sell the less you need to make on each one...

But our market size is far from that kind of volume and most of Aussie business entities aren't of that mentality even when the volume is up, unfortunately. Only competition will rewrite the rule books.
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