Monday, 24 October 2011

Aspects of California - 2 Mixed feelings

One of the great thigs about the internet is that it makes price comparisons easy. A couple of button-clicks and you can see which shop will sell you this month's gizmo for the least money. Another thing that the internet is good for is seeing in which country you can buy things cheaply.

Now I appreciate that an objective of nearly all businesses is to charge for their product or service "what the market will bear" (i.e. as much as they can get away with) and product pricing is an art. But I do get wound up to find that time and again, products are cheaper to buy abroad than they are here.

The new entry-level Amazon Kindle? 79 dollars or, to you in France, special offer, cutting me own throat guv, 99 euros, (say, 137 dollars). (Prices from amazon.fr and amazon.com today) I'm inclined to shout WHY WHY WHY, but in fact I don't give a damn what the excuse is, I just want this to stop.

So I have mixed feelings about the fact that I bought some Ryobi tools, of which I have spoken before, while I was in the USA, much cheaper than I can get them over here. Angle grinder? 44 dollars vs 70 euros, (say, 97 dollars). Circular saw? 70 dollars vs 70 euros. I got a great buy in comparison to European pricing, but why should I have to do that?

And the thing that wound me up most recently was that HDtracks.com wouldn't sell me a (high-definition, no compression, digital) copy of "Band on the Run" since their marketing contract with the record company did not permit them to sell it outside of the USA. WHAT? The record company thinks they can screw more money out of me via a European pricing model? It's data, for heaven's sake, the same the world over, no matter that it's used for entertainment. No wonder that the music companies are struggling to make money if they're at war with their customers.

This sort of thing encourages people to look for a nice blog reader based in the USA, with a Paypal account who could buy it and email it. As long as they don't keep a copy for themselves; that would never do.

2 comments:

the fly in the web said...

How right!
I check prices continually when making purchases...but depend on people bringing stuff to me as postal rates are exorbitant.
Why should I have to do this?

Mark said...

Of course you're right and manufacturers are part to blame - they've tried every trick in the book to stop there being a true single market in cars for example - so can buy cheaper in some EU countries than others but then teh warranty won't always apply.

Another reason is tax and with VAT at 20% here that makes a big difference

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