Friday, February 4, 2011

Gouged

After the Christmas / New Year break many traditional retailers started to mount a campaign to lobby the Australian Government and people that a greater duty should be imposed on goods purchased overseas on the Internet. Their reasoning? These overseas purchases where not being charged the Goods and Services Tax (GST = 10% on top of price). They claimed this to be grossly unfair and made them uncompetitive.

Initially Gerry Harvey, owner of Harvey Norman department stores took the lead role but was resoundingly shouted down by social media. You can read about that here. Well Gerry, let me share with you my own experience and why you are living in the past.

I was after some SharePoint 2010 books. I keep my reading list at www.goodreads.com (you can connect with me there if you want and view my lists and reviews. Just use director@ciaops.com to connect) so I did a look up of the book I was interested in on Amazon.



I like Amazon for many reasons but one is the reviews. I checked out the reviews and ratings, then judged the book to be a good investment. However, instead of buying it through Amazon I usually try and support an Australian business. So I looked up the same book there.



Ah…the same book is over TWICE as expensive from an Australian business. SAY WHAT?? (the clean version of my initial reaction). Ok, maybe that’s an anomaly. Here’s my second choice, firstly on Amazon



then locally



this time almost THREE times as much! Again – SAY WHAT??

Look, I appreciate that there are different publishing laws, sellers, shipping etc involved here, however at a current exchange rate of about one Australian Dollar to one US dollar, guess what? As the customer I DON’T CARE. I’m prepared to wear a small mark up to support an Australian business, but really TWO and THREE times as much? I’m afraid not.

Amazon will probably deliver just as fast, provide better customer service, reward my loyalty and even give me the option to download it electronically on to just about every device I own. You local resellers just don’t get it do you? How can you afford to be so much out of whack with international offerings that are geared to World market? You are putting yourselves out of business at these rates and I honestly say good riddance. If you are going to be THAT uncompetitive you don’t deserve to be in business because somewhere along the line SOMEONE is ripping me off and as a customer I DON’T CARE! You think that I’m not smart enough to use my computer and make a few comparison eh? Well I ain’t too stupid to waste my money on what is essentially an identical article at a 200% and 300% mark-up.

If you still don’t understand why I’ll be taking my business elsewhere (roll on Amazon) and unlikely to return I’d suggest you read



but make sure you get it from Amazon (above)



because locally it is still 2.5 times more expensive!