24 April 2008

Would you buy it?

I mean I always knew things here were more expensive than they have a right to be.

A couple of days ago, my colleague who's on secondment here from Hong Kong remarked about how expensive things were here. I said 'yeah', went on a little rant and forgot about it.

So I was at Books Kinokuniya today looking to buy some Neil Gaiman books in preparation for his book signing next week, which I reckon would be an earth shattering moment... then I saw it.

Encore Starscream.

AU$144.95? WHAT in the name of the universe?!? $145 for an Encore Starscream? Suddenly, my colleague's words and all that I've said in 'How do prices like these make commercial sense?' hit me like an epiphany.

If expensive comes in gradations, it would range from expensive, to very expensive, to very very expensive, to ridiculously expensive, but this instance would go beyond the final gradation- $145 for an Encore Starscream is stupid expensive- it is so expensive it goes beyond ridiculous and enters the realm of stupid.

That amount of dosh can buy 3 Encore Starscreams from BBTS US, shipped to Australia; it can buy 4 Encore Starscreams from any shop in Singapore or Hong Kong with change to spare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The proliferation of the internet and internet shopping means that a person can choose to buy a product from anywhere in the world and at anytime. It means that retailers must compete in the global marketplace rather than confine themselves to the local market. It is not a choice they can make, it is a reality. Why would any reasonable person with internet access and spending capacity buy a cash-and-carry item from a shop here when they can with a few clicks of the mouse have the very same item shipped to their doorstep? And why don't retailers realize that?

I just cannot understand how Encore Starscream and most every other thing for sale here can be thus priced. Where is the basis? What is the justification? Are the people pricing it (1) oblivious to market price; (2) mistaken about its relative availability in Australia; or (3) just plain vultures?

I suspect I'm going to lose sleep thinking about the whys and wherefores...


  1. That price is simply insane....

    Who on earth would even buy it at such a price?

  2. Insane prices are normal here. That is why I do all my toy hunting in SG and HK...

  3. yep saw it too, and made a complaint to the staff.

  4. seriously? What did they tell you cos they obviously didn't change the price.

  5. its gone now.


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