MBP price variance across the pacific is now obscene.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Littlehoof, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Littlehoof macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #1
    Ok so the aussie apple store just came back online...

    configuring the same 17"MBP, 2.6Ghz, 2Gb RAM, 300Gb HDD, Hi-Res option (perhaps its a mis-print but the aussie store is {{{not}}} offering the LED backlighting as a BTO option :S), apple remote, applecare.

    In the US online store this comes to US$3592

    At the current exchange rate that US$3592 would cost AU$3880

    The same configured system in the aussie online store (actually a worse system if it indeed is not available with the LED backlighting) costs AU$5017.

    For the difference of AU$1137 I can get a cheap ticket to the states and buy the machine there with an included overseas trip!! How can apple justify such ridiculous disparity?
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #2
    Is VAT included in your calculations for the Aussie price? VAT isn't part of the published price on US models.
     
  3. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    well I wasn't aware of that - but still...

    What is VAT exactly? We have GST(Goods and Services Tax set at 10%) included in the prices online here in Australia - but tourists get that refunded on large purchases when they leave the country with the products they've bought - is VAT like GST and can it be refunded to tourists? At any rate unless the VAT is 25% or more the price discrepancy is still rather absurdly large :S Perhaps not enough to justify the flight I was talking about - but enough to be a big price gouge by apple on their aussie consumers.
     
  4. Fezzasus macrumors regular

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    #4
    Yes
     
  5. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    thanks.

    So basically apple now charges their australian customers a 29.3% premium for nothing besides the luxury of making our purchases in our own country.
    GG Apple. :S
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #6
    I wouldn't lay the blame wholly on Apple.

    There is also a 5% customs duty charged on imported goods, and your GST is calculated on the sum of the item price, the customs duty, and the costs of shipping and insurance to Australia. Also, don't forget that Apple's US prices does not reflect sales taxes, which in my case would add 8.75% to the purchase price (although there are ways to get around paying those).
     
  7. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    I hate to sound repetitive but...

    None of the %'s you've mentioned come anywhere near justifying a 29.3% jump in the aussie price over the US price :S... sure they might mean we're only being gouged 20% instead of nearly 30% above the price paid in the states, but thats still a lot!

    To put it in perspective, if I were to fly to the US and purchase the machine configured the way I quoted above and the US VAT tax is refundable for tourists as was stated by a user above - when I return to australia and carry in my new notebook customs would have no way of knowing it wasn't a machine I took with me when I left and I would be paying no import duties so I really do get a MBP and an overseas holiday for the same price that I could spend on just buying the machine from the aussie apple online store.

    I know I'm going on a lot about this - but it just seems fairly unacceptable that the price gap is so huge! And this isn't just against the US$... I checked the prices in other closer major markets and the price discrepancy is almost identical if I were looking at purchasing in Hong Kong - and almost as large if I were looking at purchasing in Singapore. Its just the aussies that are getting slugged extra, not the rest of our region.
     
  8. Can macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2007
    #8
    We got a pretty hefty price decrease here in Norway today along with the new models. So I don´t think this is a "apple" problem, but rather a local weird thing.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    Just because the US dollar is in the dumper currently does not mean get you an automatic discount. To spend US dollars, you must come to the US.
     
  10. machspeed5 macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #10
    i feel for you man. total bummer.

    they've recently brought the canadian prices down so that they can be more in line with the US (the CDN dollar is worth more than the USD last i heard) and i'm thankful for that. still not 1:1 but close enough that I'm happy.

    It's a 200 dollar discount over the last gen + my edu discount now means i can even afford a 17" for the same price of the 15" i would have paid a few weeks ago.
     
  11. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Okay, let's see.

    The base Macbook Pro is C$ 2099 in Canada, and A$ 2699 in Australia.

    The Canadian price does NOT include 13% provincial and federal taxes if you buy it here in Ontario (8% Ontario provincial sales tax--there are different sales taxes in different provinces--and 5% GST), which take it out to C$ 2371. That's A$ 2591 according to XE.com. If you bought it in Alberta, there would be no provincial tax, and you'd only pay the 4% GST for a total of C$2182, or A$ 2384. It is this GST that I believe is refundable to tourists, so if you bought it in Alberta you might not pay any tax at all. C$ 2099 = A$ 2297. So about an A$ 400 difference.

    The Australian store says that their prices *include* GST, but not "delivery charges", whatever they may be.

    It seems that Australian prices and Canadian prices are roughly-comparable.

    The US store has the base MB Pro listed at US$ 1999, or A$ 2150, but that does not include taxes. I believe that taxes vary on a state-by-state basis in the US, or even on a city-by-city basis. What would the taxes be in San Francisco?
     
  12. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Oh, and I don't believe the US has a nationwide value-added tax, like the Canadian or Australian GST. Actually, I don;t know whether they have any nationwide taxes at all; everything may be on a state-by-state basis.
     
  13. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    You're rather missing my point - it shouldn't be cheaper for me to do exactly that!!! It should be a whole lot more expensive for me to go to the US and purchase there in US$. If its getting to the point that I can fly to the US and buy the same machine there for the same price as I can buy the machine here then that clearly shows apple is ripping off their aussie customers! It certainly doesn't cost them 29.3% more to sell their computers here than in the US so they shouldn't be charging 29.3% more for them! Some marginal difference I could understand - even up to say 10% on the basis that they're insulating against the possibility that the AU$ might drop back against the US$ somewhat in the near term(although most market commentary I've heard recently has predicted quite the opposite). However 29.3% is simply grossly excessive no matter how you slice it.
     
  14. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #14
    It's not a VAT, it's called sales tax. To the best of my knowledge (i.e: quick google search), sales taxes are not universally refunded to international visitors. That appears to be at the discretion of the state and the only state I see making a mention of that is Louisiana. California does not appear to waive or refund sales taxes for visitors.
     
  15. tremendous macrumors 6502

    tremendous

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    #15
    Yeah, but that is unlawfully getting around paying sales tax/import duty - whatever, i don't care - but it's not apple's fault you have to pay it. therefore the discount you get from waltzing into the country and not paying it doesn't count AGAINST the aussie store price.
     
  16. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #16
    Welcome to the global economy. Do you know how much it costs us to get a jar of Vegemite here?

    Based on the exchange rate six months ago, when US$1 = AU$.79 (instead of today's US$1=AU$.93), that same system would have cost you AU$4920, which is a lot closer to your current AU$5017 pricing. Even a month ago, the difference in exchange rates would have lowered the gap by 10%.

    I don't when/how other US companies make the decision to reprice their overseas products based on the exchange rate. Maybe you can do the research for us since you're so riled up because of this.
     

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  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    You're missing my point. Products are priced in the country where they are sold, in that market only, not some theoretical worldwide market driven by exchange rates. If you want to buy a product in the currency of another country, then you have to travel to that country. This has always been true, and it was true even when the Australian dollar was in the dumper, not so many years ago. We were not getting Australian products at a discount then, and I would not have expected to. Your currency calculations are a fundamentally meaningless exercise. Apple (and every other company) will adjust prices in Australia only when needed to compete with other similar products in Australia.
     
  18. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #18
    That answers my question then. :D

     
  19. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    A worldwide market is certainly not theoretical. Its the purpose of having currencies floated internationally. When the local dollar in a country goes up that dollar has more purchasing power bringing the local price of imported goods down. Apple computers are imported goods. The local currency here has gone up. Therefore the price of apple computers should go down. It has not - this is the issue I am raising in this post. I'm comparing mostly here to the US$ because its traditionally been a benchmark against which many other currencies are measured but as I stated this present imbalance is significant not only against the US$ but against a number of other currencies in this region. You're belief that you were not getting aussie products at a "discount" (I use that word hesitantly because it isn't really the right context for it... "lower price than now" would be better) a couple of years ago when the AU$ was at a much lower point against the US$ is mistaken. Since Australia doesn't sell many consumer goods the the US you are unlikely to be aware of the price movements of the products we do export over the last few years. However I can assure you that if you were an importer in the US buying aussie wheat to make breakfast cereal or some other product you would have been paying a great deal less of your local US$ for that wheat a couple of years ago when our currency was weak than you would be paying today.
     
  20. Mastamarek macrumors regular

    Mastamarek

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    #20
    Trust me 30% increase in price is nothing, here in Poland the new MacPro base model costs over $5000 and the new MBP costs over $4000 for the 17' base model, now thats unfair.
     
  21. khunsanook macrumors 6502

    khunsanook

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    East Asia
    #21
    Over here in Thailand we have a raging Baht while the U.S. Dollar plummets. The Apple resellers seem to be raking it in. More and more Thais are switching to Apple while the Thai resellers haven't adjusted their prices at all to reflect the stronger Baht to Dollar. A base level MBP is now about 500 U.S. Dollars more than it was 2 years ago (already a much higher price than the States). Ouch. I'll be saving my purchases for State-side visits.
     
  22. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Fair enough I'm exagerating the point by giving an example of what I {{{could}}} get away with. But we are talking here about the difference of about a 10% tax versus a price difference of very nearly 30%!!
     
  23. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    An awful lot I imagine - however that really isn't a fair comparison given that vegemite is a specialty imported product for you but a mainstream locally produced product for us. Ie. many aussies buy a lot of vegemite and its made locally so these 2 factors lead to the price here being low - not many americans eat vegemite at all and when they do it has to be imported (therefore including a middle man adding to the price). This isn't a fair comparison to the apple computer price variance since apple computers are imported approximately and equal distance from China to the US as they are from China to Australia. And there is no middle man in either case - the seller is the products maker.

    Incidentally you got the exchange rates back to front ;) I {{{wish}}} we got US$1=AU$0.93 today. Who knows maybe we will get there if the US recession gets as bad as I think it might :S hehe... but presently its AU$1=US$0.93

    Actually I did my calculations based off US$1=AU$1.08. The aussie is fractionally stronger than that right now but I was trying not to take the most extreme case.

    At any rate the point you're making that 6 months ago the price disparity was minimal is quite legitimate - but I'm not concerned about prices 6 months ago - apple have moved prices on these products today in a number of markets but they have neglected to rectify the large gouges they are taking out of their aussie customers and that is my complaint in these posts.
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    No, it simply does not work that way. It never has, and never will. The evidence for this is right before your eyes, but you still don't want to believe it.
     
  25. Littlehoof thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    Clarification.

    There is a perspective from which what you say here is correct. Apple's perspective. You don't happen to work for them you you? (jks! lol) Yes it is every retail companies job to attempt to sell products in each local market at the highest prices they can get away with there. I've worked a fair bit in big ticket retail and I know that the prices we post on the products are almost always higher than the price we were willing to sell them at if the customer made the attempt to negotiate. Apple don't use this "negotiation" model on an individual level (a luxury they can afford because they have a tight control of their product range and a unique market position not entirely unlike a monopoly) - but in Australia like any market they can be forced to negotiate their prices if consumers as a whole group will not pay the prices they are attempting to charge. This is I guess what I'm advocating here - I'm simply raising the issue that says "hey guys - if apple can sell their machines in the US market at significantly lower prices than here and still run a profitable business then aussie consumers should wake up and object because our objections (and by extension reduced consumption of their product) are the only thing that will motivate apple to lower their prices to a more reasonable level". So I don't mean to dismiss what you are saying out of hand. The reality is however that our world has an increasingly globalized economy and in that environment there is an upward limit on how much any company can get away with instituting disparity between their prices in different local markets. That upward limit must surely be the point at which the travel costs between the two added to the price of the product in the cheaper market are lower than the price of the product in the more expensive market!! And the Aussie market is now reaching that point. Again this is measurable not only against the US market - but also against a number of other regionally closer local markets.
     

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