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07-06-2007, 10:08 AM   #1
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U.K. vs U.S.A. Price Disparity !

OK, I expect this subject crops up from time to time, but I simply wondered what members on the Pentax forum feel about the disparity of retail pricing across the world. Here in the U.K. for instance, Jessops (a well-known national photographic chain) have just reduced their online price for a Pentax K10D + 18-55mm kit lens to 499.99 inc VAT (17.5% tax). In the U.S.A. for example, Adorama are only asking $769.95 after rebate (does this include local sales tax ?) which at the current exchange rate (U.S. $2.00 = 1.00 sterling) equates to just 385.00 ! Ouch.......so what would members of the Pentax forum in the States think about having to shell-out U.S. $1000.00 instead of U.S. $769.95 for their K10Ds ? What's even more astounding is that the Pentax D-BG2 Battery Grip is advertised by Adorama for only $119.95 (60.00 sterling), which includes a $25.00 rebate. However the best U.K. online price I can find for the D-BG2 Battery Grip is 159.00 inc VAT (or U.S. $320.00 !) from Park Cameras. So simply ask yourself the following question: If I were an American customer would I rather pay $119.00 or $320 ??????? You're probably familiar with the term 'BOGOF' (Buy One Get One Free) but this is bl..dy ridiculous.........comments please !!


Last edited by Confused; 07-11-2007 at 11:06 AM.
07-06-2007, 10:17 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
OK, I expect this subject crops up from time to time, but I simply wondered what members on the Pentax forum feel about the disparity of retail pricing across the world. Here in the U.K. for instance, Jessops (a well-known national photographic chain) have just reduced their online price for a Pentax K10D + 18-55mm kit lens to 499.99 inc VAT (17.5% tax). In the U.S.A. for example, B&H are only asking $819.95 (does this include local sales tax ?) which at the current exchange rate (U.S. $2.00 = 1.00 sterling) equates to just 410.00 ! Ouch.......so what would U.S. members of the Pentax forum think about having to shell-out $1000.00 instead of $819.00 for their K10Ds ? What's even more astounding is that the Pentax D-BG2 Battery Grip is advertised at Adorama for only $119.95 (60.00 sterling), which includes a $25.00 rebate. However the best U.K. online price I can find for the D-BG2 Battery Grip is 159.00 inc VAT (or U.S. $320.00 !) from Park Cameras. So simply ask yourself the following question: Would I rather pay U.S. $119.00 or U.S. $320 ??????? You're probably familiar with the term 'BOGOF' (Buy One Get One Free) but this is bl..dy ridiculous.........comments please !!
It's only money.

And hey, you got that Queen thing going on; all we got is that goofy "GW" clown--feel lucky!
07-06-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
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It really annoys me, particularly when I am currently in the US and the only decent camera store I can find doesn't have any of the 3 Pentax items I want in stock!
07-06-2007, 12:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
OK, I expect this subject crops up from time to time, but I simply wondered what members on the Pentax forum feel about the disparity of retail pricing across the world. [LEFT]Here in the U.K. for instance, Jessops (a well-known national photographic chain) have just reduced their online price for a Pentax K10D + 18-55mm kit lens to 499.99 inc VAT (17.5% tax). In the U.S.A. for example, Adorama are only asking $769.95 after rebate (does this include local sales tax ?)
Well, the cost of living in general is higher in England than the USA. With the exception of just a few items such as bread and milk, almost everything (housing, clothing, electronics, gasoline (petrol) and most food items) is more expensive there. In other words, it is not just Pentax cameras that cost more there. I'm sure you already know that, but other's might think you were blaming Pentax.

How do I feel about it? I'm sorry you have to pay more and I'm glad we don't :-) While my background is in economics, the reasons for differences in the cost of items is not something I'd want to get into on a photography forum. It would be much too easy to drift into a political discussion and I'd like to think I'm smarter than that.

To answer your question about taxes, in my home state you don't pay sales taxes on items bought from an out of state store unless they also have a store in your state. For example, on an order from Adorama or B&H I only pay shipping.

07-06-2007, 12:51 PM   #5
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Confused... the example you gave of the K10D (499 in UK, equivalent of 385 in US) is actually a very mild example. Sometimes the difference is literally just changing the sign in front of the number, in other words a lens can cost 200 in the UK and $200 - half the price - in the US. As jmax says this applies to all photographic equipment, not just Pentax.

Of course you could try importing, but try to do it legit and they will get you for VAT, duty, handling fees etc.

Basically if you don't like the UK prices, your options are either: See if the lens is cheaper somewhere else in the EU (you pay shipping but not all the other stuff)... buy from US, Japan or elsewhere (and pay all the charges)... or emigrate...

07-06-2007, 01:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
OK, I expect this subject crops up from time to time, but I simply wondered what members on the Pentax forum feel about the disparity of retail pricing across the world. Here in the U.K. for instance, (snip)

Actually, the only time the exchange rate applies is when exchanging currencies between countries. Since you're paid in Pounds and purchase items priced in Pounds, the exchange rate doesn't apply (no disparity). The same is true when discussing the dollar in the USA. However, if you're using the stronger Pound to purchase items priced in the weaker dollar, there is a savings for you. We, on the other hand, have to pay more for items sold in the UK (negatively impacts UK manufacturers trying to export goods to the USA).

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07-06-2007, 02:32 PM   #7
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In reply to stewart_photo, all of what you stated is undoubtedly true. However the point I'm really trying to highlight here is that it's particularly iniquitous to be charged 3 x the price for an identical item.
Even allowing for the current beneficial vs $ exchange rate, there remains one Helluva Difference between spending 60.00 and 179.00 on something !! There are clearly different cost-of-living expenses and taxation rates that apply between the U.K. and the U.S.A., but NO amount of semantics can justify this type of blatant rip-off ! Historically it's a proven fact the citizens in the U.K. have been paying well over-the-odds for goods for many years, even between EU member countries. Quite frankly we are all thoroughly p.....d off with the whole situation, so needless to say where I shall be spending MY vacation this year !! Enough said........
07-06-2007, 07:33 PM   #8
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Ah, if you just wanted to bit*h about prices, I would have agreed with you instantly (without all the exchange rate stuff). I'm constantly amazed at how expensive some things are in the UK, even allowing for the exchange rate I often deal with shopping from here (for stores still pricing in Pounds over Euros).

And it's more than just photo stuff. The store supplying my preferred Europlugs recently went out of business (competition from a large chain store nearby). I found two places selling these plugs online. The store in the USA refused to ship overseas, leaving a UK distributor as my only choice. The local store charged €1,25 for this mostly plastic plug, while the UK distributor wanted €14,95 (same plug, same manufacturer). I had intended to buy ten plugs, but quickly changed my mind after a €12,50 purchase turned into a €149.50 purchase. Notice all prices are in Euros, hence no exchange rate involved.

Prices on many consumer items here in Germany are now starting to approach prices similar to the USA, with a growing number actually cheaper. Of course, gasoline and so on remains considerably more expensive. But, on the plus side, Europeans tend to drive shorter distances for work or travel (smaller countries, smaller continent), so overall money spent on gasoline is not that much greater for the average family. But enough about gasoline since it moves somewhat off the subject.

stewart


Last edited by stewart_photo; 07-06-2007 at 07:39 PM. Reason: fixed math mistake
07-06-2007, 07:59 PM   #9
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There's a fundamental error in comparing values based on prices calculated from exchange rates.
Exchange rates are an artificial construct based on the often emotional actions of a commercial money market: They rarely reflect the functional value of a currency within the zone of its native circulation.
To calculate this requires factoring in a whole raft of variables such as the amount of work time and effort expended per unit gained, the effects of taxation and the benefits of government expenditures, the uncosted benefits of social freedoms and uncharged for community activities, etc. ad infinitum.
By those criteria the UK pound is much over valued on the international market, but the market deals with money as a commodity in itself, not just as a means of exchange for goods and services.
As any regular, long term traveler will know, there's a huge difference.
A quick look at the prevalence of overseas recreational travel and foreign property purchasing by middle income Brits will give some inkling of by how much the GBP is above its "natural" level.

Last edited by Rolly; 07-06-2007 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Typos
07-07-2007, 05:10 PM   #10
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You guys in the UK are lucky ... the K10D with Pentax 18-55mm kit lens goes for $1,225AUD inc GST.

Now your price of 499.99 pounds equates to $1,171.47 AUD (at current exchange rates) .... so you get it cheaper than us.
07-07-2007, 08:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
It's only money.

And hey, you got that Queen thing going on; all we got is that goofy "GW" clown--feel lucky!
Yeah, the K10D may be more there, but they get completely free full healthcare for everybody, and its not turning them into communists.

We get that idiot "GW" catering to more profits for the health care industry.

Definitely feel lucky!
07-07-2007, 08:10 PM   #12
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Just upgraded from a *istD to a K10D. What a delight!! Was frustrated by the high prices in Canada and especially Calgary. None of the great rebates available in th USA. The lowest I could find for a body with 2 year Canadian warranty was $875 at the Camera Store in Calgary - most stores at $999 but then came across a dealer in Toronto who sold it for just over $800 with fast delivery and no pressure to buy other items. Their other components like batteries and cards also much lower. Write and I'll give details.
07-08-2007, 02:22 AM   #13
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Not confused at all

QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
OK, I expect this subject crops up from time to time, but I simply wondered what members on the Pentax forum feel about the disparity of retail pricing across the world. Here in the U.K. for instance, Jessops (a well-known national photographic chain) have just reduced their online price for a Pentax K10D + 18-55mm kit lens to 499.99 inc VAT (17.5% tax). In the U.S.A. for example, Adorama are only asking $769.95 after rebate (does this include local sales tax ?) which at the current exchange rate (U.S. $2.00 = 1.00 sterling) equates to just 385.00 ! Ouch.......so what would members of the Pentax forum in the States think about having to shell-out U.S. $1000.00 instead of U.S. $769.95 for their K10Ds ? What's even more astounding is that the Pentax D-BG2 Battery Grip is advertised by Adorama for only $119.95 (60.00 sterling), which includes a $25.00 rebate. However the best U.K. online price I can find for the D-BG2 Battery Grip is 159.00 inc VAT (or U.S. $320.00 !) from Park Cameras. So simply ask yourself the following question: Would I rather pay U.S. $119.00 or U.S. $320 ??????? You're probably familiar with the term 'BOGOF' (Buy One Get One Free) but this is bl..dy ridiculous.........comments please !!
Tell the truth. OP is not confused at all. It's clear and has been for years that we live in "Rip Off Britain" We have always paid well over the odds for anything imported from abroad. How do you think we fund the extravagant lifestyles of our politicians, bank managers, mega business bosses and other people in the financial food-chain?
07-08-2007, 03:43 PM   #14
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In reply to Mechan1k, I'm genuinely sorry to hear that photographic equipment costs even more than in the U.K. You have my sincere sympathies and I'm starting to feel just slightly better about life in general after hearing that little piece of information ! In reply to Mutley, I'm afraid that what you stated about "completely free full healthcare for everybody" (in the U.K.) is not entirely accurate. Always remember that U.K. citizens pay National Insurance contributions via wage packets throughout their working lives. In addition, there are an increasing number of medical treatments that have to paid for including dental work and prescriptions charges are also levied unless exempted. Smokers contribute a HUGE amount through taxation on cigarettes in the U.K., but they may be refused assistance if for example they are are unwilling to quit the habit. Don't forget that if you are severely overweight (obese), hospitals may decide not to undertake an operation purely on safety grounds, in order to avoid a possible malpractise suit ! Finally to barrypendergast, WHY IS IT that REBATES only EVER seem to HAPPEN in the U.S.A. and not anywhere else that I'm aware of ??? That is unless a product is not selling very well or dealers need to shift existing stock pronto, in preparation for the next hot-seller ?? Could it be that American shoppers are simply a great deal 'savvier' in general and refuse to ripped-off quite so easily as we do in Europe ? Boy-oh-Boy would we kill for your LEMON LAWS over here ! It's often said that the customer is king, so I say Enough is Enough.............Incidentally, today (11th July) I noticed the K10D/18-55mm package on sale at an EVEN LOWER price of $696.00 from Broadway Photo and Video, which just goes to prove my point really !!

Last edited by Confused; 07-11-2007 at 11:01 AM.
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