The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Rip-Off Britain!!
Old 22nd October 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Angry Rip-Off Britain!! (Kurzweil KSP8 price in UK)

I know it's a cliche!! but.

for example the KSP8...

I have been researching the cost of the Kurzweil KSP8 after reading about it here.. US people are talking $2100-2300 which would be about £1400 here.
I just got a quote from my dealer, who is usually really competitive, a special offer of...da da da...£2186!!!!

Even ex VAT thats £1860.

It's shocking!

Why?

Any ways around this?

thanks
Old 22nd October 2002
  #2
Thats $3,500 in USD

Does that seem fair?
Old 22nd October 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
No, it doesn't seem fair...

And another thing that pisses me off here is that there's no "street" price. I hate when someone tells me "retail" and then won't budge. Well I'll just budge my way out the door then.

You have to accept that it's a different commercial climate here (and believe me I do) but a little American-style "well let's see what we can do" would go a long way in my book.

Granted, there are some cool people out there (And those are the ones I tend to do repeat business with. Best price or not.) but to be quoted the straight retail price (which so obviously inflated) everytime you call somebody outside of your circle is so annoying.

Winge Winge Winge... Sorry.

But I LIKE to spend money!

And before I get flamed to kingdom come by the sales guys out there: I started my working life in sales (in the US), have somehow been sidetracked into this music malarky (in the UK), and will probably end my working life in sales (who knows where).

I'm not dissin' the profession. Just the technique.

R.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #4
Jax
Lives for gear
 

USA: I have to say in my experience, it's unheard of for a pro audio salesperson to quote only the retail price. The only examples of this I can remember were followed or preceded by "we don't have our price yet, but we're talking to (co. x) so we'll let you know." They would get laughed at and/or instantly build themselves a bad reputation, so sales aren't done that way here.

Do you ask them if they're talking retail or street price?? Not that they shouldn't tell you both from the start.

Do you tell them, "Well, I can get it at (another shop) for $x. How close can you come to that?"
Old 23rd October 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Actually the retail quote I was given was $3864 :eek: I was offered a reduction on that.

It would be cheaper for me to get on a plane.

I'm considering it.

If I sit next to someone obese, and get crushed, I may get my costs covered completely when I sue the airline for damages.

Or just get one sent over from the States or Canada.

grudge

Can someone explain why the UK is this expensive? What "climate" Ol Betsey?

Has anyone in the UK bought stuff from abroad..any tips?

Thanks!!
Old 23rd October 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hi Renie,

Started writing an expose on the cultural differences in the commercial climate between the US and UK/Europe and it became so long-winded and bloody winge-y that I thought I might get banished from the "moan" zone forever!

But basically I think it comes down to a difference between the definitions of Customer Service.

Being constructive though, I did in fact do some investigating today and got a few figures and phone numbers for anybody else that wants to try this sort of thing. As some of you know, I'm now in full gearslut mode and trying add to the arsenal of the studio I'm about to be moving into and have found this exercise very informative.

If you want to import something from outside the EU you need to pay an Import Duty and VAT.

The Import Duty is levied according to the product and from what I've gathered is generally between 3 and 7 percent. This obviously varies and the no. you need to call is (+44) 01702 366 077. They will then ask you for a description of the item and then give you a reference code. You then take this reference code and call (+44) 0845 010 9000 and they will tell you the percentage of tax levied.

The tax is based on the amount the item is declared to be worth plus any insurance and delivery cost. These are all added together and then taxed by the percentage given.

You also then have to pay VAT on this entire amount. If your VAT registered you can claim the VAT back.

Taking for instance the KSP8 (which I'm really interested in too):
Street Price: $2200
Shipping: $150
plus 3.7% (this is the percentage I found for analog digital convertors. not the same but you get the idea) $86.95
VAT: $426.47
Total: $2863.42 or £1850 inc. VAT (£1575 not inc.)

BUT BUYER BEWARE! This is the grey market. Some (if not most) manufacturers won't service grey market imports unless you send it back to the country of origin. And the shop isn't just down the road.

Is it worth it? For some things maybe. For all things? You should decide for yourself.

YMMV...

R.
Old 23rd October 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ol' Betsey


BUT BUYER BEWARE! This is the grey market. Some (if not most) manufacturers won't service grey market imports unless you send it back to the country of origin. And the shop isn't just down the road.

Is it worth it? For some things maybe. For all things? You should decide for yourself.

YMMV...

R.
R.

Excellent post!

Your censored expose sounds like it would have been really interesting.

I really appreciate you sharing your research on the subject. It is an intriguing dilemma. This grey market catch is a real thorn though isn't it? What are your thoughts on the KSP8 then? I suppose the first thing to do is to find out where Kurzweil stand on the servicing point. Do they actually have any staff in the UK anyway? I'll find out.

It's kind of putting me off buying the KSP8 though, which is a shame for me and Kurzweil!!!!
Old 15th January 2003
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I just picked up this unit. What are some the patches to really check out. I looking for great drum verbs, some vocal stuff, and general chamber type of sounds.

Thanks.
Old 16th January 2003
  #9
Quote:
Originally posted by jkasko
I just picked up this unit. What are some the patches to really check out. I looking for great drum verbs, some vocal stuff, and general chamber type of sounds.

Thanks.
Hey Yankie, don't change the subject! Us Brits are having a serious moan about the way we get ripped off.
I think the rest of the World gets cheaper prices because we (in Britain) pay the extra pound. It happens in every area (clothes, food, DVD's) and no one has come up with a legitimate argument for it yet.
A couple of lame arguments are:
Our taxes are higher and it's the governments fault.
The UK is a small market and therefore in coutries like the US, where the consumer is king, companies have to compete a lot harder with discounting.
I truly believe we pay for that in the UK.
Why is all the Digidesign stuff nearly pound for dollar? That means we are paying 1.5 more for everything.
There are company representatives on these forums. I'd like to hear what they have to say.
In closing.....
I buy a lot of stuff (probably most of my stuff) outside of the UK. Buying ex demo and slightly used items off ebay is EVEN cheaper. The American consumer will not pay a lot of money for second hand items usually.
As 'Ol Betsey' says, you'd better beware though. It is difficult to get after sales service. Also the PSU's can be an issue. Some gear can be switched or switches itself automatically. I bought an Ensoniq DP4 which could not be switched from 110v. I've got step down transformers all over my studio, no big deal, but you can get the odd hum building up.
Old 16th January 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Thanks for the information Chrisso. I suggest we get a GS posse and storm Whitehall. Failing that it would be great to hear from some of the company rep's for a bit more explanation. It is annoying.
Old 1st February 2003
  #11
Gear Head
 

The UK is a rip off period......
Old 1st February 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hello Renie and Chrisso,

How are my fellow travelers?

Have you guys ever checked this site out?

http://www.musicians-gear.com/

They seem to have pretty good prices on the Kurweil KSP8 and considering they're European we wouldn't have to pay import duty. And although they're based in Germany, if anything went wrong we wouldn't have to deal with customs if we needed to send it back. And really, Europe seems to be getting closer everyday. Shipping is so much quicker and simpler than even a just a few years ago. Heck, we can jump on Ryanair (A budget airline for you USA'rs) and fly there £10!

On a side note: From what I've heard/read about it, I'm totally sold on the KSP8. Well... as sold as I can be without actually hearing it....

Tried to hire one here in London and nobody had even heard of it

Tried FX, Tickle, Studiohire, you name it.

Might bite the bullet on this one though and just give it a go.

R.
Old 1st February 2003
  #13
It's a little worrysome that they are a faceless website. Also, they don't carry a lot of the units I'd be interested in; Cranesong, Api, Smart, ADAM.
Actually I'm researching another outrageous example of price hiking by a UK distributor/dealer.
I might start a thread on one of the other forums because I'd love to involve some of the manufacturers, distributors and dealers that lurk on Gearslutz. I truly believe that it's the profits they make on UK sales that enable them to be more competative in tougher markets such as the US.
I'm pissed (as they say over the pond).
Old 1st February 2003
  #14
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

I'm an American who lived in France for 3 years and Italy now for 6 years. In 1995, when I was searching for my first PT rig, the prices in Paris for anything from outside were so high that I did what everybody here wants to do and the savings more than payed for the trip back to New York. I also found some TLAudio pieces for way less than I could find them for in England.
Now things seem to have levelled off a bit for computers and such, nobody here talks sconto street price on DD products. The prices I would have to pay for the 4 Earthhworks QTC mics. and the 4 channel pre that I want makes me want to call Fletcher. The Mark Thompson prices on some things aren't bad, but when I went to London expecting to find some deals, I got a hell of a surprise, I've never come back.
I wonder if the big studios pay the same prices and the shops do the old buddy routine with them and the hire companies to keep the gear out of the hands of Jon Doe studio owner, to keep business up for them? Nah too romantic, not enough gold.
Old 1st February 2003
  #15
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...&threadid=2669

I hope you all don't think I've been too heavy.
I'll be interested to see if these two industry insiders have got a take on the situation.
It would be great to think we could change a few attitudes, although as I point out, neither of these guys are guilty parties.
Old 8th February 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Just to add my two cents:
While prices here in Germany aren´t that outrageous like in Britain, still retailers/ wholesailers appear to think they can do it with us ( obviously successfully ).
After calculating I found that including customs, tax ( =additional ~ 20% ) and shipping many things are still way cheaper ordered from U.S. than alternatively being ripped off by prices in Germany.

Thus, while e.g. the Ddrum kit didn´t look worth to order from abroad ( regarding the disadvantages you mentioned before, like shipping for repair / guarantee etc.) - and so was purchased here - other parts well did. That´s why I just ordered a D/A converter and a preamp from U.S.A.

I guess if many would start checking out each time the importers would be forced to overthink their strategies.




Ruphus
Old 16th February 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
entropy's Avatar
i left london about 3 months ago now but worked for a retailer selling mainly hi-end kit. having travelled and bought kit thru europe and the u.s i know we are definately getting stitched along the way somewhere.

having worked in a couple of the larger retailers, i don't think it's at that point that the inflation occurs. typically most retailers will strive to get a mark-up of about 23-25% and normally this will be the start point in negotiation. the reality is'nt anywhere near as good as that though. low ticket items will normally go for 18-20% and if you're buying anything tasty, generally it's more like15%. that doesn't give you a lot to play with if you're paying london rents, london wages etc.

having bought quite a bit direct through manufactures/distributors, i'm sure that's where the hike comes from. most will offer deals like, 50% of retail or 30% off cost. but what can you do? i've bought off musicians-gear . com and waited an age to get my new toy and as for grey imports, you end up paying so much for a repair i'm sure it works out cheaper/less hassle in the long run to buy local. and there's a lot to be said for keeping your local dealer in business.

as for manufacters, the worst markup has to be digidesign. are they shafting us what?
Old 16th February 2003
  #18
Quote:
Originally posted by entropy

as for manufacters, the worst markup has to be digidesign. are they shafting us what?
Totally!

(There's a thought. What about a guest moderator from Digidesign one month Jules?)
Old 16th February 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 
mac black's Avatar
i found..

i found a way how to f**k turnkey up the HEEHAW-
if u havent read it im sorry i said i would leave it for a short while....
Old 16th February 2003
  #20
Come on guys keep the language a little tamer thanks!

Old 16th February 2003
  #21
Lives for gear
 
mac black's Avatar
sorry for the filth...
Old 17th February 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by entropy
... you end up paying so much for a repair i'm sure it works out cheaper/less hassle in the long run to buy local. and there's a lot to be said for keeping your local dealer in business.

It might be a question of the individual case.
While the savings on the drum kit wasn´t worth to order it from overseas, the saving on the preamp well was.
It would had been twice that expensive to order it from a dealer over here even with all additinal costs for US order included.

Preventing repair / guarantee hassles is not worth a doubling of the bill, at least not for gear of remarkable price anyway I think.

Whoever would be responsible for exaggerated prices, if customers were checking out first about better deals abroad and make their choice respectively the manufacturer / distributor or retailer on the long run would learn from that.

Ruphus
Old 26th February 2011
  #23
Gear Addict
 
kozlikha's Avatar
 

We get butt ****ed all the time in the UK as far as pricing of products are concerned. I never buy software in the UK, NEVER!!!!
Old 27th February 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Wink

^^ LOL - resurrected an 8-year-old thread for the above! heh
Old 27th February 2011
  #25
Gear Addict
 
gingataff's Avatar
 

Rip-Off Japan

It's not only in Britiain.

Fractal Axe FX Ultra: $1999.95 in the US, $3600 (¥294000) here.

FMR Audio RNC: $199 US, $385 (¥31500) here.

RME FF400: Eur799 from Thomann, Eur1496 (¥168000) here.

And don't get me started on paying $33 for a cd.
Old 27th February 2011
  #26
Administrator
 
Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

Same in Ireland. The thing is there are very few music stores over here compared to England even, so competition is really non-existent.
There are a few big music retailers but i always found them too expensive compared to buying from other countries.
I tend to buy my instruments at home, so i can try them out and make sure i'm happy with the feel and sound of them etc, but apart from that i have to buy online as certain things are just to expensive here. I remember a few years ago i was gonna buy a boss br1600 in one of the big music shops over here, but they were over 450 euro dearer that the online retailers. Wouldn't budge on the price, crazy.

Graham
Old 27th February 2011
  #27
Gear Head
 
Pentachoron's Avatar
 

I really don’t see what the mystery is in all this. Manufacturers decide what they want their profits to be, based upon their costs of material, labor, taxes, etc., and they try to gauge what the market will bear. Distributors, then retailers do the same. If any of these parties, and their customers, are operating in countries with high taxes and import duties the price gets jacked up further. In too many threads of this nature I’ve noticed a distinct mindset of almost entitlement, expecting all retailers to be willing to discount their prices as a matter of course. If any given retailer can continue operating at a profit, why should they lower their prices? If you don’t like the pricing policies of manufacturers and/or retailers, don’t patronize them. If you don’t like the tax policies of your government, work to reduce taxes, or relocate to somewhere that’s more agreeable to your preferences.

Of all possible courses of action, venting about the situation on internet forums is the least likely to change the situation to your favor. Music equipment and software manufacturers aren’t in business to cut anyone a deal if they can at all afford not to. The more “social services” anyone expects from their government, the more willing they need to be to endure the taxes on anything and everything the system levies, in order to fund its activities. It’s not really a mystery…
Old 28th February 2011
  #28
Administrator
 
Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentachoron View Post
If you don’t like the tax policies of your government, work to reduce taxes, or relocate to somewhere that’s more agreeable to your preferences.
Most unhelpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentachoron View Post
Of all possible courses of action, venting about the situation on internet forums is the least likely to change the situation to your favor.
Venting on the internet, that would never happen.heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentachoron View Post
Music equipment and software manufacturers aren’t in business to cut anyone a deal if they can at all afford not to.
No they are in the business of making a profit while providing a service to the people and, if their service cost is to high then people go elsewhere. If like me and there is not much competition in your country you turn to purchase from the internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentachoron View Post
The more “social services” anyone expects from their government, the more willing they need to be to endure the taxes on anything and everything the system levies, in order to fund its activities. It’s not really a mystery…
Excuse me?

To be honest people were just quoting their personal findings, no need to jump in with what seems like an arrogant post talking about things you don't seem to understand. You cant possibly know or assume to understand every-bodies individual situation.
I have worked in retail sales for years and i know what markup equipment has, we got away with high prices cause there was no one else around.
Yes there are overheads and some people just don't seem to understand that, but coming across they way you have is not going to enlighten anyone.

I'm not looking for an internet fight, i'm not into that.


Graham
Old 1st March 2011
  #29
Gear Head
 
Pentachoron's Avatar
 

Moving is one of numerous options -- it may not be the most “helpful”, but it is valid.

As I wrote, I’ve come across “too many” of these threads over the years, and that was my turn to vent on the internet. I own up to the “irony”.

You wrote:
‘No they are in the business of making a profit while providing a service to the people and, if their service cost is to high then people go elsewhere. If like me and there is not much competition in your country you turn to purchase from the internet.’

I was commenting on the perceived attitude that any business is somehow obligated to bargain with any potential customer, offering them a “fair” discount, even if the seller does not need to. One of my points was, if any individual doesn’t like the pricing policies of any given manufacturer or retailer they can shop elsewhere, rather than become seemingly indignant at not being offered a “deal”.

You wrote:
‘To be honest people were just quoting their personal findings,…’

As I was just expressing my personal opinions.

You wrote:
‘…no need to jump in with what seems like an arrogant post talking about things you don't seem to understand. You cant possibly know or assume to understand every-bodies individual situation.’

I’m talking about what’s been written on the screen: people don’t like the pricing policies of numerous retailers, and they don’t like tax policies that add to the cost of certain gear.

You wrote:
‘Yes there are overheads and some people just don't seem to understand that, but coming across they way you have is not going to enlighten anyone.’

I’m not here to “enlighten” anyone -- are you here to “defend” everyone?
Old 1st March 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 

I don't think this is a conspiracy among British retailers as some of the threads in this post have implied.

Look at what American-made products cost in the US. Factor in the cost of having it shipped. Factor in the cost of duties. Factor in the consideration that the distributor then passes it on to a retailer, who also wants to make a profit.

It's not rocket science - distributors and retailers are simply making exactly the same kind of monetary decisions that you or I would make in deciding whether or not to buy something abroad or not.

Personally, I've found that, when I've chosen my US-based eBay purchases carefully, I've still bought things for substantially cheaper than UK retail. I've bought two AKG414Bs from the US and saved a couple of hundred on both, even with all the customs & excise thrown in. But that's only worked for certain specific products, and that couple of hundred pounds is exactly the money that UK distributors and retailers are (understandably) hoping to make. It's their job.

I just think it's a shame that there aren't more British companies making cool stuff. TL Audio and DAVelectronics spring to mind. How much does it cost to buy their stuff in the US?
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
hywyn / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
13
AB3 / The Moan Zone
8
Pedro_vde / The Moan Zone
11
morpheus / Music Computers
16

Forum Jump
Forum Jump