Pricing of computer products not all equal

Are consumers getting a raw deal on the price of locally available computer products?
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01.Pricing wars

Brown boxes with price tags

In brief

  • Some products are significantly more expensive in Australia than in the US.
  • It’s not illegal for companies to have different prices in different countries for the same product even after local adjustment.
  • You can save money if you buy from overseas and ship to Australia.

It doesn’t take long for a net-savvy consumer to compare the cost of computer products here and overseas. And with a bit of research you’d quickly discover that there can be big differences in prices for the same products.

The obvious question is why? And is it fair?

Companies can set their own prices for products and services, provided they’re not involved in illegal pricing activity. However, despite international trade and e-commerce, the local price for technology products is often higher than the US. This is also true for products like cars, books and clothing.

Maybe it’s just the extra costs involved in getting products to our shores — shipping, for example — or the simple difference in exchange rates between the Aussie and US dollar, Pound and Euro. But a quick price comparison of some popular computer products would suggest there's more going on than mere currency differences and shipping costs.

We surveyed a range of computer products — software, an external hard drive, MP3 player, printer and PC game — to compare the Australian prices with US prices. On the whole, local prices were significantly higher.

Please note: this information was current as of May 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. 



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