back to article Parallel politics: Gerry Harvey, imports and taxes

There’s a curious symmetry about how 2011 is ending: once again, retailer Gerry Harvey is complaining about GST inequities for online shopping, just as he was at the beginning of the year. Once again, Harvey is distracting attention away from vendor price-setting, just as he was at the beginning of the year. However, as the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is little doubt, the name sticks

    There is little doubt he has always been known affectionately as "Hardly Normal" inside of Australia. He is definitely living up to his alter ego name sake.

    1. Francis Boyle

      I'd question

      the "affectionately" bit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Little doubt of both wholesaler and retailer price fixing

    There simple is no excuse to pay $1,300.00 of your hard earned and paid less than comparable wage of an income compared to the same person in the UK or USA on goods such as a stereo that costs the equivalent of $260.00 in those countries.

    But the Wholesalers and Importers need the guns pointed at them as well. The wholesale price to the brick and mortar stores which are not large importers themselves is often times many times higher than the retail price or even MSRP of an item in the UK or USA.

    Death to the evil sods who want to live the life of riley off the backs of the hard working class.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Term

    As the Reg says, it's not the GST

    A few months ago I bought a box set of the first four seasons of Doctor Who as a Christmas present for someone. Here in Australia the best price was at JB HiFi at about $287. In the end I bought it from Amazon UK for $64 with free shipping.

    There is no way that adding 10% GST on to it would have changed my mind in purchasing from amazon UK!

    I've also bought the BluRay Boxset of the complete Harry Potter films for $49 (free shipping again), in JB HiFi it's for sale for $139 + postage. Oh, I also got the BluRay edition of the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy but I've forgotten how much I didn't spend buying that here :-).

    Prices and exchange rates have changed since these purchases but there is no way that a 10% GST explains the price difference. Just look at that Doctor Who boxed set S1-4, $287 vs $64, I mean WTF! Someone, somewhere is gouging...


  5. John Angelico

    Penny drops slowly for Mr Harvey

    Hmm, Gerry must have finally got the first part of the message. He admits that whta he rails against is a collection policy at Aust Customs, rather than a legal exemption from GST.

    We can only hope it will take less than 12 months for him to understand the second part of the message, as clearly enunciated by Term for example.

  6. P. Lee

    Sadly it isn't just the Australians

    Check out the price of MW3 on steam with /?cc=au, ($100 USD) /?cc=us ($60 USD) and /?cc=uk (£40=> $62 USD (including 20% VAT?) )

    Yes, the australian shop is denominated in USD and still manages to charge 66% more.

    Still, I guess it saved me from buying an awful game.... ;)

    This doesn't appear to be Steam doing this, it looks like vendor pricing, comparing it with other vendors' games.

    1. Charles 9


      Don't blame Valve for the prices you see. It's the vendors who set them, Steam is simply the marketplace.

  7. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Not only in Australia

    The same thing happens in Europe too, especially with DVDs. I tend to buy my DVDs in the UK, and quite often spend only £2-3 on a DVD. In Spain the same DVDs could be 10-19€.

    Of course the Spanish could just buy from over the border as they are legally allowed in the common market, but only the Spanish version has Spanish language and sub-titles. Then the film companies complain that they don't sell many DVDs in Spain, where unemployment is over 20%, and the price of the DVD could buy you 2* 3-course meals and drinks in a restaurant.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge

    "the turd in the teacup"

    or perhaps "the turd in the jerry" in this case.

  9. LaeMing

    Sounds like a rather cynical attempt to goad the govt...

    ...into wasting lots of public money to collect less money, so he can say 'told you so' and return to business-as-previous.

    Of course he is still claiming it is the GST that is the cause (which it largely isn't, as noted).

  10. aslsw

    Gerry hates competition

    I have always know that his arguments are full of crap, but it was confirmed when I went looking for a new DSLR. I asked his local store for the best price, and then went online to an Australian site supplying Australian sourced cameras and got the same camera at roughly 25% (more than $300) less. This was not a grey importer.

    He just hates it when someone else makes money. I think his preference is for the Government to introduce a law that directs a percentage of our wages directly to him in return for shopping vouchers,

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