Strider wrote:Don't shop at any retailer that displays this type of behaviour.
Kathmandu, Macpac, Mountain Designs etc? Now, what do I do with local retailers/International brands that maintain an elevated RRP all year round except from O/S online store?
It's not an "elevated" RRP if it's justified because of the extra costs of importing the product. The main problem in Australia is we have an extra middle man in the form of the local suppliers, who take their cut and drive up the retail prices. I.e. Sea to Summit, well-loved Australia brand (for no good reason IMO but that's another story) is primarily a wholesaler who bulk buys products and sells them on to retailers. So any time you buy Black Diamond you are effectively paying for Black Diamond's cut, plus Sea to Summit's cut, plus your retailer's cut. And if each time the price roughly doubles (100% mark up) then you pay twice as much as a from a retailer in the US which buys directly from Black Diamond. So yes, until this system somehow changes then the International brands will always be more expensive in Aus than elsewhere. It's not an inflated or elevated price, it's just the price that is being set by the mechanics of the situation.
Shops like Kathmandu, Macpac etc. are all vertically integrated so they avoid the cost of paying a manufacturer and an importer, so the products that hit their floors are 25% to 50% of the wholesale price of imported products from other stores. The great fallacy is that they still charge as if their wholesale prices are comparable to those of other stores which might be true if their products were of exceptional quality but they are not. And the greatest deception comes when Kathmandu marks up their down jacket to an RRP of $700
when a comparable or probably superior quality down jacket from a well-known international brand like Patagonia or North Face sells for $350 RRP
, fully half the price, or in other words the same price as the Kathmandu jacket at 50% off, or cheaper than Kathmandu at 40% off.
I can't place all the blame on Kathmandu. In fact it's not their fault at all. There is something about the Australian consumer that appears to be far more susceptible to this sort of scheme. Compare this to American stores like Golite or American Apparel (not an outdoor company of course) which are also vertically integrated but which attract customers with cheaper prices rather than phoney discounts. You would think if any corporation were to be engaged in this sort of consumer rort it would be an American corporation but in fact I've only ever seen this sort of behaviour in Australasia. In fact if you look at Kathmandu's UK site you'll see that their retail price for the exact same jacket
is nearly 55% cheaper
than the retail price in Australia. And yet nobody in the media or government says anything. Every time I walk past a busy Kathmandu store I am more and more convinced that Australians are the least educated consumers in the western world.