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Author Topic: Are we being ripped off as musicians?  (Read 1547 times)
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Meron Rigas
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« on: August 23, 2016, 06:37:03 am »

http://mybroadband.co.za/news/gadgets/176411-crazy-nikon-rip-off-in-south-africa-photographer.html

Can you think of musical equipment that might be similarly priced?

I guess anything boutique could be potentially marked up 100%, Fender's custom shop stuff can also have RRP's that are eye watering.
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Norman86
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2016, 08:46:42 am »

We're being ripped off as South African's, with many many many examples.
Not just niche items like camera's and music equipment, but everyday items like petrol too.
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2016, 09:05:49 am »

Big time!
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 10:01:27 am »

I was recently comparing the prices of power tools, and depending on the brand, we can pay up to twice as much as the US or in Europe. But I've spent a lot of time in Zambia, and the prices there are again up to three times what they are here.
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wern101
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2016, 10:22:05 am »

We're being ripped off as South African's, with many many many examples.
This.
Car prices, house prices, food prices etc etc. Anything retail is hugely overpriced, up to 400% markup. (I use to work for a large , prominent clothing retailer)

I have friends/family in Aus, NZ, UK and USA. They all say the same thing. It's easier to make a living over there because things are affordable, based on what you earn.

We pay through our noses for everything...
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2016, 10:43:10 am »

Most items yes!

I look at guitar strings, they are dam expensive imo! Me and a budy now just import them rather because its about 50% cheaper. Got to have strings but I cant fork out R120 every time for a pack of strings, its retarded and I just cant afford it. 
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Meron Rigas
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 11:04:45 am »

Car prices, house prices, food prices etc etc. Anything retail is hugely overpriced, up to 400% markup. (I use to work for a large , prominent clothing retailer)
Is this issue the retailers or distributors/importers?

When I got a focusrite scarlett a few years ago I visited all the stores I could with comparative quotes for each other. I was very honest about the process - the shop who got my business was as honest - he made just 15% markup.

The cheapest price I could find one on amazon was about 15% less...than the distributors price!!

Why did I buy local? I wanted the local backup from the distributor...knowing what I know now...hmm  Undecided
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Foottapiologist
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2016, 11:22:33 am »

It's the South African way unfortunately.
I packed up shop and started working abroad full-time because I was sick to death of doing business in SA. (expat commuting, not emigrated - let's not start that conversation. My beef is not political but business culture)

And working abroad, overseas as well as around Africa, it emphasised my dislike for anything to do with SA (mostly big) businesses.
* Big business just lay it on thick, beyond what the market  can bear, but rather to what they think it will recover to after consumers become acclimatised to it and think it's normal. Isolation has allowed them to adopt a government department sort of mentality.
* SA companies working beyond our borders just screw over their contractors to make their targets.(it's common knowledge and openly spoken about)
* Small business all want their holiday house at the river and want to be "rich quick".

Being isolated for so long created this bubble but times are changing.
Saffers are becoming more informed, via the internet as well as from more prevalent working abroad, and learning not to accept what is fed to them daily.

And their are gaps in the market for SA entrepreneurs to capitalise on this lack of competitive and ethical spirit if they can control their genes and not aim for the holiday house in the second year
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2016, 12:55:02 pm »

There've been many discussions about this here.

In terms of camera gear, I thought that recently this had been corrected. Years ago, I discovered this, and found that I paid half price to order from the states. I did with many items. In one case, a Nikon 80-200 f2.8D, Orms offered me a used lens at R11,000 (this was a while back). By the time I had it in my hands, the brand new lens in the box from the USA had cost me R6,000.

As little as a year or so ago though, Orms prices didn't seem to differ that much from US prices. I remember comparing a very pricy lens someone asked about and found it was only about 15% more at Orms. My guess is that the recent exchange rate wobbles are being exploited here for extra profits.
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2016, 04:22:14 pm »

Car prices, house prices, food prices etc etc. Anything retail is hugely overpriced, up to 400% markup. (I use to work for a large , prominent clothing retailer)
Is this issue the retailers or distributors/importers?

Why did I buy local? I wanted the local backup from the distributor...knowing what I know now...hmm  Undecided

I think its all of em. Retailers have to pay for floor space, overheads, salaries etc etc. So they jack up the prices. I walked into our 'local' about a year ago and there was this beautiful Yamaha electric. Can't remember what it was, but it's usual price was R52K (or something silly like that). They had brought it in for a collector and gave it to him for R14K with the reasoning that Yamaha brings in all this stock and it just sits there and they have to pay taxes and fines at the docks and bla bla bla. All nonsense.  Angry About a month ago they had a 'sale' and prices dropped by the thousands. There was an electric violin for a ridiculous price at something like R14k discount ( I don't understand how you can chop a price so low...unless you have super profit markup)

I also think they bring in stock and it sits in their shops for months before its sold. Thus - raise profit margin % to compensate for the amount of time it takes to sell. There is also a Gretsch (a green one  Roll Eyes) that's been sitting there forever... with a mad price.

Being in a small community, I also would like to buy local and support local, but its just too expensive. A mate of mine buys NOTHING local, he imports all his instruments and gear from JHB (for us lowvelders, JHB is another country) 90% of the time the prices are much less than buying local. Cry

Ok. I'm done rambling.
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Meron Rigas
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 07:34:20 am »

There've been many discussions about this here.

My guess is that the recent exchange rate wobbles are being exploited here for extra profits.
Yeah, there has been many a chat about it over the years - sensitive topic in SA due to exchange rate blues?

Last year, I noticed my favourite strings go up 100% - literally overnight (distributor RRP) - but at a local retailer (does his own direct imports) the price was about 10% more.

Then I was chatting to Graham (Gear Junkie) and it was interesting to hear that the Schaller Oyster pickup was R800 RRP, but now around R1600 RRP, again a overnight price increase...the reasoning from the distributor? The last batch was imported two years ago and that was at R800, the next batch was imported recently and they're now R1600 (for the next two years???).

I reckon Foottapiologist raised a interesting point about the business approach in SA, I've suspected the same recently - though I temper that with that fact that interest costs are prohibitive in SA, so speculative lending (investment) in gear for retail is a tricky thing, especially with the potential to get hit by Forex wobbles.
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 08:07:19 am »

too many middle men for some products, notably that brand that sounds like Fender.

Ibanez on the other hand are far more reasonably priced as are Tokai etc.

So in a nutshell, for some brands we are paying excessively, for others maybe not so but all are subject to the decline of the ront.
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Ibanezguy
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 09:36:32 am »

Most items yes!

I look at guitar strings, they are dam expensive imo! Me and a budy now just import them rather because its about 50% cheaper. Got to have strings but I cant fork out R120 every time for a pack of strings, its retarded and I just cant afford it. 

We get ripped off on everything but my biggest gripe in this country is guitar strings. I put in R400 petrol at a time and it still lasts all month whether its R13 a liter 0r 14 lol. Strings are almost not affordable anymore. I don't even know how the shops can justify their prices. I walked out of a shop this last Saturday without buying strings at R190 a f$#@$#g a set  Shocked I used to get discount as a former music shop employee, but these days I'm getting the whining speech of not really giving discounts on small items. WTF, strings are NOT small items compared to their fkn prices. I've spent a fortune on fkn gear and they complain about a fkn discount on essentials for my guitars- STRINGS!!!!! I often look online at overseas shops and work out the prices. I only use Elixer 9-42's and I just cannot use "normal" strings anymore lol. Anyway besides being cheaper it is often the case that if you buy 3 sets you get another free. This being the case if you now do the math on total outlay divided by 4 then the price per set comes down substantially. My sister is visiting this December from the UK so she will be getting a shopping list, for Andertons, who knows maybe it will be an Xmas gift:yup:

Nazarene if I may ask , where do you source strings from overseas?

Rant over and NO i don't feel better Tongue Don't get me started on plectrum prices lol
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 10:22:46 am »

I only use Elixer 9-42's and I just cannot use "normal" strings anymore lol.

Nazarene if I may ask , where do you source strings from overseas?

I do know the local margins on elixir's are much tighter than Ernie's & D'addario's - which is partly why I've been trying other coated strings. Also, I think elixir's feel a bit stiff under my fingers, which is also a thing for me.

EZ (and a few others) have done a few group buys - can't recall which company he used : I check these two for comparative pricing
juststrings.com and stringsandbeyond.com

a 8 pack of elixir's nanoweb (blue packaging) are $69.99, roughly R120/pack ex shipping & vat.  Marshall will sell ya a single set at R215. Sure, it looks much cheaper though I reckon buying 8 packs from them and negotiating a bulk discount vs calculating the shipping&vat wouldn't save as much as one suspects. But there is definitely savings when ya split shipping and -perhaps- look at alternatives to elixir's.

I always get a discount on smalls, being a honorary junkie 'n all Cheesy.

Getting someone to bring them in should bypass vat and -yay- free shipping!
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Ibanezguy
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 01:30:39 pm »



EZ (and a few others) have done a few group buys - can't recall which company he used : I check these two for comparative pricing
juststrings.com and stringsandbeyond.com

a 8 pack of elixir's nanoweb (blue packaging) are $69.99, roughly R120/pack ex shipping & vat.  Marshall will sell ya a single set at R215. Sure, it looks much cheaper though I reckon buying 8 packs from them and negotiating a bulk discount vs calculating the shipping&vat wouldn't save as much as one suspects. But there is definitely savings when ya split shipping and -perhaps- look at alternatives to elixir's.

I always get a discount on smalls, being a honorary junkie 'n all Cheesy.

Getting someone to bring them in should bypass vat and -yay- free shipping!
[/quote]

Thanks Meron I shall investigate those options asap Cool

Well I would be in for a group buy of overseas strings if anyone is interested. I really want to support local shops but they need to support us too. I'm happy to buy 10 to 20 sets at a time if the price is right.
The outlook on business in SA is not logical - everyone wants to retire in the first week of business. I would rather sell 100 sets of strings and make 40 bucks a set than sit with the stock and sell one set a week and make R100. I just don't get it. I recently bought 30 3meter Kirlin cables for R75 each and sold 26 for R100 each (I kept 4 - they are unbelievable and transparent sounding cables). 26 x 25 was a quick R650. I could have sold them at their actual R300 plus value but I would probably still have 29 left and out of pocket by R1950 lol.

The exchange rate is used as an excuse in SA, when ever our Rand strengthens nothing comes down again. No wonder we are in shit Sad The pound and dollar have both dropped versus the rand recently.

Oh there is one more serious rip off world wide, pickup prices!!!!WTF???Its a damn winding around pole pieces and a magnet glued on it. Sure there a shite ones due to low grade copper windings and crappy design but I have a Mightymite on one of my Ibanez RG's which kicks the shit out of both my Dimarzio DP100 on my RG09LTD and the D-Sonic in my RG350DX. I kid you not. I also own 2 original pre 2000 Jap made S Series with the original V1 and V2 pickups, bring any Dimarzio up against these babies and you won't believe it, they are awesome. Sorry i digress LOL

Back to topic WE ARE BEING RIPPED OFF lets start groups to import what we want directly. I have a wealthy sister in the UK she will help, she just doesnt know it yet Wink
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