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Thread: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

  1. #1
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    Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I see it so often. A question is asked if such and so machine can be imported and how that would work. And out of the woodwork pop the guardian angels warning of the pitfalls: No warranty, no support, not allowed, not standardised and youll burn your house down.

    Having relocated from Europe to USA to Europe to the Middle East to Australia and having taken with me on my various travels a whole menagerie of electrical devices, I cant see the problem. You can burn your house down with a cigarette lighter bought at the corner shop if youre so inclined. If you leave your locally sourced roaster unattended, you can burn your house down with that just the same as you can burn your house down with an imported one. Never heard such hyperbole.

    All this nonsense about Australian Standards makes me puke. So we Australians (all 23million of us) know it better than 250 million US Americans or 450 million Europeans? The only result is that everythings way more expensive than it has to be. Because importers have to jump through hoops to get the devices, be they coffee machines or roasters or motorcycle helmets or pretty much anything you can think of localised i.e. tested for compliance with the Australian Standards.

    Why not adopt CE standard and share the efficiencies of a market thats 20 times the size of ours? Why insist on these silly flat-pinned power plugs, in every respect inferior to the round-pinned Euro plug design? Why force manufactures to run the gauntlet of standards testing for a market that supports 100 maybe 1000 units of a product?

    Stupid protectionist economic politics trying to protect an uncompetitive market that possibly doesnt even produce the product (Australian made domestic coffee roaster, anyone?) and thus competes with none other than the own population.

    We need to cut that Australian Standards crap and we can reduce taxes by 10%. At least.

    Now that made me feel better. ::)

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Well, glad you feel better.

    However, I think most of the caution that is preached is due to the fact that many of these items are not like-for-like items.

    The Standards stuff is not really crap when it is there to ensure that we dont just plug a 110v rated machine into 220v and hope for the best.

    Personally, if people want to go down the grey import path themselves, then they can go for it, but people are entitled to hold a contrary opinion!

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 263E3F3A25353E3A560 link=1326694090/0#0 date=1326694090
    All this nonsense about Australian Standards makes me puke.
    They sometimes exceed CE and its often a good thing. With the Quest for example, youd be crazy to operate one as they leave the manufacturer. We also have vastly different retail laws and a much smaller population- resulting in different cost structures.

    Quote Originally Posted by 766E6F6A75656E6A060 link=1326694090/0#0 date=1326694090
    Why not adopt CE standard...
    Sure. While were at it, we could opt in on the Euro as well. Seriously, though whilst it would be a bonus, there are too many other hoops not related to compliance.

    I hope you have in mind that on average, 10% of your family and friends work in retail. Surely you wont mind kicking in an extra 10-15% of your earnings in tax to cover their dole payments in a few years. Its only fair and they will be looking to you...* :-?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C2B3E282533157B7373734A0 link=1326694090/1#1 date=1326694403
    However, I think most of the caution that is preached is due to the fact that many of these items are not like-for-like items.
    Yeppers fb, its the one this that the self-appointed eggspurts continue to ignore. Now wheres that $70k Porsche. Its what they pay in the US... ::)

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Youve got two very seperate point sof discussion in your post.

    1 is the negative attitude towards grey imports and the other is the approval process for products imported into Australia.

    If you cant understand why some of the members on this site are anti grey imports then hand in your coffeesnobs membership card now and delete this site from your bookmarks ::)

    As far as the "australian Standards" arguement goes, Im pretty sure most members would support accepting the US or EU standards for products sold here be it coffee machines or automobiles.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Now Im not one for paying tax and I always like a good deal on a retail item but I think you may be a bit misguided here. It reminds me of a Spanish fellow I work with who is always saying "we pay to much tax, we pay to much rates, car rego is to dear, petrol cost to much, its cheaper in Europe, Spain is a lot cheaper to live. No one pays tax in Italy or Spain or Greece." Why arent you living there? I ask, no tax but look at the state of the place, its a basket case. Australia is only a small market but it will grow. I notice the difference now to 20 years ago when you would be lucky to see a coffee machine in a department store let alone specialist retailers. I have bought grey market but always try to buy locally. If we do not support our small business then we too will end up like Europe.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Have to agree with Philschl, have imported many electrical items from the US over the years at massive savings and not a single problem, while its legal I will continue to do so.
    Too many layers (middlemen) in the Aust system trying to take a slice from the pie.
    My money, my choice as to where I spend it (I wont be dictated to by anyone) and my problem, if the wheels fall off so be it. ;)

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    maybe Im not seeing it, but Im thinking theres a lot of people out there who are driving 20 miles just to save three cents on petrol.

    Seriously, Support your local retailers, Theyre good blokes, They know what theyre talking about, And they MIGHT actually save you some money/running around because they have some experience/advice that will stop you from spending hidden costs (like import taxes on items over a certain price being one example)

    If we dont support them, Theyll be forced to shut up shop, Then NOBODY would be able to get their advice/help/knoweledge/gear, Because Thats how capitalism works, Its weighted towards the big guys earning more money, and the little guy either being pushed out, or being bought out.

    Ive already seen this happen to one passion of mine, I dont want to see it happen to another. :-/

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 173A2E3C3332353C1A2F1D3A2F3E5B0 link=1326694090/6#6 date=1326718908
    Theyll be forced to shut up shop
    I dont see a problem with that, the good ones will survive, those that cant make the grade will fall by the wayside.
    There will always be another ready to fill the gap if the need is there.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    *ring ring....ring ring....

    "Good (insert time of day and company name)........(insert my name) speaking"

    "Hello mate, I bought this XYZ from (insert vendor and/or country here) and....(insert item here) is missing/broken/faulty. I am hoping you can help me out?

    Believe me, somebody tries it on every few days. This style of call now precipitates a bout of amnesia and/or chronic deafness as well as being interrupted by severe telco static and dropouts... ::)

    I see a future of "yeah sure, but Ill need your credit card details....The charge for favours is $X/min or part thereof...."

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 487A756F7A776E761B0 link=1326694090/7#7 date=1326719829
    Quote Originally Posted by 173A2E3C3332353C1A2F1D3A2F3E5B0 link=1326694090/6#6 date=1326718908
    Theyll be forced to shut up shop
    I dont see a problem with that, the good ones will survive, those that cant make the grade will fall by the wayside.
    There will always be another ready to fill the gap if the need is there.
    No, Youre wrong, This is not what happened when the store I was getting my other stuff closed up shop, There was not the market locally for him to survive, and he couldnt survive on the internet due to grey imports. And NO ONE ELSE desired to sell/stock the products he was selling because "it obviously didnt sell" (gee, I wonder why that was?)

    However, his was the ONLY store in the CBD that carried the product I was buying, I now have to search high and low to find it, or spend money to an offshore company that dont offer advice or information about the products I want.

    Im still angry about the whole affair, Boutique shops deserve to survive because they offer an alternative to the bigger popular shops. If they can make a profit selling gear that is Not available from other shops, They deserve Every chance they can get

    I suppose youd be happy to have the local cafe pushed out of business by starchucks or Glorified Beans because they offer the same product for less

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    I really fear that the uneven playing field with regulations, taxes, warranty and the requirement for distribution networks will bring about the downfall of retail in Australia and redundancy for a significant proportion of the 10% employed in the retail sector. We will all be supporting them unless we send everyone to the mines I guess ::)

    You will buy your espresso gear from similar names, but based in the EU and offering the same service: i.e- heres your box mate. You can ship it back to us in Romania if it requires repair. Its easy enough to do.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Hello philschl

    Where were you when an insurance company tried to hold me liable for more than $80k worth of fire, smoke, and heat damage caused by an electrical fault in a pedestal fan just a few years ago?

    You could have saved me so much time and angst, dealing with forensic investigators, insurance representatives, and lawyers for 4 months while I tried desperately to salvage my business from ruin.

    I hope you will never be in a similar situation and you continue to enjoy the view through your rose coloured glasses.

    Quote Originally Posted by 372F2E2B34242F2B470 link=1326694090/0#0 date=1326694090
    So we Australians (all 23million of us) know it better than 250 million US Americans or 450 million Europeans?
    Based solely on economic comparisons Id say the answer to that is, "yes".

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 062B3F2D2223242D0B3E0C2B3E2F4A0 link=1326694090/9#9 date=1326744706
    There was not the market locally for him to survive
    I rest my case, he should never have opened in the first place. ::)

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F4D42584D4059412C0 link=1326694090/7#7 date=1326719829
    Quote Originally Posted by 173A2E3C3332353C1A2F1D3A2F3E5B0 link=1326694090/6#6 date=1326718908
    Theyll be forced to shut up shop
    I dont see a problem with that, the good ones will survive, those that cant make the grade will fall by the wayside.
    There will always be another ready to fill the gap if the need is there.
    Not quite sure I follow,* If you are saying that buying overseas is the way to go and you dont have an issue with local business closing down if they cant compete, why on earth would anyone come along and "fill the gap if the need is there"

    If everything is being purchased OS there is no need!* No need, no local business, no local business no jobs for the retail workers.

    The extra money isnt in the margins and profits, it is in the taxes, duties and cost of compliance so the local seller isnt being greedy and cant lower prices even if he wants to.*

    We live in a small population and if we dont support our own then who will?

    It is a personal choice and you are entitled to yours, its just the theory that more local shops will open up if others close seems flawed if you are buying everything overseas.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 653A22343F3438313132323A3639570 link=1326694090/8#8 date=1326734210
    I see a future of "yeah sure, but Ill need your credit card details....The charge for favours is $X/min or part thereof...."
    Surprised that you dont already do this Chris for non existing customers.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 55564545525B370 link=1326694090/13#13 date=1326753284
    Not quite sure I follow, If you are saying that buying overseas is the way to go and you dont have an issue with local business closing down if they cant compete, why on earth would anyone come along and "fill the gap if the need is there"
    As I said, if the need is there, if there is no need it wont happen.
    Australia has way too many hopefuls who believe opening a retail business will automatically lead to success, most of them will meet you with a blank look if asked whether they have a business plan, have done a market survey or have expertise in the chosen field, add to this the fact that many are undercapitalised or have over borrowed means a significant percentage will fold within the first couple of years.

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    This issue comes up often and tends to be a very sensitive type of discussion. I think there are aspects from both points of view that I feel are valid. In the main I would lean on the side of supporting local from a risk mitigation perspective, as well as support of local suppliers.

    However I wonder if it is inevitable that people will increasingly look at the grey import options, and rather than fight that, whether there is possibly a business opportunity to provide services to assist the buyers mitigate their risks by providing sensible information and advice, Oz compliance rectification and tweaking to local conditions when really required.

    Of course cost, technical and legal issues may be prohibitive or even counter productive, but is it worth thinking about, or maybe the idea could lead to something more constructive?

    Just an idea* ;)

    GrahamK

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 676477776069050 link=1326694090/13#13 date=1326753284
    Not quite sure I follow,* If you are saying that buying overseas is the way to go and you dont have an issue with local business closing down if they cant compete, why on earth would anyone come along and "fill the gap if the need is there"

    If everything is being purchased OS there is no need!* No need, no local business, no local business no jobs for the retail workers.

    The extra money isnt in the margins and profits, it is in the taxes, duties and cost of compliance so the local seller isnt being greedy and cant lower prices even if he wants to.

    We live in a small population and if we dont support our own then who will?

    It is a personal choice and you are entitled to yours, its just the theory that more local shops will open up if others close seems flawed if you are buying everything overseas.
    This is a great topic, and one that will continue to be discussed for years to come. First of all, talk about supporting local business etc, etc. Coffee machines are not manufactured in Australia (apart from Boema), they are made overseas; the only business that grey imports hurt is the import and retail of imported machines. The importation of commercial coffee machines does impact on a local manufacturer, yet no mention is made of this fact. As the OP states, those with a vested interest in retailing make a lot of noise.

    Like it or not, we are part of a global economy. We mine, grow and manufacture products that are sold around the world. Our minerals are processed and then sold back to us, value added. Due to many reasons, local manufacturing is no longer viable [economies of scale is one reason]; in many sectors. Companies have invested heavily into China, and this country is now a manufacturing powerhouse, but innovative companies around the world still compete with them , or work together.

    The global market is changing very rapidly, and all businesses must adapt to survive. Retail is undergoing huge changes, and will continue to do so. Retailing in Australia is very expensive due to rent, wages, compliance, etc, etc.. Not all retail shops are viable, especially those that sell imported goods. Just because someone wants to set up a shop, does not mean that we as customers owe them allegiance. We are free to shop and spend as we like. Our money, our risk. Retail is tough and cutthroat. High Rent has killed many businesses, and now the landlords are suffering, as their shops stand empty. Their properties are no longer worth what they used to be, which is good, as commercial property is grossly overpriced.

    If you want to support "Real" local businesses, then support the farmers and local food manufacturers. This in turn helps the associated industries to prosper. Help them grow viable specialty businesses. This creates sustainable jobs.

    As a final note, retailers must be prepared to adapt rapidly in the future. If they do not, they will not survive. The amount of goods purchased online will continue to grow.

    The comment above about servicing grey imports is a very good point.
    However, a domestic espresso machine is not really a product that interests me as a grey import, as there are too may variables involved. I do think that people coming from overseas with machines, should have access to service here in Australia. There are many other electrical appliances more suitable to grey imports [KitchenAid mixers etc].

    On a similar topic, laptops and cameras are devices intended for travel. They should have global warranties. The difference in pricing of these products {usually identical} around the world really upsets many people, and fuels the "grey" import market. The luxury car market is another contentious issue. Regulations to prop up a local industry are so outdated, they are a joke.

    Look back and see how many things have changed in the past decade. Look forward to the changes (hopefully positive) to come.

    Thanks for the rant.

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    Senior Member brettreaby's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 124D554348434F464645454D414E200 link=1326694090/2#2 date=1326695238
    I hope you have in mind that on average, 10% of your family and friends work in retail. Surely you wont mind kicking in an extra 10-15% of your earnings in tax to cover their dole payments in a few years. Its only fair and they will be looking to you... Huh
    well a few years ago 14% of the workforce was in manufacturing - does anyone really care that its now a fraction of that?

    Manufacturing has faced the reality of globalization and now its retailings turn.

    My approach to purchasing is to do some research and have a clear idea of what i am prepared to pay before i go near a shop or buy. Some items (e.g. cameras in particular) are very hard to buy locally at the right price.

    Coffee machines.... buy locally!

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B5B4C5D5D5B4C484B50290 link=1326694090/18#18 date=1326767113
    Some items (e.g. cameras in particular) are very hard to buy locally at the right price.

    My camera I bought locally, there was maybe less than a 10% saving buying overseas but with items such as cameras which are very delicate I chose the warranty and local support over saving a buck.

    I am easily ahead now as a few months into using the camera i wasnt all that happy with the action on one of the rotary knobs (not holding its setting) and the whole camera was replaced by the retailer.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    I should qualify my above post with the information that I have recently made a number of purchases from retailers in Australia that I would previously have bought from online retailers in the US, the reason being that prices were similar to or in one case lower than I could have bought over seas, the items were photographic and computer related.
    I currently have orders for clothing and books coming from overseas, in the case of clothing the size range is better as well as price and quality being superior, I know my size so no problem there.
    And we all know that books, DVDs and CDs are far cheaper from overseas suppliers than Australian.
    I dont buy offshore just for the sake of it, there has to be a significant cost/quality benefit, for instance a jacket $700 in Aust, $300 inc postage from the US ::)
    I certainly wouldnt import an espresso machine or grinder. ;)

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    Senior Member brettreaby's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    i have bought 2 pro bodies from HK - with Australian warranties which have been honoured. the saving at that time ( 18 months ago) was huge ( 35% ). maybe the locals have improved their act which as you say 10-20% is more than reasonable premium.

    Quote Originally Posted by 04363923363B223A570 link=1326694090/20#20 date=1326767943
    I should qualify my above post with the information that I have recently made a number of purchases from retailers in Australia that I would previously have bought from online retailers in the US, the reason being that prices were similar to or in one case lower than I could have bought over seas, the items were photographic and computer related.
    I currently have orders for clothing and books coming from overseas, in the case of clothing the size range is better as well as price and quality being superior, I know my size so no problem there.
    And we all know that books, DVDs and CDs are far cheaper from overseas suppliers than Australian.
    I dont buy offshore just for the sake of it, there has to be a significant cost/quality benefit, for instance a jacket $700 in Aust, $300 inc postage from the US ::)
    I certainly wouldnt import an espresso machine or grinder. ;)

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5444534242445357544F360 link=1326694090/21#21 date=1326768867
    i have bought 2 pro bodies from HK
    Its funny because when you go to Hong Kong looking for the prices that we see on the net, youd be hard pressed to find them!

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5040574646405753504B320 link=1326694090/21#21 date=1326768867
    i have bought 2 pro bodies from HK - with Australian warranties which have been honoured. the saving at that time ( 18 months ago) was huge ( 35% ). maybe the locals have improved their act which as you say 10-20% is more than reasonable premium.
    Similar experience, prices have narrowed significantly due to the strong Aust dollar.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5453464944270 link=1326694090/17#17 date=1326765981
    This is a great topic
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by 41465345485E78161E1E1E270 link=1326694090/1#1 date=1326694403
    Well, glad you feel better
    Indeed. But its either this:

    Quote Originally Posted by 41465345485E78161E1E1E270 link=1326694090/1#1 date=1326694403
    people are entitled to hold a contrary opinion!
    Or this:

    Quote Originally Posted by 5355424953544C4E270 link=1326694090/3#3 date=1326695733
    hand in your coffeesnobs membership card now and delete this site from your bookmarks
    I think
    Quote Originally Posted by 45465555424B270 link=1326694090/13#13 date=1326753284
    We live in a small population and if we dont support our own then who will?
    is a little blinkered. Lets for one second go back in history to find a point in time when Australia was self sufficient. Try looking before 1788.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5453464944270 link=1326694090/17#17 date=1326765981
    We mine, grow and manufacture products that are sold around the world. Our minerals are processed and then sold back to us, value added.
    Spot on. The hallmarks of a banana republic. Export raw materials, import finished goods. Strategically this is not sustainable. In 20, 50, 100 years the world will not need millions of tons of coal. Now is the time to modernise the economy.

    Back to coffee machines.
    Quote Originally Posted by 634249494E54270 link=1326694090/11#11 date=1326751318
    Where were you when an insurance company tried to hold me liable for more than $80k worth of fire, smoke, and heat damage caused by an electrical fault in a pedestal fan just a few years ago?
    Are you telling me that you operated a pedestal fan without adult supervision? ;D Seriously, though, I would be inclined to doubt that any legislation exists that forbids the operation of non-standard, imported equipment. The Korjo factory is just down the road from where I live. They make power plug adapters. How would they be able to sustain their business if this was the case? Maybe your insurance policy was worded in rather draconian terms?

    Lastly,
    Quote Originally Posted by 154A52444F4448414142424A4649270 link=1326694090/2#2 date=1326695238
    I hope you have in mind that on average, 10% of your family and friends work in retail.
    is moot. This argument embodies the frustration I feel when I watch the news and see how desalination plants are justified by the 2000 jobs their construction will bring over the five years it takes to construct them. I believe that a free market regulates that products and services must be good enough to sustain business. I dont think that anyones business should be dependent on a state sponsored crutch. [Ill make exceptions for essential industries such as farming. But not for coffee machines, essential to us as they may be.] So lets stop being so scared of the e-commerce bogeyman. Im certainly not going to shed a tear if Harvey Norman may loose a million or two due to the internet. ;D


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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 263B3F3F2B30520 link=1326694090/19#19 date=1326767927
    My camera I bought locally
    Same here. Went to Teds and got 5 year extended warranty. But I did appreciate that they acknowledged that international competition exists, and that they tailored their offering specifically to be competitive in this reality. All those who do not, go under.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 223A3B3E21313A3E520 link=1326694090/24#24 date=1326771181
    I would be inclined to doubt that any legislation exists that forbids the operation of non-standard, imported equipment.
    The issue isnt legality. The issue is that if you import equipment that doesnt meet Australian standards, and use it on an Australian network (water, power, ...) the responsibility for the damages it causes belongs to the importer--in this case--you.

    If you buy it from a retailer, then either the retailer or importer would bear the responsibility for the damages and the insurance company will go after them, generally holding you covered.

    Greg
    (used to work in insurance claims and underwriting)

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    so greg are you aware of any insurance claims where the householder has been knocked back on a claim due to their resposnsibility? im thinking electrical rewiring or other dodgy repairs, often wondered how the DIY renovators is liable......


    Quote Originally Posted by 497C6B6959617C636F626A0E0 link=1326694090/26#26 date=1326771677
    Quote Originally Posted by 223A3B3E21313A3E520 link=1326694090/24#24 date=1326771181
    I would be inclined to doubt that any legislation exists that forbids the operation of non-standard, imported equipment.
    The issue isnt legality. The issue is that if you import equipment that doesnt meet Australian standards, and use it on an Australian network (water, power, ...) the responsibility for the damages it causes belongs to the importer--in this case--you.

    If you buy it from a retailer, then either the retailer or importer would bear the responsibility for the damages and the insurance company will go after them, generally holding you covered.

    Greg
    (used to work in insurance claims and underwriting)

  29. #29
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F7D72687D7069711C0 link=1326694090/12#12 date=1326753175
    Quote Originally Posted by 062B3F2D2223242D0B3E0C2B3E2F4A0 link=1326694090/9#9 date=1326744706
    There was not the market locally for him to survive
    I rest my case, he should never have opened in the first place. ::)
    You know nothing, When he opened, He was the only one in the area, He grew his business up from a small hole in the wall to something interesting, The market changed, He changed with it, but he still offered the traditional items. But then a large chain store come into the same area he worked, and he suddenly found the majority of his customers going to the chain store because their main range products were cheaper.

    Witness the business being shut down, and the boutique traditional items no longer being available because the chain store did not wish to stock them.

    Your "he shouldnt have opened" shows a remarkable short-sightedness. He was operating at a profit until an outsider pushed into his market and undercut his prices. :(

  30. #30
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 756D6C6976666D69050 link=1326694090/24#24 date=1326771181
    Are you telling me that you operated a pedestal fan without adult supervision?
    Pardon me for not laughing. If you had an iota of empathy you might not have written that.

    Quote Originally Posted by 756D6C6976666D69050 link=1326694090/24#24 date=1326771181
    Maybe your insurance policy was worded in rather draconian terms?
    You really have no idea what youre talking about.

    Im pretty sick of people who whine about being able to import cheaper than they can buy locally, particularly when they expect me to match whatever price they think is reasonable. My response to this and to you, is usually along the lines of, "Yes, youre right. Everything is cheaper overseas...coffee machines, cars, houses, loans, etc. It might be worth considering moving there so you can enjoy the unemployment levels, very basic wage, and cost of adequate healthcare.

    Seriously, if you dont like the conditions here in Australia then either do something positive to make things better, or get out.

  31. #31
    Senior Member brettreaby's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Interestingly enough C-tick Australia testing is actually a SUBSET of the CE approval ( we only test for emmissions, europe also includes immunity) : if a product with [legitimate] CE approval was rated to 240VAC and imported to Oz it would pass C-tick and Australian standards easily . But for C-tick approval you should re-test locally. a simple emmissions test still costs between $600 & $2000.

    The vast majority of Australian standards are directly lifted from IEC standards anyway. Run by a bunch of overpaid Belgium and french dudes.

    The main exception are our unique 3 pin plugs

    Quote Originally Posted by 372F2E2B34242F2B470 link=1326694090/0#0 date=1326694090
    Why not adopt CE standard and share the efficiencies of a market thats 20 times the size of ours? Why insist on these silly flat-pinned power plugs, in every respect inferior to the round-pinned Euro plug design? Why force manufactures to run the gauntlet of standards testing for a market that supports 100 maybe 1000 units of a product?

  32. #32
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D50445659585F56704577504554310 link=1326694090/28#28 date=1326772331
    You know nothing, When he opened, He was the only one in the area, He grew his business up from a small hole in the wall to something interesting, The market changed, He changed with it, but he still offered the traditional items. But then a large chain store come into the same area he worked, and he suddenly found the majority of his customers going to the chain store because their main range products were cheaper.

    Witness the business being shut down, and the boutique traditional items no longer being available because the chain store did not wish to stock them.

    Your "he shouldnt have opened" shows a remarkable short-sightedness. He was operating at a profit until an outsider pushed into his market and undercut his prices.
    Is this not the same thing that Coles and Woolworths did? How many bakeries, fruit n veg stores, butchers and continental delis did they force out of business? They adopted the same products, undercut the prices, forced the small retailer out of business, and gained market share. Eventually those gourmet products originally sold by the specialty stores have all been deleted from their range. Now the range offered is pathetic, and consists of high profit items - great for shareholders, not customers.
    In essence a retail ploy very common in Europe by a particular group of people, self funded by their own community,,, but that is another contentious topic. Lets not go there.

    In Adelaide, the Central Market Traders have successfully competed with the majors, and prospered. Yes it can be done, but a thorough understanding of the market, the customers, and their needs is required.
    Retail is tough, and you have to stay one step ahead of your competitors, as they are definitely watching you.

  33. #33
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 383F2A25284B0 link=1326694090/17#17 date=1326765981
    the only business that grey imports hurt is the import and retail of imported machines.
    Not true, where do you think the money that schools are funded comes from? That retailer you bypassed would have passed on the tax collected from the sale of that coffee machine to the government, the government then would have spent a portion of it on providing a school for your children to go to and the road for you to drive on, and the hospital for you to go to when sick. The grey import you purchased has done none of that, it wasnt just the retailer that missed out, it was the entire community.

    Quote Originally Posted by 182A253F2A273E264B0 link=1326694090/20#20 date=1326767943
    in the case of clothing the size range is better as well as price and quality being superior, I know my size so no problem there.
    How do you know your size? do you go to a shop and try it on, and then buy online?
    I couldnt buy online unless I did that because when I go and try clothes on the sizes arent comparable. I recently bought shirt in a medium and another in XXL and the XXL was the smaller shirt ::)
    Ive got pants with a 36 inch waist that I can slide over my hips without undoing and in the same brand I have 36s that I can wear without a belt ::)

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F392E253F3820224B0 link=1326694090/32#32 date=1326781778
    How do you know your size? do you go to a shop and try it on, and then buy online?
    I couldnt buy online unless I did that because when I go and try clothes on the sizes arent comparable. I recently bought shirt in a medium and another in XXL and the XXL was the smaller shirt Roll Eyes
    Ive got pants with a 36 inch waist that I can slide over my hips without undoing and in the same brand I have 36s that I can wear without a belt Roll Eyes
    Guess thats what you get when you buy in Australia ::) Are you suggesting Im being economical with the truth? if so an apology is in order, I have no reason to lie about something as trivial as this. >:(

  35. #35
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6365727963647C7E170 link=1326694090/32#32 date=1326781778
    Not true, where do you think the money that schools are funded comes from? That retailer you bypassed would have passed on the tax collected from the sale of that coffee machine to the government, the government then would have spent a portion of it on providing a school for your children to go to and the road for you to drive on, and the hospital for you to go to when sick. The grey import you purchased has done none of that, it wasnt just the retailer that missed out, it was the entire community.
    My kids go to a private school, and the fees I pay are higher than what the govt contributes. I do understand our taxation system and the hype associated with it. I also understand how much tax revenue is wasted, so please do not lecture me or anyone else on this topic, or the criteria you mentioned. As to road funding, do some research and see where the money is supposed to come from. Remember we pay 38 odd cents in every litre of fuel to "fund" roads.
    I did not say I made any grey imports, so do not misquote me. The entire community does not always miss out on grey imports. Anything over $1000 attracts gst, remember, it is a consumption tax. Import duties and costs also apply. Go join the ranks of HN, he complains about this issue non stop.
    If you are going to pull out the violin and whinge about lost revenue, why dont you also complain about the cash economy, the taxes big business avoids, whinge, whinge, whinge.......

    And as one person already said:

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E3F343433295A0 link=1326694090/29#29 date=1326774124
    Seriously, if you dont like the conditions here in Australia then either do something positive to make things better, or get out.
    I am sure the govt is well aware of "grey" imports, and their impact. No one is forcing you to buy a grey import, as it is your money and you can do what you want with it. If grey imports are such a threat to our way of life, then maybe the way we do business here needs to change. Look at the big picture [globally], and do not reiterate things the trade unions have been saying for years. Look at the result of our car industry and outdated draconian "protection" methods.

    We are heavily taxed as a nation, so the issue is efficient use of the taxes raised, not miniscule loss of revenue. And remember, the raw materials to make that "grey" import had to come from somewhere.....

  36. #36
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F2D22382D2039214C0 link=1326694090/33#33 date=1326783039
    Guess thats what you get when you buy in Australia Roll Eyes Are you suggesting Im being economical with the truth? if so an apology is in order, I have no reason to lie about something as trivial as this. Angry

    ;D Just answer the question. How do you get your size right?

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    This thread and forum would be far better served if each poster did some research first. The number of things being stated without reference is amazing now we are out of anecdotal territory and have reached the stage where opinions are being presented as fact.

    Bosco - most private school use their fees to cover the extras not the fundamentals- for instance check out who pays the teachers salaries. Dont discount the fed govt contributions to your kids education. Ask the bursar how long theyd survive without the many many forms of govt financial support. Salaries, building funds, technology grants, sporting grants, transport grants. Many of which are only available to independent schools.

  38. #38
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3334212E23400 link=1326694090/34#34 date=1326784236
    blah blah blah
    ;D all I did was correct you when you said that only the retailer gets hurt, imagine if I corrected you on something important :o

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5056414A50574F4D240 link=1326694090/37#37 date=1326787074
    Bosco Lever wrote Today at 18:10:36:
    blah blah blah


    all I did was correct you when you said that only the retailer gets hurt, imagine if I corrected you on something important
    Glad to see were having a mature discussion!

    Quote Originally Posted by 71505B5B5C46350 link=1326694090/29#29 date=1326774124
    If you had an iota of empathy you might not have written that.
    With all due respect, $80K damage, recovered from the insurance, doesnt seem all too heartbreaking to me. Im sure at the time it was a hard hit for you personally, and Im happy that youve sorted it out. But if you bring that example to the table, you must accept a response. My comment was obviously tongue in cheek, and I cant see where I would have crossed any line to hurt your feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by 71505B5B5C46350 link=1326694090/29#29 date=1326774124
    Seriously, if you dont like the conditions here in Australia then either do something positive to make things better, or get out.
    The almost uncomfortable caveat "or do something positive" is drowned out by "get out". How about posting a controversial topic on a forum and starting a discussion about a topic that obviously is on peoples minds? I would say thats more positive than "get out".

    Anyway, "get out" is just sad :(


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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    I like to eyeball and try most major purchases before I buy. And I will respect a business that can give me this service - while I think that I am fortunate enough that I can afford to pay a reasonable premium and am willing to do so. Unfortunately for people like myself who see value in being able to physically appraise good its becoming harder to do. Some Sydney camera stores are now charging a fee for sales service:

    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/cameras/sydney-camera-shoppers-charged-30-explanation-fee-20111130-1o5lu.html

    Also as some of the site sponsors can probably attest to* its just not just grey imports thats squeezing the market.

    Up until a few years ago we had two pretty good camera stores in the regional town I live in but with the arrival of the big electrical stores and heavy discounting both have now shut down. Its rather ironic now that these big retailers are now either sooking, going bankrupt or having to reassess their strategies to compete on a global scale.


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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Its a changing world, and there is a lot of resistance to that change.

    People should not be surprised at the passionate responses they get on this site, despite appearances its not a public forum in the usual sense of the term, its a commercial site run and operated by commercial coffee businesses so they are going to be a little touchy on the subject of grey imports and direct imports.

    The reality is that we are in a period of massive change in peoples buying habits and as businesses we will either wither and die or adapt. The big businesses like the movie and music industries were the first to completely misjudge the changing world and try to hang on to outdated models of finance and business, they may well die as a result. The world is passing them by because they failed to grasp the opportunities of online delivery of content and accept that their historical price gouging and profiteering could not continue.

    One thing I have noticed in my line of business, (IT) is that customers in my town will buy anything online for under about $1000, but over and above that amount they generally prefer to deal with a bricks and mortar business. As a result I dont even try to sell into the sub $1000 market.

    Coffee hardware is a bit different to a lot of other gear due to the voltage/electrical issues, interestingly its not relevant with IT gear because these days 99% is designed to work with all available voltages, its just the duckhead plug that needs to be changed.

    I know I buy most things from whatever source I can get the best price, I will take my chance on having to ship back to country of origin for warranty, I have never had to do it and would be tens of thousands of dollars ahead in savings over the years. Just bought a new chartplotter from the US for my boat, half the cost of the equivalent here, arrived in 5 days - would have taken longer from Sydney!

    In the case of my coffee hardware, well given the electrical issues and the need for calibration for Australian conditions as well the expertise of a local dealer like Talk Coffee, it was never really a viable option to import something as large and expensive as an Izzo Pompeii. :D :D

    I suspect we have only just begun to see the changes which will sweep traditional retailing in this country, a lot of it will be to the detriment of bricks and mortar shops, but other opportunities will open up for adaptive business people.

    Imagine 10 years ago considering running a successful business selling green and brown beans online, one that I suspect has a very healthy turnover! You would have been dismissed as mad.

    Anyway thats my ramble for tonite!

  42. #42
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D5D4A5B5B5D4A4E4D562F0 link=1326694090/27#27 date=1326772236
    so greg are you aware of any insurance claims where the householder has been knocked back on a claim due to their resposnsibility?* im thinking electrical rewiring or other dodgy repairs,* often wondered how the DIY renovators is liable......
    Yup.

    A smart DIY renovator gets a licensed professional to sign off on the job--especially electrical and plumbing. Ive done that myself.

    Greg

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0C392E2C1C2439262A272F4B0 link=1326694090/41#41 date=1326843378
    A smart DIY renovator gets a licensed professional to sign off on the job

    However a smart licensed professional should never sign off on a DIY renovators work! ;D

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    On the point of the "silly flat-pinned power plugs", the rest of the world should adopt them, by the logic of the OP, seeing as China uses them and they are the biggest market in the world.

    Just saying.

  45. #45
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D62607A63766160770F0 link=1326694090/43#43 date=1326877813
    On the point of the "silly flat-pinned power plugs", the rest of the world should adopt them, by the logic of the OP, seeing as China uses them and they are the biggest market in the world.

    Just saying.
    And... having lived in Europe for 9.5 years I can say the round Euro design is highly flawed! Seldom properly grounded and they tend to fall out of the recepticles under the slightest provocation... at least ours are safe and fit snuggly :P

  46. #46
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Strictly speaking from my own perspective, If Australia was to change Power Connectors (not that itd ever happen) Id think the best choice would be the current British plugs, theyre pretty much the best connectors in the world in terms of contact and grounding.

    Round pins suck plumber-crack

  47. #47
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 263E3F3A25353E3A560 link=1326694090/38#38 date=1326792176
    With all due respect, $80K damage, recovered from the insurance, doesnt seem all too heartbreaking to me.
    Thats naive, insensitive and pretty damn rude. Dont trivialize it until youve lived through it.

    My partner suffered a fire at her business premises, also as the result of an electrical fault.

    Dont believe for a second that being insured means they wave a magic wand and then everything is better. She was out of business for months (no income, still receiving bills), was working longer (non-productive) hours and trying to keep staff employed or risk losing them.

    She was badly let down by the insurance company (Alliance) and is still recovering financially, 4 years later. The mental and emotional cost is not covered by insurance.

    Your glib comment does you no credit at all.

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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A332222470 link=1326694090/46#46 date=1326954762
    Dont trivialize it until youve lived through it.
    Who are you to know what Ive lived through? Material damage is one thing. Life another. At times we have to rebuild. Some people are happy that they can do just that. Others have not been that lucky. I feel for the latter, and share the joy with the former. Not sure what to do with people whove had the good fortune to live through bad fortune, who can tell the tale but not wag it in joy. What do you want? Pity? Seriously? For making an insurance claim? Do you know how many people out there would love to have your problems for only one day?

    I didnt start this thread do make enemies and Ive heard enough to know that there are still plenty of folks out there whod rather keep things the way they are rather than even contemplate change.

    So lets be civil and Ill see you on the coffee side of things.

  49. #49
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A727376697972761A0 link=1326694090/47#47 date=1326973202
    So lets be civil and Ill see you on the coffee side of things.
    Well said, after all we gather here to share our experiences, knowledge and love for coffee.

  50. #50
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    Re: Whats the deal with shunning grey imports? A rant.

    A POSITION STATEMENT

    From the importer / trader perspective....you know, the bloke that went to italy, put his house and anything else he may have of value on the line, and made a deal with a manufacturer to start importing his goods and market them in Australia.

    Then he went home (to Australia) and worked quite hard and spent money to put the good name of the manufacturer / model equipment out there and started the ball rolling with client / brand / model awareness, to start generating a demand for that particular brand model. He also sets up a system of service and retailers around the traps.

    For that, the trader expects to have some protection. He is not just legally deemed to be the representative of the manufacturer in all things "guarantee" for the equipment he imports, but he is the one that has put all the work in to generate the demand......

    ....so that some of you people can try tooth and nail to bring one in the back door because its your choice to decide that you can bring it in for cheaper.

    If it wasnt for the good work put in by the importer, you probably wouldnt be considering that brand model equipment in the first place, and you are ripping off the people that brought you the brand.

    Good manufacturers will protect their importers and plug the holes that appear in the international market from time to time. Sloppy manufacturers allow their products to be bastardised around and eventually lose sales and profit world wide as importers leave them to look for other brands and the wheel starts going round again. You need not look far to find out what brand models they are....

    My own growing and successful business is an example of what can be done if your manufacturer is professional and lends the proper support, and also an example that there are still plenty of sales to be made to people that may or may not read all this never ending cyclic stuff in internet forums, and still buy local within Australia because they want a point of local support.

    Bluntly, these topics in real terms, are an example of what some may call a situation where there is plenty of smoke but precious little fire.* The translation of this being, in internet circles this stuff seems to be bigger than big and have far reaching importance. In reality, show room sales tell us the opposite is true.

    Please feel free to disagree, but that will make my own opinion no less valid than it is, because my opinion is tempered by real life sales figures and expertise from within this industry.

    There are two sides to the story, the trader side is no less important than that from the interfering sidelines, and if anyone wants to import something from OS by all means do so and leave the rest of us in peace....please.

    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

    Prospective clients wishing to purchase one of our excellent BFC / Diadema Junior machines please do give us a call. They are very well priced, are atleast equal to the highest standard of design build finish and performance, and are guaranteed in Australia.



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