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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Australians pay too much for everything

It's about time Australians woke up, we are paying much more than other countries for almost everything.  When someone says Australia is an expensive country, believe it, it's true.  We are paying sometimes double for comparable products overseas.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found the average mark-up on clothes and shoes was 142 per cent, electronics 85 per cent, and furniture 76 per cent.

It's only since we started travelling overseas and buying goods on the internet, that we found out just how bad the situation really is.  When the big retailers threw up their hands, crying poor, and we found out about the enormous profit margins they've been enjoying for decades, it made us more determined than ever to keep shopping on line.

Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have each received a summons to appear before a committee seeking answers as to why their products cost so much.  The Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the US has the capacity to force American companies to lower their prices.

But it's not all bad news, we earn a lot more than most - 37 per cent more than America, nearly 50 per cent more than the UK, one third more than Canada, and 50 per cent more than our Kiwi cousins. So, are we still the lucky country?  You betcha!

Edit February 14, 2013.  In a press conference in Sydney yesterday, Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen refused to answer questions about how the company can justify charging Australians up to $1,400 more for its traditional software than US residents, instead pushing his view that Adobe's Creative Cloud software, which is broadly harmonised with US pricing, is the future for customers.