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Author Topic: Pricing Outrage for Epson Rolls of Paper  (Read 6725 times)
Ray
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« on: August 15, 2011, 02:01:24 AM »
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I'm posting this, not because of a quibble about prices, but because of an outrage about prices.

My printer is the Epson 7600 that takes 30 metre rolls of paper 601mm wide (or 24"x100ft).

I haven't used it for a while. I've been building a new house and the printer has languished in my separate studio. I give it a head clean now and again, hoping this prevents any problems.

I'm now ready to start using the printer again, but need some paper. I was previously using Enhanced Matte, but wish to try Premium Glossy again, which means a change of black cartridge.

The last time I bought a roll of paper was quite some time ago. The supplier has relocated to a more distant place, so I thought I'd buy over the internet at the best price.

Wow! I just can't believe the vast differences in price. Have I stumbled upon a case of serious anti-competitive practices?

The best price for a roll of Epson Premium Glossy is around $95 with free shipping. That's a great price. Unfortunately such prices are from American companies that don't ship overseas. If they do ship overseas, it's only to nearby countries such as Canada or Peurto Rico.

I never realised that Epson roll papers were manufactured in America. Is this really the case?

I did find one American company that was prepared to ship the product to Australia, but the freight costs were significantly greater than the cost of the product, making the final  price on a par with the Australian price which is about 3x the American price.

What the f**k's going on?
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Paul2660
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 09:00:57 AM »
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It's my understanding that Epson doesn't make any of their papers.  They job this out to many other companies.   True of their canvas also. 

Have you tried any other brands of paper.  If you are looking for Premium glossy, there are many other papers out there, Moab, Breathing color, Lexjet, (all make a great RC based glossy paper) You could also look for Canon's glossy or luster, as I recall it's sold by another name overseas.  You might try either DTGWeb or Lexjet both out of Florida to see if they ship to Australia.  $95.00 for a 100' roll of PGPP250W is about right in the US, it tends to run from 95.00 to 110.00 depending on your agreement with supplier.   

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Sven W
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 11:33:32 AM »
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If you resides in Australia; try to contact "Farmer" / Phil Brown.
I think he knows everything about Epson and papers in Aus.

/Sven
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 12:10:21 PM »
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I'm happy to say that this problem does not exist for my Epson 3800. All paper rolls of any size for the 3800 by all manufacturers have exactly the same price in all countries.  Grin
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Ray
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 06:59:12 AM »
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It's my understanding that Epson doesn't make any of their papers.  They job this out to many other companies.   True of their canvas also. 

Have you tried any other brands of paper.  If you are looking for Premium glossy, there are many other papers out there, Moab, Breathing color, Lexjet, (all make a great RC based glossy paper) You could also look for Canon's glossy or luster, as I recall it's sold by another name overseas.  You might try either DTGWeb or Lexjet both out of Florida to see if they ship to Australia.  $95.00 for a 100' roll of PGPP250W is about right in the US, it tends to run from 95.00 to 110.00 depending on your agreement with supplier.   

Paul Caldwell


I've got a system that works well with my current profiles in relation to Epson papers for the 7600. I don't want the hassle of creating new profiles for different papers.

If Epson roll papers are 1/3rd the price in America they are in Australia, that implies to me that the papers are manufactured in America. If they are not, and manufactured in Asia which is closer to Australia than America, then there would seem to be some serious and corrupt anti-competitive practices going on, in the absense of any other reasonable explanations.
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narikin
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 07:59:37 AM »
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Relax Ray. I am surprised this is news to you. its the same for electronics, cars, or raw materials like wood, etc.
USA is easily the biggest single advanced consumer market in the world, with a very refined set of internet retailers who sell and ship stuff very cheaply and efficiently, without middle men or extra taxes.  Europe does not have that, Aus/NZ neither, and is a tiny market in comparison.  Yes it is a little unfair that a paper made in Germany is cheaper in USA than in Germany, but that's the way the world works. Economies of scale, geography, and all that.

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enduser
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 08:50:57 AM »
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As far as I know the best prices in Australia for branded and tested products is  http://gicleemedia.com.au/index.html
Known as Giclee Media Supplies.  Their base is in Melbourne but they have interstate reps.  The staff and owner are very knowledgeable, reliable and friendly.  Call +61 3 8682-9587
 
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 09:43:12 AM »
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As far as I know the best prices in Australia for branded and tested products is  http://gicleemedia.com.au/index.html
Known as Giclee Media Supplies.  Their base is in Melbourne but they have interstate reps.  The staff and owner are very knowledgeable, reliable and friendly.  Call +61 3 8682-9587
 

Thanks for the advice. Checking that website I see that Epson Premium Glossy Rolls (24'x100ft) are $198 without freight. That's significantly cheaper than the Epson recommended retail price in Australia. However, In America these same rolls are  around $90 including freight.

In this international economy of competitive pricing I can see no reason for this huge discrepancy, other than anti-competitive price fixing.

If the paper is manufactured in America, I can see a reason for a slightly higher price in Australia because of freight charges. If the paper is manufactured in Asia, Korea, Thailand, Japan or China, there's no good reason why it should be significantly more expensive in Australia. Especially in view of the fact that Australia is one of the few sensible countries that allows any overseas purchases up to $1,000 to be free of tax.

There's something rotten going on here.
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feppe
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 01:40:15 PM »
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As snowygst said: relax. Others have included some reasons for the disparity. Also, US prices exclude taxes, I don't know what the practice is in Australia but you probably include taxes when quoting prices. Cost of doing business in Australia is probably higher than in the US, so Epson and retailers require higher margins down under (just like here in Europe).

Even if the papers are manufactured in Asia, shipping costs for Epson are negligible (a few dollars) since they ship by sea in massive container ships where things are weighed by the ton. Shipping costs for you are very different, because you are getting a very heavy package couriered to you.

Finally, the fact that if you import it yourself the prices are the same as buying locally should give you a hint why prices are so different.
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Ray
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 09:09:24 PM »
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As snowygst said: relax. Others have included some reasons for the disparity. Also, US prices exclude taxes, I don't know what the practice is in Australia but you probably include taxes when quoting prices. Cost of doing business in Australia is probably higher than in the US, so Epson and retailers require higher margins down under (just like here in Europe).

Even if the papers are manufactured in Asia, shipping costs for Epson are negligible (a few dollars) since they ship by sea in massive container ships where things are weighed by the ton. Shipping costs for you are very different, because you are getting a very heavy package couriered to you.

Finally, the fact that if you import it yourself the prices are the same as buying locally should give you a hint why prices are so different.

I understand perfectly there are often disparities in prices due to different taxes that may apply in diffrerent countries. Some countries may apply a customs duty in addition to a hefty GST of 17% or more, plus administration costs.

I recall once being amazed, when in the UK, a postman knocked on the door to ask for a payment of cutoms duty, GST and other charges, before handing over the DVD I'd ordered from Canada on the internet.

I'm thankful in Australia it is not considered worth the trouble and expense of collecting the relatively small amount of 10% GST, and sometimes maybe an additional small cutoms duty of 5%, when the goods plus freight, imported for personal use, amount to less than $1,000.

This makes internet shopping so worthwhile, but the 'bricks & mortar' retailers are not too happy about it and I believe there is pressure on the Government to reduce this limit. The limit used to be $500.

Having checked the tariff for imported photographic paper, it seems that there's either no customs duty or it's a minimal 5%. Refer to attached jpeg.

I could therefore understand why a roll of paper in Australia, which includes a 10% GST and maybe a 5% customs duty, might be 20% more expensive than the same product in America at a price which doesn't include any taxes.

I can understand that certain products in America may be cheaper because of the significantly larger market and issues of economy of scale, so I would expect another 20%  or 30% increase in the Australian price, BUT 300% INCREASE!! Bloody hell! There's something seriously wrong here.

After some searching, I did find a supplier in America who was prepared to ship a 24"x100ft roll of Premium Glossy to Australia. Their price was around $90 plus $223 freight (presumably by air) making the total price, delivered to my door, about the same as the Australian RRP.

However, one shouldn't have to pay the recommended retail price for any product if one is prepared to hunt for the best price. I've found a supplier in Australia who will sell that roll (the heavier 250gms paper) for the bargain price of $245, excluding freight which will probably add another $30 or so.

How does that compare with the best American price?   $84.95 at B&H including free shipping in the USA, compared with $275 in Australia, including shipping.

Notice the slight difference?  Grin

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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 03:40:00 AM »
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How does the supply and demand for a roll of printer paper compare between the USA and Australia?  I think that this would have a lot to do with the cost.

Besides, I really don't think that you would want the government to start regulating how much items should be sold for.  Complaining will not do a lot to change the situation except make you more angry and frustrated.  I understand your frustration though.  But, that is the world that we live in.  We always think that we should make more money at what we do to earn money, and that we should be able to buy more for less.  But, we can not have it both ways.  The only realistic solutions that I can think of to make you happier are: 1.  Purchase the rolls in a large enough quantity to bring the price per roll down to a palatable amount.  2. Move to where the paper is cheaper.

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Farmer
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 05:30:40 PM »
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Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sven, but I find in these discussions that it's usually pointless to get into the economics of why prices differ in different markets - even more so when someone (sorry, Ray) starts talking about conspiracies and the like.

/shrug Companies sell at the market price.  How do you know it's the market price?  That's what the market is willing to pay.  If the market price is too low to be profitable, they stop selling.  If it's too high, people stop buying.  There's a range in which it's acceptable as a compromise between the two positions.

The cost of operating a business varies far beyond just the cost of taxes and shipping and such.  Cost of wages, linked to cost of living (Sydney just rated the 7th highest cost in the world, ahead of London and NYC for instance - interestingly Oslo being the highest) and representing a very large portion of the national population obviously has an impact on the cost of doing business, provising support, holding stock for purchase on demand and so on.

Changes in exchange rates are yet to flow through in some products which had prices set up to a year ago (longer in some cases).  Also, the general belief that the AUD has strengthed dramatically fails to take into account currencies other than the USD.  So for companies bringing in stock from other locations (Japan, Europe, etc), the exchange benefits are far less than the public impression based on the AUD/USD rate which reflects a weakening USD (low domestic interest rates, poor economic peformance, quantative easing, etc, etc).

These are just some of the factors - it would take many pages to do a full and proper analysis of the differences.

Of course everyone wants to find the best pricing.  No argument.  But do you want supply on demand with local support or not?  If not, that's fine - it's not a wrong choice, it's just a choice.

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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 07:06:37 PM »
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I'm not sure which is more amazing and puzzling, the fact that Epson roll paper is 3x the price in Australia as it is in America, or the fact that most posters in this thread think there's nothing unusual here and that such a situation it's quite acceptable.

We now have a global economy with internet purchases playing an increasing role in competitive pricing, a situation which benefits the consumer significantly.

There are certain countries that impose huge tariffs on certain imported items in order to protect their own struggling industries that manufacture competing products. Australia used to be like that many years ago, but no longer.

I can think of no good reason for such an excessively high price. If I were in the business of selling photographic accessories and consumables, I'd be very interested in the fact that I could make a 200% gross profit in Australia on 30 metre rolls of Epson Premium Glossy, and still sell below the recommended retail price.

If B&H can sell a roll for $85, including freight within America, that suggests the wholesale price is less than $85. How much less is speculation, but it's difficult to see how B&H could make a profit if the wholesale price were more than $60. 3x60=$180 according to my maths, well below the price of $245 I've just paid.

In Australia we have laws relating to anti-competitive practices, price fixing and collusion. I'm not asserting that's what's happening here, but it sure makes me wonder, in the absence of a rational reason for the huge price discrepancy.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 07:43:30 PM »
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I'm not sure which is more amazing and puzzling, the fact that Epson roll paper is 3x the price in Australia as it is in America, or the fact that most posters in this thread think there's nothing unusual here and that such a situation it's quite acceptable.


I guess my question is are you just venting here, or do you really think someone on this forum has the answers or the ability to solve this problem for you?

Epson runs a separate business entity in each country, and somewhere along the line it is either costing them a lot more to get the product to Australia or they are just wanting to make more money.

This is an issue with 1)Epson Australia 2) Australian government (either because they are charging tariffs you are unaware or because there might be price fixing that needs addressed or 3) or Epson Australia distributors for price gouging/fixing ... or maybe it just costs epson a lot more money to get a roll of paper to you in Australia because of many factors - despite it seeming illogical.

Good luck ...
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feppe
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2011, 07:52:21 PM »
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If I were in the business of selling photographic accessories and consumables, I'd be very interested in the fact that I could make a 200% gross profit in Australia on 30 metre rolls of Epson Premium Glossy, and still sell below the recommended retail price.

Nobody's stopping you. You'll make a killing with that 200% gross margin you're seeing, and you'll be driving a Porsche in no time. Keep us posted!
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2011, 03:28:53 AM »
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Nobody's stopping you. You'll make a killing with that 200% gross margin you're seeing, and you'll be driving a Porsche in no time. Keep us posted!

The implication is that somebody is stopping me. Business people are always looking for ways to make a quid, just as the astute shopper is always looking for a bargain or a better price.

As far as I can determine, these papers are made in China. There would probably be a minimum quantity the factory would ship, if they are free to ship to anyone, and that minimum quantity would be greater than I would ever use. There should be no reason why shipping to America should be more expensive than shipping to Australia. In fact, Australia is closer to China than America.
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Farmer
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2011, 06:23:58 AM »
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What makes you think they are made in China?

As many, including myself, have said, there's more to it than shipping costs.
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enduser
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2011, 07:20:38 AM »
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Forget China for the big brands.  The biggest producer of inkjet papers in the world is Mitsubishi, and many branded products come from them. Their main production facilities are in Germany and Japan.  There's one paper filter factory in China, but all Mitsubishi inkjet papers are made in Japan, Mexico and Germany.  You can bet the Mexican plant is to service the US market and thus reduce transport costs.

They produce more than 50 inkjet media types, Pictorico for one, with a full private label service.

The economics of international trade are so complex that simplistic comparisons that this thread is getting will never reveal  the full story.  If prices annoy you, then do your best to get the lowest you can and then, within your own market, you will be competitive.  That's the best you can do.

But with no Mitsubishi plant near Australia you can see why it's small market has to pay more.
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feppe
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2011, 11:45:18 AM »
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As far as I can determine, these papers are made in China. There would probably be a minimum quantity the factory would ship, if they are free to ship to anyone, and that minimum quantity would be greater than I would ever use. There should be no reason why shipping to America should be more expensive than shipping to Australia. In fact, Australia is closer to China than America.

This is pointless. As I mentioned, shipping is a negligible part of Epson America's cost of goods sold, regardless if it's coming from China or North Carolina. I guarantee that the higher prices are driven by higher cost of doing business in Australia, taxes and duties, and supply and demand. Every single factor is out of your hands, unless you are willing to spend a lot of time and money lobbying, or in courts.
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Ray
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2011, 06:26:29 PM »
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This is pointless. As I mentioned, shipping is a negligible part of Epson America's cost of goods sold, regardless if it's coming from China or North Carolina. I guarantee that the higher prices are driven by higher cost of doing business in Australia, taxes and duties, and supply and demand. Every single factor is out of your hands, unless you are willing to spend a lot of time and money lobbying, or in courts.

If shipping is a negligible cost, and I agree with you on that point, except in the case of airfeighting of the heavy rolls, then your other points make no sense. There is no significant duty or tax on photographic paper in Australia. There's only a 10% GST and a possible 5% customs duty.

I can think of no sound economic or business reason why a non-fragile, robust item like a roll of paper weighing  5 or 10Kgs, that is not likely to need repair under warranty or require the setting up of an extensive network of service agents, should cost so much more in Australia than it does elswhere.

The fact that, after several attempts to buy such rolls of paper from overseas companies like Amazon or B&H in America and the UK, I am advised that shipping to Australia is not allowed or not available, makes me suspicious of some sort of collusion going on.

Wouldn't you say that's a reasonable deduction?
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