Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Cost of the Hobby US vs Australia

Last year Games Workshop implemented a trade embargo that basically said that retailers can only sell to their own country.  In the new trade agreement the embargo has been expanded a bit.  How will this affect people in Australia? 

Initially, when you look at the price of GW models in Australia vs the United States it seems like the folks down under are getting shafted.  But are they really?  Let's look a little deeper.

GW Product                     AUD Price                  US Price             
Dark Vengeance Set           $165                              $99
Stormraven Gunship          $110                               $82.50
Teminator Squad                $74                                $50
Dark Angel Codex             $83                                 $50
Imperial Guard Chimera    $55                                 $37.25
Ork Boyz                            $48                                $29

Those numbers are all over the place and represent a small portion of the model range available.  But does it tell the whole story?

According to Numbeo the difference is pretty much the same overall.

Product/Service                           AUD Price                      US Price
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant      $17                                  $10
Domestic Beer (0.5L Draught)    $6                                     $3
Combo Meal at McDonalds         $8                                    $6
Milk (1 liter)                                 $1.50                               $1
Chicken Breast (1kg)                   $10                                   $6.61
Water (1.5 liter)                            $3                                    $1.75
Pack of Marlboro Cigarettes        $17                                  $6

So, for the above there is approximately a 50% increase in the cost between US prices and Australian prices.  Apples and oranges, you might say?  Ok, how about something closer to many gamer's hearts?

Video Game                                 AUD Price                     US Price
Halo 4                                           $88                                  $60
Crysis 3                                         $98                                  $60
Call of Duty Black Ops II            $98                                   $60
Bioshock Infinite                          $88                                  $60

It looks like video games average about 50% more as well.

So, while I'll admit that GW's prices being all over the place is bad, the average being a 50% increase (plus or minus) is something the Aussies should be used to.  Just because many people down under found a way to pay almost 50% less than their retail price by ordering from discount online stores doesn't mean that they were paying too much.  Infact, if you think about it they were paying much less than their American counterparts in the grand scheme of things.

When you take into account that, at the time of this writing the Australian dollar is worth almost $1.05 US dollar it seems a little skewed but then add in the fact that the minimum wage in Australia is almost $16 an hour compared to $8 in the United States it all makes sense.

So, the next time you hear a bloke from down under complaining about how they are getting screwed by GW, point out these numbers to them.  Maybe they'll get it.

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