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Peter Conz Connelly
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Digital Village
      #553855 - 05/12/07 11:03 PM
Well, I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase Komplete 4 + Kore 2 from the UK, after much humming and harring about UK prices v US prices, etc, etc (see recent posts) and when I went to give Digital Village my Amex card number, they don't accept this card!!! FFS.

This is the only place I can get Komplete at an acceptable price, everywhere else (except the US) is extortionate, which I really don't understand.

Back to square 1



P

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Sam York



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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #553894 - 06/12/07 12:58 AM
AmEx is massively more expensive for retailers to accept than anything else, which is the reason a lot of them don't do it.


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Peter Conz Connelly
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Sam York]
      #553944 - 06/12/07 08:53 AM
Quote Sam York:

AmEx is massively more expensive for retailers to accept than anything else, which is the reason a lot of them don't do it.




Why are AmEx more expensive, out of curiousity? Surely it can't be THAT much more expenisve for a retailer, such as DV, to use AmEx!?!?!

The annoying this is, all the other stores that supply the same product I want DO accept AmEx, but they won't / can't do the deal for the same price.

P

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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #553951 - 06/12/07 09:22 AM
If you use a credit card, the retailer is charged a fee. With Visa, Mastercard this can be 1% or 1.5% of the transaction value. With Amex it's 5%.

I don't understand why anybody takes it, to be honest. Certainly if you are going to offer goods at the cheapest price, you can't afford to.

If you want the extra service, it costs.

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Edited by Steve Hill (06/12/07 09:23 AM)


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Peter Conz Connelly
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #553954 - 06/12/07 09:32 AM
5% is quite a hike from 1% - 1.5%. Yikes! I would normally use my Visa / Mastercard, but these are maxed out at the moment

I suppose I'll just wait until I've saved the cash, but hope the offer is still valid. That's the risk I take, unfortunately

... or go back to my original plan and buy from the US.

Cheers,
Peter

--------------------
Composer, Songwriter, Producer, Sound Designer
www.peterconnelly.com


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #553955 - 06/12/07 09:33 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

If you use a credit card, the retailer is charged a fee. With Visa, Mastercard this can be 1% or 1.5% of the transaction value. With Amex it's 5%.

I don't understand why anybody takes it, to be honest. Certainly if you are going to offer goods at the cheapest price, you can't afford to.

If you want the extra service, it costs.




I think it 'cos Tiger Woods says it's good.


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Stephen Parker



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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554052 - 06/12/07 01:18 PM
Hi Conz - you know the SRP for Komplete 5 is now £699, down from £999 for Komplete 4? I don't think this is so far from the US price, when you add in duty & VAT etc.

We do try and make sure that the prices UK retailers sell for are similar to everywhere else.

I don't think that DV have many of the Kore 1 + Komp 4 deal left (with the free software updates to K2 and Komp5).

I thought the Amex rate was 4%, but it's still way above the other cards and our website doesn't take it for this reason too.

Cheers

Steve Parker
Music Technology Manager
Arbiter Group Ltd
(UK distributor for NI)


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_Nuno_



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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Stephen Parker]
      #554067 - 06/12/07 02:15 PM
I'd hurry to get one of those.

With the new Kore 2 software the package is just amazing. Every time I play with it I find new things that don't cease to amaze me. Last one has been the Tape echo thing in Guitar Rig 3 (a emulation of the roland space delay I believe). I mapped all the knobs in the Kore controller to every parameter of the echo and use that a send in Cubase and it's simply Dub heaven. You have knobs to increase the tape fluter, drop outs, acceleration, I can tap the tempo in the Kore controller buttons, etc...

I could go on for days about Komplete and Kore.

Of course I did have some issues with it too, one of them almost made me trash the whole thing, but so far all have been solved.


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Richie Royale



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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554073 - 06/12/07 02:21 PM
NI emailed the other day with some offers direct from their site, but I'm not sure if the package you are looking for is covered in the offers they had. Might be worth a look.

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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Stephen Parker]
      #554142 - 06/12/07 04:59 PM
Quote Stephen Parker:

I thought the Amex rate was 4%, but it's still way above the other cards and our website doesn't take it for this reason too.




Steve, I think it varies according to the size of your operation. We looked at taking Amex at this modest studio... suffice to say it doesn't do nicely round here!

Arbiter is probably a bit bigger than us though

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Peter Conz Connelly
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Stephen Parker]
      #554289 - 06/12/07 11:35 PM
Quote Stephen Parker:

Hi Conz - you know the SRP for Komplete 5 is now £699, down from £999 for Komplete 4? I don't think this is so far from the US price, when you add in duty & VAT etc.

We do try and make sure that the prices UK retailers sell for are similar to everywhere else.

I don't think that DV have many of the Kore 1 + Komp 4 deal left (with the free software updates to K2 and Komp5).

I thought the Amex rate was 4%, but it's still way above the other cards and our website doesn't take it for this reason too.

Cheers

Steve Parker
Music Technology Manager
Arbiter Group Ltd
(UK distributor for NI)




Hi Stephen,

Yeah, I did a bit searching today and can get K5 + K2 for £699 in the UK. Best I can get K5 alone is £569.99 which is actually quite a good deal, definitely closing in on US prices, but still £141 different. Check out this eBay item>>> Item #250193852174 - £443 + £35 shipping + £80 Duty & Tax = £558 TOTAL. I can get it a tad cheaper as I was told they could do me a better deal on shipping.

I'm closing in on the fact that I "may" end up purchasing in the UK, but not quite there yet. £141 for the same bit of kit still seems a tad extreme. If I could get K5 + K2 for <£650 + Free Delivery, I would be more tempted.

Sorry, my tight northern roots are properly shining lately!!!! lol.

Cheers,
Peter

--------------------
Composer, Songwriter, Producer, Sound Designer
www.peterconnelly.com


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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554297 - 06/12/07 11:57 PM
If you trust the dealer, buy in the US. UPS, Fed-Ex or whoever will sort out all the formalities for a small fee (£10-15 -ish).

It's time manufacturers, distributors, dealers etc woke up to the fact that we're all in a post-google world!

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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pe-te



Joined: 09/03/06
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554346 - 07/12/07 09:06 AM
i thought many retailers had a 'we will compete' type thing.

cant you call dolphin or someone and say you've seen the same product at DV but you want to buy from dolphin.?


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554353 - 07/12/07 09:15 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

If you trust the dealer, buy in the US. UPS, Fed-Ex or whoever will sort out all the formalities for a small fee (£10-15 -ish).

It's time manufacturers, distributors, dealers etc woke up to the fact that we're all in a post-google world!




Yep, but before you buy direct, i.e. without a UK distributor, make sure you have all necessary figures at hand, customs etc...

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Samplecraze
Stretch That Note


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Peter Conz Connelly
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554354 - 07/12/07 09:16 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

It's time manufacturers, distributors, dealers etc woke up to the fact that we're all in a post-google world!




Agreed!

I still don't understand "why" the prices are so much more expensive, here in the UK. Several other purchases I made recently were same price in UK, US & Europe, e.g. East West QLSO. I really am baffled to why one distributer can and one can't. At the end of the day, it's the same goods from the same manufacturer.

Cheers,
Peter

--------------------
Composer, Songwriter, Producer, Sound Designer
www.peterconnelly.com


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CdnBcn



Joined: 10/03/04
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554380 - 07/12/07 11:02 AM
Quote:

With Visa, Mastercard this can be 1% or 1.5% of the transaction value. With Amex it's 5%.





My understanding is AMEX charges the retailer much more because their business model is that of a "Charge Card" as opposed to a "Credit Card". Visa and Mastercard generate a huge percentage of their revenue as a result of interest charges levied against card holders. Amex works on a model that expects the card holders balance to be paid in full every month which elimates a revenue stream that the other card companies enjoy .

In my own retail operations we advise clients that we will take their Amex card if they are willing to pay the additional charge associated with it. We do not promote Amex, display any decals or stickers, nor encourage its use as Amex shows no respect for the retailer [either in rates offered or in the time it takes to transfer funds]. We make it very clear that Amex is not a preferred choice but if it is all they have we will try to be accomodating.

In my experience, once a client understands the expense associated with Amex, they are more than happy to offer a different form of payment. We will even offer to extend a discount in the amount of the credit card charges against the purchase if they opt for Interac, Cash or Cheque.

It is always refreshing when a consumer is sensitive to these issues. When it happens, I believe its motivation for the dealer to offer additonal services or discounts. Afterall, business is always a two-way street.

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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554381 - 07/12/07 11:03 AM
It's not quite that easy. Yamaha for example won't allow any US retailer to ship goods to the UK (and probably loads of other countries). The goods, not made in the US, are obviously cheaper. It can't cost Yamaha appeciably more to ship them from the factory: there is simply no excuse.

Personally I just end up feeling I want nothing to do with a company which is so determinedly intent on mugging me, and buy a competing product instead.

One other thing to watch when buying abroad: mains voltages (and also the plug on the end of the mains lead!). But there's lots of info on importing gear in this thread.

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Dynamite with a laser beam...


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chris...
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: CdnBcn]
      #554404 - 07/12/07 12:20 PM
Quote CdnBcn:

My understanding is AMEX charges the retailer much more because their business model is that of a "Charge Card" as opposed to a "Credit Card". Visa and Mastercard generate a huge percentage of their revenue as a result of interest charges levied against card holders. Amex works on a model that expects the card holders balance to be paid in full every month which elimates a revenue stream that the other card companies enjoy .




OK, so american excess don't charge their customers interest. But I imagine they do charge fees ?

And how does the AMEX card relate to for example switch/maestro, which doesn't involve interest ? When I pay with maestro is the retailer charged 5% ? (if so I shall avoid in future).


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554405 - 07/12/07 12:20 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

It can't cost Yamaha appeciably more to ship them from the factory: there is simply no excuse.




There is an excuse, and personally, I think Yamaha are right to enforce this policy. What they are doing is protecting their dealerships outside the US -- Yamaha clearly value the service offered by their dealers around the world and are protecting them from the vagaries of exchange rates and different sales models that exist in the US and Europe. Yamaha is not alone in this policy either.

This topic came up recently on another forum I'm involved in and Chris Woolf explaiend the situation from a distributor's point of vierw: Ideally every manufacturer would probably prefer to keep each market compartmentalised because the exchange rates, tax regimes etc are different in every region and that is the only way to be fair to their distributors and customers while still making enough profit to stay in business.

But every customer would probably prefer total and utter market freedom to allow the cheapest possible purchases at any one moment -- especially now they can see different prices in different parts of the world on google.

But ... if 2 exists then half the distributors in the world would go out of business immediately since the ~temporary~ conditions of trade would prevent any useful competition. And as soon as the exchange rates etc see-sawed the positions would be reversed.

Sooner or later, 99% of all the dealers around the world would give up and walk away. Customers would have nowhere to see and try the products, no one local to offer support and service and the whole shebang would collapse.

In practice most customers -- especially those running a business that relies on these products -- want an impossible balance: a free-market price allied to a protectionist, compartmentalised local service and support
system. Such a business model doesn't exist.

It's also worth remembering that manufacturers are having to predict a good 6 months or more ahead of the game what exchange rates will be and what the import/export
duty situation will be too. With the US economy in the mess it is currently that is not an easy set of predictions.

Quote:

Personally I just end up feeling I want nothing to do with a company which is so determinedly intent on mugging me, and buy a competing product instead.




Like all accountants you are only seeing the figure on the bottom line, Steve. The dealership network has a value both to the customer and the manufacturer, and it doesn't seem unreasonable that Yamaha should try to protect that in this simple way. They aren't mugging you, they are protecting the ability of the dealers to make a living and thus serve both the manufacturer and the customer.

hugh

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: chris...]
      #554406 - 07/12/07 12:27 PM
Quote Chris Edwards:

OK, so american excess don't charge their customers interest. But I imagine they do charge fees ?




Amex certainly will charge interest if you don't pay it off every month, but most people do treat it as a charge card rather than a credit card. Yes, they charge annual fees too, but these don't generate anything like the same levels of interest income that millions of maxed out credit cards do!

Quote:

When I pay with maestro is the retailer charged 5% ? (if so I shall avoid in future).




I don't think it is as high as 5% -- but the retailer will obviously be charged something (1.5 - 3% or similar) because the Maestro/Switch companies are providing the retailer with a service in handling the financial transaction.

hugh

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CdnBcn



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Re: Digital Village new [Re: chris...]
      #554410 - 07/12/07 12:36 PM
Quote:

OK, so american excess don't charge their customers interest. But I imagine they do charge fees ?





Most charge card companies do levy an annual fee on their users which represents a significant portion of their revenue stream. Thay also generate copious amounts of money as a result of creative cash flow management techniques via their banking activities.



Quote:

And how does the AMEX card relate to for example switch/maestro, which doesn't involve interest ? When I pay with maestro is the retailer charged 5% ? (if so I shall avoid in future).




I cannot speak for the other cards you mentioned as I am not familiar with them [being in Canada] but I do believe Amex has established the model by which all "Charge Cards" [not Credit Cards] operates. Because the alternative charge card companies are much smaller I would assume their rates are more aggressive so as to establish an install base. Without a critical mass of users there is no incentive for organizations to accept their product.

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hifistud2



Joined: 12/02/06
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #554427 - 07/12/07 01:14 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Like all accountants you are only seeing the figure on the bottom line, Steve. The dealership network has a value both to the customer and the manufacturer, and it doesn't seem unreasonable that Yamaha should try to protect that in this simple way. They aren't mugging you, they are protecting the ability of the dealers to make a living and thus serve both the manufacturer and the customer.

hugh




I'm with Steve on this one - I don't buy into the protectionist theorem. Compartmentalised markets are there to serve the manufacturers - they wil (and do)charge what the market will bear. Their costs to manufacture are fixed. Transport costs from (say) China to mainland UK or US are roughly comparable, and the real varaibles come in the form of import duties. How, then, can it be that to buy something from the US, pay another set of shipping and import duties, plus VAT and a handling charge can still work out substantially cheaper than buying from a UK based supplier?

I have experience of companies being told that their advertised prices will cause them to find their supply being cut off - this is in the UK - yet they're actually competing with international pricing, from companies who have the buying power to tell manufacturers who are able enforce (illegal) price fixing in the UK to go stuff themselves if they make a similar threat to them.

The bottom line is this: If company A can sell product X at £10 ($20) in the US and make a profit, then to have a price fixed at £20 in the UK looks like (and is) mugging the punter. It's even more galling when product X is British and this happens (and it does)

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snipsnip



Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 875
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554435 - 07/12/07 01:48 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

If you use a credit card, the retailer is charged a fee. With Visa, Mastercard this can be 1% or 1.5% of the transaction value. With Amex it's 5%.





This is a bit of a myth... the difference is normally nominal, but differs based on contract.


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James PerrettModerator



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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #554437 - 07/12/07 02:00 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:


Quote:

When I pay with maestro is the retailer charged 5% ? (if so I shall avoid in future).




I don't think it is as high as 5% -- but the retailer will obviously be charged something (1.5 - 3% or similar) because the Maestro/Switch companies are providing the retailer with a service in handling the financial transaction.





I was sitting in an Indian restaurant waiting for a take away a few months ago and happened to be leafing through one of their restaurant trade mags. There was an advert in there from a card handling company offering rates of 1.5% for credit cards and a fixed fee (something like 30p) for debit cards. As I understand it, Maestro is Mastercard's name for a debit card so the fee for a Maestro transaction should be fixed.

Cheers

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #554455 - 07/12/07 02:46 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

There is an excuse, and personally, I think Yamaha are right to enforce this policy. What they are doing is protecting their dealerships outside the US -- Yamaha clearly value the service offered by their dealers around the world and are protecting them from the vagaries of exchange rates and different sales models that exist in the US and Europe. Yamaha is not alone in this policy either.




Hugh, I see this very clearly indeed. Protectionism in all its forms is always wrong, the consumer always picks up the tab, and the victim is usually someone in a developing country who has no organisation to lobby on his behalf - probably in the instant case Chinese workers. It's against everything the WTO was established to counteract (and which the US ignores at the slightest opportunity when there's some pork-barrel senator lobbying on behalf of six local jobs).

I can't support it. We have a global economy, and the cheapest available global price should be the price everybody pays.

Nothing else will drag the third world into anything resembling a decent standard of living.

And what exactly is it about "different sales models" that determines why Yamaha will let an impoverished US citizen buy say an O2R96 mixer for $9,200 (at Sweetwater), whilst a massively wealthy Brit has to pay $15,509 (at KMR, at today's exchange rate)?

I know a scam when I see one. And I'm not playing.

There's quite an interesting bit of campaigning journalism for SOS to get behind if you're in the mood.

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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: snipsnip]
      #554458 - 07/12/07 02:50 PM
Quote snipsnip:

Quote Steve Hill:

If you use a credit card, the retailer is charged a fee. With Visa, Mastercard this can be 1% or 1.5% of the transaction value. With Amex it's 5%.





This is a bit of a myth... the difference is normally nominal, but differs based on contract.




Well we've already had a senior manager from Arbiter say that they were asked to pay 4% so decline Amex cards... what exactly is mythical?

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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554470 - 07/12/07 03:13 PM
... and to continue. Musik Store in Cologne have in the last year advertised a €112,000 Bosendorfer grand piano at €44,000. They also offer Yamaha pianos - the prices are not listed on their website, but I am invited to ring for a quote. Do you want to place any bets that they are cheaper than UK prices?
(Obviously Yamaha can't ban one EU citizen selling to another however much they might wish to).

If the sole justification for the shameless price fixing which is going on is, as you suggest, to protect dealer networks against bankruptcy, then I go back to my earlier statement: we live in a post-google world. Bye-bye dealers, it's been nice knowing you. The future belongs to Musik Store, Thomann and so on. And fair play to some UK players like Digital Village and Dolphin who are trying to compete on those terms, and are not stuck in some time warp.

Yes, it's mail order box shifting on a massive scale (although they will welcome you with open arms if you want to visit them). But that works for most people most of the time. I am happy to buy most stuff for the studio without visiting a shop or trying it out. I rely on recommendations, forums, discussions with clients and visiting engineers/producers, reviews in SOS to decide what I want - far moreso than trying to "test" (ahem...) a Neumann mic in a crowded store in the West End on a busy Saturday full of kids trying out guitars and synths.

This is the world as it is, not as Yamaha want it to be. You can't buck the market. You deliver what your customers want or you go bankrupt.

That's my kind of capitalism.

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Dynamite with a laser beam...


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CdnBcn



Joined: 10/03/04
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: snipsnip]
      #554471 - 07/12/07 03:14 PM
Quote:

This is a bit of a myth... the difference is normally nominal, but differs based on contract.




I disagree with this comment to the nth degree. The best Amex contract available [which very few get] will charge the retailer 3.5% of the total charge [taxes et al : so approx 4% + of price]] wheras the better VISA, and MasterCard contract will offer 1.70% and 1.40%, respectively.

There is nothing nominal about a 2% premium to be paid by the dealer for no added benifit. 2% is a very significant amount of money when you consider the high percentage of purchases that are completed by Credit/Charge cards in this industry.

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snipsnip



Joined: 07/01/07
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554478 - 07/12/07 03:46 PM
fair enough.. i work for them.. but not in merchant so maybe im wrong.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554482 - 07/12/07 04:02 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

We have a global economy, and the cheapest available global price should be the price everybody pays.




How can that possibly work? Even on the most simplistic level, shipping a full container of product from, say JApan to the US (because the market is larger and can sustain more sales) will inherently provide a lower cost-per-unit than shipping a half full container to the UK.

I'm no economist, and I realise I may be showing my ignorance here, but I can't see how the lowest possible price can be offered to everyone on the planet. I can't even see how you can have a single unified global price while we still trade in a wide variety of currencies in which their relative values float. Over the last four months a dollar has been worth roughly between 125 and 107 yen (17% variation), while the pound has bought between about 252 and 220 (14% variation). So if each country buys the product in Yen, the equivalent retail price will vary anyway...

Quote:

And what exactly is it about "different sales models" that determines why Yamaha will let an impoverished US citizen buy say an O2R96 mixer for $9,200 (at Sweetwater), whilst a massively wealthy Brit has to pay $15,509 (at KMR, at today's exchange rate)?




I dare say Sweetwater sells a good deal more to start with, because its market is obviously far bigger than KMRs. It may well be that the warehousing costs to store the product are also vastly different. The cost of staff to support and sell the product may alwo be very different.

Quote:

I know a scam when I see one. And I'm not playing.




Fair enough. My only real concern over this 'the grass is greener in the US' mentality is the immense and rapid damage it could potentially do to the UK industry. If it becomes commonplace to buy from the US because it's cheaper, then the UK dealers go bust. It's not as if they are all swanning around in luxury cars -- most of those I know well don't make that much of a living at it.

And then there is the whole global warming issue. It can't possibly make sense on that level to ignore products already in the UK, and instead have the same thing shipped half way around the world, just to save a few quid! It's just bonkers.

Quote:

There's quite an interesting bit of campaigning journalism for SOS to get behind if you're in the mood.




There is -- but not for me. I clearly know nothing about the subject matter But I'll certainly mention it at the next planning meeting as a possible feature for someone.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9397
Loc: UK *but works all over the pl...
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #554490 - 07/12/07 04:42 PM
My Considered opinion, as a former retailer, and former employee of a distributor , in this industry, is that Hugh is bang on the money.

sadly though Steve's position is far from unique, even though IMHO misguided and unrealistic, and much of the damage Hugh fears, has frankly already been done.


the next time ANY of you moan about not being able to easily go and audition equipment of any shape size or description, even remotely locally ,or indeed anywhere outside London, pat yourselves on the back and congratulate yourselves on googling the supply sector of our industry to an early grave.

Don't get me wrong,
I'm not keen on paying over the odds for anything.... but to expect te lowest global common denominator to be applicable is simply denying the realities of life and business.

oh, and BTW, the Uk is a LOT further than the US is from China by sea , no matter which way you go...




even Via Suez, it's roughly 10K nautical miles (9677) via Suez , nearer to 14K if you go by way of the cape...

china to US mainland is only 5K nautical miles. (and I mean mainland, Not Alaska, which is a mere 3400 )

so overall, how can it NOT cumulatively cost more to get here?? especially given the differential in market size and unit-volume costs.

and local market factors, like salaries and taxes...

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554498 - 07/12/07 05:08 PM
Well I can certainly agree that avoidable carbon miles is a problem. But it should not be.

I don't want to buy from the US. I want to buy Yamaha products from my friendly local box-shifter of choice at the same price as a US customer .

I don't buy the argument about half full containers. I can (but for Yamaha's ban) get the 02R96 from Sweetwater shipped to my door by Fed-Ex or UPS or whatever and still pay far less than any UK price. UPS etc are in the business of filling up containers efficiently. That's what they do.

I'm asking Yamaha to send stuff from (probably) China on the same terms. And let's not pick on Yamaha only: why are Sennheiser mics made in Germany cheaper in the US than in the UK? The e914 is $313 in the US and $474 at Digital Village, a 51% mark-up.

Shipping costs are a red herring. And you might also pause to think about the costs of getting the shipped goods from the coast to (say) Phoenix once they have landed in the USA. [Canada has the unworthy distinction of the average item on your plate travelling 5,000 food miles to get there, a world record].

Yes, exchange rates vary. Importers and exporters have learned to deal with that stuff during the last couple of millennia (and, now, can hedge quite effectively). It's not an obstacle to free trade. Regardless of how the yen moves against the dollar, the price of Japanese goods in the UK is governed by how the yen moves against the pound. The existing dealer network offers the consumer no protection against that (nor should it).

Let's be clear, that 02R96 is 69% more expensive in the UK. I agree our starving retailers aren't getting much out of it. But someone is, and it's wrong.

Max, welcome. I can't stop the tide. I won't even try. I said in my previous post I no longer even want to audition stuff... it's just not necessary, and nobody's got proper facilities for doing so anyway, in any meaningful way. I love cheap box-shifters. The world is going to vote with its feet, if it has not already done so. And some people will have to find new careers.

It was ever thus. A piece of me is nostalgic for old style High Streets before the supermarkets killed them all, but I would never defend naked protectionism and artificially supporting high prices at the consumer's expense in order to preserve the status quo. Efficient markets respond to consumers, they do not dictate to them. That's economics 101, and the businesses which don't learn that learn bankruptcy 101 instead.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


Edited by Steve Hill (07/12/07 05:26 PM)


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chris...
active member


Joined: 12/03/03
Posts: 4728
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554505 - 07/12/07 05:25 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

I no longer even want to audition stuff... it's just not necessary, and nobody's got proper facilities for doing so anyway, in any meaningful way.




These days we rely on the SOS reviews


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MarkOne



Joined: 15/02/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: Bristol, England, Earth, Perus...
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554506 - 07/12/07 05:27 PM
I guess the price paid will be what the local market will stand.

Sennheiser mics are that price here because they can sell at that price. If nobody bought them at that price the price would have to go down.

There are items that sustain a world market value. Not that I will actually probably ever buy one, but I often check out the price of Rolex submariners and Omega Semasters whenever I pass through a country (maybe I'll treat myself when I retire! ) I have noticed that there really isn't much difference in the price offered between Hong Kong*, Zurich, Nice, Chicago, Seattle, or Beijing.

*OK I have been offered much cheaper 'rolexes' in Hong Kong, but somehow I suspect they might not work very well!

--------------------
New album 'Fantasy Bridge' available now!
Making of Fantasy Bridge Diary


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Steve Hill
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: MarkOne]
      #554510 - 07/12/07 05:32 PM
Quote MarkOne:

I guess the price paid will be what the local market will stand.




That's what we're supposed to believe. But there's only one, global market now. The emperor's got no clothes any more.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Stephen Parker



Joined: 28/02/05
Posts: 180
Loc: Falmouth, Cornwall
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Peter Conz Connelly]
      #554525 - 07/12/07 05:53 PM
Hi Steve - I think it could be a worse case scenario that the product you're quoting is 69% more expensive in the UK, but I suppose it is still worth mentioning..

On a general retailing level, anyone visiting the US gets quite used to prices in $ being the same or similar to prices in £ - not an excuse, but a fact.

The only country that I know of where price fixing is the norm is the US where they have MAP (Min Advertised Pricing) set by manufacturers - basically a lower SRP that all dealers sell at.

We have to all embrace competition to survive - it's what makes manufacturers come up with better value packages for example, and within reason I think you'll find that the internet will lead to closer pricing between currencies - the really weak dollar does make other countries look un-competitive, but this is not unique to our industry.

Cheers

Steve Parker
Music Technology Manager
Arbiter Group


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Anonymous
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Re: Digital Village new [Re: Stephen Parker]
      #554578 - 07/12/07 08:19 PM
Quote:

Steve Hill:
A piece of me is nostalgic for old style High Streets before the supermarkets killed them all, but I would never defend naked protectionism and artificially supporting high prices at the consumer's expense in order to preserve the status quo. Efficient markets respond to consumers, they do not dictate to them.


(My emboldening)

BBC News Link: Supermarket firms Sainsbury's and Asda have admitted that they were part of a dairy price-fixing group that earned about £270m extra from shoppers. Now that's an efficient market!

Competition in a fairly matched market with many well matched players is good for consumers - competition in a market where some elements are able disproportionately to employ positions of economic strength generally is not (whether local or global). Monopolistic abuse of market position is rarely a route to best consumer service. Without getting into the complex economics of a global market / international supply chain / local conditions / profiteering gits / protectionist market arguments, the box shifter, lowest common denominator, retailer is fine for consumers with lowest common denominator needs/expectations; for those who value the expertise and service of a good specialist service, it's depressing, if slightly inevitable, now that music technology and the businesses which depend upon it and upon which it depends are just part of the 'consumer electronics' and retail commodity markets rather than professional/specialist areas making a product regarded as a bit of a luxury item that has to be paid for. To the majority of consumers music now is more or less valueless so I suppose it's no surprise that the tools, facilities, services and skills to make it are going the same way.


Quote:

I am happy to buy most stuff for the studio without visiting a shop or trying it out. I rely on recommendations, forums, discussions with clients and visiting engineers/producers, reviews in SOS to decide what I want - far moreso than trying to "test" (ahem...) a Neumann mic in a crowded store in the West End on a busy Saturday full of kids trying out guitars and synths.

This is the world as it is, not as Yamaha want it to be. You can't buck the market. You deliver what your customers want or you go bankrupt.




So where does that leave people like me? It's far from the world I, as a customer, want. You may not consider it important to try equipment or have a local(ish) source of backup and after sales service on expensive items of equipment upon which your livelihood (as opposed to a hobby) depends but I do.

Apart from which, I like being able to talk to a distributor or retailer whom I know personally and with whom I've established a good working relationship; who knows me and my needs/likes/dislikes; who's able to tip me the wink if something new that might interest me comes along or is about to appear, or drop a discrete warning if something I'm planning to buy is about to be superseded by a far better model; who can snag me the occasional 'special' from the factory, etc.. I like being able to call them and have them ship new bits of gear to me so I can try them out to assess their suitability for my needs and how they fit into my working methods and equipment setup rather than those of a reviewer or some people I don't know on an internet forum.

Don't get me wrong, I use forums and reviews all the time as references and starting points for further investigation but I'm not about to blow a few thousand quid or more on mics/outboard/whatever on the basis of something I've read, or some dodgy MP3 samples on a forum somewhere. I need to hear/touch/examine equipment before I buy. I'm far less inclined even to consider it if the only source of the item in question is a box shifter in a foreign country who's going to flog me x quantity of catalogue no. xxx at whatever knockdown price they're doing that week but who doesn't know anything about the stuff they're selling beyond what it says in the brochure or what they were told on the half day sales course and isn't going to know me from Adam when I call up a fortnight later because it's stopped working and I'm in urgent need of a repair/replacement and/or a loan item to cover impending work.

The Euro/US/wherever box shifter is all very well for saving a few quid on an initial purchase but they're not interested in my problems as I'm just one of millions of faceless customers all over the world/can't help even if they want to because they don't know my local market or situation so can't refer me to someone locally who might be in a position to get me out of a hole (assuming that there still is anyone left locally with the ability to help, who hasn't had to find another career after seeing their service based business wiped out by the box shifters!). The inital saving could be completely blown if, due to equipment failure and non-existent/consumer level support, I have to spend a load of cash shipping a faulty item away for repair/hire a replacement item/waste time phoning all over the place to sort a problem/in the worst case lose a recording because of it.

I guess that I like it when people offer me the level of professional service that I try to offer my clients and in the same way that I don't expect/no longer respond to my clients/potential clients trying to beat me down on price below the point at which it's commercially viable for me to work, I don't mind paying a reasonable premium to a dealer who offers the service I need.

Sadly, in a world of nothing but box shifters, in the eyes of the consumer, everything is devalued, from the product sold, to the services which employ it to the things they create. Prices at all stages are driven ever lower, expectations are lowered and quality is sacrificed to lowest common denominator consumerism.

Obviously this is a worst case and there's a balance to be struck but only so long as it's possible to choose alternatives. When these alternatives have been lost to the 'consumer choice' of 'free market capitalism', and all that's left is a global market offering a globally standardised McDonalds' level of mush, is the world a better place for so may people getting what they asked for?


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9397
Loc: UK *but works all over the pl...
Re: Digital Village new [Re: ]
      #554583 - 07/12/07 08:28 PM
Bravo Mon Capitane

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Aural Reject



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4208
Loc: Lancashire
Re: Digital Village new [Re: ]
      #554589 - 07/12/07 08:39 PM
Blimey.


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markhodges



Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 344
Loc: München
Re: Digital Village new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #554595 - 07/12/07 09:06 PM
Quote Steve Hill:


Let's be clear, that 02R96 is 69% more expensive in the UK. I agree our starving retailers aren't getting much out of it. But someone is, and it's wrong.





That example is a bit distorted because the sweetwater price excludes sales taxes and because KMR are about £500 more expensive than the cheaper UK shops. If you use the DV ex-vat price the difference is more like 36%.

This still seems like quite a big difference though. It might be something to do with the volume of products sold and prices of competing products, as the difference for the 01V96 is more like 13%.

Can anyone be bothered to comparison shop a whole studio?


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