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Old 10-12-2009, 17:05   #1
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Thumbs up Australians: Maxsea Time Zero and Furuno Hardware - Save money and Buy from the USA!

The pricing situation with Maxsea across various regions is quite bizarre.


In Australia, from the authorized Furuno dealer jntaylor.com.au
  • $2640 AUD for Maxsea TZ Navigator with AIS, 1 local chart pack


In the USA, via defender.com
  • $377AUD for Maxsea TZ Navigator with AIS, 1 local chart pack

So, I've verified with Defender that I can ship to Oz. $346USD for Maxsea, plus $333USD for Australian charts + $60USD for freight. Convert to Aussie currency: $806 AUD TOTAL. This is dependant on daily exchanges rates, but you get the idea.

That's a $1834 AUD difference in cost. I also end up with the extra US charts. The situation is the same for a lot of electronic gear and other stuff.

Don't buy local unless you want to be completely ripped off. I hope any Australians contemplating a Maxsea purchase will find this post before supporting their local dealers. As usual, the Aussie consumer is getting charged way higher prices than they should be.

This is a good example of why I will often go out of my way to support North American businesses and bypass the locals. Better prices, generally more knowledgeable staff, and almost always far superior online presence/online ordering.
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Old 13-12-2009, 16:52   #2
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Here's what Furuno USA sales had to say in regards to the huge difference in price between Taylor Marine Australia and Defender (US):
Quote:
"There is no reason not to buy it here in the states."
The situation with charts for Maxsea Time Zero was an even more blatant ripoff. All Mapmedia 3d charts are downloaded directly from maxsea.com, with an unlock code acquired from a dealer. There's no freight or handling costs to the dealer.
  • The cost for the "East Coast Australia" unlock code locally at Taylor Marine is $800AUD
  • The same unlock code from Defender is $333USD.

I don't understand why the official Australian dealer is allowed to charge such ridiculous prices. They weren't even willing budge the on their pricing.

I really hope this post saves someone from being ripped off.
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Old 13-12-2009, 18:20   #3
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Just a dumb question from someone who has never imported things. Do we have to pay import or other tax on things we buy from the states? Reason I ask is I recently priced a handheld VHF at defender and it was half price compared to the best price I could get in AUS.
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Old 13-12-2009, 18:51   #4
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Hey Drinky, nice to see another local on here...

We don't pay any GST or duty on orders valued up to $1000AUD. Anything over $1000 and you'll pay 5% duty + 10% GST. It's pretty reasonable compared to other countries (like Canada) which are taxed on almost every import.

With how expensive things are here, it's still much cheaper to buy overseas factoring in GST/duty/exchange/shipping. USPS priority international shipping was around $36 for my Maxsea order.
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Old 13-12-2009, 19:11   #5
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Are you sure you are comparing the same product. Note that the Maxsea TZ Navigator that you priced from Defender does not support interfacing to a Furuno Navnet3D system. For that you'll need the Explorer version at US$960

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Old 13-12-2009, 19:18   #6
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Paul: I'm 100% sure on this one. I couldn't believe the differences.

I'm comparing Navigator to Navigator. The US version of Maxsea TZ Navigator includes AIS, the Aussie dealers leave it as an expensive add-on.

The pricing difference between Maxsea Time Zero Explorer is as follows (from Dec 10, 2009):
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Old 13-12-2009, 19:21   #7
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Are they calibrated to work below the Equator...the Coriolis effect and all that stuff?





Just pullin your leg
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Old 13-12-2009, 19:24   #8
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I just asked my pet Dingo, and he thinks that might be why it costs a few extra thousand.
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Old 13-12-2009, 20:00   #9
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Agree with everything you've said Trev. I've imported heaps of gear from the US, and also the UK. Even when you do occasionally have to pay duty, it's still much cheaper than buying from local retailers.

They really need to wake up to themselves, before they overprice themselves out of business.
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Old 13-12-2009, 20:01   #10
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Trevor,
That is as an astounding markup. Are guys still paying a duty to the Queen?

I think FedX is your friend.

Paul L
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Old 13-12-2009, 20:19   #11
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Paul: I think the money is going straight in to someones pocket The people running these businesses know that the Australian public will often not question a sticker price. This needs to change.

I believe that by making their price-gouging as public as possible (and shopping elsewhere), we can help turn things around. These retailers/distributers have no excuses. Exchange rates and business overheads even at the worst of times still won't add up to numbers like those. This forum has pretty good Google page-rank, so that's a start!

It would be really nice to order locally and not be paranoid about wasting tons of cash by doing so.
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Old 13-12-2009, 22:43   #12
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G'Day Trev,

Well done for bringing all this to public notice. As long term Yank visitors to Oz, we've certainly noticed the same thing. Of course, many of the local vendors offset the terrible price by offering even worse customer service!!!

One thing to add: in our experience, when having items shipped to Oz it is way better to use the postal service from the US than to use any of the courier services, especially DHL. For things of less than 900 AUD value, they simply appear at the post office with no paperwork or additional charges. If they come by a courier there are often serious "fees" that you have to pony up before you gain posession of your goods. One one noteable adventure we had a propeller shipped by DHL (4 day service, ho ho) from Maine to Hobart. They lost the shipment no less than three seperate times, and it took 21 days to arrive. Did they offer to reduce the charges to compensate?? Well, not exactly... they added just over 200 dollars of additional "fees" for handling, airport transfers and customs inspection. Not amused was I.

Another small gripe: I've noticed a huge change in the US:Oz exchange rate over the past 7 months (ouch!). You might think that the Aussie vendors could pass along this improvement in the purchasing power of the AUD to the customer, but I've not seen even one instance of this... another compelling reason to buy foreign.

Anyway, thanks for starting this discussion. I too believe that it is time for Australian vendors to wake up and realize that it is a new era for the buyer, one where there are more choices than Whitworths or Taylor Marine!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Burnett river, Qld, Oz
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Old 14-12-2009, 02:05   #13
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Hi Jim. Thanks for the info regarding postage options and your experiences.

Here's a few more fun comparisons of electronics pricing. It's often tough to find Aussie websites that are online and working, and even then they might not have pricing available or e-commerce facilities.
  • Furuno NavNet 3D MFD8 Multi-Function Display
    $2567 USD at Defender
    $4899 AUD at Aquatronics Marine

  • Raymarine E120W Multi-Function Display (with "Rest of world" charts incl)
    $3806 USD at Defender
    $5595 AUD at Aquatronics Marine

  • Furuno NavNet 3D Black Box Multi-Function Processor
    $8185 USD at Defender
    $14850 AUD at Aquatronics Marine

  • Furuno NavNet 3D MFD12 Multi-Function Display
    $3691 USD at Defender
    $6599 AUD at Aquatronics Marine

  • ICOM IC-M801E SSB Radio
    $4870 AUD at Aquatronics Marine
    $1800 USD at Defender (note that this one was actually a better model too!)

In case anyone is wondering:
$1.00 USD is currently equal to $1.098 AUD (14th, December 09). You can calulate the exchange rate, then add 5% duty, then add 10% GST, then shipping to get the true price. Quite often it's still thousands less for marine electronics and software.
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Old 14-12-2009, 06:14   #14
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TrevC,
I agree with all you have said and I import a bit of stuff myself but I do have to add two cautions.
1. Warranty can be an issue because there is zero requirement for an Aussie distributor to provide ANY warranty service for any item imported directly. For this reason, I prefer to import only higher end stuff (eg Furuno) as there is usually less chance of a warranty issue.

2. Radios - a lot of US radios (especially HF) are not type certified for use in Oz. Yep, you can import it legally but not legally be able to use it unless it is fitted to a foreign registered vessel and is legal in the country of registration.
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Old 14-12-2009, 06:30   #15
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The problem is when you have to send back for warranty or if the goods arrive damaged. Bought recently an SP X-5 locally, the controller was faulty, time to drive back to the agent and I got a new one straight away. Send back oversea, then all sort of problems can arrise with the supplier and courier when the good return. By experience it can take a long time before you see the goods back. It is all about risks and for Oz pricing about volume.

Sorry Wotname I was to slow.
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