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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all
We have a sailing industry here in AUS that cannot help itself when it prices parts and service

I recently purchase a new to me keelboat and i was a bit worried about the amount of water coming out of the exhaust

Went into the local dealer "do you have one of these impeller Yanmar 2gm 20 f"
Yes was the answer only $82AUD....... well i had to get one so i purchased it, fitted it and all was well.

Then i had a look on the net and a place in England was selling genuine service kit with all the parts plus extra impellers for $121.00 AUD inc postage to AUS.
I ordered and it arrived in 8 days. All the parts were genuine Yanmar and packaged well.............NICE

I needed a TV antenna and in the marine shops they were selling for average $239AUD with specials about $179AUD

Went to the local electronics shop and there they were exactly the same thing inc all the part numbers for $79AUD normal price with a special they day i went in for 20% off

A note to any Aussie marine dealers who read these columns

C'mon guys stop standing there complaining that everybody is buying from the web

I dont buy from the web as i a older and like to give my hard earned pension to local businesses as thats how the world goes round but i ay start to join the rest of the world and start sending my money off shore when i need something that i know will be about one third the price

Just to finish i set about pricing the oil / fuel filters here in aus along with the pump gasket and impellers and the grand total would have been $$367.85 inc tax

WHY ?????
 

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Small market, limited distribution plus GST all add to higher prices. Geez, the guys a Whitworth's must be making a fortune. Pays to shop online......and around other shops. Check the Sailnet online store as well as Defender.com
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
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2,181 Posts
+1.

Most things can be purchased online from West Marine or Defender and delivered to Australia cheaper than it can be purchased here locally.

I have attempted going into Whitworths with my online estimate, explaining to them that I am about to import a product at retail from the other side of the world cheaper than they wish to sell it too me and for the most part I am met with shrugs.

I do make an exception for my local chandlery however. ( Bosun's locker at Newport)
While their base prices may not be online super cheap, the knowledge and experience they dispense is invaluable and has saved me literally $1000s plus has put many a project on the right course.

They can tell me what works, what doesn't, what is worth the money and what is crap. They love nothing better than to solve a challenge for me and have spent considerable time on the phone chasing down an obscure answer to a boat problem. It is worth remembering and seeking out folk like this, and if it means you buy some overpriced cordage from them in return then it is worth it.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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We left Oz with the Indonesia rally so had a lot of opportunity to talk to experienced cruisers about their experience with marine trades and stores in the country. The feelings were basically unanimous and not in a positive direction. Everything was so expensive and the customer service terrible. As soon as someone said, 'No problems mate' you knew you were in trouble.

One guy needed a new pressure pump for an Amel. He was quoted a ridiculous price with a seven week waiting period. He ordered it directly from France, had it in a week at less then half the price. We stayed for several months at the marina in Scarborough near Brisbane. No complaints about the facility and very much enjoyed our time there but the cost (including live aboard fees) was basically the same as what we paid at Liberty Landing Marina which is in a state park just across the Hudson from lower Manhattan - needless to say in a very pricey, downtown part of NYC compared to an outer suburb of Brisbane.

My sense is that it is an isolated market with insufficient competition. When you come from outside and are used to what exists elsewhere you realize how costly it is.
 
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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Traditionally Oz has been high cost because of import costs and low population. LP means low turnover so gross profit margins have tended to be higher than in more competitive markets.

As we slide further into the 21st century we are seeing a somewhat uncomfortable transition from old marketing techniques to new but as population grows, costs (mainly transport) come down , competition increases and prices will gradually follow.

Two things also need to be considered .... a business marks up its costs based on landed not ex factory. In Australia, said business also needs to add GST (Sales Tax/VAT). When you buy on line the business itself is not marking up freight costs and you are not paying GST. While this will not account for all of the differences in price it does account for some. The rest of it is presumably explained by the size of Craig Whitworth's bank balance.

In future I expect Australian businesses to discount freight costs when it comes to base for mark up.
 

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Living the dream
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There's a guy I know that has owned a store selling and servicing trailable power boats and outboard motors for many years. He set up a chandlry in the early days but gave it away as a bad idea. as he explained to me, it's the cost of the inventory that's the killer. The problem with boat bits is that there's lots of them and everybody wants what they want to be on the shelf. He also explained that he got sick of people coming into the store clutching someone else's discount catalogue under their arm demanding he sell to them at the same price.

The other issue with Aust pricing is that our traditional marketing model for lowish volume sales is overseas manufacturer or even agent selling to a national distibutor who then onsells to dealers and resellers. Everyone in the chain takes their cut of the margin, which is high because of relatively low turnover to supply chain cost and by the time we buy the bit off the shelf it is twice the price or more than it is from a direct overseas source.

With boat parts, this is where the reach of the internet shines. The Internet works because a whole heap of drop shipping or large turnover volume retailers primarily located in the US can turn over stock fast with corresponding competitive pricing.
 

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Junior Member
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"In future I expect Australian businesses to discount freight costs when it comes to base for mark up."

Does Toll Holdings still have everybody by the short and curlys?
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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"In future I expect Australian businesses to discount freight costs when it comes to base for mark up."

Does Toll Holdings still have everybody by the short and curlys?
To a certain extent but in recent times we've found a few alternatives. The UPS/DHL/Fedex mob have interesting, to say the least, prices down here as well.

In our business we invariably have our overseas suppliers ship small orders on their accounts cos they are so much cheaper than if we use our DHL account. Of course it has to do with volume but it is not helpful.
 

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To a certain extent but in recent times we've found a few alternatives. The UPS/DHL/Fedex mob have interesting, to say the least, prices down here as well.

In our business we invariably have our overseas suppliers ship small orders on their accounts cos they are so much cheaper than if we use our DHL account. Of course it has to do with volume but it is not helpful.
Not much anti-trust oversight downunder is there?
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Not much anti-trust oversight downunder is there?
I may be misunderstaning you as to the meaning of "anti-trust oversight" but if by that you are talking collusion that's not what I meant. Of course it may well be that DHL/UPS/Fedex act as a cartel but I wasn't claiming that, merely that whenever we have had one of them quote us pricing our price is invariably higher than the price we get from our supplier in Europe.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but here in Australia when it comes to ship-chandlers I've noticed an enormous class distinction between "yachtsmen" and "fishermen".

For this reason I reckon, as a yachtie (sorry, "sailboat person"), you'd have to be at least partly mad to buy anything at Whitworths/BCF/Ray's Outdoors that you can get someplace else. The situation here in Melbourne is made quite comical when Discount Seamart, which is not half a block away from Whitworths, sells much of the same stuff as Whitworths but has a larger range of sailing hardware and is often far cheaper and with excellent customer service thrown in also.

As said earlier, stock levels are a big issue for small chandleries. IIRC most (not all, but nearly all) in this country get their stock from warehouses like BLA who, it seems, have similar buying power and product lines to Whitworths - kinda like Coles vs Woolworths.

FWIW, we have a local chandlers that is doing pretty well in the Internet market simply keeping minimal stock of frequently-purchased items (paints, varnishes, anodes, rope, sunglasses..) and offering (a) the customer service and project suggestions you don't get on line and then (b) ordering in all of the stuff you want (sometimes even from overseas) as a bundle to save you the hassle of doing it yourself and then going as far as (c) offering a "yacht club discount" on local purchases to known sailing-people - and thus encouraging you to keep using their service and leaving the BCF frequenters and pseudo-yachtsmen to pay full price. ;)

IMHO, that's the way of the future..
 

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Wish I never found SN!
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This is from today. I have been looking at a new water maker as my old one was used by Noah and kept running by yours truly with duct tape and fence wire. Anyway looking at a Spectra, the best price in Oz $10699 plus $67 freight. from the US $6490 free international freight. I tend to buy a lot from the US.
 
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Once known as Hartley18
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G'day Simon! :)

This is from today. I have been looking at a new water maker as my old one was used by Noah and kept running by yours truly with duct tape and fence wire. Anyway looking at a Spectra, the best price in Oz $10699 plus $67 freight. from the US $6490 free international freight. I tend to buy a lot from the US.
I'm surprised you could even buy a specialised beastie like that over here. On stuff like that the local resellers often get caught out by rapid fluctuations in exchange rates and transit insurance and end up overpricing.. perhaps that's what happened??

Owning a 'classic' yacht, I tend to buy stuff from Germany and Holland and only very occasionally from the US. You need to be careful buying electrical stuff from the US.. they can't handle the voltage. :cool:
 
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