It seem that when the same good or service is available in Australia as it is internationally, we always end up paying more for it in Australia. Even when you take the effects of the exchange rates into consideration, the cost in Australia is always more, many time 50% or even more than 100% more.

A recent example of this is when I went to renew my Internet Security Subscription. It was going to cost me a bit over $300 in AUD for 3 years subscription for two computers. If I had chosen to pay in NZD I would have paid less than $300 once converted back to AUD. However, I chose to pay in Indian Rupees and for the same subscription paid 5,088.00INR, which when converted back to AUD came to just under $111 (including overseas Transaction Fees).

That is almost a third of the price for the same subscription, just because I had chosen to pay by a different currency. I am still using this subscription in Australia and included my Australian address in the Billing Information section of the Invoice. In my opinion this is crazy.

Why are Australians being ripped off all the time compared to other countries around the world, whether they be First or Third World Countries, and how can we find ways around these rip-off tactics by major retailers and save money?

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    As I have already renewed the subscription the website won't let me compare 3 yr subscriptions nor subscriptions for more than one PC. So as a simple comparison I have checked out the subscription for 1 yr for one PC. All the flowing prices have been converted back to AUD. Australia = $130; India = $62.30; Standard US = $124.50 (however US has currently a promotion for this product of $60 USD off the normal price, so it currently works out to be available at $41.50 in AUD).
    – Victor
    Nov 26, 2015 at 2:30
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    So without the promotion, US prices are similar to the Australian. Doesn't look like something specific to AU/NZ... Just supply/demand - pricing takes into the account how much the target population can actually pay.
    – littleadv
    Nov 26, 2015 at 3:05
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    As an addendum to @littleadv if I pay in pounds in UK, I always have to pay more than if I had paid in USD. Same goes for if I had paid in Euros too. Considering UK is an island I can accept the fact for tangible goods but for internet services, it seems a bit fishy. Likewise British bookings for Disneyland in Paris are way too costly as compared to Europeans who pay in euros. So it isn't only the Australians.
    – DumbCoder
    Nov 26, 2015 at 10:05
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    Your feelings of being ripped off are also offtopic here. As is retailing. Still vtc. It's not an unreasonable question, but this isn't the place for it in its current firm.
    – keshlam
    Dec 30, 2015 at 1:54

4 Answers 4


Best answer I've heard when asking this question is "because they can."

Traditionally Australia was remote enough, and it was justified due to the cost of shipping and importing... but now that's not the case and they're still sticking it to you, and you're still paying it. Even digital media (music, video, software), the poster-child of an item that has zero difference in delivery cost, cost more in Australia and there is absolutely no reason for it outside of the fact that you're going to pay it.

Sorry dude... Start finding ways to fight back. Find a US based VPN and route your purchases through the U.S., maybe save some money that way? Make your physical purchases overseas and ship them home when you happen to leave the country (if ever). Have friends do so when they leave the country...

Good luck!

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    That is why I have been paying for the sowtfware in Indian Rupee for the last 6 years or so and up paying almost a 3rd of the standard AUD amount.
    – Victor
    Dec 29, 2015 at 8:07

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/GST/ Some of the costs are indeed related to the conversion rate, which, as we all know,changes daily. You don't say whether you're using a credit card. If so, some cards do charge foreign transaction fees; some do not. However, Australia, like many European countries, does use a VAT system. Therefore your charges will be increased. Please be aware that these taxes are built into the economic system. In many cases, you van apply for and receive a waiver to be reimbursed if the purchase is made through a duty free store.

  • Yes our VAT is called a GST (Goods and Services Tax) and at the moment there is no GST added if you buy something from overseas for under $1000, but this tax is only 10% so doesn't explain the large differences. And I did say I paid overseas Transaction Fees, yes through a credit card.
    – Victor
    Dec 8, 2015 at 20:25

Suppose that the fixed overhead costs of delivering a service, not related to the actual volume of sales, are $50 million per year. Suppose the variable costs on top are $100 per customer per year. Suppose further that 1% of the population buys the service.

In the US, 3.2 million people buy the service, and it costs $116 per person to deliver it ($100 plus $50 million divided by 3.2 million). In Australia, 230,000 people buy it, and it costs $317 per person per year to deliver it ($100 plus $50 million divided by 230,000). The larger your market, the cheaper everything is, and Australia is a very small market compared with the USA, the EU, China or India.

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    Then how do you explain my example above where I could have paid less in NZD (after conversion back to AUD) when the New Zealand population is much smaller than the Australian population.
    – Victor
    Dec 8, 2015 at 20:21

When someone charges, it means that person fix the price you pay. Australia is part of the Indonesian continent. It is an island in the South Pacific ocean. In the price of an item, you include the shipping cost. It is more expensive by plane because the cost of the kerozen is higher than the cost of diesel for ships. Accident can happen, so you have to include in price the cost of the insurance.

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    Australia is not part of the Indonesian continent, Australia is a continent itself, and its land size is as big as the land size of the USA, so I don't think you can call it an Island. And the example I gave was for software downloaded online for which there is no transport costs, no chance of accidents and no insurance costs. So your answer is incorrect in so may ways.
    – Victor
    Dec 30, 2015 at 2:23

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