Originally Posted by Mixin
Shipping via container or even consolidated air isn't that great for a business - we average about 4% of the stock's cost for sea, and up to 15% for air shipments via a freight forwarder from the US to Oz.
Individuals face much higher postage costs. I recently bought a couple of BorgWarner T5 shifters (they suit the 3rd gen F-body T5s used in some 1980s performance GM-Holden cars). The seller was from TX and couldn't do enough to help me and make for an excellent buying experience - and I'm finding more & more US sellers are willing to bend over backwards these days for a sale, but that's another topic....... The small box weighing a few pounds cost me just over US$60 postage for USPS, when sellers of similar products in the US are offering free shipping within the states. I think a lot of it has to do with how sparsely we are populated when you get away from the capital cities (but that doesn't explain port-to-port costs!)
When it got here, i took my one out, and then I then sent the other half of the parcel on to my mate in New Zealand (our neighbouring country) and it cost me AU$75 for half the weight.
Their postage is very cheap though - He sent me a huge parcel of parts - about 15lb, a box the size of a 17" alloy wheel for a car, and it only cost NZ$25 (about US$1
But in answer to your question, I couldn't see freight adding more than $20 to each kettle or Q if weber shipped a container load of them here. The kettles are very popular in Oz, and the small Qs are becoming common too. The cheapest full-size kettle starts at about $280 in one of the 'big box' type hardware chains. You should see what it costs for briquettes, a chimney, or a looftlighter! Luckily there's a good guy in the west who imports & sells a lot of similar stuff for much more reasonable prices, but he's not selling the full weber range that the BBQ stores sell.
The thing is, as long as Weber can get away with those prices, they will continue to charge. They have indeed been extremely diligent in litigation. If you even think about trying a parallel import, you'll have a writ on your doorstep before the stuff actually gets here. It's pure and simple market forces. They have created a premium image and brand in Australia (which has cost a lot of money) and any one knows that selling fewer units at a much higher price is a better business model as it earns better profits
So, we will continue to get drip fed products at exorbitent prices, and Weber will continue to extort 30 thousand dollars a year from anyone who wishes to be a dealer... and that's why these dealers are not going to have product sitting on the shelf gathering dust.
I would like however, to have the opportunity of buying a cover, and some cherry wood without having to get it ordered in.. or indeed being told by the dealer that Weber won't let them have it...
It is another case of the Aussie public being ripped off and played for a sucker.