N771AN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2336 times:
I don't understand why software and video games (along with most other electronics) are so damn expensive in Europe. Does anyone know what the tariffs are on this stuff? I'm trying to find a reason for the almost double price tag for a few Gameboy games I'm trying to buy for my godson.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14811 posts, RR: 61
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2322 times:
I think the problem is that the manufacturers simply charge more over here and direct imports from other markets (e.g. the US) are banned as copyright violations. Espesicially the German customs are very strict in this aspect. Almost every parcel I ordered from Amazon.com (normally books only) in the US has been opened by customs to check if there were any music or software CDs in there. If yes, they would confiscate them, because they consider it the manufacturer´s right to sell the stuff as expensive as he likes, saying I should buy it here to the prices the manufacturer demands here.
They say only the manufacturer can decide how much he wants to charge in any given market and that, as a customer, you are not free to buy from other (legal, not bootlegged) sources.
Often also, big sellers in the US refuse to sell to Europe, citing restrictions by the manufacturer (happened to me when I wanted to buy a CD of Garmin map software for my GPS, which was much cheaper in the US than over here, the American company I emailed told me that they were not allowed to sell it outside the US and Iwould have to go to the European sales partner on Garmin, where it was more than double the price).
Concerning video DVDs, this is the reason why they introduced the regional codes, to make it even more difficult to bypass the official import channels to get a lower price.
Some online shops by now send their stuff to Germany through France. Once it has cleared French customs (who are more easygoing than their German counterparts), they repackage it and can now send it on within the EU without further customs checks.
It is just a giant rip off.