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Marshall prices US vs. Europe

Discussion in 'Retail Row' started by Heiko Jakob, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    In the EU each country has it's own VAT rate, but it always the rate in the country of the seller. And advertised prices in the EU are mandated to be checkout prices including all taxes. The UK pricing is a bit odd due to brexit.

    In Germany it's more the 20% VAT that hurts ...
    Fender and Gibson guitars are almost identical priced around the globe. Export price $1944 vs $1999 for a Ultra Strat is a marginal difference. But the exchange rate is 1€ = $1.20 ... So the price in € including german VAT is €1999
    strat-de.PNG strat-us.PNG strat-deEUR.PNG
    As i said usually products are quite the same (net) price around the globe. How either Marshall, their US distributor or a cartell of GC/Sweetwater ripps of their US customers is a shame.
     
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  2. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC New Member

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    That's definitely different than here. In the US each state has a different tax rates than others (which sounds the same as your VAT differences), but the rate is based on the location of the buyer. For us it's to prevent buyers from making online purchases from other states vs. buying in their home state. While that could save buyers money, it would be at the expense of the state not being paid proper taxes. That's the main reason that online prices don't include tax when advertising: depending on where you are buying it from, the tax could be different.

    Interesting. I wonder if that's because the US has higher duties/tariff on incoming goods than Europe? It would be annoying to me to hear that I'm over paying because EU shops sell at a lower profit?

    Now I'm starting to wonder if it's a US distributor? There's no way a cartel of GC/Sweetwater could corner the market like that. It would take a hot minute before someone like me opened our own store and undercut GC and SW, and stole all their business. The only thing that would prevent that would be either the distributor refusing to sell to me, or Marshall requiring a higher MAP.

    Trying to see if it's other Brit amps:
    An Orange Rockerverb 100 is $2149 from SW, and $1899 on Thomann. ($250 and 13% difference)
    A Vox AC30 is $1299 on SW and $869 on Thomann. ($430 and 49% difference)
    The 1959HW was $3699 on SW and $1939 on Thomann. ($1760 and 90% difference)

    The Marshall is far and away the biggest outlier, but the numbers are all over the place!
     
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  3. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    In Europe it's on the seller, because all that online trade arose after the EU market got harmonized with competitive taxes. They wouldn't have done that back then if they had known what the internet will do for trade. Now it's too late to get 26 states to agree on changing it.

    The EU has no import tariff on amps, but 3.2% on guitars
    Guitars -> TARIC 9202903000 -> 3.2%
    Amps -> TARIC 8518500090 -> 0%
    https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/taric/taric_consultation.jsp?Lang=en

    For the US tariffs i wasn't able to interpret the meaning of 'Column 2' tariffs. I'm too dumb for US gov stuff.
    https://hts.usitc.gov/

    *UPDATE*
    I found another US customs database that is actual usable. 'Column 2' refers to non-NTR countries. Namely: Cuba and North Korea.


    So US import tariffs on amps is 0%
    https://dataweb.usitc.gov/tariff/database/details/85185000

    Guitars are 8.7% import tariff
    https://dataweb.usitc.gov/tariff/database/details/92029040

    Somebody on the US market is making a fortune on guitar players.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021 at 2:46 PM
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  4. BlueX

    BlueX Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe assumed price sensitivity. 1959HW might be seen as a high end product, that can carry the mark-up.
     
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  5. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    No you are not too dumb to figure out US tax code, it's deliberately confusing so they can keep bending you over.....................:D
     
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  6. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    But a 90% upcharge you can avoid with a new power cord, a dime to turn the voltage selector and two fuses you can buy for a quarter ?
     
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  7. BlueX

    BlueX Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I fully agree with you, but it seems like it has been possible so far. I can't tell how many 1959HW they've sold at this price, though.

    I also live in Europe, and benefit in full from our open, common market.
     
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  8. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    In the long-term history of the world, everything has failed, period.

    The cradle of civilization is infested with ISIS and its ilk. Rome got hijacked by Christians. The Chinese Empire got taken over by communists. Etc.
     
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  9. playloud

    playloud Active Member

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    "Hyperinflation" is typically defined as a 50% monthly increase in prices (over a period of time). The monthly CPI increase in September was 0.5%. Want to bet a 1959HW* that we don't see hyperinflation in the next 12 months?

    *Let's not make it USD to keep it fair - you wouldn't really be able to win otherwise!
     
  10. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC New Member

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    Yeah, same here with our 50 states. That's why it was up to the Federal government to make the law that all 50 had to abide by. I have to be honest and admit that I don't know enough about the EU to know if you have something similar, so I did some google-fu. It didn't clarify much, except to hint that what we're talking about was a contributing factor to Brexit...

    Wow, you did significantly more/better research than I did. That was super useful, thanks! I do agree that someone is making a killing on us though!

    The 1959 is definitely seen as high end over here, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, Marshall as a brand is seen as "my dad's amp", and not in high demand. I asked a guy at my local guitar shop why they didn't have any large Marshall heads, and he said they just don't sell. The smaller combos can lose out to cheap competitors like Boss and Peavy, and the larger heads just don't see the same demand that they used to see. Most new players "keep it in the box" (plugins) or use emulators now.

    I can't speak for others, but this thread was an eye opener for me. I had NO idea how different things were! I suspected a bit of an upcharge to get it here, but no where near what it was. I've been reading this forum for a LONG time, but only doing homework/research. I finally created an account a few months ago because I wanted to ask a question, but couldn't get the password reset to work. I came here a few days ago, looking for a couple of decent places to shop for an older Super Lead, and found this thread. I'd say that within 10 mins of finding the thread I'd ordered the 1959, fixed my password issue, and made my first post. If you'd seen me ordering, I was like a kid expecting to get caught with his hand in a cookie jar. I *really* thought I'd found some loophole that was going to be closed.
    I'm speaking for myself, but I'd put money on the fact that the VAST majority of players out there don't know this is possible...

    Hey, I'm Doug, the new guy. I take it you're the upbeat welcome community of the forum? :D
     
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  11. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    10th place in sales is a lot for a company with twice the revenue of sweetwater...
    Screenshot_20211013-111359_Chrome.jpg
     
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  12. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    I'm noticing even used gear is selling for more $$ over here in the states.
     
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