Anorak News | Rip-Off Britain: Halo 3

Rip-Off Britain: Halo 3

by | 27th, September 2007

halo3.JPGAN excellent example of a traditional story here at The Telegraph:

Prices for the game in the US start at around $60 (£30), but the same basic edition of Halo 3 in the UK has a recommended retail price of £49.99, although many retailers, such as Amazon and Game, are selling it online for around £39.99.

Yes, it’s Rip Off Britain making an ever popular return. Slightly unfortunately, no one ever goes on to say why things are more expensive in the UK than the US, it’s just generally assumed that manufacturers, distributors and retailers are taking us all for mugs. However, let’s run through the numbers shall we?

That $60 price is the US Amazon one. So that’s already discounted and should be compared to the discounted one here, that £39.99. We also have VAT which is £5.96. So the actual price the retailer is trying to charge us is £34.04…not too different from the £30.00 in the US is it (no, the US price does not include sales taxes)?

So what explains the four pounds then? One is that silly but effective practice of pricing things at 1p under a number. Things are never sold at £40.00, £35.25 (ie, £30 plus VAT), but at £29.99, £39.99 and so on. The other is that it’s more expensive to sell things in the UK. You might not believe it, but we have a restrictive planning system, one which does not allow supermarkets and Big Box stores to pop up just anywhere, everything is thus just that little bit more expensive.

Rip Off Britain might even be true, but if it is it’s the Government doing the rip off, through taxation and regulation.

Posted: 27th, September 2007 | In: Money Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink