I get this with photographic stuff.

The dealers here still have to buy from a 'distributor' who adds precisely bugger all to the process by way of value.

Why the dealers cannot simply log into an intranet portal and order stock direct I have no idea.

I've seen things that cost $800 in NZ sold for $300 elsewhere - and I am darned sure that a huge part of that difference is a distributor in NZ slapping a good percentage  on the ticket on the way through for doing nothing at all other than accepting Fedex deliveries and then sending them out again...!

Note: Am not a photographic reseller or distributor

I would think they do more than just clip the ticket. They would be responsible for managing advertising in NZ, providing technical back up to the resellers, setting up and managing the service network, stocking and maintaining spare parts, arranging govt required certifications ( maybe not on photo equipment, but you get the idea), supply local brochures, attending trade shows, distribution product knowledge and probably a lot more I can't think of


Nikon and Canon have particularly old world, non-consumer-friendly arrangements with some distributing agents around the world. I don't know if its still their policy, but T.A. MacAlister Ltd used to refuse to even service a Nikon camera outside warranty, (i.e. pay them money) that wasn't sold through their distribution, despite being the only real servicing company for Nikon in the country.

It's a sticky situation though, because in some cases it's not even the distributors that are driving the prices up, it's the companies producing the goods themselves. Basically, in these cases the wholesale price is higher than the difference between the home retail price minus the average cost of providing associated services (returns, warranty support, servicing etc).

Add that to some of the retail companies in NZ being completely inept, and buying direct suddenly becomes really appealing. Quite often I find myself in the situation of knowing much more about a product than the retail staff in the local store trying to sell it to me, and that's not really acceptable. These guys should be providing training to their employees so that they're more or less an authoritative source on the products they sell. Some companies are really good at this (Photo & Video International in CHCH, for example, tend to have really experienced and knowledgeable staff). Others are not.