-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Thu, 12 Oct 2000 09:43:28 -0700

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Doom4duke@aol.com
> Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 07:06
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: Re: Re:[gundam] Gundam Wing questions
> In a message dated 10/12/00 5:05:05 AM, cbeilby@hotmail.com writes:
> >Well, they ARE imported from Japan...
> I understand that, but $30 for a CD.
> Michael

As much as Americans complain about the high cost of CDs -- citing the disparity
between the cost of manufacture and the cost of the retail item -- we actually
pay less than just about anywhere else on the planet.

In Britain, for example, they typically replace the dollar sign with the pound
sign but otherwise charge the same numerical amount, effectively doubling the
price for British consumers.

Japanese goods are way overpriced by American standards, but it's not because of
import duties -- the Japanese economy has strong price controls set by the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). So much so, in fact, that
Japanese tourists used to load up on Japanese brand name electronics, because
even WITH import duty it ended up costing less than if they'd bought them at

Japanese books, CDs, and, yes, model kits are therefore an expensive proposition
for the American collector. I just got a stack of CDs last month and here are
the cover prices:

10,098 / 4 = 2,524.5

Even at a penny per yen, the average price is over $25 each. The actual price
you pay depends on the yen/dollar conversion rate at the time the retailer
purchases the goods from Japan, although I've heard of some incredible markups
on models and "collectibles" in areas where they're scarce or one shop has a
local monopoly on imports. Except for those, the price you pay here is the same
that the Japanese would pay over there, converted to US dollars at the time of

By way of comparison, the JVC domestic releases of Japanese CDs are around $16


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