Originally Posted by eAi
The Mac Mini increased by £100+ here in the UK, which stopped me buying one...
It's $822 in the UK and $628.95 in the US (both prices including tax) - paying 30% more to buy in the UK hardly seems justified.
This international price comparison argument is recurrent and quite misplaced
First: you must compare prices before tax. The price differential due to taxes is none of Apple business. In addition, you may have included sales tax, but what about custom duties? Do you even know what they are?
Second: The final retail price includes distribution costs, and those are certainly less in the US given that Apple volumes are higher in the US, and generally speaking the distribution system is more efficient and less costly there.
Third: Apple does not change their prices everyday, while you are certainly using today's exchange rate in your calculations. In the case of Apple, they must protect themselves from currency variations, so they exchange rate they are using is not the same as yours.
Finally, an argument that actually overrides the previous ones: we live in a market economy. The price Apple decides to charge in each country is their own marketing decision, not your desire. They can charge whatever price the market will bear according their sales objectives in that country. There is no law that forces Apple, or any vendor, to sell the same goods at the same equivalent prices to everybody, worldwide! On the basis of what principle would Apple have such constraints?
There always seems top be this false belief that the retail price of something should be solely based on costs. Not! Rather, the price is optimized based on how much money a vendor can and expects to make. If they price too low, they don't make money, if they price too high, they don't make money either!
And if you were in the market to buy a Mac mini, if you find a price differential that you can exploit, by all means, take advantage of it! Buy the computer in the US and have it shipped. Or decide not to buy at all! You will be doing the market economy a favor!
It is because the consumer ultimately votes with their wallet and buy what they want and where they want, that the market eventually finds prices for everything (everything that is not regulated). This IS the market economy!