Which is a smoking gun in and of itself. If Hasbro sets the price and quota higher per unit and per population head in their international markets than they do in the US, then isn't that essentially using the rest of the world to subsidise the US market?
Not necessarily. It may simply cost them less to import them here. The import/export situation between the US and China is a very odd one. Our economies are very co-dependent at the moment and have been for several years. In fact, for that very reason, it's (strangely) often cheaper for the US to import goods (even FOOD) from China rather than manufacturing them domestically.
The relationship you bring up is no different to the one between China and Australia at the moment. In fact China being Australia's biggest client for raw materials currently is the sole reason Australia's economy isn't doing as terribly as the US economy overall.
xyl360 wrote:Regarding your retail situation, that might be a big part of it too. You may have retailers gouging on pricing in your region for some reason since there isn't much competition.
Both sides here have argued that the other is responsible for pricing and so based on that alone, it could be argued that you will never find the answer.
Except that 2 situations come to mind - both involving Cybertron Starscream funnily enough. Cyberstron Starscream became a shelfwarmer here, largely because he was a $109 item in the end. To get rid of him, he was clearanced at $12 (I kid you not) by Kmart at the time whilst other places sold him at $109. As an aside, I bought 2, sold off the other one on eBay for $50 and then a few years later, sold the loose one off for $50.
Anyway, you could argue from that, as you have that that implies price gouging. However that's unrealistic. It's highly unlikely that the buying price stores here were paying was under $10 for it or even under $40. What is likely is that Hasbro gave a rebate to Kmart to clear them out.
The reason I say that is because of the second example I'm about to give.
Cybertron Starscream wasn't always $109. In fact he was originally $149. When he shelfwarmed - get this - Hasbro lowered the wholesale price, allowing the retailers to drop the price to $109. The fact that a wholesale price drop resulted in such a dramatic drop in the RRP, all but proves that it is the wholesale price and Hasbro determining RRP, rather than the other way around.
xyl360 wrote:My point is, I do not believe that Hasbro is losing money selling Transformers in the US and making up for it by selling at a higher price abroad. If that were the case, they'd either jack up the prices here (much more than they already have) or simply cut out of the US market and do much more business abroad (since it would be more profitable to do so).
Except there's another retail pricing factor you've left out. That is what people will pay. The fact is that economic recessions in Europe and Asia got people used to paying higher prices for things. If you find that people are more likely to tolerate the price you need to sell something for in other markets and less likely in your preferred market, then you compensate for a lower profit margin in your preferred marketplace by operating under a higher profit margin elsewhere.
In fact a regular criticism of many international fans is that Hasbro only appears to care about the American market. That does appear to be slowly changing with developments in the Chinese market, however I suspect that the combination of China's rapid ascension and the USA's slow demise has forced Hasbro to rethink its strategy, as they can no longer afford to primarily concern themselves with the American retail marketplace.