As an Australian, I get to see the net results of what I will happily call the biggest, most wide-reaching artificial price inflation it has ever been my displeasure to have to live with.

I got curious about how much some companies were charging in the way of a tax; after all, Apple famously have a huge markup on their products anyway, and into Australia, this markup just gets bigger. I just bought Calca, and I have nothing but disdain for the fact that the iTunes/Mac App Store website says $4.99 when you click the download link, yet when you open the App Store app on a Mac with an Australian account, it suddenly grows a —

$5.49 / $4.99 => 1.1002

— 10% markup, near enough. Yuck.

And yes, I could go on for days, weeks, months even about the idiotic defences chosen by Apple for this 10% increase: GST, exchange rates, whatever. But everyone else does it, and that’s what makes it such a far-reaching problem.

Let’s see how it stacks up against, say, a Samsung product. I picked the 16 GB black variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4, and checked Kogan and Newegg to see how much it cost.

s4_au = $619
s4_us = $610

Initially, I was going to choose Fry’s Electronics, but then I saw their price and nearly had an aneurism — it cost $1033, a price that I don’t believe at all.

I still am somewhat confused by the fact that the Samsung tax is nonexistent in Australia: the former price includes the 10% GST.

s4_au_noGST = 10/11 * s4_au
  => $562.7273

Weird. Even including shipping, that’s, oh,

shipping = $19.70
s4_au + shipping
  => $638.7
s4_au_noGST + shipping
  => $582.4273

… nearly cheap enough to buy it in Australia and ship it to the US?