Online vs local

I find it a little difficult to accept the big retailers’ claims that ensuring GST is applied to mail order goods ordered online from overseas will make a big difference. GST is only 10%.

Take for example the DVD of Edge of Darkness, which I mentioned the other day.

Amazon UK price: 3.97 + 3.68 postage = 7.65, or A$12.18 (and note that more than half the postage cost is a “per delivery” charge, so it’s cheaper to order more items at once).

Cheapest price shown on DVD Plaza’s Pricecrawler: A$24.45

(It’s also notable that the version most local etailers are selling appears to be the no-extras version; Amazon has the 2003 edition with a number of special features. And yes, it matters, at least to me. I’m a sucker for that stuff.)

An Age article the other day noted that most Australian bestselling books are in fact cheaper if bought locally. That may be significant if a lot of the books you buy are Australian bestsellers, which I expect includes a number of locally published books.

But that’s not usually the type of stuff I buy.

Ultimately shopping around is the way to go. For the stuff I buy, often it’s cheaper if bought off-shore. And it’s not a 10% GST difference, either… If that’s the only difference, I’m likely to buy it locally so I can have it immediately.

But if it’s a big difference as in the above example, and I don’t need it straight away, then sorry, my wallet tells me I should buy off-shore.

Edge of Darkness

This month it’s 25 years since the landmark mini-series Edge of Darkness concluded its first screening. I’m guessing I saw it a year or two later, and it remains one of my most favourite pieces of television ever… in fact it probably sparked my interest in the late-80s and early-90s in British television drama, particularly in the genre of slightly depressing.

Edge of Darkness went on to win six BAFTAs, so evidently I’m not the only one who thought it was good. I recently got the DVD, but hadn’t watched it, until Marita mentioned ABC2 have been showing it again, which prompted us to watch through it.

It’s still good.

Bob Peck was a remarkable actor. The emotions he shows as Ronnie Craven throughout the series are amazing, particularly, I think, the growing grief and anger at the loss of his daughter. Watching it again I found it doubly sobering knowing that Peck himself died in 1999, aged just 53.

Many of the supporting characters are also terrific, especially Darius Jedburgh.

ABC2 is showing it on Wednesdays at 8:30pm. They’re up to episode four (of six) this week; episodes two and three are available on iView.