In these times of global financial crisis, with one country blaming another and various talk and accusations of protectionism, tariffs etc. it appears to me that the actual trading companies / businesses / manufactures of these countries are getting off rather lightly.
I want to buy a new camera, it's about time, my old one, I'm ashamed to say is over 10 years old. I wrote some time ago about it on the blog, a Canon Powershot A70.
It will still, with a sharp slap on it's side, take a good photo and a fair quality video but the time has come to let it rest in peace, quietly at the bottom of some dusty draw just like those old photographs.
Anyway, whilst drooling over the latest photo gadgetry and trying to make an informed decision as to whether or not to plunge in with the latest model (normally much more expensive) or go for an older version that is still in production and available (normally substantially cheaper) I was at this stage being drawn towards the prices.
What is it they say? If you need to ask the price, you can't afford it.
I realise Nanning would probably not be the cheapest place on the planet for a camera, although I think it should be, and I know that with all this talk of economic slow downs, recessions and the like, the camera should, one would think be a mite cheaper here than there.
Now here's the nub, it's a weird thing, after spending no end of hours researching pricing in the shops here in Nanning and the various other locations stated above via the internet, I have found that the cheapest place to buy a camera is in the USA - a like for like price comparison for any given model always came up with the good ol' USA coming out the cheapest, every time.
Nanning proved to be just about on par with the UK pricing structure.
Which I found quite astonishing.
Hong Kong, somewhere between the lowest (USA) and the UK. But worth noting, I could not access every shop in Hong Kong, so it figures that a trip in the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong, renowned for electrical gadgets would probably provide better prices.
So, are prices being fixed ?
Are the prices based on manufacturing cost, plus distribution, plus a profit, or are they based on - 'Let's see what we can get here'.
Either way, it does not explain why, a camera, that is made in China costs about the same in Nanning as it does in the UK - Tariffs, Taxes - in Nanning?
And why is the USA the cheapest?
Which leads me onto the role of the European Union in all of this - a help, or a hindrance?
I'm back to the UK later this year, via Hong Kong but I really want to buy a new camera now so it looks like Nanning will get the benefit of my small insignificant purchase.
Along with the manufacturer, of course.