What can be done to bring our electronics price tags to comparable global levels?


Active Member
Aug 18, 2007
Dear all
There is a huge difference in the price of electronics here in india and elsewhere in the world. and the difference is not just "taxes /shipment charges etc".. some products are ridiculously charged 3x-4x times!

Ask a dealer and he would very well say " small market" etc..

More of us coming together inthis forum ( with a steady increase in numbers) is a sure sign that there is a vast untapped market for reasonably quality equipment.. provided they come at the fair "price" ( i did not say cheap, but i said a fair price)

Dear dealers: most of the people in this forum are internet savvy and do keep a track of product prices elsewhere in the world. Most of the guys also have the necessary dough ( within their budget ranges) to invest in decent systems.. but are put off by the exhorbitant price tags. people think that it is not worth their hard earned money to spend more for a product which costs less elsewhere.
If you reduce your prices ( probably renegotiating with your suppliers/shippers/ government) more people will be tempted to buy your products.. and the cycle would go on.

Forgive me if i am not aware of "ground realities".. could somebody continue this topic as a healthy debate? may be something positive will come out of this!

Hopefully this forum grows in strength and becomes the number one reference site for all music/HT lovers in india in the months to come.

It is good of Murali to bring up this topic as it is the bone of contention of every audiophile to be aghast at the price difference between prices in India vs. their overseas counterpart.

I have noticed that even the prices of speaker cables, interconnects and power chords being priced more than double their price overseas. Although the US$ has depreciated by over 10% against the Indian Rupee I fail to see this reflected in the local prices???

This is one of the primary reasons why so many audiophiles interested in buying high-end stuff take demos from local dealers here and then fly to Dubai/Singapore and buy their gear there for half the price!!!

Even Bose Soundock is available for half the price in Singapore when compared to India???

Why the HUGE DIfference???
On one of the other message boards, a dealer had explained at length why they are forced to charge the prices they do and it was a convincing argument but disappointing as it is clear the levies the Govt. imposes keeps their hands tied.

See the post I am talking about here (post #81):

However I think it is important to point out that certain dealers are doing a brilliant job of offering prices more than fair. Designer Audio in Mumbai for example offers excellent prices for the Wharfedale and Quad lines. FX Entertainment also has advertised very low, global-equivalent prices for Cambridge Audio and Mordaunt Short products but I have not dealt with them. I wonder how they manage but I hope others follow suit. Some brands in particular (I will not name them) are charging disgracefully high amounts and getting away with it :mad: - what a pity.

I attended a meeting of the american music merchants association (NAMM) recently where I met exporters of American music instruments (guitars, drums, accessories). They said the Indian importers negotiate very hard with them, offering reasons such as high taxes and duties, small market, etc.

The truth is that for all these items (instruments, home and pro audio equipment) the customs duty, since March this year, is now 10% plus an additional surcharge of 4% on the total (stated value + 10% duty), to balance the VAT charged on local manufactures. The dollar has also depreciated in recent months, so the cumulative impact of the lowered customs duty and the weak dollar should drive down our prices.

Some more research is needed on this subject, but my preliminary conclusion is that Indian dealers' profit margins are unreasonably high, and they shift the blame on others for the high prices charged by them.

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>>Some brands in particular (I will not name them) are
>>charging disgracefully high amounts and getting >>>away with it - what a pity.

I agree about some brands being sold at disgracefully high prices, but I don't think the dealers are really successful in getting away with it. There are some people who can be 'sold' electronics and speakers at unreasonable prices, but most people end-up buying other brands. Whenever I am shortlisting an audio/video equipment the US/India price ratio is one of the important factors. The dealers who were relatively successful in the past in selling items at exorbitant prices would face the heat now, with more competition even in India. You would see more dealerships changing hands as companies realize that they are not selling as much as their global competitors in India because of a particular dealer/distributor.
I'm just being optimistic :)

Hi Veerya,
Thanks so much for jumping in!!
A discussion can only be as fruitful as the participants.. We need people from both the sides to share their views.
I personally would really love to hear your view point as a seller. I would also urge other "buyers" to put acorss their experiences!
As I said earlier, this forum will grow in strength in the coming months and now is the apt time to debate on "costs to own"
Best regards
Hi Sharad,

Your post really brought a smile to my face. I admire your optimism and hope you are proved right. Also good to know I am not alone in my tendency to check the global:local price ratio first.

Having said that, its made a bit difficult by the fact that dealer web sites usually do not indicate prices and it is a arduous process to get hold of the same.

It would be a welcome addition to this web site if there were a database of product prices and where to buy them.
The official product Indian prices are usually listed in the last few pages of AV-MAX.
"Street Prices" are however difficult to get. I usually check google.com/products sometimes to get street prices elsewhere in the world and add around 50% to that price to arrive at a reasonably "fair" indian street price.
Best Regards
Another thing to note while comparing prices:
Say a product manufactured in japan is sold in the USA at a price X. This price includes shipping costs from japan to usa, Japanese exit taxes, US entry taxes and dealer overheads and margins.
If you have to calculate the price of the same product in india (sourced from the same manufacturer in japan), we will have the following components: shipping from japan to india, japanese exit taxes, indian import taxes, indian dealer overheads and margins.

Ignoring the dealer margins, we can work at the following example for a product costing 1000usd in japan:

1) Cost in USA= cost in japan 1000 + japanese exit tax 100 + shipping to USA 100 + US taxes 50 = 1250usd.

2) cost in india: cost in japan 1000 + japanese exit tax 100 + shipping to India 200+ indian taxes 300 = 1600usd.

Notes: cost in japan implies cost at manufacturer for a bulk import deal ( cheaper than japanese on street prices)
All costs have been considered on the higher side for india.

The difference between US and indian on street prices still come to around 30 percent ( which is what sounds acceptable to me give or take another 10%)

Please feel free to correct me, if i have missed anything.
I just happened to visit the demo room of Hermit Audio in Mumbai.
They sell gear from GamuT.
I was surprised to learn that they [Hermit Audio] have kept the Indian retail prices at par with international suggested retail prices [in Euro's].
They also had a demo room with gear on demo, and they offer in house domo's and finally also offer a discount - based on quantum of purchase.
AVI's prices are higher by about 20 to 40 % depending on products.
I have not had any experiance with others.
I am a newbie here and have pretty much exhausted most of the forum, Its good to see people who are so well informed regarding AV gear. Its a revelation in many ways.
Like most of you, prices remain a huge concern from me, I've been pining for a full-featured AV system but prices remain a deterrent.
Like other brothers here, I also do a cost analysis on the net when I need to know prices for any equipment. AVR 2807 has caught my fancy, and I was referring to other websites - which quote prices from 700$(some refurbished) to 1100$. If I take the regular price to be around 1000$ (correct me if I am wrong here), and we pay around 74k here in India, we end up paying almost 70% over the actual value. For the well-informed here, is it a reasonable price or is it over the top? If I assume a 10% duty, and 4% VAT, it amounts to around 46000. Moreover, if the dealer margin is 20% (Which I assume is reasonable), the cost still comes to around 55k.
I am curious to know what you think? Is there a way to confirm the import duties and overhead charges, so we can actually find out the relevant range and plan accordingly. The more informed we are, the better deals we can get, I am sure
Hi all ,

Its nice to be in this forum , I had an experience when i was about to purchase Denon 3806 along with Denon DVD 1930 , the price in the dealer place was Rs.99,000/- for the AV receiver and 31,000/- for the player . Since i was not in that budget i decided to look for some other model. When i had a chance to go to singapore reg my office work , i met a dealer in Sim lim who offered me 1,100 singapore dollars for Denon 3806 that means Rs.30250/- , i immediately purchased the product and paid Rs.350/kg for cargo charges and the total cost came to around Rs.40,000/-.
Denon Dvd 1930 i purchased for Rs.17,000/- in grey market. Not all dealers have these price difference , The jbl for instance is available in India for the same price as in Singapore and the Marantz CD player which i enquired in my city is of the same price as in Singapore ( around 5 to 10% costiler) which is acceptable.

I think this is a great idea.
Dealers should do something to bring prices at a level where they can cater to the huge untaped market right now. I guess these dealers make huge margins on a single sale therefore they are not doing anything with regards to bringing down the prices.
Right now the HT, Speakers, av recieves etc are being offered to only top end of the society.
Actually we need to have more of local manufacturers to improve the situation. Local manufacturers would bring down the prices and would need to pay heed to quality control as well coz they would be competing with high end brands. But if you look at Sonodyne they hardly have any distributor. they don't market their product. So you see its complacency on part of Indian manufacturers and indifference by the current distributors that is keeping us in this rut of high price scenario.

Aryan, I truly agree with what you have written, and than the worst is when dealers and related over charge you, for example when I checked for the dnp screen, one famous dealer quoted me at 1,75,000/- the same screen I got for 1,45,000/- than for the projector the dealer quoted me 1,45,000/- I got for 1,30,000/-, I can give more examples. Furthermore you will be surprised to know that I wanted the acoustic treatment done for my mini theatre, and guess what, he said that will be 25,000/- bucks, please be guided that this money is only for consultation.

Aryan, furthermore what happens is many of the dealers, who stock only av equipments and related, they themselves do not have a fine knowledge of the products they are selling, when people are new to these gadgets, if they are guided wrongly by the dealers itself than it is shocking, some may say who needs the advice from the dealer, but one forgets what about the people who are new to these gadgets.

I belive if one is making a very good home theatre or music room from the scratch, it would be idle to get the maximum items from abroad, it works out much cheaper, and than for free you get to travel, as how much you would save with the cheaper prices, and let us not forget we get the latest model. I call this Home Theatre Oversea's Tourism.

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Hi vinay, I like the phare "Home Theatre Oversea's Tourism" .
vinay I would be very intreasted to know if it really works out cheaper to import these products, most of us, i guess would be under the impression that taking in to a/c the import duty, taxes n all, it would be expensive or not advisable to get the products from abroad.
I wish all of us could go to US for our shopping , with latest models and prices it would be awesome ! really good advise for the people who can afford it and then it would break the monopoly of the distributors here as well.
You made a very valid point about the distributors being dud-heads and giving wrong advise to the people. Well most of us do take there advise when we are assessing a system. I hope you let the distributor who was overcharging you, know that he missed on a sale coz of his greed and bad selling practice.
one thing that i have noticed about us and the people abroad is that most of the people outside are very aware of the technology as campared to people here, most of us depend of distributor to educate us on a product.
Anyway, take care have fun, enjoy ur hometheater.

Hi to all,
I agree with all of u about the dual pricing in most products by most distributors/dealers
I am buying the 805S which are retailing here at 179000/- and the US price is 2800 USD which works out to about 70000/- cheaper so am trying out a few options.
The problem when buying from abroad is the reluctance to give service here with things blow. Have had terrible experience a few years back.Also the headache of carrying a bulky and heavy speaker carton back to India. I had a friend who got the B&W 703 and a lovely audio rack from the US only to find the shelves of the rack cracked. Would u like to take a chance on the speakers getting damaged in transit? I would be hesitant.
I recently brought back a Denon tuner from London but that was small and light and very easy to carry on me.

As regards information on the products why would u rely on the dealers here for that. There are tons of forums and web sites that give tons of info. If only one would do a little bit of research.

Most dealers here just want to sell u stuff and they may or may not want to share all they know with u.

At least times are changing now and all these brands are available thru a regular dealer network which was not the case till a few years back when u bought only what little came through here in the grey market.Give a little time and the prices too will be on par(as they already have in a few cases)

Regards to all.
Hi Aryan,

In reference to cheaper, sure it does be cheaper in getting the av equipments and accessores from abroad, because the wholesalers who import they also have to pay duty, It is a open knowledge that getting from abroad works much cheaper, even after paying the duties, and mind you with the Indian customs one can adjust so much with the duties, we have to keep in mind about the international warranties, and use a good shipping agent and liner, so that the things reach safely, and let?s say if something goes wrong, that could happen while buying in India too, and also let me add the most fragile things like glass are imported, and av equipments are solid.

I have experienced right left centre, the wrong advices which one get?s from dealers, in-fact there will be people on this site, also who will guide you the wrong way, or talk on zero sense levels, but I must say that there are many of them on this site, they really know a lot about the av equipments, and they guide you just too well.

I feel for getting the advice, it is better to see the detailed writing in What Hifi Magazine, they are very genuine which I find, and let us not forget there are many of them on this site, who give very good advice.

Indeed I have told the dealers, how they have lost the business because of their greed and crook related attitudes, in-fact you will not belive that there are dealers who are talking about that they can construct a home theatre, and the pictures which they display on their site of the home theatre, are the one?s which are flicked from a foreign site, which means they have not constructed a sound theatre till date, otherwise they would have pasted those pictures and not the flick one?s. Having said this, there is this sound of music, they have made some very good home theatre?s I have seen the pictures.

Please do come home sometime to see my mini theatre, in-fact today there is a shoot at my place, by the 4th magazine, who are covering it. I hope you have seen the article in 2 magazines, which I have put up on this site.

Best Regards

You are right about the wrong advice from the dealer.

This weekend, I went to the AVEXPO which is on at Chennai.

I found that many many customers are being given all bull* explanations by the errand boys who stand there. I am sometimes surprised that these boys are employed when they can't even understand the terms like "monitors", AVR etc.

Many customers were confused about the amplifiers, receivers etc. They didn't know that these did not have the DVD players.

Even for knowledgeable crowd, the dealers were talking crap. In Jamo Shop, there was an attendant who looked like a driver, who accidently was standing there (his name was Shankara Lingam). He tried to justify the high cost of some models by saying this this is made of "pure wood" and therefore costly. I smiled and walked away!!! God help our customers in India.

Jay, for what you wrote over the experience at the exhibition, on similar lines, i have seen when they hold the exhibitions in Mumbai. Indeed some of them holding the stalls are very good in all respects.

So moral of the story is that let the av equipments price come down later, first let the dealers knoweldge go up backed with their ethics over the prices which they offer and related.

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