Gerry Harvey: 'We've Got To Start Somewhere And Games Is A Good Place To Start'

Gerry Harvey has just announced that Harvey Norman is starting up a new website which will sell import European copies of video games at vastly reduced prices. The site is officially opening at 6pm this evening and will continue forthwith. According to Gerry himself, "if you can't beat them, join them."

"Harvey Norman is very pleased to announce, from six pm tonight, Harvey Norman will be utilising its global network, selling games direct to the consumers at fantastic global prices GST free," said Harvey Norman spokesperson Ben Mackintosh. "Consumers will be directly importing from Europe at the best prices available.

"The Australian gaming customer has been paying far too much for console games," he continued. "Retailers and suppliers have been keeping the prices far too high. We’re utilising our network to bring better prices to the consumer. We strongly recommend that you do not buy a game until you’ve seen our website. We will save you money on games.

"We stand by this as a great new feature in the Australian market and we’re going to rip up the prices of Australian market."

Some of you may have been able to get an early look at the site, which has currently been taken down, but starting for 6pm tonight, Australian consumers will be able to order games directly, paying $3.95 delivery per game. PC games are currently missing from the list, but will appear in the future.

"If you can’t beat them join them," said Gerry Harvey. "The number of retailers that are suffering at the moment is higher than it’s been in 20 years. Why should an off shore retailer be able to evade duty to evade GST and all the other costs that retailers have? These people don’t have any of these cost and at the moment neither does this new company.

"We’re not doing this with a great joy," he added. "We’ve held off but we can’t hold off any more."

Harvey expects that he will see a reduction in consumers buying games directly from Harvey Norman stores, because they're "miles cheaper" online, but sees this as a necessary step if his company is to compete.

"We’re not one of the big players in games," he said. "It’s always been a category in our store, but not as big as television or others. We’re a medium player in the games category. But now everyone that buys a game should buy it from Harvey Norman at this price."

According to Harvey Norman spokesperson Ben Mackintosh, the reaction of local publishers to the news is of secondary importance.

"We get thousands of emails and phonecalls complaining about the price of our games," he said. "If consumers demand something we have to respond."

Mark Langford who, as Managing Director of Gametraders, has imported stock of games in order to compete locally, claimed he was extremely surprised by the news.

"I'm absolutely amazed," he said. "I don't think it's good for publicity, I think most people will see it as a strange move, but I totally understand it. If you want to compete, you have to make these kinds of moves."

The Managing Director of GAME Paul Yardley stated that, to a certain extent, the GST issue was a "red herring" and claimed that "direct import isn’t new in this country." He did add, however, that GAME would be watching this peculiar experiment with interest.

Gerry Harvey believes that, if this move is successful, he fully expected that Harvey Norman Direct Import would sell more than just games.

"We got to start somewhere," he said. "But gaming is a big category and it’s a great place to start."


    Yeah - well after tomorrow Ozgameshops consumer base will be further solidified and HN will be even more of a joke.

    Trust me..

    BIG things in store for you guys. BIG THINGS!

      also consumers have every right to complain when you charge prices similar to EB games.

      Why have harvey norman never adapted the policies of K-Mart, Big W, and JB HIFi and charge less for games which is offset by the profits from other sales

        Kmart and BigW only seem to charge less for new releases, shop for any older game and you'll find EB tends to be cheaper (at least whenever there's a sale)

        Havig said that OzGameShop puts them all to shame, I've seen Deus Ex on special at no less than six stores this Xmas and none of them came close to the OzGameShop price

          OGS has Deux Ex *LIMITED ED* listed in the 2 for $40 sale, which is pretty insane since it's what... 3 or 4 months old? Pity the PS3 version is out of stock. OGS is definitely the way to go though, fuck greedy Australian retailers and suppliers.

          I think the only reason they get away with it is because most people don't know any better. People see a game in every shop for $89-$109 and think that's what it's worth.

          as a former HN employee i can confirm that YES they do infact sell below cost price on games. Markup in the games industry does not exist.

      Ozgameshop already wins in my book, they have good customer service (especially over twitter), cheap prices, no shipping, decent enough shipping times.

        Yeah, their email customer service as well is pretty excellent.

        I am getting slightly frustrated with the amount of advertising and site space they give to other random products (morphsuits?) but it's still the best option in my book.

          ohhh their customer service is excellent and usually i get an answer within a day unlike zavvi took me 3 days.... *shudders* I will stick with ozgameshop for life :D

          I agree, some of their products they're branching out with, is a bit odd, such as the morphsuits and watches and whatnot, but hey, they're not shoving it down your throat, which is fine by me.


      If i import it will be through OGS purely as Nobchops has delayed until they have no choice but to join them importing or stop selling games, deciding on trying to break into a market he has insulted himself in the past.

    omg tax free, that is sweet as, Bet the game shops wont like that

      man... i can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but i certainly hope so... lol

      Tax free I wonder how the ATO will like that since Harvey Norman is an Australian based company. Is Gerry using one of his over seas Harvey norman's to front this, thus avoiding paying tax here in Australia?

      I wouldn't mind knowing what the deal is and how he gets away with not paying GST. I understand how some companies like OzGameShop do because they're entirely based in the UK.. But Harvey Norman, a company who is registered to trade in Australia not paying GST, I dunno sounds a little suss to me.

        MistyXoXo Posted on Thanks for the post, Clarice. My doctor first espsucted that I might have arthritis, but the hand x-rays came back normal and that's when he considered Lupus. I hope you get through the winter without too much pain!

    Do tell Chuloopa... I can't wait that long for news

    ""According to Harvey Norman spokesperson Ben Mackintosh, the reaction of local publishers to the news is of secondary importance.""

    Shots fired.

    Gerry is a two-faced tosser. His attitude alone has guaranteed I never shop at Hardly Normal, unless I'm sure what I'm purchasing is going to lost them money (i.e. only buy loss-leaders).

    I will happily pay GST on my import games, and they'd still be less then 2/3 the price of buying retail.

    OzGameShop has always done right by me as a customer, beyond the required levels of customer service. (I do wish they had an option for faster shipping though :S )

      I hear that! Still waiting on my December 4 order.

        A few Kotaku people contacted them a while ago about introducing faster shipping, they did say they were considering it but the cost would be pretty high.

        Then again, with those prices I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for shipping anyway...

          I'm happy with it - I ordered on that "Last day to arrive before Xmas" a few weeks back and both games arrived on Tuesday so they've done well.

      "I do wish they had an option for faster shipping though"
      ^ THIS
      Ultimately no matter how much of a loser Harvey is, when i buy a game I want the lowest price and easiest/fastest delivery. Again it remains to be seen what the price difference is from HN and OzGS but I'll happily pay $4 for postage to get the game in a day or 2.
      Customer service is of secondary importance to me, although I have had only good experiences with OzGS customer service.

        Most of the prices are similar on face value, but add $4 and harvey norman is more expensive. And postage will take the same length of time. There was link to the FAQ's, but that's been taken offline, it said delivery within 7-12 working days.

      I find it's not so much the speed as the inconsistency of the speed. I've had packages arrive within a week and I've had them take as many as four.

        Yeah i've found that too. if the prices are comparable and shipping will still be long and/or unreliable I'll stick with OzGS too

          Still waiting for my copy of asscreedrev, but that's ok. It was a present from me for me anyways :P

    Like others have said, even if this HN store has cheaper games, Ozgameshop is gonna get my money.

    Harvey Norman charge more for a game than any other shop i have ever been into. Such hypocrisy.

    ozgameshop will probably still be cheaper, plus they have free postage.

    +1 for ozgameshop - HN site currently shows prices similar but often slightly higher than ozgameshop, and then they add $3.95 PER GAME for delivery, which is quoted to take the same amount of time. Ozgameshop has always been exceptional in my dealings with them.

    I love OzGameShop, purchased from them before and nop doubt will again, the ONLY problem i have with em is the fact we have to wait 2 weeks to get our games. Minor gripe I know but if Harvey Norman can offer the same price and faster delivery well then....i may have to consider

    But considering this is Gerry "Tax online purchases" Norman we are talking about I doubt it

      of course they are not going to offer similar prices.... its harvey norman we are talking about....

    Ok ive just been on the site, ignore my last statement, Battlefield 3 360 is a whole 20$ more then on OGS, not to mention almost everythings Sold out!

      The site hasnt "Launched" yet hence they arnt selling anything...

    I think he should have factored shipping in the price and called "Free Shipping". That's always an eye catcher.

    I will buy from whoever offers it cheaper. Today is OzGameShop, but I'll buy from whoever offers the best price. Let's see what he brings.

    I don't care that it is Harvey Norman behind this and I doubt I will ever buy from them but I do think this could be the arse kick local publishers have needed for a long time.

      Not likely they are more interested in pushing for a online gst.... They think 10% will matter for online prices..... No we get screwed way more then 10% i can tell you that

    Isn't this a shot at the government? Basically I think Harvey Norman is saying to the government, fix this broken situation or else we'll make a big profile deal out of it. I fully suspect this to be the start of a bigger issue. Especially given the comment "These people don’t have any of these cost and AT THE MOMENT neither does this new company."

      They're trying to force the GST issue for online purchases. Not because they think the 10% will make a difference but because the inconvenience caused by it will allow for their outdated business model to continue without competition from better business models.

      It's a dick move and I hope the government isn't dumb enough to fall for it.

      God i think you may be right... I just don't get why governments have to keep making laws upon laws.... We are really losing our freedoms and i can see the internet/online shopping will be the next thing to be hit.

    I see this as being the tipping point. Either prices are going to have to drop locally or Game and JB will follow suit. Both Game and EB are already set up to be able to do this since they have UK operations already.

      You know i haven't been into a JB store in ages and went last week and i was shocked on how expensive they are... Like really shocked. No wonder why their shares are up to shit. They used to be cheap ffs.

        I noticed that when I had a console. JB were next to EB and I would go in and check the bargain bins n such and JB were worse than EB.

      Maybe its because my local one is right next door to big W but my jbhifi is slightly cheaper than big wuzza in most higher profile things

    Isn't there some law against Australian companies setting up offshore businesses in an attempt to avoid paying local tax? I'm sure this was mentioned by the tax office earlier in the year when the whole online shopping / GST debate first blew up...

      In this case, I think it's a company based entirely in Ireland. Notice the website address isn't Australian.

      Myer have done something similar with a clothing and homewares business based out of China, so I don't think it's illegal...

      (and they'd have lawyers all over it, no way they'd ever put money towards anything that had the possibility of being illegal)

    Look, I'll be the black sheep... Gerry may be a very unlikable sort of bloke but at least he's attempting (and most likely failing miserably) to solve an issue that's been going on for far too long. Personally I <3 OGS mainly because I'm a student and have a very small income. I will keep buying from OGS but at the same time I thank Gerry for having a crack.

    I doubt I'll be buying from them, but I hope it's a bit of a wakeup call to the distributors who seem to be making all the money off games...

    How does he get away with not paying GST? Or does he just bear that cost himself?

    Too late to the party Gerry methinks

      Posted before the same question a couple posts up were on my screen...

      He will pay no GST because the games are purchased from overseas.

    Stuff Harvey Norman, still gonna buy ozgameshop.

    Gerry forgot to factor in people don't like him.

    So much ozgameshop love really warms the cockles :D

    Gerry Harvey has been a joke for ages, he's just trying to push the GST so that he can keep selling his shitty 3 year old TVs for a ridiculously high price. I'm just going to keep buying through the RU, it's way cheaper even though you have to play around with your ip.

    God, what a friggin hypocrite.

    "Don't buy imports online! Buy from our store! Think of Australia!"
    "Screw Australia, buy from our online import store!"

    "Harvey Norman is very pleased to announce,"
    "“We’re not doing this with a great joy,"

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