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."


Comments

    Cheaper than ogs by like .25c for lbp2 platinum ed ps3 haha

    Wait I don't understand whysome people are attacking Harvey. Didn't people want direct imports to lower the price?

    I personally will still shop at retail stores. I like supporstibg the industry. Harvey Norman has some good deals anyway. Got Uncharted 3 special edition day one for 78.

    I have no problem with Harvey critizing the import industry. It's really hurting the Australian retail sector. Is it not? A sector that employs millions of people. Yes Aussies still pay more for games at retail, but that's because of local publishers.

    Guys and girls this is good news! If this convinces other retailers to do the same thing then and if it catches on at large with consumers, the publishers will have no choice but to set a prices at a reasonable rate in Australia.

    Australia gets fair prices, and Gerry gets to have people buy from Brick and Mortar stores again. Win. Win.

    Harvey and Co still don't get that GST does not account for paying double those in the the US/UK do. The GST isn't set a 50% tax. Carriage costs? Please.. we've got proof here that carriage costs $3.95 per item. So that's $58.95

    Here's what I dont like: when the aussie dollar was buying less than 50c US, games were $100.. and fair enough. Aussie dollar buying close to/over parity.. games are still $100. And when anyone asks about it, there's some vague response from publishers and developers about taxes, shipping costs etc. Because reporters (Kotaku and otherwhere) are so desperate to keep their contacts, they swallow that response. So can someone please explain to me when shipping and importation taxes both jumped to astronomical prices?

    Aussie prices are way crazy high - being from canada, no game is worth a $30-50 markup. even a ps3 controller runs a minimum $35 more here. WTF. Harvey's not getting my biz either way, but until retailers here pull their collective heads out of their asses, they aren't get my biz either. it's a joke.

    He's finding new ways to rip people off.

    I'll stick to the sites I'm using ATM thanks..

    I smell a paid PR company behind some of these comments.

    Grammer, argument structure and the argument itself are all way too similar - but the usernames are different. I smell a wee bit of astroturfing.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing)

    I have no proof, but my uni degree (Journalism, Media and Communications with First Class Honours) sense is tingling...it's like spidey-sense, except it doesn't allow me to climb buildings and it means I'm in debt for the next decade.

    After comparing HN's pricing with other popular online stores, they still continue to rip the customer off, even if the pricing was cheaper, i would still boycott this fool. Remember, this is the man who wanted GST on all online purchases under $1000.

    Since many locations overseas have nothing like the costs associated with doing business in Aus, think things like payroll tax, superannuation, minimum wages, holiday and sick pay then clearly their costs will be lower of anything you buy from them.... Humm - thats got me thinking - we could get a whole group of people of people from China and call them politicians and put them in Canberra - pay them a fraction of what we pay Gillard and Swan and the likes.. Get much better results and save lots of money too.

    our prices are higher but so is our income. its called parity. their % mark up over there is similar. it just looks cheaper but per capita its not. ie a retail worker in the USA earns bout 22k p/a here in Aus its bout 32-36k.

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