SEOUL, June 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Despite the increasing purchase by domestic consumers of goods through overseas online retailers that exerts a pressure to importers under exclusive agreements to cut their prices, the retail prices of import goods such as baby strollers, lipsticks, and hiking boots are still at rip-off levels.
According to data released by the Korea Customs Service on May 30, the average prices of ten major import items for the past three months between January and March this year were 2.8 to 9.1 times of the import invoice prices.
This is almost the same level in April when the customs office measured the import prices for the first time at 2.7 to 9.2 times. In the April survey, the government agency investigated the prices for three months between December 2013 and February this year.
In the latest survey, the import prices of strollers, vacuum cleaners, cheeses, and hiking boots have widened between the retail prices and the import invoice prices. For example, the price differential for lipsticks was 9.1 times higher than the import prices as they were imported at the price range between 793 and 24,872 won.
The differential for strollers was 3.9 times in the January-March period from 3.6 times previously. For vacuum cleaners, hiking shoes, and cheeses, the price differential was 4.0, 4.6, and 2.8 times, respectively, from 3.8, 4.4, and 2.7 times.
The ten items whose prices that the Korea Customs Service announced included mineral waters, electric shavers, electric irons, passenger car tires, lipsticks, and wines (from Chile, France, and the United States), in addition to the four items above.
The average prices of these items were calculated, with other costs such as transportation cost, tariff duties, and value-added tax in the mix. The customs office, in partnership with the Korea Consumer Agency and other consumer advocacy groups, compared these prices with retail prices charged at department stores, official stores, and online shopping malls.
Written by Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)