Australia: JB Hi-Fi now carrying parallel imports

By Brenna Hillier
21 May 2012 03:52 GMT

Electronics and entertainment retail chain JB HiFi is now offering parallel-imported games in Australian outlets, complete with significantly lower price tags.

Kotaku reports the imported games are marked as “JB HiFi Special Import”, with staff confirming the imported games will be available across the country.

“I can confirm that JB Hi-Fi has recently began to source some titles directly from overseas import wholesalers instead of the traditional local distributors,” marketing director Scott Browning told the site.

“In some cases consumers could purchase titles cheaper from overseas than we could locally via the licensed distributor. We have decided to act in accordance with our cheapest prices promise and source selected popular titles directly from overseas wholesalers in order to provide these prices to our customers.”

It’s often cheaper for Australian gamers to purchase games from overseas; the rise of international online retailers and digital distribution has helped ferment discontent among gamers paying up to twice as much as US or UK punters after currency conversion. JB Hi-Fi joins a number of other retailers including Harvey Norman and Gametraders known to use parallel importing, but is one of the first to knock the price down accordingly and advertise the fact.

“Our policy is to be transparent and pass these savings directly on to our customers by observing global pricing realities,” Browning added.

“For JB Hi-Fi it is a critical matter of maintaining trust with our customers that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve a globally competitive retail offer.”

Parallel imports are legal in Australia, but imported titles must display local classification labels.

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