Hi R. R. Jackson,
Yep. The prices in Australia are unfortunately VERY high. The
reason for this is that when our dollar was low, the price
difference was about right, now that our dollar has risen (A LOT)
the shops haven’t caught up and are still charging the same prices -
The problem is compounded by shipping being expensive. It is
cheaper to ship equipment, but the way that shipping of heavy items
works is that they tend to operate in bounds - once you go past a
certain weight, the price jumps up. Often, this kind of shipping
will mean that you don’t save much after-all.
Doing a large order would split shipping costs, but then once you
get above a certain value (I think it is $1000) you need to pay GST
on anything coming in. It gets complicated.
I suggest that you look into it, do all the maths, enquire about
import taxes (and other charges associated with that) THEN decide if
the saving is worth waiting another 6 weeks to get it (and all the
hassle). Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t.
I don’t really have any more money to throw around on equipment, so
I can’t go in with you, but it is worth looking into - maybe go to
your local jewellery training institution (TAFE?) and see if there
are people there who are willing to go in.
My other bit of advice is that if you talk to House of Jewellery (no
affiliation) they are usually pretty good and do have a good range
of equipment from good quality to poor quality.
Living in Tasmania, I am used to shipping costs anyway!