Price of import speakers compared to originating country

Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
What started me looking at new towers was a deal on Focal Aria 948 for C$4k for demo units with a supposed retail of C$7,800 ($3,200 demo $6,240 US retail). Doing some research on AudioScienceReview lead me to a French internet store homecinesolutions.fr which sells them for 1,300 Euro each. That's only C$3,900 per pair, half of retail here! U.S. retail appears to be $6,000 per pair, slightly under Canadian retail. I know these are heavy, but with everything being shipped cheaply by container ship these days, the extra C$3,900 just seems crazy.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Might depend how many they're shipping to where at what time. I can easily see Focal being cheaper in their home country, tho. Right now container prices are much higher than they used to be, too.....
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Still eyeballing those, huh? Found any contenders yet?

What's with the big up charge for products shipped from USA to Canada? That one is more perplexing to me than shipping overseas.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Hard to know what cost is to who as well as what layers of distribution are involved. I can see in France perhaps they do their own distribution to keep costs down but don't know, same for doing their own exports or in what quantities in order to get best rates. Is there a significant duty in Canada involved? I think you can see the advantages the bigger companies have manufacturing in China and then distributing from there to various countries, keeps the prices more uniform let alone manufacturing costs and economies of scale.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
A lot of Focal speakers are actually manufactured in France. There could factors that make them significantly cheaper in France for that reason.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
A lot of Focal speakers are actually manufactured in France. There could factors that make them significantly cheaper in France for that reason.
Yeah, I'd just read something to that effect recently about Focal still doing quite a bit of their own work. The bigger companies wouldn't even necessarily have the product come thru the home country at all....
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
I was also under the impression that most of the manufacturing is done in France, so the difference is shipping, exchange rates, import duties and dealer mark up. Even taking that into consideration, the difference sounds rather excessive.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I was also under the impression that most of the manufacturing is done in France, so the difference is shipping, exchange rates, import duties and dealer mark up. Even taking that into consideration, the difference sounds rather excessive.
Maybe not just dealers but distribution layer costs as well. I see two distributors listed for Canada (for hifi speakers category at least) on Focal's site, Plurison in Montreal and Focal Naim America in Repentigny (not heard of that one before, now gotta go look that up LOL). France does show Focal JMLab as distributor but if a separately spun off company and has its own bottom line ya never know....
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
Still eyeballing those, huh? Found any contenders yet?

What's with the big up charge for products shipped from USA to Canada? That one is more perplexing to me than shipping overseas.
While looking for US pricing I came across another owner comment on Upscale Audio. One guy on his third replacement. It seems to be isolated but you can end up with a lemon. Still cause for concern. I really like that new Philharmonic BMR tower and the Paradigm Founders (but probably just the 80F). Also have to consider my center. The BMR is gorgeous but the Founder will likely match better with my Paradigm center. Harder to find graphs on center speakers though for empirical comparisons.

Not sure what the duty is on speakers. Some items depend on content. If a certain percentage contains foreign made parts, then foreign tarrifs or duties apply. The BMRs are made in the U.S., but where are the drivers manufactured and what percentage of the cost do they represent? Trying to get that information and trying to figure out what import duties amount to is a real chore. The other kicker is brokerage fees. Courier companies charge brokerage to do the paperwork for importing goods and they get away with highway robbery because there are few other options. You could pay $30 brokerage on a $15 purchase. I try to ship via US / Canada Postal Service when possible because the duty charges are cheapest that way.

My wife, bless her heart, said we could drive to the U.S. and if you stay 2 weeks you can bring back up to $3,000 in goods duty free. Would be great if Philharmonic could ship from Kansas to Salk in Michigan. Pontiac Michigan is only 3 hrs from here. But then I might get talked into a pair of Salk towers for even more. :D
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
While looking for US pricing I came across another owner comment on Upscale Audio. One guy on his third replacement. It seems to be isolated but you can end up with a lemon. Still cause for concern. I really like that new Philharmonic BMR tower and the Paradigm Founders (but probably just the 80F). Also have to consider my center. The BMR is gorgeous but the Founder will likely match better with my Paradigm center. Harder to find graphs on center speakers though for empirical comparisons.

Not sure what the duty is on speakers. Some items depend on content. If a certain percentage contains foreign made parts, then foreign tarrifs or duties apply. The BMRs are made in the U.S., but where are the drivers manufactured and what percentage of the cost do they represent? Trying to get that information and trying to figure out what import duties amount to is a real chore. The other kicker is brokerage fees. Courier companies charge brokerage to do the paperwork for importing goods and they get away with highway robbery because there are few other options. You could pay $30 brokerage on a $15 purchase. I try to ship via US / Canada Postal Service when possible because the duty charges are cheapest that way.

My wife, bless her heart, said we could drive to the U.S. and if you stay 2 weeks you can bring back up to $3,000 in goods duty free. Would be great if Philharmonic could ship from Kansas to Salk in Michigan. Pontiac Michigan is only 3 hrs from here. But then I might get talked into a pair of Salk towers for even more. :D
I'd think the Focals you're looking at would likely qualify as French origin, but a quick search for some markings of origin I didn't find much. Your country may well have a trade deal for some French products, or at least Quebec might :) I can probably find your duty information altho much more used to the US tariff, will report back on that. I spent my career as a US licensed Customs broker....and we gotta eat, too, don't forget! And buy bikes and audio gear.... :) I'm betting the BMRs work out to US origin (don't know, tho), but Dennis could tell you I'd think....

I have read many times of Canadians having shipments dropped near the us border to go pickup and use the personal exemptions for bringing it across.....
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
Now that's what we need. A licensed customs broker with a soft spot for audiophiles. ;)
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
Not sure what the duty is on [the BMR] speakers. Some items depend on content. If a certain percentage contains foreign made parts, then foreign tarrifs or duties apply. The BMRs are made in the U.S., but where are the drivers manufactured and what percentage of the cost do they represent? Trying to get that information and trying to figure out what import duties amount to is a real chore. The other kicker is brokerage fees. Courier companies charge brokerage to do the paperwork for importing goods and they get away with highway robbery because there are few other options. You could pay $30 brokerage on a $15 purchase. I try to ship via US / Canada Postal Service when possible because the duty charges are cheapest that way.

My wife, bless her heart, said we could drive to the U.S. and if you stay 2 weeks you can bring back up to $3,000 in goods duty free. Would be great if Philharmonic could ship from Kansas to Salk in Michigan. Pontiac Michigan is only 3 hrs from here. But then I might get talked into a pair of Salk towers for even more. :D
Here's what I understand about the manufacturing of Philharmonic Audio's BMR Towers:
  • Woofers are made by ScanSpeak in Denmark.
  • Mid-range are made by Tectonic in ??? (first guess is China)
  • Tweeters are made by RAAL in Serbia.
  • Cabinets are made in China.
  • Crossovers, wiring, & cabinet hardware are made by Bennic in Taiwan.
  • I believe, but I'm not certain, that most but not all assembly takes place in China.
  • Some final assembly takes place in the USA.
  • Each tower weighs 72 lbs (32.7 kg), not including shipping carton.
  • The BMR Monitor woofer is made by SB Acoustics in Indonesia. All other details are similar to the BMR Tower.
  • Only the flat-pack DIY cabinets for the BMR monitor are made in Kansas.
  • Other components for the DIY kit are sold by Meniscus Audio in Grand Rapids, MI.
I would ask Dennis Murphy what he knows about delivering to Canada. Email him at info@philharmonicaudio.com.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Here's what I understand about the manufacturing of Philharmonic Audio's BMR Towers:
  • Woofers are made by ScanSpeak in Denmark.
  • Mid-range are made by Tectonic in ??? (first guess is China)
  • Tweeters are made by RAAL in Serbia.
  • Cabinets are made in China.
  • Crossovers, wiring, & cabinet hardware are made by Bennic in Taiwan.
  • I believe, but I'm not certain, that most but not all assembly takes place in China.
  • Some final assembly takes place in the USA.
  • Each tower weighs 72 lbs (32.7 kg), not including shipping carton.
  • The BMR Monitor woofer is made by SB Acoustics in Indonesia. All other details are similar to the BMR Tower.
  • Only the flat-pack DIY cabinets for the BMR monitor are made in Kansas.
  • Other components for the DIY kit are sold by Meniscus Audio in Grand Rapids, MI.
I would ask Dennis Murphy what he knows about delivering to Canada. Email him at info@philharmonicaudio.com.
Forgot the cabinets were foreign origin, that changes my thoughts a lot most likely. The final assembly in this case I doubt qualifies for US origin. Need a detailed analysis of cost/labor of everything to determine....but probably China in this case. Haven't tackled the Canadian tariff yet....a bit later.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
Here's what I understand about the manufacturing of Philharmonic Audio's BMR Towers:
  • Woofers are made by ScanSpeak in Denmark.
  • Mid-range are made by Tectonic in ??? (first guess is China)
  • Tweeters are made by RAAL in Serbia.
  • Cabinets are made in China.
  • Crossovers, wiring, & cabinet hardware are made by Bennic in Taiwan.
  • I believe, but I'm not certain, that most but not all assembly takes place in China.
  • Some final assembly takes place in the USA.
  • Each tower weighs 72 lbs (32.7 kg), not including shipping carton.
  • The BMR Monitor woofer is made by SB Acoustics in Indonesia. All other details are similar to the BMR Tower.
  • Only the flat-pack DIY cabinets for the BMR monitor are made in Kansas.
  • Other components for the DIY kit are sold by Meniscus Audio in Grand Rapids, MI.
I would ask Dennis Murphy what he knows about delivering to Canada. Email him at info@philharmonicaudio.com.
Great info, thanks!
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
One other thing I wanted to mention was that the French price of C$3,900 is already retail. When I was in the business 35 years ago, markup was typically 40%-50%. Margins may have shrunk since then but even at a nominal 30% that puts the French wholesale at C$2,730. That's a big jump to C$7,800.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The harmonized tariff code for loudspeakers (multiple, in one enclosure) is 8518.22.00 and is duty free for mfn origins (most favored nations) which both China and France are for Canada.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
The harmonized tariff code for loudspeakers (multiple, in one enclosure) is 8518.22.00 and is duty free for mfn origins (most favored nations) which both China and France are for Canada.
Thanks so much for looking into that for me!
 

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