When I started to buy records in the 80’s, I purchased a lot of records with “IMPORT” stickers and paid a premium for them.
So what did an IMPORT mean back in the day?
An album comes out in the U.S or in the U.K or in other parts of Europe first or Japan. And it gets some traction in those countries, but the Australian Release Window is months away or it doesn’t even exist at all. Since I was a consumer of UK and US Metal and Rock mags, I read the reviews and interviews of the album and the artist and I am interested in getting their music.
The only way to get it into Australia is via an IMPORT.
An import release would have a tariff between $20 to $50 added to the normal price.
So the album that would normally cost $20 to buy if it had a normal release window, would cost between $40 to $90 to get it into the country.
The debut solo album from John Sykes called “Out Of My Tree” released in 1995, was available to buy in Australia but it had a big IMPORT sticker and a price of $80 at Utopia Records.
Most of the record shops made a killing by charging extra for the IMPORT and so did the distributors.
Everyone was making money except the artist.
And the fan got the bill.
In the 90’s, most of the hard rock music I was after was not available in Australia as the overseas label didn’t organise a worldwide distribution deal.
But I wanted em and via IMPORTS, it was the only way I could get em.
8 thoughts on “Import”
I used to buy a lot from the import racks in Tower. Wasn’t as expensive as your ones though. Most expensive ones were usually about £20-25. Seb Bach’s Bring Em Bach Alive and Zakk’s Book Of Shadows were some of the more expensive ones. Gov’t Mule albums too. I miss those days!
Lol the good ol days. Then again 20 pounds converts to about $40 plus dollars in Australia, so the premium tariff is still there.
I guess they had to travel longer to Australia. Lol.
Good point. Wasn’t sure how that converted to Aus dollars.
That is nuts. Our prices were in line with Scott’s here in the States.
Now, I can get UK imports cheaper on ebay than Canadian releases here in Canada. What a world we live in.
100 percent. Now I have no problem getting stuff imported cheaper than the retail price in Australia.
I used to buy soundboard quality used Boots. Very pricey than got married had kids the import dream was over, lol
All good though as my daughters are in there early 20’s now so it’s back to buying music again.
I used to get import bootlegs of bands I really supported like Motley Crue and Dream Theater. The record vault for those two bands is huge.