ByMatthew Chapman, writer at Creators.co
Male. Australian. Nerd. Twitter: shuey1984
Matthew Chapman

I have been importing DVDs and more recently Blu-Rays from Amazon and eBay for nearly 10 years now.

I originally started on eBay back when it was actually cheaper to buy from them but now it's about double, if not triple, the cost than getting it from Amazon. I recently went looking on eBay for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on BluRay and there was one on there for over $100 EXCLUDING shipping! What a rip-off!

Here are a few reasons why I choose to import rather than buy the Australian versions:

All opinions are my own and from an Australian point of view.

PRICE

If only it worked like this!
If only it worked like this!

This is obviously something that changes regularly but one of the reasons I started importing was because it was cheaper to import these goods than it was to buy them here (even including shipping).

Throughout the years the conversion rate has fluctuated but as of late, it has been at its worst and there is a bit of difference but I still tend to buy overseas for the other reasons listed below.

AVAILABILITY

That doesn't look very secure!
That doesn't look very secure!

Another thing that got me started on importing was the availability of things over in America, or even in the UK, that Australia either wouldn’t have for months down the track or even longer.

A lot of movies and TV shows wouldn’t even see the light of day over here. TV shows were often treated like crap; for example, Smallville and most recently Arrow. One week it will be on TV and the next it’s not. One week it’s on at 7:30, 8:30 and it will just keep getting later and later until eventually it wouldn’t be on at all.

I think it was the last four seasons of Smallville that weren’t even broadcast on Australian TV which lead me to buy them from Amazon and marathoning them once a year.

Another example is the amazingly awesome show, Freaks and Geeks.

Freaks and Geeks.
Freaks and Geeks.

American DVD release date: April 6th, 2004.

Australian DVD release date: 23rd July 2014.

Yep!

That’s ten whole years before it was released here in Australia.

DESIGN

Something else that attracted me to importing was the design of the DVDs and BluRays.

Australia is severely lacking in the originality department when it comes to releases. Some will just have an alternative cover, a slipcase and on rare occasions, an extra disc.

But it’s when it comes to complete series box sets that America really hits the nail on the head!

More often than not Australia just gets the individual DVDs or BluRays and wraps them in a cardboard box and that’s it.

An example of an Australian release.
An example of an Australian release.

Overseas actually puts some thought into theirs though. The Smallville complete series comes in a book form with a full colour episode guide – Australia does not.

The US Smallville Complete Series Box Set.
The US Smallville Complete Series Box Set.

That 70’s Show came in a 45RPM Singles Box, complete with metal buckles on the side to latch close – Australia did not!

The US That 70's Show Box Set.
The US That 70's Show Box Set.

My main point of comparison was the amazing Lost box set, which came in an awesome box set with heaps of little goodies from the show including collectible Lost Senate game, island replica, a black torch light that reveals additional clues to find the hidden bonus disc and more.

The US Lost Complete Series Box Set.
The US Lost Complete Series Box Set.

I'm a sucker for all the bells and whistles.

So there you have it! These were my reasons for importing.

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