It’s Cheaper to Fly to the US to Buy Adobe CS6 Than to Buy it In Australia


Here’s a crazy fact that’s making the rounds on the Internet: if you live in Australia, it’s currently cheaper for you to fly to the US and back to purchase a copy of Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection than to purchase it in your own country.

Gizmodo reported yesterday that the CS6 Master Collection currently carries an official MSRP of $2,599 in the States, but carries a crazy price tag of $4,334 in Australia.

That’s a not-so-small difference of $1,735. looked up current ticket prices, and found that you can take a trip to Los Angeles from Sydney on Virgin Australia for $1147.58. So basically, instead of shelling out over four grand for the box set in Australia, you can take a vacation to the US, pick up a copy of the software while you’re here, and fly back home — and still save hundreds of dollars ($587, to be exactly). And you’ll pick up some airline miles, to boot.

Taking this vacation to purchase CS6 will save your hundreds over purchasing it directly in Australia

Taking this vacation to purchase CS6 will save your hundreds over purchasing it directly in Australia

Adobe was recently summoned before the Australian Parliament to explain why prices for its software is so much higher in Australia than in other countries around the world. The company responded to the inquiry earlier this week by dropping the annual subscription cost of its Creative Cloud to $50 per month (down from $63) — the same rate as it charges customers in the US. Non-long-term subscriptions were dropped from $95 to $75.

While that’s fantastic news for those interested in doing a perpetual monthly payment for software instead of paying one time for a boxed copy, creatives who would prefer the latter are still stuck with sky high prices for now.

If you’re in that boat, at least now you know that you have the alternate option of receiving a free vacation.

(via Gizmodo via via Neowin)

Update: Delimiter posted this video today showing Adobe’s CEO dodging a question regarding his company’s pricing (or price gouging) in Australia:

Image credit: Photo illustration based on Virgin Australia 737 by Simon_sees

  • SpiderPig

    …or pirate it and save thousands & a trip to the US.

  • Sum_it

    ahh yes.. buy the software…

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    It currently retails for £2398 here in the UK on Amazon. Convert that to AU$ and it’s $3591. That’s US$3715. Both are a lot more than the US pricing.

  • Mansgame

    Kind of seems like their pricing strategy is to make it so utterly expensive that the average guy learning or starting out would pirate it, then they recoup the money once that person goes to work at a company who can write it off and has the means to offer it or they start their own business and become established. Otherwise, I don’t see how anybody can afford it.

  • Christopher Barnett

    Sorry, but that’s BAD advice, especially for anyone in a corporate setting. The CS EULA says: “Subject to Customer’s continuous compliance with this Agreement and payment of the applicable license fees, Adobe grants Customer a non-exclusive and limited license to install and use the Software…in the territory or region where Customer obtains the Software from Adobe or Adobe’s authorized reseller or as otherwise stated in the Documentation (“Territory”)…” And this: “Customer shall only use the Software and access the Adobe Online Services in the Territory and in a manner consistent with the activation policy described at Adobe may terminate the license granted herein or suspend the Membership or access to the Adobe Online Services if Adobe determines that Customer is using the Software or Adobe Online Services outside the Territory.” Your US-purchased licenses and plane tickets would be massive wastes of money if Adobe ever comes knocking with a demand to validate your usage.

  • dnj

    greedy adobe..agreed with spiderpig

  • E

    CS6 Master collection in Norway: $5095 including VAT. Last time I flew to the US I paid about $800 (there and back), and that even included one flight within the US.

  • FYI

    Already done.

  • E

    You have a choice: buy it or not. Pirating is a choice leading down road you don’t want to go.. or do you?

  • David Portass

    bear in mind though that US still have to pay tax on it later when they do their returns where as we pay 20% tax up front at the till (or online at amazon where that 20% then somehow disappears . It is still ridiculous how much more they need to pay though.

  • stijn

    It’s not just Adobe: a 15″ retina macbook pro costs 2199$ in the US, in many European countries it’s 2229€, or 2973$…

  • Guest

    Use GIMP.

  • Sharon

    I volunteer to courier a copy to Australia for anyone who wants to pay for my airfare & the program! :-)

  • Nice Guy

    >paying for photoshop

    They should be gratefull instead. Thanks to me learning for free, with zero cost to them, how to use the program and contributing to make it THE standard of the industry, then any company that works with photopraphers, designers etc its obligated to buy it. You are welcome, Adobe!

  • infographix

    Adobe has been getting out of control with pricing,even with little or insignificant feature set/improvement. Once you buy you are almost obligated to upgrade, since that drastically reduces the cost, but with little improvements at times the upgrade is basically a license renewal.

  • Swade

    A good, credible photographer right there.

  • Mansgame

    Completely different arguments. Software can be transported through the internet. You can’t download a laptop. Also, mac users have never been smart with money when you can get a PC that does exactly the same thing for 1/2 the price.

  • Erick Watson

    The point they’re trying to make is that it would be cheaper to get return flights to purchase a physical product from another country, than purchase it in your own country digitally. It isn’t valid advice, it’s an example of HOW ripped off we are being.

  • Todd Gardiner

    Technically you would also have to pay an import duty if you flew to the US to buy a copy. That’s built into the AU price. Poor customs controls might allow you to bring that in without paying that duty, however.

  • Julie L.

    GIMP sucks.

  • Chris Popely

    Of course, but regardless, it might not stop some from doing just that.

    I know if I was in the US and I happened by a cheap copy of CS6 I’d have snapped it up, and regional TaC’s are something I had no idea about.

  • G

    So… is it cheaper to send a Mac from China to the US than it is to Europe? The price difference isn’t just for Macs, you’ll see the same on your PC. Cost of operation in Europe is in most cases higher than in the US. These are costs any company with an organisation in Europe will have to pay: whether they’re doing software or hardware.

  • jonliebold

    And someone can save themselves time by stealing your work too.

  • jon

    what is the explanation for the price differential?

  • Neoracer Xox

    LOL there’s a video of the Adobe CEO being asked just that, I tried to post the link but ‘wasn’t allowed’ he keeps talking crap about the ‘creative cloud’ and of course, there is no justification. Australia is doing well, so they figure they can charge them more. Period.

  • tertius_decimus

    Outrageous price = no buy. I’m crying for the time when Gimp developers will include 16 bit and Lab color space.

  • Lance Feagan

    Actually, we do pay our tax when we buy it here in the US (even online) if Apple has a store in our state or if you buy it in-person at an Apple store. As Apple now has stores in many states, most online Apple product purchasers will pay tax when they checkout. And nearly all state sales tax rates are far less than VAT.

  • Warren

    Why when I purchased Lightroom from Adobe, at a higher price than offered retail in the US, and then I still needed to call support to get my ID number via their central OS help desk and I finally got my receipt did it not include a GST component?

    Why is Adobe Australia not charging GST or providing a legally required GST/Tax Invoice?

  • Michael Zinfandel Rork

    Why would the $50/month situation be less desirable for professionals considering purchasing the software? It would take 4.3 years to have paid for the full price that way (for the american cost at that), and by then Adobe would likely have released a new version.

    Plus! You get the ability to get new features as soon as they are released. You don’t get that with an upfront purchase.

  • ietion

    4564 usd for it in greece!

  • jasrockett

    They want me to pirate it

  • Paul Whitham

    It is exactly the same with buying the product here in New Zealand. I can fly to America, buy a box set and still it work out $NZ246 cheaper than buying it local.

  • Ken Elliott

    I was involved in the CAD industry, and Autodesk (makers of AutoCAD) had the same issue – higher prices (sometimes 2X) outside the USA. One reason was Autodesk sold AutoCAD via dealers in the USA, but used local distributors outside the USA for “localization”. Most of this was translating US English to the local language, but it added a layer of cost to the product. Once Autodesk got large enough, they disposed of most US dealers and some (not sure how many) distributors. I understand that they kept the price differences, however. This “pays” for the localization, etc.

    But in the case of Australia, the language is pretty close. There is not much localization to perform. While there are historical reasons for the price difference, there is little reason for it to exist now.

  • Jase

    Incidentally, that clause is as f&rkd as the price difference. Surely at this point where you buy it and where you use it are irrelevant. Do I have to buy a new license if I move to another country?

  • rickysullivan

    Last time I checked, GIMP wasn’t any good at editing video. I could be wrong.

  • Gavin

    If you could also courier me a small parcel from Mexico with it I will pay your airfare ;-)

  • Gavin

    Yes and a Samyang 4WD from China does the same thing as a Toyota Landcruiser from Japan at less cost but I know which I prefer. Dream on and maybe one day if you work really hard you will be able to afford a Mac and then you will stop moaning ;-)

  • Erick Watson

    Us Australians are more than aware of this issue dude.

  • Jesse Taylor Photography

    Let’s hope the Australian Government can do something about this – pretty much every company rips off Australian customers, not just Adobe.

  • Davin Ellicson

    Anyone ever heard of Torrents?!

  • Dominik Muench

    Sad but true, I live in Queensland Australia and everything is on average 50% more expensive over here than it is in the US….even Australian made products….My flatmate works in the audio industry and it is cheaper for him to buy Rhode microphones in the US than from any store here in Australia….Rhode are based and manufacture in Sydney.

    Another friend of mine bought a plane ticket with Virgin, went to New York. Bought his Canon Mark III at B&H, flew home the next day and was still cheaper off than buying the camera directly from a retailer in Australia

  • Dominik Muench

    I hear you there dude, the price differences between Australia and every where else is ridiculous.

  • Nathan Blaney

    Why fly to LA? Wouldn’t Hawaii be closer, cheaper and accomplish the same thing?

  • Chris

    Check out Darktable – has more powerful editing features than Lightroom. Only available on linux distros. GIMP isn’t great, but 16 bit is here (2.9.x git builds) and the code has been reworked for easier development so who knows what the future of it will be.

  • Chris

    Gimp development version is now 16 bit. Not so sure about LAB.

  • Chris

    I think it’s pretty obvious they are trying to push people into the subscriptions. With auto billing you can get people into a habit of always paying a monthly fee. The home alarm industry uses this tactic to great success. Set it, forget it, 10 years go by and people are still being auto billed. The other reason – anti piracy. This is all a response to what happens when you ship discs for stand alone systems – you loose control. If you can’t reliably control a product, you can’t reliably sell it – basic free market business principal, especially since IP laws in the real market are total nonsense and ineffective 99% of the time for stuff like software.

  • Eziz

    Yea, I never buy in Norway too. Cheaper to make a trip to the EU area and buy Tax-free :)

  • Leeroy Browne

    One of the many reasons I dislike Adobe. It’s unfortunate there’s no decent competitors for photoshop, illustrator & indesign, they’re buggy, bloated, inconsistent and extremely costly. Apple needs to jump in and make some better equivalent apps and put em on the App Store for a fraction of CS6’s price.

  • Michael McEnaney

    Bloody theiving wankers – why do we allow this?

  • Mak Wa

    “Samyang” is from Korea but they make Lens… I think you mean “SsangYong”, they make SUVs however they are also from Korea. Are you dissing China?