Consumer Warning Information

 Are you thinking of Buying from Overseas?

Are you thinking of purchasing equipment from overseas instead of here in New Zealand because you’ve seen some really cheap prices online?  Do you know all of the risks and hidden costs involved?  Before you do purchase from an overseas website please read the following information so that you are more informed and don’t get caught off guard buy the various risks and hidden costs involved.

 Overseas Prices - the Hidden Costs

At first glance prices on overseas websites can look very attractive compared to prices in New Zealand.  However the prices you see on overseas sites are usually misleading as there are hidden extra costs involved that you don’t see straight away that can add significantly to the total amount you are paying and sometimes result in the final price being higher than if you had purchased in New Zealand.

Sales Tax
In the USA most states have a Sales Tax on purchased goods which is usually between 6 to 8.25%.  The Sales Tax is not shown included in the purchase price on websites but is added on when you pay.

Freight Charges
The purchase price shown on overseas sites will not include air freight charges to New Zealand.  Freight (Shipping) is based on weight and the heavier an item is the greater the freight charge will be.  Air Freight charges can become very significant for larger, heavier items such as CD players, mixers, turntables and speakers.

Customs GST and Import Duty
Imported products over $400NZ in value are liable for GST charges by NZ Customs on arrival in New Zealand.  GST is currently charged at the rate of 15%. In addition to GST certain electrical products may also have a Duty Tariff (a type of import tax) payable on arrival in New Zealand (for example - a power amplifier).


 Incorrect Voltage and Fire Risk

Depending on the country of purchase, sound equipment bought from overseas may not have the correct voltage and electrical specification for use in New Zealand.  Equipment from the USA for example, will be 110volt/50htz, which is not compatible for New Zealand (which requires 240volt/50htz) and will not work here.  Imported products that are not compatible will require modifications to the power supply to be able to use them with the New Zealand voltage.  As well as the extra cost involved in this, unauthorised modification to a power supply can result in the risk of an electrical fire.  In the event of a fire under these circumstances your home fire insurance policy may also be voided, as the use of an electrical product that has been unofficially modified will be in breach of insurance terms and conditions.  Products that have been modified in this way may also cause damage to other electrical equipment which will not be covered under that product’s warranty.

 NZ Certification

All electrical products, including sound equipment, manufactured for use in New Zealand are required to be tested to comply with electrical safety standards that are set up by the various product safety organisations.  All of these products must be certified for New Zealand use and display the NZ “C-Tick” certification mark.  Non-certified products are considered illegal for use here and most imported products, especially from the USA, will not have New Zealand certification.  If you attempt to sell a non-certified imported product you could potentially be liable for legal action.

 Warranty Exclusion

Imported DJ and sound equipment will not have a New Zealand warranty in almost all cases.  The warranty will only be valid in the country of purchase.  This means that if you buy an imported product that is faulty and requires repairs it will either have to be sent back to the country it was purchased from or repaired here at your expense.  This can be costly as repair technicians typically charge between $80 - $100 per hour plus GST for labour, excluding parts which are additional.  An imported product may also require parts that are not readily available in New Zealand that would need to be ordered in, causing extra delays.


Popular products from well know manufacturers are increasingly subject to illegal fake copies being made and sold on the international market.  These copies (counterfeits) will look like the real thing but will be made using the lowest quality components inside and will perform nothing like the original.  Purchasing from an overseas on-line seller, and potentially some local on-line sellers, there is a risk that the product may be a counterfeit, particularly if the seller is not an official retailer of the product in that territory.  Auction website such as Trademe will sometimes have counterfeit products listed for sale, usually these will be at prices that seem to be too good to be true.  Counterfeit products will have no warranty or support of any kind from the official agents.

Please feel free to contact us for any more info.

 The Safest, Risk-Free Option

The factors above give you an idea of some of the hidden risks and costs involved in purchasing parallel imported products from overseas that you need to be aware of before you proceed.  Our recommendation for the safest and least risky solution is to purchase from an established New Zealand retailer such as Mix Foundation.  In so doing you will be buying a product that is the correct electrical voltage for New Zealand, free from fire and safety risks, that is fully certified for sale and re-sale in NZ, that is covered by the official NZ warranty and after sales support, and is a genuine, authentic product from the true manufacturer and not a knock-off fake.  You will also find that by the time you add in the hidden extra costs of Sales Tax, air freight, Customs GST and Import Duty that the New Zealand price is often very close to the overseas price of the product, and sometimes even better than it.

Feel free to contact us for any more information on or questions about any of these matters.


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