When it comes to Petrol, the US has several sources dotted around the country which makes it cheaper to move around. Here in the UK, we have to import the petrol. Because we have to import, all prices go up. The Tax and VAT here are ridiculous!!!
As for magic, there are reasons why Magic shops in the UK charge more, and it is for similar reasons. In the US, it is Free shipping from a wholesale company such as Murphy's Magic to Hocus Pocus or somewhere like that. Almost all magic is produced in the USA, even UK Magic!!! Every Magician in a magic business is in for the money, and why not, it's their livelyhood! However, say if a company wanted to buy something off another UK company, they usually only get about 20% off retail value, then they have to pay postage on top, then they have to make a profit. What i find outrageous is when a UK magician produces an effect, but won't wholesale in the UK!!!
UK Dealers then have to buy from Murphys for example to get the trick!!! So then Murphy's add on a charge as they have to get it shipped to them, then a UK dealer buys a load of the tricks in, then has to pay shipping on that, adn then wants a profit on top of that! So its shipped to America to come right back to the UK, whats the point!?!?!
And books are INCREDIBLY heavy to ship. If a UK dealer wanted about 15-20 books, it would cost them say $350-400 for the books, and then another $100-150 to get it shipped to them, then they need to make a profit again on this else there is no point having it. In the US it is easy to get a product from Wholesale to distributor in days. It takes a week atleast to get to the UK, plus a UK dealer cannot afford to keep buying in the new weekly added stock to get to the UK.
A good thing about some UK dealers is if you spend over a certain amount, say 30 ($55), you get it shipped to you for free!!! GREAT!!! However some companies charge you more to ship the more you buy!!! Which then makes you not spend as much as you would want. www.topsecretmagic.co.uk
are a great example of shipping as after that 30 has been spent it is shipped for FREE to you.
Postage costs in the UK are getting worse and worse, especially due to the new ruling that size now counts too!!! It used to be dependent on the weight, now the size add's to cost as well. I paid for an item from the US and it cost $8.95 to get to me. When i sent it back for repair, it cost me 6.45!!! Almost double what it cost to get it to me!
One day i hope some people would not be greedy and keep things at a price and leave it at that, rather than going up and up and up, but you cant help inflation i suppose!
P.s. The bus prices in the UK are now ridiculous!!! And car park prices!!! Where i live, i can pay 4.80 for parking ALL day. When i go to Magic conventions etc, it sometimes costs me 1 an hour!!! Why can't there be a set price everywhere!!