I understand that because we are importing everything, the price will be higher. But companies here tend to all be guilty of "price gouging", that is, adding a ridiculous mark-up to their merchadise to try to make profits, and it works, because most of us will simply buy what's available. Many people don't have the option to order online, and even when we do, the duties charged once the item gets here, in addition to high shipping costs for individual packages, as opposed to the shipping costs and duties on bulk shipments, makes for just as high a price. Generally buying in bulk not only reduces the cost of the items, but the shipping is of course lower per item.
People will say that the exchange rate must be taken into consideration. I say that's true, it's roughly $2 bds to $1 US. However, my argument is this: If I walk into a drugstore here with $50, I could buy 2 Wet 'n' Wild palettes and have barely enough left for one nailpolish. Someone in the States walks into a drugstore with $25 and can buy roughly 5 of the same Wet 'n' Wild Palettes.
I took some photos today in a drugstore called iMart so that you guys can see I'm not exaggerating. These are all Drugstore brands (Wet 'n' Wild, Milani, Covergirl, L'Oreal). I apologize for the crappy photos, I took them with my crappy phone! I've noted the price when the photos are a little fuzzy.
And of course, these extreme prices extend to higher end makeup. Brands like Makeup Forever, Inglot Illamasqua etc, are not available here at all. very limited options from brands like Chanel, Clinique and Estee Lauder are available here. We do have a MAC store, where Studio Fix Foundation is upwards of $90BDS.
My dream is to open a makeup store that sells these products much closer to their original price, but for that I need to jump through a ton of legal loopholes. I'm still investigating all my options.
Something needs to change!