One way vs return fares

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May 6, 2014
Hi all, first post here so apologies if this has been covered before.

why is the price of flights so different depending on if you search one way or return ? For example, I want to go to the USA next year. I want the trip to take in LA, Hawaii and Vegas. Plan was originally to fly home (Melbourne) from Honolulu but given the shopping I plan on doing I will need a large baggage allowance for the flight home. As JQ only offer 30kg, and Hawaiian are v expensive, I think I may go to hawaii first (flying JQ) and return from LAX on VA premium economy (2 x 32kg bags).

However, if I search MEL-LAX return the homeward leg is approx $1400. If I search LAX-MEL one way the cost is showing as over $5000 for the same date and flights ? What is going on here ???

thanks in advance

edit - sorry this should be in the questions forum
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