Why is it that electronics sell for roughly the same price in all countries while other products can differ a lot in price?
Electronics DON’T sell for roughly the same price in all countries. Not even close. Where did you get the idea that they did?
Not all electronics makers bother establishing separate MSRPs for various countries or regions, especially if they don’t have a formal distributor or division there.
Electronics are tradable goods: Their value doesn’t depend on their location, their value to weight ratio is low and they are easy to transport. As a consequence, they tend to be priced similarly anywhere you go. If that wasn’t true, then you could make a fast buck buying electronics where they are cheap and selling them where they are expensive.
Many other things are not tradable - housing, services, etc… A haircut in Paris costs more than one in Omaha, which costs more than one in Burkina Faso. The differences are mostly due to differences in wage rates and land rents.
Well, I kind of figured when I saw electronic items on sale for roughly the same price in Scandinavia, Poland and Vietnam.
Could be because electronics are goods. I would assume the costs of goods are the same internationally while the costs of services vary greatly. A DVD player will still be built in China and shipped across the ocean no matter where it ends up so same price i guess. I guess if they sold it cheaper to Vietnam then the US distributors would want it for the same price, or maybe set up front companies in vietnam to reimport them or something.
Dont know who’d buy a DVD in vietnam though, isnt per capita income like 1200/year there.
Dell sells worldwide and posts prices in local currency. On a whim, I did a survey of prices for their Axim X3i PDA from similarly diverse locations. There appears to be quite a spread of prices given that this is the exact same item from the exact same reseller. All currencies were converted to US dollars for comparison.
Dell Axim X3i
Denmark: $516 (3155 Krone)
Poland: $427 (1658 Zloty)
Japan: $341 (37800 Yen)
When I lived in Hungary for five years, I never ever ever bought electronics there, as they were MUCH more expensive than in the US. For example, my little 2.1 Megapixel Canon Digital Elph that I bought in New York years ago for about $450 was selling for $650-$700 in Budapest.
Same with photographic equipment. You could expect to pay a premium of about 25%-50% in the Hungarian market. I made all significant electronics purchases in Western Europe. Much cheaper.
I hesistate to buy electronics in Mexico, too. You know, cheap Mexico, just south of the U.S. border. They’re outrageously expensive. I don’t know if it’s taxes, or what. Of course you can go into the flea markets and find cheap crap, but it’s generally just that – crap.
Cars are another one – I worked in Mexico for a while at a place that made a major brand of SUV’s. That vehicle with the 3-starting VIN (made there) was easily 15% more than the same vehicle in the USA. In this case, though, I’m convinced that taxes are the cause.