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The cost of NOT living the American dream

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2007 5:30:42 PM

This has been annoying me for a while now, and today after commenting on another thread at the insane price of components outside of North America I was compelled to do a direct comparison.

I pretended to build the basics of a good gaming PC buying all components from a single two online retailers, Newegg (in the US) and Scan (in the UK). I chose the exact same components from each of the two sites just to really see what the difference was (except the graphics cards are from different venders).

In case you are interested I bought:

Core 2 Duo E6600
8800GTX
Asus P5B
2Gb Corsair XMS2
250gb Seagate
Zalman ZM600
Lite On dvd drive
Antec P180

Here is the link to the components if bought in the UK:
https://secure.scan.co.uk/Shop/ViewCart.ASP?WhereTo=UQ&TooMuch=False

Total Cost = $2,286.54 (or £1184.85)

Here is the link to the components if bought in the US:
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Shopping/Shoppingcart.asp?DEPA=0&submit=view&name=My-Shopping-Cart

Total Cost = $1770.94 (or £917.51) MINUS $105 rebate = $1665.94 (or £863.06)

Thats $621.19 (or £321.79p and 23.5%) difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew it was a lot, but was I was still shocked by this, the difference would buy you a 8800GTX (though of course, only in the US ;)  )

The moral of this story is then, if your in the US your no longer allowed to bitch about prices, and if your not, then take a holiday there to go component shopping, you will probably still save yourself a couple of hundred quid!
January 5, 2007 6:02:46 PM

I've heard it said that the extra cost of electronics in the EU is because of an EU directive that adds duty to the sale of all electronics so that when it comes time to dispose of them (99% of which happens at municipal refuse sites) electronic components can be either recycled or disposed of using environmentally friendly methods without charging the "dumper" for this service. Otherwise, we'd end up with electronics being "fly-tipped" to avoid paying the disposal fee.

With this in mind, I suppose it makes sense... Though I guess it means in comparison, the streets of the U.S. of A. must be overflowing with old electronic stuff...

But still... argh it's annoying that everything is ~25% more expensive over here in Europe!

EDIT: But then again... it's all relative. Minimum wage here in Denmark is just under 100 kroner per hour. That's about £9/$17.50! I heard the other day in another thread that the minimum wage in the good ol' Democratic U.S. of A. is something absolutely amazing like $3/hr.
January 5, 2007 6:03:05 PM

One of the national news networks here in the US ran a story discussing this very topic... people from Europe were flying over to the US to do their Christmas shopping this year. The differences in the prices were enough to offset the cost of their trip... so they ended up with the same Christmas gifts, but were able to get a free trip out of the deal. Anyone who believes that higher taxes don't harm businesses are living in a fantasy world... people flying half way (ok, maybe 1/4) around the planet to do their Christmas shopping. That's nuts.
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January 5, 2007 10:14:03 PM

Quote:
I heard the other day in another thread that the minimum wage in the good ol' Democratic U.S. of A. is something absolutely amazing like $3/hr.


I don't think that's right. It varies from $5.15 to $10.33 depending on the location. There should be a vote next week to raise it to $7.25 at the federal level.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_minimum...

Agreed, though, that higher wages and higher prices happen in Europe as opposed to the US. That's just the way the countries have decided to operate.
January 5, 2007 10:21:26 PM

Well in the US they get given cheapo prices on a plate by the Egg.

We have to work at it, pinching pennies and calculating how many pence difference the postage will be if we order from different sites etc...

It's almost as much an art as designing the build itself - but I reckon we can pretty much match US prices. £50 difference is a small price to pay for not having GWB in charge of your nation. Wait a second (I hear Tony barking)....... :wink:
January 5, 2007 10:26:04 PM

Look on the bright side, Plastic semi-conductor's could really lower those prices :twisted:

I hear ya though bud, our toys are damned expensive.
January 5, 2007 10:49:38 PM

Isn't a lot of that the VAT tax thingy you guys have in Britain? I was helping a friend in Manchester order a PC, and his VAT was like 18%. Talk about extortion.
January 5, 2007 10:53:06 PM

I believe this is mostly a factor of silly protectionist policies which impose absurd duties on all kinds of goods in the futile hope that it might spark home production of those goods.

Upon failure of said protectionist policies the duties are left in place because they're a financial boon.

Plankmeister: These duties were in place long before anyone thought "green".

Canadians suffer the same silliness, which is why the border with the US is mostly just checking the trunks of Canadians to make sure they declare (and pay the duty on) the stuff they scarfed up in the 'States.

It doesn't stop there. In Korea heaven help you if you wish to buy a car that isn't a Hyundai, etc. You'll pay DOUBLE for an import car or motorcycle, perhaps even more.

The weird thing is that I can buy most Korean -made electronics in the USA cheaper than I can get it in Korea!

-Brad
January 5, 2007 11:08:44 PM

Quote:
Well in the US they get given cheapo prices on a plate by the Egg.

We have to work at it, pinching pennies and calculating how many pence difference the postage will be if we order from different sites etc...

It's almost as much an art as designing the build itself - but I reckon we can pretty much match US prices. £50 difference is a small price to pay for not having GWB in charge of your nation. Wait a second (I hear Tony barking)....... :wink:


Im totally with you about all that it being as much of an art as designing the build, but at the same time, im afraid there is just no way you could ever match US prices.

And to whoever it was that was talking about UK vat, yep your right, its 17.5% (which is half the reason petrol is $1.80 a litre)
January 5, 2007 11:36:38 PM

the USA federal minimum wage is $5.15. I am pretty sure about that. States can go over that, but not under. I think about half do. I believe my state, Washington, is the highest right now at $7.93 or so, and that really gripes some small business owners as they don't feel certain people are even worth that much. I employ one such young man who has hinted that since the minimum wage is going up in our state that he wants a raise, too. Well, I already pay his fat lazy rear end $10 now so if he wants more he is welcome to go get it someplace else.
January 6, 2007 12:20:46 AM

You can't make those comparisons. It's all relative, even within each country. The dollar is very weak right now besides. Just like somebody living in San Diego making 100,000 a year that barely gets buy, that same person and salary would live like a king in a tiny rural town.
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