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The World's Best Hardware Prices

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December 6, 2007 11:42:13 AM

Do you know which country has the best prices for PC gear? We looked at pricing in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Australia to find out just how much prices vary from one market to another.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/06/the_worlds_best_hardware_prices/

More about : world hardware prices

December 6, 2007 12:07:45 PM

Thats a good article and interesting to read but you can't just claim back the VAT if you live in the UK. We have to pay that 17.5% and we can't claim it back unless we are VAT registered. If VAT was added I think the Uk would have been the most expensive.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2007 12:09:03 PM

In some countries in Europe there are very few stores that sell computer products.
In USA we have a pretty good amount of competition and availability.
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December 6, 2007 12:57:25 PM

eBay.
December 6, 2007 2:15:26 PM

8800GTS over 8800GT? ok..
December 6, 2007 3:07:16 PM

Why didn't you just add the tax on to make the comparison relevant, because it really isn't without it.....?
December 6, 2007 5:22:20 PM

This has the potential for being a fantastic article, but since everything is quoted "tax-free", it's usefulness borders on poor. Modify the charts with a few more bars and some more math and this would be an excellent article...

For example, there's no sales tax refund for foreign visitors visiting the US, so a US price + sales tax is usually appropriate. Canada just got rid of their GST tax refund program for foreigners, so including PST/HST + GST is a must. Europe's VAT refund is never 100% of VAT once fees are calculated, and that assumes VAT is high enough to be refunded on the item. To add, US-based Internet/mail-order sales are tax-free, assuming the company has no presence in the ship-to state. Technically, foreign visitors to the US could order something online and have it shipped, tax-free to their hotel!

So, I wish the charts would show a few more values... For US prices, show values with no, low (5%), & high (10%) sales tax rates; for Canadian prices, only show values with low (7%-Alberta only) and high (14%) PST/HST/GST--since there's no refund or a way to get an item tax-free; for European prices, show prices only with "practical" VAT refund (say 75% of VAT) & full price (full VAT); etc. Show country-specific values only (i.e. don't show VAT in Canada or the US). Most people, myself included, have no idea what the tax structure is, refundable or not... Finally, show all tax-inclusive prices in USD & Euros.

For example, comparing the actual US$ price of the 2GB card in Canada vs. the US shows even bigger differences... While the US tax-free price is US$38.11 and the Canadian tax-free price is US$51.11, actual US prices would range from US$38.11 to US$41.92 (10% sales tax), while actual Canadian prices are US$54.69 (7% GST tax in Alberta) to US$58.27 (14% PST+GST). Someone shopping in Quebec would theoretically pay ~US$58 for this card but could go across the border to New Hampshire, which has no sales tax, and pay ~US$38...

Now, I know that someone could do most of the math above, but it's easier to compare "actual" prices instead of perceived ones... If this article was about gas prices worldwide, you'd show the price including taxes, since the tax-free price (that nobody can get) is about the same per unit of gasoline in most oil-consuming Western countries. Tax refunds should be considered to be "bonuses" or "rebates" and not automatically implied. Most shoppers will never see a tax refund...
December 6, 2007 8:15:36 PM

USA, USA, USA!
I agree that taxes should be included, as they are nearly universal at least in the states.
December 6, 2007 9:00:23 PM

Our prices sux, by our I mean Israeli prices :( 
2327$ for all the products mentioned including tax,
thats a 3-2 months of avrage salary here...a
December 6, 2007 9:39:12 PM

I found it irrelevant without having China, Taiwan or Japan. I wouldn't buy electronics in Europe but there can be huge price differences in Southeast Asia where their is a lot more competing companies and huge local brands. Those computer malls make it really efficient to find the lowest price. If you want to check prices in these countries you just look on yahoo shopping and many retailers will match these prices. Taiwan had a huge difference in digital camera, latops and all kinds of accessories. And their big box stores had really good prices on desktops.
December 7, 2007 10:01:00 AM

Very interesting. I live in Australia. When travelling earlier this year, I'd hoped to have an Asus-based system built in Taiwan, but didn't get there. I checked prices while in the UK, also had the possibility of my daughter in Vancouver bringing me stuff from the US, or me buying on stopover in Singapore. In the end, I couldn't stop over, no PC components at the airport. I built a PC when I got back, probably a bit cheaper than if I'd bought bits in the UK, even with VAT refunds on departure. I found various things in Changi (S'pore) airport cheaper than anywhere else, bought a game etc. My daughter bought a Dell PC in Canada which was much cheaper than Aus or UK. Earlier in the year I bough a 4Gb Imation USB drive and a Memory Pro stick at far below Aus and UK prices. Since the US dollar dropped, my son has bought many (non-PC) goods from the US, cheaper even with freight. My other daughter's in South Africa - no price info yet!

Within Australia, there are big price variations, one of the cheapest suppliers (UMart Online) is close to me, and my nearest retail outlet will match their prices. But graphics cards tend to be a lot more than in the US. Wherever you are, shop around and haggle! I bought a Samsung 320 Gb SAT II HDD for $A90 yesterday, about $US79. Almost free compared to when I bought my first PC in 1992!
December 7, 2007 10:05:15 AM

PS: Australia has a 10% value-added tax, not sales tax. And, thanks moabboy, I'll check out static ice! With UMart, I can place an online order then pick it up a few minutes drive away - no delay! Or take the UMart price down the road to Woolongabba.
December 7, 2007 12:18:45 PM

BUL2294 said:
This has the potential for being a fantastic article, but since everything is quoted "tax-free", it's usefulness borders on poor. Modify the charts with a few more bars and some more math and this would be an excellent article...

Excellent commentary, all of it, but where did you get the US 10% tax figure from? State sales tax ranges from 4% to a bit over 9% for combined state and local in a place or two. Note well, mail order companies collect state only as far as I know.

And if you really want to paint a fair picture for a Quebecer shopping in NH, do be sure to include the cost of gasoline and vehicle mileage depreciation, and the risk of having duties assessed if the folks at the border randomly decide to check your auto for consumer electronics.

At any rate, US prices do seem to be pretty much rock bottom. I was rather disappointed to find recently that the prices for Korean goods in Korea were no lower than the prices for the same goods in the 'States, even after having a native do the haggling...

-B
December 7, 2007 4:39:52 PM

Surpised you didn't include Mexico, south America, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, India, China, and parts of Africa. Then I think you will get much bigger differences in prices.
December 10, 2007 7:47:52 PM

Good article. I don't see why people are complaining so much about not including taxes though. Sure it would make it more complete and specific but the conclusion would still be the same.

What I thought this article was addressing was if it was a viable option to buy parts in another country that is cheaper. Clearly there is not enough price difference to justify doing so even with only this basic, quick glance at the evidence. So whats the need to dig deeper?

If the case was not so clear cut it would be good to be more specific. However, I am glad they cut most of this out so they could get to the point quicker, yet still provide enough information to substantiate their claims.

Good job on not wasting my time yet satisfying one of my curiosities. Wish more things were like that.
December 10, 2007 10:48:41 PM

Hatman said:
8800GTS over 8800GT? ok..


He's talking about the new revision 8800GTS, it has the G92 core I believe.
December 12, 2007 3:45:09 AM

bberson said:
At any rate, US prices do seem to be pretty much rock bottom. I was rather disappointed to find recently that the prices for Korean goods in Korea were no lower than the prices for the same goods in the 'States, even after having a native do the haggling...

-B

I'm an American living in Japan...I could say the same thing about the prices here (in Japan). I can almost always go online and find stuff at newegg for the same price or cheaper than the local stores.

One large variance seems to be high end video cards, mobos, and RAM. The tend to be much more expensive here. I do most of my shopping online.
December 12, 2007 3:59:50 PM

Figures. Our Canadian Dollar is pretty damn close to the US one, and has recently been even better, and yet our prices are still way over that of what is paid by our neighbors to the south. What a complete crock of you know what. Hell I bet that when our Dollar was higher than the US one, the us retailers would still only accept at par. NAFTA my azz!
December 20, 2007 2:45:36 PM

I am surprised when you wrote this article "The World's Best Hardware Prices" and selected Australia to represent APAC. Generally, I found hardware prices in Australia are very expensive compare to Singapore during my business trips there. My friends, native Aussies who are working in Singapore also confirm this. And see GenghisCunn's post?

So, is this article valid? I feel angry because Tom's Hardware has a very high reputation, and then we have such a wrong conclusion, half-baked article like this?
December 20, 2007 2:53:08 PM

I dont agree with these conclusions. Take the eepc as an example. I've seen it at 399USD while here in europe it will cost 399€ now $399 equals what 268€? And this is only one example. I usually see this thing everywhere. They take 1USD and equal 1€ I dont know where you got those conclusions from. Ok I'm from portugal but the eeepc isnt available here yet so I am basing on the UK one. Usually those prices only get equal after some time which might have happened with some components that already exist for a while now. Concluding. yes it's a good idea to buy hardware from the US (if you go there on vacation) as far as you are not ordering by mail wich will end up costing the same as it costs here after taxes.
December 31, 2007 7:14:16 AM

***Pretty good article, except for a major issue was completely missed***

Most global companies(IE, Samsung, toshiba, BenQ, Sony) do not support the warranties on out of region units... So when you get home after buying something at a good price and it breaks on you, then you find out that the product you bought in Taiwan, is not covered under the US warranty. Alot of this has to do with the serialization of units through specific distributors and taxing of incomming products and parts(IE, TV tuners). The rest of the article was right now but please take not of the warranty in your country before you buy something in another country. I have seen this happend to people so many times, and it always makes me cringe.

December 31, 2007 12:50:08 PM

Agreed with those above here. Why no asian markets? Taiwan, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc.
December 31, 2007 11:37:05 PM

Sure ..Things in the USA are cheaper ,,, Half the people are out of work..They lower the price to get your last dollar !!!
Dollars for junk , what a good deal !!!
January 1, 2008 9:41:06 PM

(I may also appear as Faustino/GenghisCunn - confusion with passwords.) As GC above, I wrote that "I bought a 4Gb Imation USB drive and a Memory Pro stick at far below Aus and UK prices." I forgot to say "in Dubai".

Scrushmaster, one reason I was looking for Asus products was that they generally have a two-year global warranty. But in my 15 years of buying PCs and components, very few have failed within the warranty period, I'd risk buying a non-international-warranty product from a reputable brand if the price is right.
January 3, 2008 3:41:48 AM

I have read histories about 16 Gb USB pendrives (or memory cards), sold in china for really cheap money.
I expected from this article to clarify that, so, I are a bit dissapointed.

Whatever, probably this article needs a second article deepening that.

Since many hardware is manufactured in china today, is credible that the cheapest prices must be from there. I am surprised about Germany prices. (well some chip fabs are in german, but that not explain all the cheaps prices).

Good article.

PD: lately, I have searched to buy a Gforce 8800 GT from china, and have not found a single site in english, capable of the delivery to Latin America.
January 6, 2008 1:06:10 PM

ye that article was kool

hehe.....
January 6, 2008 1:13:08 PM

marraco said:
I have read histories about 16 Gb USB pendrives (or memory cards), sold in china for really cheap money.
I expected from this article to clarify that, so, I are a bit dissapointed.

Whatever, probably this article needs a second article deepening that.

Since many hardware is manufactured in china today, is credible that the cheapest prices must be from there. I am surprised about Germany prices. (well some chip fabs are in german, but that not explain all the cheaps prices).

Good article.

PD: lately, I have searched to buy a Gforce 8800 GT from china, and have not found a single site in english, capable of the delivery to Latin America.


chinese poducts are not that good tho. i had a Sapphire Radeon X1550 256mb AGP card and the Heatsink and fan that came with it looked really crappy and the thing would over heat in 15 mins the pc would crash so i had to turn on all the fans and turn on all the Air conditioners to keep the thing runnin

in conclusion chinese products rnt the best....taiwan is way beta
!