Wednesday, February 15, 2006

High tech, high price

One of the things I enjoy when in South Africa is looking at the prices of electronics and software. It makes me feel a bit better about leaving the beautiful weather here and going back home to New York.

Since my renewed interest in gaming I looked at gaming hardware and software:
First I priced a Sony PSP Value Pack - the exact same one I bought brand new on eBay - 2600 South African Rand (ZAR) at a computer chain store. That is around $430 at a good exchange rate - $180 more than street price, and almost double what I paid on eBay.

Then there was a GameBoy (probably an Advance) for sale at a toy store for the equivalent of US$140, as well as a Sony Playstation 2 (I'm not sure if it was the Slim edition) for about $240, which is $90 more than I paid at

As for Sony PSP games, the cheapest I saw was "Metal Gear Acid" on sale for about $47 (normal price $65) - it normally goes for about $40 in the USA, and may drop to $30 on special. Other, more popular games like "Burnout Legends" or "Need for Speed Underground Rivals" sell for around $65 minimum.

The main reason for such huge price differences is the import duty the South African government levies on electronic goods.
Of course doing direct price comparisons like this doesn't take currency exchange rate fluctuations into account, or the relative buying power of the local currency

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