Electronics Prices in Europe

December 19, 2007 By: erik Category: Complaining, Geeky 4,336 views

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Electronics prices in Europe are really insane. When I visited the US in Feburary 2007, I also purchased my MacBook Pro, which I feel like I’ve had forever now. It cost me $1,000 less in the US than it would have if I had bought it in Europe. At the time of this writing, the cheapest new MacBook Pro is $1,999 at the US Apple Store and 1,849€ at the Spain Apple Store. That’s a difference of $663.56.

This year, my late Christmas gift to myself in February is going to be a Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera. I’ve spent a few months now reading reviews, learning about lenses and shutters and apertures and focal lengths, etc. and it’s time to take my photography hobby to the next level. The price for this camera in the US is $1,499. The price in Spain, with a slightly superior lens is 1,779€. That’s a price difference of $1,062.76, which happens to be a couple bucks more than my airline tickets.

Canon 40D

Isn’t that gorgeous?

So if you’re living in Europe and you’re going to make an electronics purchase for more than a thousand euros, you really should look into flying to New York for a weekend and buying it on Fifth Ave. It’ll probably be cheaper.

  • Ah! Erik, you star… Since, as you probably know, Simon wants to buy exactly the same camera in the new year, you just gave me the best argument ever to convince him to take me shopping in New York!

  • Paola, yes, I knew he was looking into that. So have a nice trip! 🙂

    (sorry Simon!)

  • Hold your horses – what’s the lens package in NY? Does it come with the 28-135mm in the picture?
    Besides, if you’re going over anyway to get yourself one, just pick up two and I’ll transfer you the money, thereby saving us having to shell out for 2 plane tickets and accommodation…

  • Are you trying to give us all camera envy? I’m asking for a new camera too, but not one that expensive. That is a bit too big for me and my photography skills aren’t up to it (and neither is my pocketbook). So, I have my eye set on the Panasonic TZ3, which is nice and small, has a 10x optical zoom, and looks much better than what we have now. It is more expensive in the stores here than online, but I wouldn’t buy something like that over the Internet. In your case it could be worth it to take the trip to New York, but not in mine. But your wife will probably want to join you for shopping, so it could end up being expensive. 😉

  • My Fifth Ave. suggestion was kind of a joke. Since I’m lucky enough to have a mailing address that I will be visiting in the US, I’ll be ordering online a few weeks before my flight.

    Simon, the lens kit for the European version of the 40D is the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. The lens kit for the US version is the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. The bundled lens is almost $200 more if you buy it not-bundled. More research needs to be done on deciding exactly what lens to buy.

    Simon, you can rendezvous with me in the Frankfurt airport if you want! 🙂 If I’d thought about it, I might have booked a connecting flight through Brussels.

  • Theresa, I couldn’t even get her to buy anything in Tiffany’s when we were there.

  • Uncle Neil

    What experience have your in-laws, and their parents, had flying? Where have they flown and when? Belen?
    When I was younger I flew quite a bit but I guess that was quite a while ago :]
    Flying is way cheaper than driving now where I live. The price round trip to Alaska is just over $500 and has been for a long time.

  • Sorry, I just noticed your comment here, Uncle Neil. I’m pretty sure my in-laws have never been in an airplane. They had tickets to take one to southern Spain for their honeymoon, but ended up not going (I can’t recall why), and they bought tickets to visit us in England, but something else came up. They never once visited us in England. They don’t do much travelling at all, really, except down to Extremadura in the summer.

    Belén and her grandfather did visit us in England, though. And Belén has been to Italy, presumably by plane.

    Obviously the flying vs. driving price ratio goes way down as the distances get longer, like “to Alaska”.

  • You know Erik, I’m convinced that Japanese electronics manufacturers are cashing in by making us poor Europeans pay through the nose.

    Even by subtracting the high European VAT taxes (21% in Belgium) on electronics, it just doesn’t explain the exorbitant price difference between the US and Europe for most electronic items.

    Guess the US just gets their wholesale merchandise cheaper, I can see no real other explanation.

    • Smee


  • Im an American living in Spain, and I too cannot deal with the crazy prices they ask for; Computers, DSLR, GPS, Cell phones, BIkes, and the things that have high demand by the technologies generation. Those items will cost you so much more in Spain. I think the extra cost is VAT tax and GREED. Not sure who’s getting the overage, politicians and store owners. I will say TV’s are fair, and food is very cheep.