Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Brits are Going to Have More Fun Than Americans This Christmas Shopping Season

The UK's MailOnline tells Brits:
If you’re looking to make a few savings on your Christmas present list this year it might be time to get the U.S. holiday brochures out.

Shopping in the States could save you hundreds of pounds, heavily subsidising a festive mini-break into the bargain, a study reveals.

A basket of ten items, from gadgets to beauty products, of the type that will feature on many wish-lists was half the UK price in Boston – a saving of £632.68.

The spectacular savings potential is believed to be at least partly behind a surge in bookings of up to 20 per cent for British travellers to U.S. cities in the Christmas run-up.

The ten items, which include an iPod Nano, designer jeans, sunglasses and popular toys, cost £1,296 in London. That was around double the £663.32 for the same items in Boston, and around £580 more than in New York and in Las Vegas. 

Click on chart for larger view.

What's behind this bonanza for Brits?  There are so many dollars floating around the globe, thanks to Bernanke money printing and bailout, that the dollar is cheap relative to most other currencies. This creates a shopping bonanza for foreign shoppers when they visit the US.

Overtime, the price discrepancies between countries will adjust in the markets in one of three ways. Prices in foreign countries can fall, not likely. The dollar can climb in value against foreign currencies, not likely since there are so many damn dollars floating around throughout the world (and Bernanke is printing even more). Or, third, the foreigners visit the US and use the dollars to bid against Americans for products and services, and thus cause prices to climb in the US.

Scenario three is the most likely scenario. Not only are we going to get hit by current money printing by the Fed, but some of yesterday's money printing that was absorbed by the rest of the world is going to start to coming back and hit us like a giant Nor'easter.

In other words, for the Brits and other foreigners, it will be ho, ho, ho. For us, it is going to be the prospect of bah humbug, more price increases.



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  2. Whenever I go over to the U.S. I stock up on banal household crap like giant bottles of shampoo and ten packs of toothpaste etc. Razor blades are a special favourite of mine. Not only is it cheap relative to where I live, but Americans sure know how to do bulk too :-)

  3. It's not uncommon to see international visitors at the outlets in Orlando on black friday; however, last year we were seeing people litterally renting large vans and filling them to capacity. It was as if small groups of people were coordinating their visits to the us just for shopping, and they rented the largest vehicles they could find to stuff with goods. I imagine it will be even more outrageous this year as we continue to kill out currency while businesses continue to try and find ways to keep prices down (somewhat).

  4. Can't we brits just buy stuff online? I guess there are import duties?

  5. Amerika doesn't have their 20+% sales tax and has low import tax that make products plentiful and cheaper. And as an added Christmas bonus they can get radiated and sexually satisfied at the airports.