Thursday, May 19, 2011

Australian Prices vs. American Prices

People living in Australia- natives, expats, whomever... are well aware (or if they're not, they should be) that Aussie prices are OUT. OF. CONTROL.

As painful as this is, I will now prove the point with cold hard comparisons.  Keep in mind, this is not entirely a fair fight as Australia has only about 22,000,000 people available to buy stuff (a.k.a consumers) and America has over 307,000,000.

1.  New Balance "Rock and Tone" sneakers, or "joggers" as they say in Australian.
Model #WW1870

New Balance Australia's price:  $170 AUD (equal to $181 US dollar as of today), with free shipping and 10% off through May 25.

Zappos in America price:  Originally $84, currently on sale for $68.  Free shipping within the U.S., as in to my mom who can forward them on to me.

Ouch, that was painful.  I wanted to buy these today, and I probably will... only downside is that there's no instant gratification, and I'll have to pay about $30USD shipping for my mom to send them to Sydney.  Bottom line is, including postage to Australia, I'll still only end up paying only $98USD (which is currently $91AUD).  Yay, for me.

2.  Aqua Sphere Kids Seal Goggles, we love these goggles and would literally have them mailed across the world to have them.

Aqua Sphere Seal Kid Swim Goggle 
Rebel Sport's price: (comparable to a Sports Authority store in America) $39.99 + shipping (as of today that is equal to $42USD + shipping).

America:'s price:  (who is normally not necessarily the least expensive but does offer free shipping) $18USD with free shipping, at least for me as I pay for a yearly "Prime" membership, which as you can say is clearly worth it!

If I assume shipping from the US to Australia would be about $10 for this item (it would actually probably be about $5USD when packed with a boatload of other stuff), that would make the total cost including shipping down under about $28AUD.  Probably only worth saving the money if I didn't need them in a hurry and was having a bunch of other things shipped.

Well that wasn't quite as painful as the shoes, but still gives you an idea of the astronomical prices here.

So here's one of my favorite (that's "favourite" for my Aussie friends) comparisons, it actually still shocks me when I see it... Ralph Lauren clothing.
Well I would have loved to compare Ralph Lauren clothing, because the prices in Australia are absolutely out of control.  But since they don't even sell it online down under, I'm not able to provide any solid comparisons here.  I can however compare Ralph Lauren cologne prices... though anyone who actually knows me knows, don't wear it around me or you're likely to have me start on a tangent of complaining about the smell (of any mens cologne that is:).

3.  Ralph Lauren Big Pony Cologne #1
Ralph Lauren Big Pony Collection #1
Australia: price $125AUD + $8 shipping.  Ouch.  As of today that is equal to $132USD. 

America: price $61USD.  Never mind the fact that we could probably find this at Marshalls or TJMaxx for $10.99 or less.  Clearly there are signs I am needing a U.S. shopping trip, and maybe a lap around an American outlet-mall circuit.

4.  KitchenAid Mixer

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers

Australia: price is $679AUD, that's currently $720US.  OMG.  Seriously?  Though I will admit, I do love me some Kitchenaid small appliances.

America: price is $243.  Sorry, but that is an absolutely redonkulous with a capital D.  Unfortunately when it comes to items that must be plugged into a wall, you probably won't be able to use your American 110volt ones in Australia, because even with a transformer, they are likely to eventually stop working... I know this from personal experience.  Dear Kitchenaid hand mixer, I miss you.  Love, Me.

So there you have it... if you are considering a move to Australia and are thinking-- of course it's more expensive-- but how much more could it really be....  well the answer is, a lot more!

Though before I wrap this up, I should mention that there is one area in which Australia's prices kick America's prices ass, and that's in anything related to healthcare-- for example, we had an x-ray here last week (2 images) and it cost $75, with no insurance.  Not sure how much that would cost in the U.S., but I'm guessing somewhere over at least $200. 

Anyway, my advice to anyone moving here would be, if you are already shipping a container with furniture, etc. then load up any and every thing you need and like and may ever imagine you want.  And definitely do NOT leave things in the U.S. and think you'll just buy new ones here-- because new ones here (of whatever) will be potentially double to quadruple the price.

Anyone for an $18 hamburger?



Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

don't be fooled, san francisco has more than a handful of delicious $18 hamburgers. you'll have to come visit some time, you'll feel right at home.

Jenny said...

Oh you're so right! I miss my mixer, too. But I think we need to change doctors. Took the 4 yr old in today to have his lip superglued back together and paid $200. Didn't seem like much of a bargain for the 10 minute visit. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great post!

Did you know that you can get 220 volt appliances, including Kitchenaid mixers on So if you're in the US and filling up a container, you can order your appliances at Amazon. The 220 volt Kitchenaid Artisan is ~US$500. (I did not know this before coming to Australia, so I miss my Kitchenaid mixer, too!)

Didn't want to do the banana price comparison? Is that unfair?

Jenny: I paid over a thousand dollars for a superglued chin a few years ago in Texas, so $200 is not a bad price. At the same time, my local (Australian) doctor would probably have charged about $50 for that.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Jill- Okay, I'll chill about the burgers.

Jenny- That sounds sooo not fun.

Belle- OMG how could I have left bananas off of this list???? I may have to edit the post tonight to add it!!!!

Marvin the Martian said...

My coworkers tell me that prices are similarly astronomical in the UK. Maybe it's a Commonwealth malaise.

~ Jan ~ said...
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~ Jan ~ said...

Stop making me cry!!! Same with the cost of flight from the to flying to the US with the same carriers!!!

Jennie said...

Yikes, looks like I'll be continuing to order things online in the US and have my mom send them to me like I already do in France. Prices here are ridiculously high too, plus salaries are depressingly low.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Marvin- That would not be surprising.

Jan- I know! It's ridiculous.

Jennie- Yep, me too. I love amazon prime.

Rassles said...

I've never used a mixer before in my life.

Is the food more expensive in Australia? Can you find peanut butter?

C. In Oz said...

How strange is it that an $18 hamburger sounds reasonable? I've been here a year and I can't believe how much I've adjusted to the prices. When we first arrived, I wanted to cry every time we went to the grocery store. I used to walk out in a huff without buying anything and then have to go back later since I still actually needed to buy food. :-)

Shoes definitely get me, too! My running shoes cost $275 AUD and $100 USD.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Rads- most groceries are significantly more expensive here, and most stores usually have one or two brands of peanut butter-- but about 5 varieties of vegemite-type spreads.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

C in Oz- totally, but I guess the good news it makes everything look really cheap back in America? Is that even good news?

Julie said...

Yes, Aussie prices are insane. I have friends who buy books from Amazon to ship to Australia and it's still cheaper, with shipping, than books new in Oz. My SIL actually found a great mob to get books from...I'll have to remember what they were called.

But, you just have Amazon prime for free shipping within the states? And then your Mom mails it to you in Australia? Just making sure I'm understanding that correctly.

Also, you can get an electrician in Australia to actually put in a 110v outlet in your house for American appliances. I can't remember where I found this out, but I was thinking if we ever moved back, I might do this just for my kitchen aid mixer. :)

2LilPacks said...

Actually, if you break down the US salary - we're more expensive. :)

Bob in Oz does it here:

We work endlessly here and things "seem" cheaper - but at the end of the economic day, they really aren't...

Oh, and states are closing schools, laying of teachers, and you have to pay to even ride the school bus now.

So, We'll see you guys in Sydney!

Anonymous said...

My favorite comparison: Mascara. $4.99 at Walmart in the states - $19.99 here for the same product. Kills me.

But, I still think we come out ahead here money-wise even though things seem so insanely expensive!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...
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Florida Girl In Sydney said...

ulie- Yes, that's correct. I use Amazon Prime to ship things for free to my mom, then she ships me a big box of stuff. And I cannot believe you can have a 110 outlet installed-- that is amazing!

2lilpacks- Housing, and everything in general, is much more expensive in Australia. I'd say for us personally, the higher income still does not outweigh the higher cost -- not by a longshot.

Akrozen- How could I have forgotten to mention my lip gloss? Revlon lip gloss $6.99 in US, $25-29 in Sydney.. and they actually sell it at David Jones! (a department store for my yanks).

The Taskers said...

Unbelievably the cost of living increase in Perth was 30% and we were only gone 2 1/2 years. I still cry at the grocery store, and have gone back to my hubby bringing back suitcases of food from his 6-monthly trips the States. My grandmother laughs that I send him to Trader Joes to pick up whole wheat pasta - but when I explained to her that its half the price and doesn't taste like cardboard she gets it.

Oh, and we ran out of Goldfish - crisis in this house!!!!

I think one of the commenters is thinking of for cheap books (and shipped free anywhere in the world).

And as for 220V appliances - if you look at you can buy ANY 220V appliance in the US and send it overseas (yourself) or in a shipping container. They are based in Houston, so I was lucky and went to the actual store, but if you email them thru the website, he'll give you a price plus the shipping to a location in the US. I bought my 220V Empire Red KitchenAid Mixer thru him for $275USD - works a charm. Kicking myself for not buying the Food Processor at the same time.

And if you take it out of the country, you can send in your ticket/boarding pass or shipping slip and he'll reimburse you your US tax!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Taskers- Well unfortunately I totally missed the boat on the 220v appliances at US prices!!! Darn, but very good to know!

steck said...

I paid A$20 for a chicken club sandwich last weekend. OK, it came with fries and they even had Heinz Ketchup. But still, just ridiculous.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Steck- I feel your pain. And I must admit, I get a little disappointed when I hear from you and there is no one liner...

Julie said...

Yes! is exactly the website I was thinking of! And I going to remember that site for the 220v appliances...very good to know.

2lilpacks - that's an interesting comparison though I don't think you can do a 'one size fits all' comparison like that since the states are different in terms of taxes (We have no state income tax where I live but a high sales tax) and I live in the South where it's a fairly low cost of living in terms of housing. Our house in Nashville would easily cost over a million in a city in Australia and it's not a huge house. That's 5x more than what we paid here. And cars. Oh my word, cars are expensive there. Not to mention makeup, diapers, good quality clothes...we go every year to visit family and I am always shocked. I really don't think the salary would make up for it. Will have to look at old pay stubs/deductions from Oz and compare.

American Diamond Traders said...
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Anjita said...

Wow a very good price comparison. I was at one point (few years back) discussing the option to move to Australia. I guess, I better rethink :). If I were to do a price comparison from India to US, I think US will turn out to be more expensive, except for in health care as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I hear ya! Moved to Melbourne from Jersey 3 months ago and just trying to wrap my brain around the price differences. $50 for a $25USD travel guide to New Zealand! Ugh.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Anjita & Melbourne Megan- It's still shocking to see prices here! And it's been 4 years now!

New Balance Toning Shoes said...

This is insane...I would love to compare salaries in Australia vs salaries in US. This will help me with the standard of living perspective.

Kindle for Sale|Next Generation iPad|New Balance Toning Shoes

Catherine said...

Wow, so true, prices here are shocking! I bought all the kids Christmas toys from the US - even with shipping, very reasonable. We'll have to try the goggles they look like they're good ones. Any suggestions for flippers?

jaye said...

Just went into the Benefit Cosmetic stand in Myer. I paid $38 for a mascara and $35 for their eyeliner. On the Benefit American website they are $24 and $23 respectively. Which at the current rate is just under $26AUD each. Why? I can understand a couple of dollars more, but that is so unfair!