Saturday, December 26, 2009

Goods in US market - lots of options & cheaper price

During my recent trip to US, I had been to Frys Electronics. Man ... Electronics are so cheap in US ! Until a few months ago, I used to think "We get everything in India. Why should I carry things from US to India?". But, now I realize that there is at least 20% premium you have to pay for buying the same electronic item in India.  (Also read: IP Phone - Magic Jack vs Vonage vs Skype)

I bought a Panasonic phone in India (with 2 cordless handsets & no base station dialing) for Rs.5,500. Frys sells Panasonic phones (with 3 handsets & base station dialing) for just $74 (approx. Rs.3,500). It is not just phones. All electronics (including Televisions, Laptops, Printers, MP3 players etc.,) are cheap in US. Also, there are lots of options to choose from.

I really miss a shop like Frys electronics, in India. Yesterday, the engineer in me wanted to stream movies from my laptop (Youtube) and watch it on my decade old Sony Trinitron TV. I visited Croma (TATA's Electronics store) to look for a specific S-Video cable. My TV didn't have a S-Video port. All it can take was input from a component cable (yellow, white and red ports). So, I was looking for a S-Video to 3 pin RCA cable. But, Croma didn't have that. All they had was an S-Video to S-Video cable. This was my first visit to a Croma store. The show room looked more like Best Buy showroom - however, it was very small. They had a decent collection of TVs, MP3 players, DVD players, Cameras, Music systems etc., But, they didn't have lots of electronic accessories. So, I went to a mom & pop electronic store near my house. Surprisingly, the store carried an S-Video to 3 pin RCA cable. I bought it for just Rs.100. I came home and tried it out. I worked OK and I was able to stream Youtube videos to my TV. We all watched a full Tamil movie online, from Youtube.

It is not just electronics, even dresses are cheaper in US. Also, the goods are of very high quality. Though most of these items get manufactured in China/India, they're sold at a higher price in India (when compared to US). Big ticket items such as imported cars are also way too costly in India. Honda Accord costs nearly Rs.19 Lakhs (~$40K) & Honda Civic costs nearly Rs.12 Lakhs (~$25K)

US market has lots of options for consumers and the goods (mostly, electronics & big-ticket items) are also sold at a relatively cheaper price. I think the reason for this is due to the large consumer base and tough competition. There are only a few people who would be interested in things like these, in India. It doesn't justify for the Indian retailers to sell them at a low price to just a handful of consumers. Hopefully, a day will come when the cost of electronics become very affordable to Indian consumers. Until then, I'll have to pay the premium for buying these fancy goods.

Also read:

IP Phone - Magic Jack vs Vonage vs Skype
10 things to know before your R2I
Canon Camera Service Centers in Chennai - Scarce & Costly

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