Monday, September 19, 2011

Euro Travelers Find Surprising Deals in Soho

NOTE: This article is apart of my news writing workshop and is a slight deviation from the normal jobs theme.

If European tourists didn’t already have enough reasons to visit New York City, maybe this will tip the balance and bring them across the pond – cheap high-tech consumer goods. A simple internet search illustrates the notable discrepancy in electronics prices between the United States and Europe.

A new Macbook Air, for example, retails in Paris for almost 1300 dollars. But at the Apple Store in Soho the same computer will set you back a mere 999 bucks, and Apple products aren’t alone in demonstrating this difference. A Sony Tablet S is listed at 499 dollars at Best Buys throughout the United States. In contrast, Media Markt, a similar German retailer, sells it for 479 Euros. Converted to dollars that’s 652.

“A lot of people ask me if I can find them a tablet device,” comments Jean-Philippe Lumia, a New York City vacationer who works in information technology for Hewlett Packard in France. “But I just buy what I need.”

He adds, however, that the deal becomes less lucrative if the French customs learn of his purchase. “If they catch me then I have to pay the tax.”

Large corporations aren’t the only ones benefitting from this phenomenon. NY Electronics, a small retailer near Times Square, relies heavily on purchases by tourists from Europe. “Our electronics sell for 20 percent less than ones in Europe,” states Nabil, the shopkeeper.

It may be tempting to attribute this difference to the periodic fluctuations in the price of the dollar against the Euro. But, since 2008, although there have been significant peaks and valleys, this price has not trended much of either direction. This monetary topography, however, does offer another way for foreign tourists to squeeze out as much savings from their trip as possible.

Lumia elaborates, “I changed my money when the dollar was a good change with the Euro.”

Nabil at NY Electronics credits another cause for the relatively low prices of high-tech goods.

“New York is the Mecca of electronics.”

No comments:

Post a Comment