Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Apples to oranges - Rip off Britain

Flicking through the news I note that beloved Sony are dropping the US price tag on their PSP from $199.99 to $169.99 with no mention of a comparable drop in the European price (UK - £150). Cue tons of moaning about rip-off Britain, see $199.99 should only be about £100 and $169.99... well that's a snip under £87. We're paying nearly twice as much!

We get this so much, newspapers send reporters out to stock up on food, perfume, wine and electrical gadgets; comes back and rave about the savings they've made and how we're all being dealt a bad hand price-wise.

Gah you can't compare prices like that. The median weekly wage in the UK is about £450, for the US it's $670. Oh my gods the US are earning less then us at £321.

Now let's try that again. The PSP in the US compared to US wages (199.99/670)*100 is about 30%, for the UK (150/450)*100 or about 33%. Wow what a huge difference, the Americans are paying about a third of their weekly wage for one and we in the UK are paying... um about a third too.

How about the PS3, which I've been happy to slag off, UK price £425, US price (according to Which) $650 including NY sales tax. Let's run the figures -

UK (425/450)*100=94%
US (650/670)*100=97%

Um relatively speaking the US are paying more for the console then we are, though not by much. Oops!

Next time you see anyone complaining about how much we spend here compared to abroad, ask yourself "Are they just using the latest currency conversion, or are they comparing what we really spend?"