eXtensions - Thursday 15 September 2016
Cassandra: Unreasonable Costs - Wireless Headphones for the iPhone
By Graham K. Rogers
As the AirBuds are not due for release anyway yet, with the release "beginning in late October" we may not see them for a while here, although the price is shown on the Thai accessories pages here as 6,900 baht ($159). Note that pricing.
All US prices are quoted without taxes. Other countries (Singapore, UK) like Thailand have the VAT added by law. This is practical in both cases: USA taxes vary considerably. I have calculated the prices before (the last time in October 2015) and found that here there are few major differences when exchange rates and VAT are factored in. Those AirBuds are just under 1,000 baht higher at todays rates.
I looked first at Amazon as there was a link in the article, but these would not ship to me in Thaialnd. I found the B&W site and was surprised to find 3 dealers in Bangkok, one close to where I usually shop in the center of the city. This was entered into my plans, I burnished the credit card and made the high end Gaysorn Plaza my first stop of the day. I calculated that, with the exchange rate and VAT the price should start around 14,450 baht. I would not have been surprised at 17,000, but any more and I would need some convincing.
The store was not too hard to find. I was the only customer at the pre-lunch hour so was attended to right away. There were no P7 headphones on display, but they had them (and the wired version). The assistant brought out a few boxes from a cupboard behind. I asked the price and he reached for a ring binder. These $399 headphones were on sale here at 23,800 baht. Almost double the US price.
I declined. The difference between what I expected and the ticket price here was enough for an airline ticket to a city where they might be more reasonably priced.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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