Australia versus the UK: Christmas Shopping Compared

Its Christmas time and that means it’s time to go shopping. Well, I don’t want to leave it to the last minute, do I?

But what am I going to buy? And would whatever I buy cost more in the UK than in Australia, or will it be the other way round? Surely we all know that Australia is really expensive compared to England, isn’t it?

With my usual scientific precision, I set about this task by first consulting the knower of all things, Google. I asked the great one to find me:

The Top 10 Christmas Gifts 2012

Within (literally) 0.46 seconds I had 996 million pages to choose from, I settled for the one in second spot. It seemed ideal for what I wanted to do, because on this particular squidoo page (which has now been taken down) I found a top 10 selection of gifts, not just for kids, not just for him, not just for her, but the top 10 Christmas gifts for all people.

In other words, a nice mix to work with. So, how much would each of these items cost in each of our countries? Let’s take a look:

First, Australia…

Aus PricesNow, let’s pop over to the UK and do the same shopping all over again…

UK PricesNotes:

You will probably have noticed that my top 10 is actually a top eight. That’s because two of the items were exclusive to Amazon in the USA, the first being Amazon.com Gift Cards; would have been pointless to do a price comparison on that one, and the second was the Broadway Basketeers Ultimate Christmas Gourmet Gift Tower.

Hmmm. What a shame that’s not available worldwide. Moving on.

It is also worth mentioning that the website included ‘Espresso Coffee Machines’ in their list, but didn’t specify a model. So I chose the first available coffee machine that was for sale in both of our countries.

Other notes:

I’m glad I only did this exercise on the Internet, and that I didn’t really go out and buy these presents for my friends, look how much money I would have spent!

But what conclusions can we come to?

Without doubt, Christmas shopping for these items here in Australia would be much cheaper and, of course, much warmer. Are you shopping in your shorts where you are? Anyway, what costs just over $5000 here in Australia would have cost over $6000 in the UK, and that’s just doing a straight currency conversion based on the current rate of about 1.5 Aussie dollars to the pound.

If I factor in the hard yakka, Australia becomes even cheaper.

You do know what the hard yakka is, don’t you?

Going through the list individually though, the Kindle and the knife set were cheaper in the UK, and the Xbox about the same price in each of our countries. But the iPad, coffee machine, iPhone, Flash Drive and, in a spectacular way, the Sony camera, were all cheaper here in Australia.

And what about that camera? I’ve pored over the specs, I am sure they are like for like, but what a difference in the price! $3000 here, but the equivalent of $3,900 in the UK.

That’s a big difference!

Remember, I didn’t cherry pick this stuff, I found it in a list on Google. Last year I did a cost comparison of children’s toys in my subtly entitled post The Cost of Toys in Australia. The UK were much cheaper cost wise on that one with nothing in it on the hard yakka. But with this mix of stuff, it’s been a different story.

Happy Christmas shopping…

Christmas shopping

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Treay February 18, 2013, 5:06 am | Link

    Growing up it was the traditional roast chicken, trifle, tinned plum pudding with custard and dark homemade fruitcake. If I hold luncheon at my place, it is roast chook and veggies, homemade fruit mince in homemade fruit mince pies,
    steamed homemade plum pudding with custard and cream, trifle and homemade iced fruitcake. Homemade shortbread and a cup of tea and soft drinks.
    However, at the in laws it is King or Tiger prawns with seafood dressing, cold cuts, potato, Greek, garden salad, cheese plate, Pavlova, trifle (my contribution)
    cold roasted, stuffed turkey breast. Sparkling apple juice and soft drinks.
    Crackers. It never seems like Christmas.

    • BobinOz February 18, 2013, 4:21 pm | Link

      Don’t know why, but you’ve made me feel really hungry now 🙂

      • Treay June 27, 2013, 7:22 am | Link

        Gee, can’t understand why that’d be!!

  • Dawn December 18, 2012, 6:45 am | Link

    Thanks Bob

    I look forward to reading it .

  • Dawn December 16, 2012, 6:57 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    When were were putting up our christmas decorations yesterday it got me thinking. What do familes in Australia do, do they have real christmas trees and decorations like in the UK or do they do something different? Also does anyone cook traditional christmas dinner or do they do something different?

    • BobinOz December 17, 2012, 9:16 pm | Link

      That’s a very good question Dawn, one that I shall answer to on Wednesday in a post dedicated to what Australian Christmases are really like. When I’ve done it, I’ll pop back here and add a link for you.

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