Whenever anybody who is moving to Australia asks me what they should or shouldn’t bring with them, I almost always advise them to bring the lot.
Beds, furniture, toys, books, bikes, the whole shaboodle; the only exceptions are soiled garden goods, maybe the TV and of course, there’s no need to bring the kitchen sink.
When we sold our house, our buyers wanted us to leave behind all of our white goods; “not on your Nelly” formed part of my response. I’d been told white goods were expensive in Australia.
So, are they?
White goods prices compared
I get the impression the major manufacturers of white goods do not want their customers to compare prices of their stuff between countries. Indeed, they appear to go to great lengths to give their products different names and different model numbers around the world.
Not sure, but I think they even give their companies different names!
I don’t know the ins and outs, but if I look at the most popular washing machines in our respective countries, here in Australia we have makes like…
- Fisher & Paykel
And in the UK they have…
Yes, I know there are some common makes, and I know each country has more manufacturers that I have not listed. But the point is, finding the same make and model in each country is almost impossible.
So how can we compare? Like this…
For each appliance I chose:
- The cheapest ‘brand named’ appliance in the category.
- But just to make it interesting, no brand could appear twice.
No, it may not be the most scientific comparison, but it’s better than nothing. I have also shown full transparency, creating two tables, one for each country. In each table I give precise details of the make and model chosen.
My task was made easier by both of our countries having websites that appear top of searches in each of these countries for the words “appliance online”.
No one will need to be Sherlock Holmes to find out which companies I got my prices from in either the UK or Australia. Here are the tables, first…
How about that then? If we do the old “let’s convert GBP into AUD and see how expensive Australia is” method, we will see that what costs $2,849 here in Australia, can be bought for a little over the equivalent of $2,100 in the UK, based on one GBP = 1.5 AUD.
Therefore the UK would be about 25% cheaper than Australia.
But we know that doesn’t really work if we understand the hard yakka.
If we use the hard yakka method, an average worker in the UK would buy all of his white goods in that country by working for 94 hours.
The same average worker here in Australia would have to work 87 hours to buy the equivalent goods here.
Therefore Australia is about 8% cheaper.
But what I like about this experiment is that it agrees with what I have said many times around this website, most recently in my post called Australian and UK Salaries Compared: Part Two 2012.
And that is…
- Things cost about twice as much here in Australian dollars as they do in the UK in Great British pounds.
In this case, that’s almost exactly right, isn’t it? And as we know from reading the above linked post about salaries, earning twice as much in AUD here as you do in GBP in the UK isn’t difficult to do.
The conclusion then, must be that there just isn’t much in it.
One final note. I’d like to give a special award to Euromaid for the model number of their washing machine. Did you notice it? It’s called the…
Why don’t all manufacturers keep it that simple?