Christmas Shopping 2015: Australian, UK and US Prices Compared

My word, it’s about time I did some Christmas shopping. Wouldn’t want to leave it to the last minute.

Elf with GiftsEvery year I do this kind of Christmas shopping, what I love most about this particular shopping exercise is that it doesn’t cost me a single penny or cent, this shopping is completely free. It’s hypothetical shopping, windowshopping, online digital shopping without the use of a credit card.

The sole purpose of this shopping is to simply compare prices between Australia, the US and the UK for popular Christmas presents each year. The hardest part is deciding what presents to pick, this time I enlisted the services of Amazon.

I searched Google for ‘top-selling gifts on Amazon’ and topping the results was a page featuring their UK sites most popular products ordered as gifts. The page is updated daily, so it will change, but I can assure you the gifts I mention here were the top sellers at the time. Here’s a sneaky image…

amazon1 Amazon giftsMy thanks to the Amazon Most Gifted page.

Toys and games

As you can probably make out, there are six categories, the first is toys and games. The top seller of that one is a card game called ‘Cards Against Humanity’. If that sounds rather nasty, the third game in their list was called ‘Exploding Kittens’. Anyway, back to Cards Against Humanity…cards

  • The price of this game in the UK, through Amazon, is £20
  • The price of this game in Australia, from the maker’s own website, is $30

At this point is worth me mentioning that currently one great British pound would buy you $2.08 AUD. As you can see, this particular toy is much cheaper here in Australia.


The next section in this list is music, with the top-selling CD the latest release from Adele called, wait for it, Adele.

  • The price of this CD in the UK, through Amazon, is £9.89
  • This same CD is readily available from many Australian outlets for $19.99

Nothing in it pricewise really, although if we want to be pedantic we could point out that this CD is 58 cents cheaper here in Australia.


The next section is about books. Books are particularly expensive here in Australia, so let’s see how this one goes.

The top-selling book when I looked was a Harry Potter Colouring Book…

  • This book is available from Amazon in the UK for £4.99
  • The best price I found it for here in Australia was through the Book Depository for $18.74

Well, no surprise and no real change here. Books do remain quite expensive here in Australia and I have much more information about that over on my post called Cost of books in Australia versus the UK and USA.

DVD & Blu-ray

In this section, top of the list was a DVD called ‘Inside Out”.

inside out
  • Cost of this DVD in the UK is £10.00
  • The same DVD in Australia is readily available for $20.00

Again, nothing much in it, but with the current exchange rate this DVD is slightly cheaper here in Australia.


It got a little tricky in this section, because according to Amazon most of their top-selling gifts in electronics were either the Amazon branded ‘Fire’ or ‘Kindle’ items. We do not have Amazon here in Australia, so I cannot do a price comparison. So I just kept scrolling down that list of popular electronics goods until I got to an item that wasn’t Amazon branded.

That item turned out to be a GoPro Hero; I went for the cheapest version.

go pro
  • The costs of this camera in the UK was £94.00
  • The same camera was available in Australia $196.00

Well, I was pedantic earlier, I may as well continue. This camera is cheaper in the UK, 48 pence cheaper.

PC & Video Games

The most gifted PC or video game in Amazon’s list was Fallout 4 for PS4.

  • The cost of this game, through Amazon in the UK, was £29.99
  • This same game was $58 in Target, but $64 in JB Hi-Fi

Again, not much in it, but if you did buy it from Target, you’d be saving yourselves four dollars.


Over the last few years I’ve mentioned on several occasions how prices here in Australia seem to be much more in line with those elsewhere now. I think my Christmas shopping this year once again proves that. These days, for many items, there’s just not much in it pricewise between the two countries.

Here are the totals for both shopping lists:

  • UK total = £168.87
  • Australian total = $342.73

If we convert pounds into dollars, that’s 168.87 × 2.08, we get $351.25.

That means our Australian Christmas shopping, despite that book being much more expensive, was actually $8.52 cheaper here in Australia than it was in the UK.

What about the USA?

Surely all of these goods are going to be cheaper in the US, aren’t they?

Here are the prices from

  • Cards Against Humanity = $25 USD
  • Adele CD = $11.88 USD
  • Harry Potter Book = $9.59 USD
  • Inside Out DVD = $16.99 USD
  • GoPro Hero = $129.99 USD
  • Fallout 4 = $53.99 USD

USA total = $247.44

The current exchange rate is one US dollar equals 1.4 AUD so therefore $247.44 USD x 1.4 becomes $346.41 AUD.

I know it’s not much, but these same selection of gifts cost $3.68 less here in Australia than they do in the USA.

How about that? And I haven’t even had to mention the hard yakka.

For more Christmas shopping, see:

My thanks again to and for the information and images.
Please note that the exchange rates mentioned were correct as at the date of writing, 21 December 2015.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • djmcbell December 24, 2015, 1:42 am |

    Merry Christmassy stuff Mr Bob!

    Always happy to see comparisons such as these, especially since my wife and I mainly get each other DVDs and games for Christmas and birthdays (well, clothes would just be boring!). I still recall, back in 2010, going into Big W and seeing Moulin Rouge on DVD for about $50!

    I’ve been reassured that the cost of Australia isn’t as high as it’s made out to be recently. My youngest sister in Australia has a household income of about $65k a year (before tax) and seems to survive comfortably, with two cars, three kids and a big (by UK standards) house – and they’ve just installed a hot tub in the back garden. My starting salary looks to be about $80k+ (and my wife is considering working a couple of days too) so we should hopefully be pretty well off.

    • BobinOz December 24, 2015, 3:19 am |

      Yes, popular DVDs probably were $50 back then, but I think prices have tumbled massively even since I’ve been here. And 65k a year isn’t what we would call a great income, but as you say, two cars, three kids and a big house. Not bad. Houses are very big here 🙂

  • Paul December 22, 2015, 3:33 am |

    I always like those comparisons. GPS (sat nav) prices and cameras are also good to compare.

    And at the moment our petrol is 99p a litre compared to average Oz price of about 54p.

    • BobinOz December 24, 2015, 1:52 am |

      Yes, Australia always wins on petrol prices, and we are now getting pretty good on those electrical goods you mention like GPS and cameras.

  • Tracy December 21, 2015, 11:23 pm |

    So good to have you back Bob, that’s a Christmas present for me!
    Despite all the dire warnings we were given about the cost of living in Australia, I have to say nearly everything has been cheaper or at least equivalent to the UK. I think some folks haven’t been back to the UK for a long time and just don’t realise how extortionate it’s got here! To be fair, we’re living in Townsville so don’t have the same “big city” costs, but then we lived in Exmouth in the UK which is a much smaller town in the UK. Maybe Oop T’North of UK is still a bit cheaper, but for sure the gap is closing. And Christmas gifts? Amazon Global for anything you can’t get here, and still pretty darned reasonable. And no-one could argue with a bucket of mangoes for $10 ?
    Merry Christmas to you and yours ??

    • BobinOz December 24, 2015, 1:53 am |

      Thanks Tracy, it’s good to be back.

      Yes, I don’t understand it either, the more price comparisons I do the more obvious it becomes that there’s really nothing much in it between Australia and the UK, or even the US. So I get quite bewildered when people insist Australia is ridiculously expensive, so I’m very pleased to hear you think the same as well.

      By the way, I did try arguing with a bucket of mangoes for $10 once, it was a complete waste of time 🙂

      Merry Christmas to you as well.

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