Which is the cheapest country to buy electronics in Latin America?

Import taxes and low consumption make electronic devices expensive in most Latin American countries.

The digital revolution has returned to electronic devices more than a luxury, an essential article. Whether in everyday life or business, technology has an indisputable role in the contemporary world and, therefore, also know where to buy them at the best price. 

Let’s give an example of a digital nomad and a technology-based company. 

The first one has to consider in his location different daily expenses such as food, transportation, room, as well as services such as the Internet. As a work tool, you should also consider buying electronic products in the event of product failure. However, this expense would not be frequent. 

As for a technology-based company, food or room costs will only be essential to consider how much is the minimum you must pay your workers.

As Latin America is a region that produces raw materials, Latin American countries have some of the lowest prices for food. For this reason, companies in the area can compete in salaries with companies located in other parts of the world.

Electronic products are another matter. With digitalization, these inputs represent a necessary investment for companies and also need to be updated continuously. Companies with equipment more than four years old run the risk of suffering losses due to unforeseen failures.

Mexico, the country with the cheapest electronics in LatAm

According to the 2018 Technology Price Index study conducted by the Linio marketplace, Mexico is the country where you can buy cheaper Mac computers, video game consoles, and generic smartwatches in Latin America. However, it is also the most expensive to purchase over-ear headphones. 

A Mexican who bought a product of each technological category at an average price would spend a total of $ 5,793.48. 

Instead, Chile is the most expensive country to buy technology. A Chilean would have to pay $ 7,280.20 to purchase the same products. 

Mexico is also the cheapest country internationally to buy an Xbox One 500Gb with a physical game. 

Despite this, Mexico is more than $ 90 above the international average for technology products.

Taxes are a barrier to get cheap electronics in Latin America.

One factor has contributed to Latin America having high priced electronics. In the region, there is little manufacturing of electronics, and the lack of skilled labor has hindered investment in this area. This situation makes it difficult to compete with the prices of electronics in countries such as China, Vietnam, or Japan.

However, most electronic products are also imported into the United States, and Latin Americans well know that this country is a good option for gadget purchases if you have the opportunity. Why this price difference?

Import tariffs have so far been a barrier for Latin American technology consumers, who often prefer to buy technology outside the country. 

An example of this is Argentina, where many people prefer to buy their products in the United States if they have the opportunity to do so. 

In Argentina, an iPad costs around 4399 Argentine pesos, while acquiring it in an Apple Store in the United States can have a price equivalent to 3568 pesos.

However, Argentines must pay an extra price for entering technology into the country. Purchase with a credit card abroad costs 15% more as an advance on income tax. To this, customs duties are added, that is, 50% of the value if it exceeds the limit of $ 300 to enter technology into the country. 

Another factor that makes the United States a cheaper country to buy technology is import taxes. In the northern region, technology taxes are lower than fees in Argentina: 8 percent total, on average, against 21% VAT of the South American nation, which adds up to 20.48% of internal tax on luxury goods, 20.5% of customs duties, 4.5% of gross income and profit, and 1.2% of charge on the check, which is paid double.

Taxes are not the only factor in the price of electronics. The volume of consumption and competition play an important role. In the United States, the profit margin in electronics is low, but the quantity of consumption offsets this situation. Europe is an intermediate case, where electronics are cheaper than Latin America but more expensive than in the United States

The best sites to buy electronics in the world

The bargains in electronic products are in Asia, without a doubt. This fact has been a reason for Southeast Asian countries to be among the preferred destinations for technological services. 

Of the ten destinations with cheaper technology, according to a study by CEO World Magazine, seven of them are in Asian countries. From Tokyo, Japan to Ho Chi Min in Vietnam. 

The reduction of taxes and the increase of limit for imported goods have played a crucial role in Asia, where the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is recognized as the best destination to buy electronics in 2019.

The data from the CEO Magazine study comes from an annual survey of 92 k traveling buyers who purchased electronic products in more than 16 K physical electronic stores located in 86 countries around the world. The study was carried out for three months, from January to April.