UK consumers getting a raw deal on pricing

The latest Which? investigation reveals UK buyers could be getting a raw deal by paying more for tech products than US consumers.

We compared the prices of identical tech products, excluding tax, in the UK and US and found UK consumers are paying more, with price differences of some items running into hundreds of pounds.

We found a Samsung TV was £402 more expensive in the UK compared to the US and an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop was £194 cheaper in the US.

It’s not just tech products that are more expensive, as our research shows consumers in the UK are also paying over the odds on digital goods. We found a 12 month subscription to the imaging software Adobe Creative cloud was £114 more expensive in the UK.

Microsoft Office Professional digital software cost £236 in the US compared to £325 in the UK, a price difference of £89. Where possible, it’s worth considering buying in-store, as digital products such as Microsoft Office are sold by the company at a fixed price but physical versions are sold by numerous retailers and are more likely to be discounted.

Which? wants manufacturers to play fair and explain why tech products in the UK are more expensive in comparison to the US. We are also calling on the Government to raise the current threshold for import duty on goods bought online to the same threshold as that placed on goods brought back from abroad, so shoppers can take advantage of cheaper goods on sale in the US.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“UK consumers are getting a raw deal by paying up to hundreds of pounds more for the same tech products on sale in the US. Manufacturers should play fair and explain why consumers are paying more for buying in the UK.”


Notes to editors

1.    We compared the prices of 13 tech products in the UK and US:

UK vs US

Prices rounded to nearest £ or $. *Based on exchange rate of £1 equals $1.694 on 18 June. All prices from manufacturers’ websites US products subject to California state and local sales tax of 8.41%; no sales tax on digital goods in California.

2.    The current threshold for import duty for goods bought online is currently £135 and the duty placed on goods bought back from abroad by individuals is £390.



Press Release: ,