Surprise – abroad, it might not cost as much as you think, according to True Currency. (Thinkstock)
A few years back, I spotted the perfect Burberry wool trench coat on a trip to London. It was the perfect shade of gray — not too dark, not too light — and it was just heavy enough to ward off the elements, but light enough for travel. Only problem: the price tag was close to $1,000 when you converted pounds into dollars.
I went home and kept fantasizing about the trench that got away. A couple of months later, I came across the same coat at Burberry in New York — for about half the price. Granted, it was on sale, but even the starting price was much lower than it had been in London.
It’s counterintuitive, but it’s something that I’ve come across before. Like when you go to Scotland and the cashmere is priced way beyond anything you’d find at home. And don’t even get me started on the Moroccan lanterns I shipped home from Marrakesh, complete with exorbitant customs fees, only to find exact replicas at West Elm six months later. (Though that was a case of a savvy buyer who clearly shared my taste.)
So imagine my delight to find the new website True Currency, which tracks the best places to get a deal around the globe. We mined the site for some examples of price differences, and you might be surprised by some of the results. Who knew that buying a BMW X5 in its home country of Germany would be 54 percent higher than in the U.S.? You might think twice about lugging those foreign purchases home — or not.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust Pearlmaster (Rolex)
For example: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust Pearlmaster
Average cost in Italy: €20,825 ($28,322)
Average cost in Germany: €24,760 ($33,673)
Average cost in the U.S.: $36,924
Ray-Ban Large Metal Aviator (Ray-Ban)
For example: Ray-Ban Large Metal Aviator
Average cost in France: €90 ($122)
Average cost in the U.S.: $150
An Hermès tie (Hermès)
For example: Hermès tie
Average cost in France: €100 ($136)
Average cost in the U.K.: £82 ($140)
Average cost in the U.S.: $138
BMW X5 (BMW)
For example: BMW X5 (base price; not including taxes, shipping, destination charge, or options)
Average cost in Germany (xDrive35i automatic): €59,900 ($81,464)
Average cost in the U.S. (xDrive 35i automatic): $52,800