The majority of airports these days will offer some range of electrical goods, while larger international hubs offer just about everything from wide-screen tvs to ipods, iphones and ipads. Laptops, digital cameras, karaoke machines and travel plugs, are all now readily available in the main duty/tax free stores or via specialist retailers such as Dixons in the UK and Europe or Sharaf Electronics in the Middle East.
Inflight, you’re more likely to be enticed by smaller travel accessories/aids such as universal plugs, chargers (for mobile phones, mp3 players, blackberries etc), sim-card readers, games etc. These usually represent great value for money and can be real life savers!
What’s the advantage of buying on the move? Mostly price advantage • plus at some airports (particularly in the Far East) you may find models not yet available back home. The airport/inflight/onboard price should reflect a tax saving over the equivalent domestic market • 20% in the case of the UK. Remember, though, that the saving is on the domestic price where you are at the time • and that maybe higher than in your home country. So if you are planning on buying a specific item • such as a digital camera • mobile phone • laptop computer - try and find out the price you’d pay on your home market first. Do your homework. It’s worth checking out whether the airport you’re flying from (either to or from your destination) has a duty/tax free shopping website guide; that way you can price compare in advance.
While not wishing to put you off, some countries/states where taxes are already very low or non -existent (the UAE for example), may offer better prices on the local market than in the airport. The advice here would be to check with local residents on where you’ll find the best deals (although you may not also be getting the same guarantees).
High Street retailers with airport shops are a good bet; often you can pre-order goods via their website and arrange home delivery for bigger items such as televisions (hard to fit into hand luggage!) Some airports will also allow you to buy tax free electrical items on departure and then pick up on your return.
Whatever you buy, make sure that the item has an international guarantee that applies where you live. Also ensure that the item will work where you live • how many of us have bought cheap dvds to find they are made for the wrong region and will only play on a computer (if you’re lucky).
What you can be assured of at the airport, onboard and inflight is that the brands you are buying are genuine • no counterfeiting here. And brandwise, this is a truly international product sector with leading names such as Apple (check out their store at Singapore Changi T3), Bang & Olufsen, Canon, Fuji, JVC, Nikon, Nintendo, Pentax, Philips, Sony, Swiss Travel and many more besides available across the globe.