I’ve mentioned before that buying electronics and computers in the Philippines can be more expensive than buying them here in the US. But just how expensive is it?

Let me give you a scenario.

One of my OFS, Jam, likes Apple products. He’s been thinking about getting a new iPhone, and the one that caught his eye is the iPhone SE 3. It’s set to retail here in the US at $429. That’s P22,409

Jam then checked Apple Philippines to check how much it would cost him to buy the SE 3 locally. The price is P28,990, which is equivalent to $555. That’s a difference of $126.

When you look at the price difference, it doesn’t make sense. These iPhones come from China and they’re shipped directly to the Philippines. If they were shipped from the US, the iPhone would be more expensive but not by much.

Not only that, these phones are shipped in bulk. That should have reduced the shipping cost then and there. Even if you account for the overhead cost the stores put on top, that’s just too much to put on just one device.

So what possible explanation could there be for this?

One possible explanation would be with how Philippine customs computes for import taxes.

That’s a lot, but at least you know where some of it is going.

You might look at this and think shipping to the Philippines might be cheaper after all, given all the taxes. But the problem with shipping electronics and computers is that they could be damaged or lost during shipping or customs. Customs is notoriously corrupt in the Philippines.

For Filipinos, buying their electronics from the store is still a better option because they can have them replaced if there’s damage, and they can have it covered by warranty.

One more reason to take good care of the people you hire.


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