When you are going shopping whether it be at the mall of a local store, remember one thing. The tax in already included in the price. Also, we have a very high tax rate here, I believe it is around 12%. But we also have full coverage health care. So, when I am looking at a major appliance to purchase, I first think, that is kind of expensive. But in reality it is not. I won’t get surprised with bigger price when I go to pay for it. So, if you are looking at something for $200, that is what you are going to pay. Another thing, when buying something that is expensive, sometimes you can get it cheaper is you use cash. This saves the store a bunch of money in credit card fees from the credit card company. They pass this savings on to you. I like that the tax is already included in the price, I know exactly what I am going to be spending without having to think about it.
When it comes to your American products, they will be even more expensive. On top of the local tax, there is an import tax that has already been included in the price. A standard Whirlpool dryer, not the new fancy ones, the simple easy to use standard ones. Those cost around $500! This includes the import tax of close to 30% and the sales tax of 12%. That is why the cost so much. Sometimes you are better off sticking to either local brands or other Latin American brands. They are just as good. But I have never seen a clothes dryer from any of those companies. A clothes dryer is a luxury item here, very few people have them. They use a lot of electricity and will raise you electric bill. Although I am considering getting one for the rainy months. The washer I have has an extractor on it which spins very fast to get most of the water out of the clothes. So I wouldn’t have to use the dryer for very long. I can also use the top of the dryer to double as extra counter space in my kitchen. I have to improvise at times. But I love it here.