2012년 9월 10일 월요일

Bought a new Samsung SSD 128GB SATA III-- in America!

Samsung Electronics is a Korean company. I live in Korea. So it would have been much more convenient for me to buy a Samsung SSD in Korea (and more environmentally-friendly, too, as the SSD wouldn't have had to make a useless round-trip across the Pacific) rather than in the US. Then what made me buy the Samsung MZ-7PC128 (image front, back) from Amazon USA? Let me digress for a moment-- You probably know that Korean chaebols make popular export products like cars, flat-screen TV's, washing machines, laptop computers, DDR2/DDR3 memory chips, flash memory, camcorders, etc. Their prices are pretty reasonable, too, especially in major export markets like the US.

But for domestic Korean consumers, the prices of consumer electronics like smartphones, SSD's, notebook computers, tablets, etc. are anywhere from 30~100% higher than the same products overseas. In the case of automobiles, although the prices of domestic and export models are similar, their features differ markedly. For example, a Hyundai Genesis sedan selling for $40,000 in the US will sell for a comparable amount in S. Korea, but it won't have standard features like passenger-side airbags that are in the export model. I've also heard rumors that the steel sheeting used in domestic Korean cars is thinner than that used in export models.

So back to my SSD shopping experience...About a month ago, I was looking to buy a 128GB Samsung SSD in Korea. I found one, originally for W150,000 (which is about $133, although searching Auction Korea today I found the price has fallen to W138,360, apprx. $122.50). But you can imagine my dismay when I found that the exact same model was selling on Amazon for just $100 with free shipping within the US! So I asked a buddy of mine in the States to ship the Samsung SSD to me after getting it from Amazon. As the SSD is feather-light, my buddy mailed it via USPS airpak envelope-- total cost: $8.46. There are no Korean import duties for purchases valued under W150,000, so I paid $100 + $8.46 = $108.46 for a Samsung SSD 128 GB SATA III drive that would have originally cost me $133 in Korea. I saved $24.54, although I had to wait 7 days for the package to arrive in Seoul, Korea. Were the 18.45% savings worth it? Well, without shipping, I would've saved ($133-100)/133 = 24.8%, but it was still worth it to save almost $25. I'm sick of getting shafted by terrible domestic prices for Korean electronics.

This is one reason why all the laptops I've bought in S. Korea are non-Korean: ASUS, Acer, DELL, and Toshiba. Samsung and LG can count on loyal consumers blindly "buying Korean" which annoys me to no end even though I'm Korean, too... End of rant!