A lot of you know that I worked for many years in the cargo/customs clearance business. My standard reply to anyone considering to bring personal effects always was "forget it". This time I tried to see if my advice was as good as I thought it was.

We are buying some appliances and we couldn't find exactly what we wanted. Importing from the US was a possibility (I get better deals on freight and than most would). I checked on the net all the shops that had stores online, and even on EBay. A lot of stores had clearance / tax season / whatever sales, sometimes with up to 40% off. After checking that, and checking how much we would pay in taxes and freight we decided against it. Big local outlets were consistently cheaper, sometimes by even thousands of dollars on some merchandise.

Of course we ended up buying not what we really wanted but what was available locally, most stores are at the moment understocked as they stopped importing while the "dollar rollercoaster" settles.

The moral of the story is, unless you are rich and don't mind overpaying for what you want, try to get the closest to what you want locally. Importing large appliances is a waste of money. Buying locally is cheaper, faster, you get warranties honored locally and you save yourself some headaches.