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Travelers & Ex-Pats: How to Avoid Problems with Electronics and Appliances

traveling overseas with electronicsWith an ever-increasing number of people leaving North America to live abroad, the business of international electronics is constantly expanding. Some of these people are ex-pats seeking a better life in a more enjoyable climate, others are relocating to foreign countries for promising career opportunities, and others are simply traveling the globe while working remotely from home thanks to the age of the internet. Whatever the case may be, the growing number of globetrotters has created an increased demand for convenience, compatibility and simplicity in the personal and home electronics industries.
As any seasoned traveler would likely know, there are many differences in electronics around the world. From compatibility to pricing, you might find yourself in a world of disbelief if you haven't educated yourself on the subject before engaging in international travel or relocation.
First is the issue of compatibility. To put it simply, most continents (and their respective countries) utilize 220 or 240 volt electricity. This is standard, and is literally double that of the 110 or 120 volt standard in North America. Since the voltage is higher, electronics and appliances designed for use in North America are not compatible. Plugging a 110/120 volt electronic device into a 220/240 volt outlet is truly a recipe for disaster. The internal components cannot handle double the volts that they were designed for and instantaneous failure is quite common, rendering the device useless; it's been "fried".
A damaged device is, in many ways, the best case scenario. Why? Because it's very possible that an attempt to use a 110/120 device with the incorrect voltage can result in a fire or even electrocution. Let's face it, nobody wants to phone home to touch base with friends or family and have to explain that their house burned to the ground or that they're calling from the hospital because they suffered electrocution. To avoid an undesirable situation like this, it's critical to have one of the following: Electronics intended for use with 220/240 volts, or, a voltage converter that can safely regulate the electricity and allow for the use of your 110/120 volt devices in a 220 volt environment.
The second issue with foreign countries is one of pricing and availability. If you've been living in the US, surely there is no shortage of personal and home electronics to choose from. Visit any electronics store and you'll probably be overwhelmed with the choices in products due to the multiple models available from a wide-array of competing brands. Additionally, in the US we purchase electronics like it's nobody's business. We have a huge demand and therefor a huge inventory. With China as one of our largest trade partners, we literally have access to practically every brand and model in the world - at very competitive prices. However, even just south of the border in Mexico the prices for electronics are as much as 50% higher. Why? Because Mexico doesn't have the same trade agreements and access as the US and 95% of the electronics in Mexico are shipped in after arriving in the united states. The cost of shipping these products down to distributors in Mexico means the prices increase, and since there are less consumers of expensive electronics, the decreased demand means the prices are higher. This rings true anywhere in many places in the world. Generally speaking, you're going to have a smaller selection and you're going to pay a higher price.
So what can be done to avoid the stress and confusion of purchasing and using electronics in foreign countries? Well, a little research always helps. However, it's not necessary because there exist specialists in the electronics industry who are devoted to making your life easier when traveling or moving abroad. And guess what - we're one of them!
220 Electronics has over 35 years of experience in assisting our customers with information and providing the right products for their needs. From the sales of 220 volt electronics and appliances to voltage converters and plug adapters, we have the experience required to make the transition a simple one. We offer free relocation consultations to aid you in making the proper choices for the purchase of electronics and appliances, and better yet, we will even bulk ship your purchases directly to your future location overseas. It doesn't get much easier than that!
Save yourself time, money and stress by giving us a call today or by visiting our website to see how we can make your transition to a foreign country as smooth as possible.