US Bargains

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The Australian dollar is going toe to toe with the US dollar. With exchange rates in our favour - currently worth $0.98 US, there's a new superstore called the United States available at our finger tips. Dollar for dollar...bargain for bargain.

"Certainly over the next 6 months to 12 months if you're looking to buy your washing machine or your new double door fridge – it's going to be cheaper in 6 months time than it is now."

Economist, Clifford Bennet says the shopping flood gates have well and truly opened and Australians can expect the dollar to perform strongly for some time to come.

"We actually think the Australian dollar is going to hit $1.03, $1.08, $1.12 in just to two to three years time. So we're just really taking off here."

He says the good times will roll on till way beyond Christmas.

"On your washing machine, NIKE's, your imported LCD TV which are very popular right now you're going to see a saving of 10% or even 20% at times on those sorts of products."

That means online shoppers are saving big buying direct from the States.
"It's an entree to brands they might not be able to get in this country" says Brian.

And it's never been easier. Unprecedented access to hundreds of thousands of American retailers and boutiques that previously wouldn't ship offshore, because of geographical boundaries.

"I'm searching for a T-shirt on Abercrombie and Fitch." says Adrian Christie from Paypal. The payment company launching their brand new service Hop Shop Go.A .com website which opens the doors to some of America's most exclusive fashion strips.

"Have you ever put on a 90210 address I think some people have when filling in websites, that's the classic Beverly Hills zip code as they call it. You don't need to do that any more, we give you an address and so you can have the items shipped out to Australia." Adrian explains.

Julia Hill's riding our strong currency to heavily discounted airline tickets. Big brands is one bonus, big savings the other, and it's exposing big price discrepancies.

"I don't understand it I can buy a product from England or the US get it shipped half way across the road and still save 50%"

"We're actually seeing some items are twice as expensive in Australia as they are in the US" tells Adrian.

Take a Ralph Lauren polo shirt. In Australia you'd pay around $110, in the US with the added shipping and exchange rate $77, save $33. A 16 gig apple Ipad will cost you $629 in Australia, in America $560, save $69. While for the Ninewest brand, a pair of $169 ladies shoes in Australia, will cost $57 in the US. That's a saving of $112.

Every year Australians spend 9% more shopping online. Last year we splashed out 23 billion dollars. By 2012, that's set to rise to 32 billion, 5.7 billion of that overseas. Research shows 1 in 4 shoppers are now comfortable buying from foreign websites.

"That person that made that trip to New York and they went to Macys or Saxs Fifth Avenue and they bought the exclusive item they were proud to wear sorry someone else might be wearing it and they didn't travel overseas" says Adrian.

The Aussie dollar drive has another benefit: it keeps our interest rates low.

"It makes it more likely the reserve bank won't have to raise interest rates because Australian dollar is creating that lower inflation effect passing onto Australian consumer." explains Economist Clifford Bennet.

With less mortgage and more money in your pocket, and bigger bargains on offer, it's going to be a merry Christmas indeed.

"I would say going into the Christmas period, the pre-Christmas period - retail is going to be a lot more keen to pass on those currency gains if you like to the consumer - so you can expect prices to really plummet around Christmas and after Christmas."

For more information;

www.hopshopgo.com/

www.retaildoctor.com.au/

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