What to Buy in The USA?

Hello OzLegends,

I remember heading to the USA as a younger lad and being so keen to have access to more brands/items and usually for much cheaper prices. Globalisation seems to have been pretty effective at bringing better access and prices to AUS. So is there still anything that you consider a better buy in the USA? E.g. last time I was there I snagged some Yeti goods before they were sold in AUS (and much cheaper).

Pretty vague topic but I always seem to kick myself after these trips for not maximising the opportunity.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Haha I love the comment section

Comments

      • +1

        No kidding, probably explains the price

      • +6

        Not quite. It’s probably slightly above Nike and close to Ralph Lauren. What is really considered average there is Tommy Hilfiger. It blew my mind to see the prices that it goes for here.

        • +3

          Tommy Hilfiger is not even considered a brand. it's amazing what prices people pay here for that shit design

      • -1

        Winter uniform of mexicans in southern states, so no, it's not even average.

    • +1

      buy Eddie Bauer from outlet store. much cheaper

    • Americans actually need their jackets to keep them warm is ridiculous temps where we can get away with junk brand name shit for our mild winters.

      Technical outerwear is always a good purchase to make in the states if you travel to cold climates regularly or are in to alpine sports.

  • +1

    Bullet proof vest. If you're into fishing, reels. Funnel cakes.

    • +1

      Buy a bullet proof backpack for your kids. Here is a really cute one:

      https://www.thehomesecuritysuperstore.com/collections/bullet...

      The backpack offers Level 3A bulletproof protection meaning it will repel most common handgun calibers including 9mm, .38 cal, .380 cal or .22 cal bullets, .40 S&W, .357 magnum, and .44 magnum

      The fact that products like this are actually popular is really sad.

      • And then there is this note in bold:
        NOTE: This contains a Level 3A insert and WILL NOT repel rounds from high caliber rifles like an AR-15.

        Makes you wonder how much it will protect the kids in the real wild west of the US gun crazy society!!!

        • Stops 44 Magnum but not an AR-15's .223 rounds. 🤔

          • +1

            @mr fox: .223 is small but fast whereas .44Mag is big but slow.

            Level IIIA is the highest you can go with soft body armor which allows it to be somewhat concealable and lightweight. In reality it is hot and pretty uncomfortable to wear, especially if you have it on all day.

            For rifle calibres you need Level III which is hard plates. These can stop up to six rounds of .308/7.62x51 ammo. Much bulkier and heavier and you can't wear it under a shirt etc.

            For something like armoured back packs and bullet proof clipboards Level IIIA is the most practical. Nobody wants to be lugging round a heavy plate all day when soft armour will do for most people.

            If body armor was legal here (only legal for security license holders and you can't own it personally, your employer owns and stores it) you'd buy Level IIIA as its the most "practical" to wear and would stop most rounds you're likely to encounter ie handgun rounds during a hold up. Nobody is going to be picking you off with a .308 in the Coles parking lot lol.

            The laws here in QLD are really weird and while body armour is illegal you can have a bullet proof clipboard or backpack unless they have tightened the wording up in the legilation over the last couple of years. I remember seeing a whole email chain from QLD Weapons licensing discussing what was legal and what wasn't that was released under FOI or something similar. The gun range I used to work at actually had a company come down and test their clipboard against a .44 Magnum. It stopped the bullet but you could tell you'd still be injured pretty bad from the blunt force trauma looking at the deformation done to the clipboard. I was impressed. but I still wouldn't buy one as I don't think the threat is any where near high enough to justify it in this country.

            At the end of the day the bad guy can just shoot you in the head which renders the durability of your armour moot.

      • Changing the gun laws was John Howard's only positive contribution to the world

        • +5

          I know it’s been a while, but you forgot his green and gold power-walking tracksuit.

          • @muncan: You forgot his ball of the century whilst visiting troops in Pakistan. Still gives a chuckle.

  • Smirnoff vodka comes in lots of flavours that we don't get here and its really cheap at walmart.

  • Perfumes and chocolates

  • +3

    Nuclear Subs (for resale via Gumtree)

  • +3

    Saved $30 AUD on 1L grey goose at duty free lol but that’s about it. I was there last month.

    A small coffee at a cafe ended up being between 6-9 AUD.
    A breakfast omelette was about 26-33 AUD after tips / taxes
    A small tub of watermelon pieces was about 9 AUD

    • "A small tub of watermelon pieces was about 9 AUD"

      Was this at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) 😂

      • That was in Santa Rosa Beach at a Publix

    • Sounds like NYC

      • Was all over… San Francisco, seattle, NYC, Florida Starbucks…

        • Yeah, aide from Florida, they're all big expensive cities. Go to other cities and stuff isn't nearly that expensive

  • +6

    TJ Maxx, Saks off 5th and other outlets / discounter shops where you can get branded clothes. Other than that there is not much to buy and bring home.

  • +14

    A plane ticket to get out asap

  • +13

    Steam deck….. 🥲

    • +3

      This is probably the best thing I've seen suggested.

  • +32

    Two things I always look for in the USA are clothing and shoes.
    There are factory outlets in most major cities (there are two in Las Vegas alone) and they are much bigger than the ones we have here, so getting around them can eat a big part of a day and it is usually not just pop in, pop out.
    If it is the end of a season, say March or September, the major retail stores have sales that can generate huge savings.
    Other tips; look to get a Visitor's discount card at stores like Macy's. The floorwalkers will direct you to where to get one, you will need a foreign driver's licence or a passport. They are useful because in some states, if you can show you are not a resident, you will not have to pay State sales tax.
    Some bigger stores will give extra discounts for all kinds of reasons, so it pays to be prepared. Things like being a member of an auto club, so take your NRMA/RACV/whatever card, the shop assistant probably won't know what it is but it might just get a discount box ticked.
    Also, even if you are not a churchgoer, take a pic of yourself outside your local church (preferably with some others in the background), that can go down a treat in the south! Praise the Lord!
    Lastly, while buying clothes once in LA my wife even got asked if she was a pet owner. She showed a pic of her and the cat on her phone and got a further 10 percent off! So borrow the moggie or the mutt from next door!
    Apart from clothes, I once happened to be leaving for the USA the day after one of the big tech sales days, so I checked with my first hotel that it was OK to have a package delivered and held for me. It was, so I ordered a new laptop for my son and it was waiting for me when I arrived. About half the price it was here and I saved a ton on delivery, though be sure to check for things like universal voltage.
    Other things I have bought in the US are golf clubs and tennis racquets. There are a few places that are much cheaper than here, so if those are you game[s] and you have a big luggage allowance, have a look for some outlets on the internet before you leave.

    • +3

      Thank you for the write up, I really appreciate it 🙏

    • +1

      The Vegas outlets were legendary. North and south I think they are? We filled an entire suitcase with quality clothing at less than half of a "sale" price here. 7 years on, we're still wearing what we bought!

  • +6

    Return ticket

  • +5

    i don't see the good of buying anything in another so called 1st world English speaking country specially when we have the same things available here for more or less the same price (or even cheaper here when its a ozbargain post). not even worth the hassle to go chaise a few dollar in savings when you are there to ideally see the place and try out the different foods, specially LA with the Mexican food, Maine with seafood, Texas with smoked BBQ and Boston and NY with philly with their selections. don't go for things you can find here. go on a holiday to see places and experience new things/foods. forget ruining your holiday to chase saving a few bucks and not to mention you still have to haul that shit back to Australia, just not worth wasting your time and energy to save a few bucks its hardly worth it IMO..

    • +2

      Under-appreciated comment. The things you own end up owning you. Better to spend the time enjoying the experience than waste day or two browsing for stuff to save a few cents.

  • +7

    Snap-On tools, significantly cheaper

  • +2

    we used to take 2 huge suitcases each - or buy in US - they were max size allowed on flights.
    They would get stuffed with clothes. My wife likes Bloomingdales where prices were excellent for beautiful clothes.
    For me shirts and trousers which come in sizes that fit perfectly. Walmart always good for a visit - remember buying an Ipad there.
    Alcohol is cheap but not really worth bringing back - remember seeing Vodka etc in gallon bottles at local supermarket.

    • +2

      Baggage allowance is only 1 checked suitcase pretty person post-covid

  • I’ve been told us Costco sells glenlivet 18 for pretty cheap

    • US$55 incl tax for the 14 year at my local Costco at the moment (750mL). They don't have the 18 year in stock (things like that are frequently very hit-or-miss at Costco). The 18 year is US$130 inc tax at my local Bevmo, but also out of stock.

  • Also you can probably get outdoor gear (eg hiking jacket etc) for cheaper that here

  • +1

    Tommy hilfiger, it's dirt cheap over there. You can sell it on Ozbargain and make a huge profit… Ozbargain demographic love Tommy and will pay crazy prices

  • A couple sets of Konig wheels. I enquired about getting a set imported years ago and nobody locally were keen to entertain my request.

  • The one thing I've always wanted to bring back from the US is a high-end TV e.g. LG C1/C2 (just compare prices on JB vs Amazon), for some reason much cheaper in the US.

    Still trying to figure out how to bring it back, biggest item I've brought back as check-in luggage is a road bike.

    • +1

      There’s no way an OLED is coming back in one piece. The reason it’s cheaper is they have 10x or 15x as many people.

      Good job on the road bike.

  • Nothing

  • +3

    A ticket to leave there 😂

  • custom nikes

  • +3

    Just FYI the ozb equivalent here is https://slickdeals.net/, you might want to check it out.

  • +1

    See's Peanut Brittle.

  • +4

    FREEDOM!

    • This is the right answer 👍

    • +1

      but what you get is more like FREEDUMB¿

  • Which states/cities are you visiting?

    • -1

      Hawaii so far

      • In that case, try the Sammy's Beach Bar 'Red Head' macadamia rum, and if you like it, bring home as much as you're allowed! You can't get it here, or in most mainland US states. When we travel, we usually try and bring home stuff that you can't get anywhere else.

        They have the oulets on Oahu, so American Eagle clothing is worth a look, too, even if it's just to get a feel for their sizes and you can buy online later, although it's much cheaper at the outlets. Yankee candles are another thing that's much cheaper in the States, if you're into candles. ;)

      • Hawaii is expensive af. Sunset dinner cruise with booze included is worth it though.

  • Go to the company stores and go wild

  • Sonos Roam: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/roam
    ~205 AUD instead of 299 AUD

    • What people forget is that in the US, sales taxes++ are added after the price, so it'd end up being like $205-235 depending on the state. I think it's just Delaware that doesn't have sales tax? Not sure.

      • +1
        • New Hampshire
        • Oregon
        • Alaska
        • Montana
  • +2

    Take empty suitcases across and head to Mall of America in Minnesota. There is no sales tax on shoes/clothing. The place is ridiculous and has a theme park inside. End of season for them is the start of our season. April/May you pick up all their winter stuff on sale. Oct/Nov you pick up the summer gear.

    • +1

      I often also check out classifieds they have for on sale on craigslist for classic left hand drive cars; I've never imported one though. Looks like the Aussie dollar may be moving up again to around 80 cents next year.

  • +1

    Guns

    • +12

      If you bring back enough in your checked luggage, the Australian government will even give you free accomodation with food for a few years upon your return.

  • A Penthouse in New York City :)

  • +1

    Levi's

    • Seven7 Jeans much better

  • +1

    Sneakers and cocaine are much cheaper in 'Murica.

  • +1

    Spray on cheese in a can. Much cheaper there than here. Try this culinary delight from the USA.

    Just beware that if you put a can into your checked luggage, the TSA will open it at every airport to check it out. I wonder how I know…

  • Marijuana is legal in many states. Just show ID and go right on in to buy whatever you want.

  • Votes

  • +1

    Peanut Butter M&Ms, zippo lighters, Wyze Cam V3, make up

  • -2

    Australia’s inferiority complex on full display in this thread

  • Tesla.

  • Hit up outlets, plenty of them around in most major cities, dunno where you're going but some states seem to have better offerings than others (Vegas & Dallas I've found to be the best followed by California) as well as the local tax rates differ.

    Usually its shoes and clothes for me which is the big one, mostly brand names here that are very expensive that are quite cheap over there, have internet on your phone so if you need to signup to get special in store coupons (via signing up) you can, I've had a couple where members got another 15-25% off the already outlet discounted prices.

    Handbags and other branded luxury goods can also be hundreds of dollars cheaper than here or in limited releases or colours etc than you can't get here.

    Peanut butter M&Ms! Other USA candy etc, they do a lot more sugar-free sweets that we don't get here and also some meds we don't get here.

    Amazon things, ship to a local locker or to your hotel for pickup if you can find something not sold here or that's significantly cheaper there.

  • Factory outlet stores had the best value we found. Nike, Nth face, Patagonia etc. Bought back more snow gear than the Aldi sale.

  • Corn Pops!

  • Guns…what a pathetic 'democracy' they have. Their gun laws are an absolute joke.

  • Last time I went I stocked up on
    - Melatonin, unbelievably expensive here and you can only get the slow release version. Which sucks.
    - custom Weber bbq parts, 3rd party manufactured and wouldn’t ship to Australia.
    - kids clothing (if you’ve got kids or know anyone with them). So much cheaper.

    • +1

      I get my Melatonin from iHerb, they have plenty of options and much cheaper than local.
      Don't know how comfortable I'd be coming through customs with a prescription only medicine purchased OS, I'm assuming with no script?

      • I recently brought back melatonin with no probs, apparently it’s legal to bring it into the country.

      • Over the counter medicine in the USA, sold next to the Panadol, and seems to be legal to bring back for personal use. Although I wouldn’t go bringing in a commercial quantity, might raise questions. It’s definitely not legal to supply/sell within Australia.

        Hence why you can also buy it from iHerb directly. Which is what I do now that they have free shipping over certain amounts.

  • +1

    Four Loko 12% cans, they're about $3-4 for a 700ml can if memory serves (May be more based on inflation).
    Can get wicked on just 1 Four Loko.

  • If you are into Quiksilver gear, most outlet centres in the US have QS stores with clothing around 50% cheaper than it is here. I always stock up when over there.

  • +3

    no need to Buy. walk in. take your items and leave the shop, just ensure total is less than $900.

  • +1

    Drakes Coffee Cake

  • I remember going to a buffet style kfc for 8 bucks in the mid west, i remember thinning that was pretty cool.

  • I have the Ozbargain fave Macpac Halo Down and have been wearing it for about 4 years now.

    To be honest, I've always been quite underwhelmed by it - I don't find it that warm. I often need to wear 3 or 4 layers underneath it and even still, feel that it acts more as a windbreaker than anything else.

    Anyway, I'm about to head to California and was thinking of picking up a north face down jacket. However, I read earlier in the thread that north face isn't considered that great. Are there other brands I should instead be looking at?

    • Are you just after a warmer jacket for Australian conditions? Just get one with more down in it. Although the Halo should be warm for most places; yes you may need to layer but you always need to layer. Perhaps instead of a new jacket, try some long sleeve merino t-shirts (or even just thermal shirts from TSLA on Amazon).

      Northface will be totally fine for Australian conditions; sure it might not be what you wear for your Himalaya expedition, but you dont need that. Arc'teryx if you want to look like you have too much money. Even macpac has warmer jackets (icefall, for example). Or Patagonia, Columbia. Mountain design Peak on special at $299

      I didnt find Northface particularly cheap in the US and that was just before lockdown. But there are large outdoor stores where I'm sure you can find something

      • You've got to go to the Berkeley direct factory outlet to get the cheapest prices on NF. The other NF outlets I've been to over there aren't anywhere as cheap.
        I've picked up those multi-layer jackets that sell here on sale for $450+ for $110USD+ tax, shoes that were over $250 a pair here for $49USD + tax.
        It is hit and miss for levels of stock or what's on offer at times though, sometimes I walk away with next to nothing, other times I've filled a suitcase. YMMV.
        I've not had any complaints about NF jackets and don't get the negative comments about them here.

        • Thanks mate, I'll check out the Berkeley outlet!

      • Thanks for your thoughts dtc. I'll have a look into those options.

        I do use underlayers (e.g., unqlo heatech thermals) but sometimes find them a bit uncomfortable and tight.

        I'll have a look around and see what I find, cheers.

    • You'll blend in with all mexicans there just fine, they all wear North Face puffers.

  • Bbq Rubs and brisket

    • Bbq rubs and frisking

  • Starlight Coke

  • +2

    Knives and Multitools, leatherman especially. When I last looked about a year ago the RRP in Australia was about 2x that of leatherman bought in the USA, pretty much across the board.

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