The first time I went to the United States – back when I was 18, in Orlando to visit Disney – I was posed with a very interesting question from a store employee.
Is everyone in Brazil rich or something? I always see lots you guys here and always buying so much.
I stared at her for a good 20 seconds. I was thinking about how to answer the question properly, because people in Brazil are not rich at all. The majority of people come from a very hard place financially and save money for these trips for a long time.
Here is the problem with the question: in the US, people have the privilege of a very mature market for goods, where taxes are properly applied in a way that products are accessible, but expensive enough, to keep the economy running. In Brazil, on the other hand, our taxes are incredibly confusing and expensive.
To give some more details, most electronics get at least 60% added to their price just in taxes. To explain it very simply, we have one of the most expensive iPhones in the world. In Brazil, the iPhone X base model currently costs about $2,150 dollars, which sounds insane but it’s the truth. For comparison, the base model in the US costs $999 dollars.
This absurd tax on any product that you buy in Brazil is the reason why the people that have a chance to come to the US will save money for months to buy all the things they might need all at once at a much smaller price than what we would back at home.
As Erica described in posts in the past, you will know that Correios is our only option for shipping. Meaning, the prices are not competitive and it takes an enormous amount of time to import things from the US into the Brazil. Plus, you will probably pay taxes when the item gets there.
It’s insane to think that it would be cheaper to travel to another county to buy clothing and electronics, but still a very big percentage of the middle class in Brazil does that because of the way things are run.
So to answer the question posed to me, I explained that whole situation with an answer that I felt like got the point across very well.
No. Unfortunately, we come from a place where our government steals peoples’ power to consume quality goods by taxing everything with at least 60%, so we come here for proper opportunity.