Monday, April 30, 2007

Cost of goods

(Written Monday April 30, 11:54am Kenya time)

I'm at the internet cafe right now working on these posts. I just bought a Fanta; it was (Kenyan Shillings) Sh 20. That's USD 29¢. Four hotel rooms last night (two triples and two singles) cost Sh 3,400. That's USD $52. Of course it's like a YMCA so not exactly nice, but it's a room with a private bath, breakfast included. No charge for the cockroaches. Can't argue with that.

Yet I'm told that if you want to buy expensive goods, like computers, they cost 2x to 3x what they should. Someone will buy a $1,000 computer in China and sell it here for $2,500. That's messed up. That's nearly Sh 180,00, which is, by all accounts, a shedload of money.


Richard said...

Your travels continue to amaze us all - keep up the great work!

jke said...

Afaik, there's no tax on computer parts in Kenya at the moment, and you can get a decent HP desktop or notebook for about the same price you'd have to cough up over here in Europe.
Of course, that's Nairobi and not some rural town in Rift Valley.

Btw, did you come across any computer parts store in a rural area? Eh?

Joseph said...

Actually I did see computer parts stores. Although I didn't go into any, but I can tell you that finding even simple things can be a chore. I wanted to find a soldering iron and solder to fix something (a solder point that a goat ate off my solar panel)… I found the iron but no solder. And I needed a 20A fuse, the same kind found in every car in the world. Couldn't find one anywhere in Nakuru, even in auto repair shops.

I didn't do price shopping myself, so the above post on computer prices is second hand "knowledge".

I did, however, drink lots of Fanta ;-)