With lower exchange rates, is it really still cheaper to shop in the USA? The results are astounding!


Rodeo Drive Sign

Cheaper retail shopping has long been a draw card for Australians visiting the USA. With a strong Australian Dollar and a passion for spending behind us, it was safe to hold off on your shopping sprees until you hit the ground in a shopper’s paradise such as Los Angeles. With high exchange rates from Aussie to US Dollars – scoring big name brands at a fraction of the cost we’d pay at home was almost guaranteed.

However, since 2014 the exchange rate we receive has dropped as much as 30%. Gone are the days of getting exchange rates as high as 1 for 1. This means that a branded handbag priced at 100 US Dollars used to cost us $103.09 Aussie bucks – a few years later that same 100 US Dollar handbag is costing us $143.97 Aussie Dollars.

Now sure, the retail price of goods rises over time – however exchange rates play a big role in determining how much you pay overseas and where you will find the cheapest price for an item. So, the question remains, with exchange rates as low as 0.65c in the last 12 months - is it still cheaper to save your big brand shopping for when you arrive in the USA?

We’ve done some research on four different items and brands, comparing the retail price at Macy’s Los Angeles versus the retail price at David Jones Perth – using some of this weeks exchange rate’s from Aussie to US Dollars.


Ladies Handbag - Michael Kors – Voyager East West Crossgrain Leather Tote

Michael Kors East West Tote2

  • Macy’s USA Price: $228 US Dollars / $328.25 Aussie Dollars
  • David Jones Price: $369 Aussie Dollars
  • Outcome: Macy’s in the USA came in $40.75AU cheaper after currency conversions for the exact same bag and colour.

 Men’s Watch – Fossil – Townsman Brown Leather Strap Watch

Fossil Townsman

  • Macy’s USA Price: $77.99 US Dollars (on sale) / $112.28 Aussie Dollars
  • David Jones Price: $229 Aussie Dollars
  • Outcome: Macy’s in the USA is a whopping $116.72 cheaper after currency conversions. This is for the same model of watch, with the colour of the face being the only difference. Not convinced? Next up we’ve compared another watch in the same colour. 

Men’s Watch - Armani Exchange Men's Blue Watch

Armani Watch

  • Macy’s USA Price: $150 US Dollars / $215.95 Aussie Dollars
  • David Jones Price: $259 Aussie Dollars
  • Outcome: Macy’s USA came in $43.05 cheaper than David Jones after currency conversions for the exact same watch and colour.  

Women’s Perfume - Calvin Klein Obsession 100ml (3.40oz)

Calvin Klein

  • Macy’s USA Price: $92 US Dollars / $132.45 Aussie Dollars
  • David Jones Price: $89 Aussie Dollars
  • Outcome: David Jones came in at $43.45 cheaper than Macy’s USA after currency conversions for the same sized perfume. 


It is fascinating to see the difference in end prices, even with what we consider a sluggish Australian Dollar. Comparing these 4 item prices between Macy’s USA and David Jones Australia proved that it might still be worth saving your shopping for when you land in the USA! Please remember exchange rates change daily and that you receive different exchange rates depending on how you choose to make your payment overseas.

To get the biggest bang for your buck, you want to seek out the highest rate for your exchange before you depart Perth. Exchange Now have highly competitive exchange rates for US Dollar cash – but not only that, we charge no exchange fees and we have US Dollars in stock every day. What you see is what you get, making it easy for you to plan your shopping sprees in the USA. Buy US Dollars online or visit us in-store at Exchange Now Galleria



Note:- This article is not considered to be personal advice, it is for comparison purposes only. The prices displayed were published on the relevant product link on the Macy’s USA and David Jones Australia websites on 26/2/19. Product prices are set by each department store and are of course not guaranteed and are subject to change. Exchange rates change daily, which means the Australian Dollar prices in this article will change from day to day. Comparison prices were calculated using the Exchange Now US Dollar cash sell rate on 26/2/19. Exchange rates differ according to how you make your payment in the USA, for example card payment or cash payment – and Exchange Now do not guarantee the rate you will receive if you use your own card or payment method. Consider your own circumstances before deciding where you shop or how you pay in foreign currency. If you are completing your own comparison for your product of choice and you want to find out the approximate foreign currency equivalent in Australian Dollars, you can use our online currency converter at www.exchangenow.com.au to get an idea of the Australian Dollar price on any given day.