The cost of most items in Argentina is on par with the United States, and inflation assures that the upward trend in prices will continue. Appliances and electronics, however, will frequently be more expensive in Argentina than in other parts of the world because of the high import taxes here. Small electronics, like cell phones, tend to cost double what they cost in the US. Larger appliances like dishwashers or stoves have about a 25%-50% markup over what they’d cost in the US.
However, to combat this reality, retailers will allow installment payments (‘cuotas’) on most items, usually with an added interest rate. However, in order to lure customers, the larger merchants and retailers will often have specials waving the interest on installment, or ‘cuota’ payments. Always ask before, just to make sure, even if there is no visible sign advertising the special — sometimes the salesperson will use it as a close on the sale.
Electronic and Appliance Stores
Gabarino has a great assortment and many locations, as well as an online ordering option from their website, and a delivery option “de envío.” Prices are competitive compared to smaller shops, but still expensive compared to other countries. Prices are listed in pesos.
Frávega also has a great assortment and a few more locations around the city. You can also order for delivery from the website. Prices are in pesos.
Compumundo is a chain that focuses on computers and smaller electronics, like TVs, stereos and phones.
Hardware stores are small neighborhood establishments called ‘ferreterías.’ Prices aren’t too high, but still on par with most things in developed countries. For example, a hammer will cost you $40, a light bulb will cost $6, and a basic ladder will start around $180.
One of the busiest hardware and electronics districts is in the Congreso area, on Paraná south of Avenida Corrientes, and along Sarmiento east of Avenida Callao. Meanwhile, at the edge of Palermo, Avenida Córdoba has garages and shops with just about every piece of hardware or building material you could ask for, from lumber and glass to porcelain and decorative tiles, as well as appliances like stoves and refrigerators. The stretch of Córdoba running from Serrano to Av. Dorrego is the area to seek out.
There are also several warehouse-sized home improvement stores in the suburbs — the one with the best offerings is Sodimac, located on Av. Libertador in Vicente López, just outside city limits.