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The cheapest countries to buy a Nintendo Switch

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Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Like its distant relative, the Game Boy, the Nintendo Switch has cemented its place in history as one of the definitive handheld gaming devices. Its popularity is such that after almost seven years on the market, it’s still regularly at its $300 retail price in the USA, before sales tax. Globetrotting readers may have been looking for a way to pass the time on long-haul flights and noticed that the Switch isn’t the same price in the country they’re passing through. So we’ve compared some countries and asked the question, where’s the cheapest place to buy the Nintendo Switch?

This comparison should particularly interest tourists. That extra sales tax you pay in the US usually only applies to residents, and it’s the same for lots of other nations. This means that if you’re on vacation and you want to buy the Switch, you can often either claim back the sales tax for that region or avoid it entirely. It’s an enticing prospect, but are the savings worth hunting out? That’s what we’re going to explore.

We’ll keep things simple by doing a like-for-like comparison of the price of the standard model of the Nintendo Switch. We could do the same for the Switch Lite and OLED models, but you can be pretty confident that the cheapest and most expensive countries for these versions will be broadly similar to those of the original.

Let’s get into the numbers.

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Japan and Russia are the cheapest places in the world to buy a Nintendo Switch. Both places are just over $200 if you avoid the sales tax. Uruguay is the most expensive place to buy it at over $600.


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What are the cheapest countries to buy a Nintendo Switch?

We’ve laid out the price of the Nintendo Switch in each country in the table below. The local prices don’t include the sales tax of that state that you’d pay as a resident, as we’re looking at it from the point of view of a tourist. We’ve then converted those regional prices into the equivalent value in USD at the time of writing.

Rank Country Price (w/out tax) Price in USD
Rank

1

Country

Japan

Price (w/out tax)

29,980 JPY

Price in USD

$207

Rank

2

Country

Russia

Price (w/out tax)

19,024 RUB

Price in USD

$208

Rank

3

Country

South Korea

Price (w/out tax)

327,272 KRW

Price in USD

$249

Rank

4

Country

Norway

Price (w/out tax)

2,879 NOK

Price in USD

$280

Rank

5

Country

Australia

Price (w/out tax)

426 AUD

Price in USD

$286

Rank

6

Country

Italy

Price (w/out tax)

270 EUR

Price in USD

$296

Rank

7

Country

New Zealand

Price (w/out tax)

477 NZD

Price in USD

$298

Rank

8

Country

Canada

Price (w/out tax)

400 CAD

Price in USD

$299

Rank

9

Country

Hong Kong

Price (w/out tax)

2,340 HKD

Price in USD

$300

Rank

10

Country

Taiwan

Price (w/out tax)

9,314 TWD

Price in USD

$301

Rank

11

Country

Germany

Price (w/out tax)

277 EUR

Price in USD

$303

Rank

12

Country

Sweden

Price (w/out tax)

3,119 SEK

Price in USD

$304

Rank

13

Country

United Kingdom

Price (w/out tax)

248 GBP

Price in USD

$316

Rank

14

Country

Indonesia

Price (w/out tax)

5,000,000 IDR

Price in USD

$322

Rank

15

Country

United States (inc. tax)

Price (w/out tax)

330 USD*

Price in USD

$330

Rank

16

Country

Finland

Price (w/out tax)

306 EUR

Price in USD

$335

Rank

17

Country

Malaysia

Price (w/out tax)

1,603 MYR

Price in USD

$346

Rank

18

Country

Singapore

Price (w/out tax)

477 SGD

Price in USD

$359

Rank

19

Country

India

Price (w/out tax)

30,476 INR

Price in USD

$367

Rank

20

Country

Saudi Arabia

Price (w/out tax)

1,381 SAR

Price in USD

$368

Rank

21

Country

United Arab Emirates

Price (w/out tax)

1,428 AED

Price in USD

$389

Rank

22

Country

Brazil

Price (w/out tax)

2,000 BRL

Price in USD

$410

Rank

23

Country

Mexico

Price (w/out tax)

7,672 MXN

Price in USD

$454

Rank

24

Country

Uruguay

Price (w/out tax)

23,606 UYU

Price in USD

$603

The asterisk by the United States price is to signify that this is the one entry in the table that includes tax. That’s what a US resident would pay. Sales tax in America varies by state, so we’ve used an approximate 10% increase to reflect an average amount of tax.

Based on the countries we looked at and the current exchange rates, the cheapest place to buy a Nintendo Switch is Japan. Russia is almost as cheap, with the portable gaming console costing just over $200 in each country when you take tax out of the equation. South Korea is the third cheapest country at $249.

Of the countries we looked at, Uruguay is the most expensive place to buy a Nintendo Switch. It seems hideously overpriced there at over $600, but there are undoubtedly reasons for this hefty price tag. We’ll discuss some of them below.

Is this the best price I’ll see for the Nintendo Switch in each country?

Almost certainly not. The only comparison we’re making — the only one we really can make — is how the official retail prices differ in each country. There may well be third-party vendors who advertise the Switch at a better price. But whether at home or abroad, you should always be wary about a price that seems too good to be true. It’s common for less scrupulous sellers to package up a reconditioned or second-hand model and tout it as being brand new. Buying from an official outlet is your best chance of avoiding such shadowy behavior.

Having said that, it’s very possible that you can find a good deal on the device. After all, it’s been available to buy since 2017. It could be going cheap in a clearance sale or a special offer as part of a promotional event.

Should I buy the Nintendo Switch from another country?

It’s not for us to tell you how to spend your money. If you’re passing through Japan and you need something to occupy you on long bus journeys, it might make complete sense to pick up a cut-price Switch. Just bear in mind that it might have a different software configuration, it would be very difficult to return if faulty, and any guarantee it comes with would be almost worthless once you’re back in the USA.

One thing is clear — there’s certainly no case to be made for traveling for the sole purpose of getting a cheaper Nintendo Switch. The $120 or so you’d stand to save would be way less than you’d end up paying in flight costs alone, never mind the rest of your trip expenses. Besides, you can often find deals on the device in the US that make the savings even more marginal. At the time of writing, the Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition is reduced from $347.99 to $319.99 on Amazon. That’s a modest offer in comparison to some of the discounts we see.

Why is the Nintendo Switch cheaper in some countries and more expensive in others?

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There are a great many costs to the manufacturer and retailers in bringing any product to market. They include labor, shipping, taxes, and much more. These costs are often very specific to the region of the world. It stands to reason that if the cost of getting the Nintendo Switch onto the shelves is wildly different between countries, the retail price should also be different. The marketing team will also have a say, with prices set to maximize profits for everyone involved.

Another huge factor is that we’re converting all of these prices to US dollars. The retail price of the Switch may not have changed much in seven years, but exchange rates have swung massively in that time. Japan might not have been the cheapest country in 2017, and in US dollar terms, it might not be by this time next week. Such is the nature of the global economy. We’ll revisit this article periodically to find out.


FAQs

The Nintendo Switch does go on sale from time to time. You never see it half-price, but you can often make modest savings on it, especially during Black Friday and Prime Day sales. Bundle offers are also a common occurrence.

The Switch Lite is the least expensive of the family. It retails for $199.99 in the USA.

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