Prices around the World
Take Apart SMART!
Posted: March 01, 2023
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    Kids shop at a LEGO store in Xi’an, China. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
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    This map shows the average price of an example LEGO set around the world. (The Toy Zone/© NEOMAM STUDIOS)
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    Protesters demand more money and jobs in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Inflation has hit Argentina hard. (AP/Victor R. Caivano)
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    Cargo ships line the docks at the Port of Oakland in California. Delivery, handling, import fees, and tariffs contribute to the price of an imported toy like a LEGO set. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
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You walk into a store. You want to buy a fancy LEGO set. Maybe you want the NINJAGO® City Gardens or the Disney Castle. How much will it cost? That depends on where you are in the world.

If you live in Belgium, a particular LEGO set like the one we're tracking costs about $269, according to a report from The Toy Zone. In the United States, it runs about $349. But in Argentina, prepare to spend a whopping $2,270.

Why does this happen?

There are a few different reasons. Those are cost of goods, market demand and supply, currency value, and taxes. All those vary from one nation to another.

Cost of goods is a term for the amount of money a company (like a toymaker, factory, or farmer) must put in to create a product. That amount depends on where the company is located. Some businesses have easy access to materials, ingredients, and packaging. In some places, it is cheaper to hire workers. Tools and power to run machines might be easier to get. But others must pay more to produce and deliver the same goods.

Sometimes prices increase because of market demand. Demand is a measure of how popular something is among consumers. Say you and four friends all want the same LEGO set. But the nearest store has only one on the shelf. That’s a low supply. The company may raise the price to keep from selling out its supply too quickly. Scarcity (lack of supply) could make the price increase.

Why? Businesses around the world must figure out the costs of making and delivering goods. That information helps companies buy and sell and meet people’s wants and needs.