Imported goods are often more expensive than their local equivalents, still some wouldn’t mind spending extra to buy them. Possible reasons as to why this is so might relate to the larger variety of products available from foreign brands or simply as a matter of individual tastes.
So what are the best import items to spend money on? Check out these four categories of goods that had to travel quite a bit before making it into your shopping cart:
Malaysia’s very own chocolate brands such as Beryl’s, Vochelle and Tudor Gold are yummy confections in their own right. Still, certain US, UK, Belgian, Swiss and Australian-made chocolates have distinctly different tastes that tempt us to spend a little more in pursuit of them.
While it might just be a matter of preference, quality chocolates are a worthy splurge come payday, especially for chocoholics. Some expensive foreign favourites include Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate Nougat (RM10.99), Ferrero Rocher Chocolate 8s (RM25.80), Mars Chocolate (RM13.65), Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate 100g (RM10.89), Kinder Bueno Milk & Hazelnut (RM10.89).
Popular local cheese products like cheddar cheese slices and spreadable cream cheese are a cost-effective addition to sandwiches and breakfast foods, but when it’s time for a treat, fans of specialty cheeses might look to overseas brands.
Foreign cheeses come in a wide variety and furthermore, some of the world’s best cheeses originate from outside Malaysia (e.g. Italy, England, France and Switzerland). At your local supermarket, you should be able to find these slightly more expensive imported cheeses such as French-produced Bonbel Mini Cheeses (RM13.29), European-imported Emborg Edam Wedges (RM18.55), and US-made Monterey Jack Chunk (RM15.47).
Malaysian fruits like durian, rambutan, mangosteen, jackfruit and guava are favourites we’ll probably never tire of but that does not mean we don’t love our imported fruits as well. Apricots, cherries, kiwi, peaches, cranberries and blueberries can be rather expensive but when fresh, completely worth it.
Now, we also tend to import certain fruits that we can grow locally like strawberries (from the US or Australia) and mangoes (from India). This is probably due to its difference in quality and taste.
While we can get our hands on quality home-grown tea leaves from Cameron Highlands, imported teas from China, India, Sri Lanka and Japan are known to be some of the world’s finest. If you’re serious about tea then it might be worth the extra cost.
Imported Japanese green tea costs over RM20 per box while a comparable local alternative retails for only RM11.90. Expensive buys like these probably aren’t a staple for most but will likely be placed on our shopping lists when it’s time for a treat.
If you're a fan of, say, Harry Potter, and are keen on owning officially-licensed merchandise, it might be better to travel overseas or get them imported to ensure the authenticity of said item. This is true if you're a fan of other creative properties famous for collectibles like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or any other form of geekery.
Some models of electronics or devices also might be regionally-exclusive and can only be bought or imported from certain regions. When buying devices like these, you should always do your research thoroughly to avoid any incompatibility problems once you bring them into the country.
Still, don’t be hesitant to try out Malaysian-made alternatives in lieu of your foreign favourites; you’ll be supporting our local industry and who knows? You might find something even better!
If you are buying imported goods every now and again, you might want to think about getting a rewarding credit card that brings you valuable cash back rebates for bigger savings. Check out our comparison page to find a card with the right stuff.