Morecambe, Lancashire -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/19/2017 --"I love the U.S.A. but I don't live in it!" says Katie Miller, editor of new comparison website "Bestinuk.co.uk".
Like many people Katie Miller has come to rely on the internet to help her with her shopping. Reviews help her to decide what products to choose and online retailers help her score the best bargains or find unusual items which just aren't available on your average high street. She did, however, have an annoying problem.
As many people in the UK will probably have noticed, even though search engines have made great progress in adjusting their search results according to where people live, the fact still remains that a lot of the English-language internet is geared to the market in the U.S.A. and Canada and that can be very frustrating for people who live in other parts of the world, like the U.K.
That's what motivated Miller to become editor of Bestinuk.co.uk.
"My first goal was simply to take away the annoyance of researching something, making a purchase decision and only then discovering that the product they want to buy is only available in the U.S.A and Canada." explains Miller. "Anything which is shown on the Bestinuk.co.uk website is actually available to buy in the UK."
"Just to be clear", adds Miller "when we say available to buy in the UK, we mean that it is actually, physically located in the UK, rather than available to ship to the UK. That's not splitting hairs at all. Even getting a small package sent from the U.S. to the U.K. can be expensive and that's before you start dealing with customs. Once you start looking to buy larger and/or more costly items, then shipping costs can really start to bite, plus your item will almost certainly be subject to import tax and that can be very high."
"The thinking behind starting Bestinuk.co.uk goes way beyond just saving people the frustration of setting their heart on an item which is not available in the UK and saving them money on shipping costs." says Miller. "It's also about ensuring that people understand that an item which gets great reviews by people in the U.S.A. may not be the perfect choice for someone living in the U.K."
This may seem surprising given that the U.K. and the U.S.A. are known to have a lot of cultural similarities, which is why, for example, the same films, TV shows, books and music are often popular in both countries, but, as Miller points out, there are a lot of practical differences between the U.K. and the U.S.A.
"Probably the most obvious example to give is the fact that we drive on different sides of the road, but there are lots of less obvious differences, such as the fact that in the U.S.A. cars tend to have automatic gearing, whereas in the U.K. we have a strong preference for manual gearing.
Another big difference, and it's one we think is really important, is that outside of certain densely-populated cities (like New York, San Francisco and Portland), houses in the U.S.A. tend to be a whole lot bigger than houses in the U.K. and this can be hugely significant when it comes to choosing products you're going to keep in your home.
For example, in the U.S., you're more likely to have a house with a garage which is big enough also to be used for storage and/or as a small gym. Here in the U.K. houses with garages are actually becoming much rarer to the point that people are having to give up garden space just to have somewhere to put their car.
What that means in practice is that in the U.S. outside of the main cities, storage is often much less of an issue than it is for people in the U.K. People don't have to think so much about how easy it is to fold up an item and put it out of the way because they are more likely to have the space just to leave an item out, ready to use. Similarly, in the U.K. people often need to think about whether or not an item makes a noise which could disturb their family or neighbours, whereas in the U.S. it's more likely that someone could put a noisier item into a garage or a specific room they can soundproof and, basically, not worry about it.
"The last key difference I can think of," says Miller "is the fact that the electrical system in the U.S. is actually very different to the system we have in the U.K. That's why you need to take travel adapters with you when you go on holiday. Travel adapters are fine for smaller items, which draw minimal power, but when you're talking about larger items, I think it's much better to buy something which is intended for use in the U.K. and therefore has been designed to suit the U.K.'s electric system.