The internet gives plenty of opportunity for comparing prices of the same goods offered in different countries, and the trip to the USA presented the opportunity to take advantage of this knowledge.
I am hooked on the Ryobi One+ range of portable power tools. During my most recent DIY project, I found that I was transferring batteries between different tools all the time, so I resolved to get some more batteries. 99 euros each battery in France, 99 dollars for two in the USA. No contest. The tools themselves are cheaper too, and I got myself a jig saw and an impact driver. Both less than half European price.
The nice thing about all of that of course, in these days of equality, is that I can now apply feminine logic on my own behalf. In the airport on the way back, I was browsing the tech shops and saw (and tested) a nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones. I bought them with the money I saved on the other stuff.
But what's this? Dismay! After very little use, one of the ear cushions has split, revealing the blue sponge underneath. It didn't even last as long as the batteries! So I looked up the vendors, Brookstone, on the web and got in touch. The conversation went like this (I paraphrase):
The phones I bought last week are broken. Can you send me a new ear cushion?
We don't repair those. Got your receipt?
Yes, here it is, and a picture of the fault.
Well we don't repair them, and don't replace them outside the USA. Want your money back?
Top marks, given the situation. I have now invested 6 euros on a pair of standard replacement ear cushions, just to see if I can fix them. Meanwhile of course, the phones still actually work. So I am confident, in future situations, travelling or not, that Brookstone is a good outfit to buy from.