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Buying Technology In Puerto Rico

Buying Technology In Puerto Rico

Many people nowadays can’t seem to live without their phone, tablet, Xbox, or internet – myself included. If you’re worried about your ability to find your favorite technology in Puerto Rico (and you don’t want to have to order everything online and wait for delivery [hoping nothing gets lost or stolen]), then this article will make you feel better.

The quick answer is that you can (pretty much) find all of the same national US stores here that you will on the mainland. Same goes for cellular service and internet.

However, if you want a little more detail, I’m going to cover 4 main areas with this article as outlined below:

  • Internet Access
  • Cellular Service
  • Computers, Tablets & Phones
  • TV, Gaming Consoles, and Gadgets

This way, you can just skip to the section you care about and quickly find the information you want.

Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Internet Access

Much like on the mainland, broadband, fiber, DSL, and satellite internet are fairly ubiquitous. Liberty Cable is the most prevalent cable (and internet) provider on the island and can be found in just about anywhere there’s a city of any size.

Claro seems to have the lion’s share of fiber connected internet and DSL when it’s available.

For those occasions when Cable or DSL is not available, there are a whole plethora of smaller local wireless internet providers and, of course, AT&T wireless, Claro, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. or Dish Network satellite internet.

If you’re looking for what the options are in a specific town in Puerto Rico, try Broadbandnow.com‘s search tool. All you need is a zip code.

Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Cellular Service

You can read this article on Cell Service in Puerto Rico for more information but, the short version is that all of the Major U.S. networks work here as does Claro (which is big in Latin America).

Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Computers, Tablets, and Phones

Once again, the familiar mainland stores are here in force. Best Buy, Walmart, Office Max, K-Mart, etc. offer a selection of desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, and iPods. They also sell accessories such as mice, keyboards, printers and ink.

In addition, you have AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. which cell the usual array of sell phones and tablets.

However, there is no Apple store anywhere on the island. We found authorized Apple re-sellers and places where you can buy Apple products (Best Buy, for example) but, no actual Apple store.

There is, however, a Microsoft store in the Plaza Las Americas. Personally, I find it a bit odd that Apple doesn’t have a retail presence on the island while Microsoft does. Especially since just about everyone I know here has an Apple iPhone and/or iPad.

Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: TV, Gaming Consoles, and Gadgets

Since I already mentioned Best Buy, Walmart, etc. you know that there is a full line of video games, TV’s, Drones. Fitbits, Apple watches, and just about every other electronic toy you could want available here.

On the rare occasion you can’t get something at the nearest big box store, you can easily find more specialized mainland and local chains as well. For example, being a video gamer, I really appreciate the numerous Game Stops here on the island.

Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Isn’t There Any Bad News?

Up until now, I’ve focused mostly on the positive similarities between the mainland and the island (of which, there are many). Now let’s focus on the two things that are not so positive:

  • Cost
  • Lack of Corporate Deals/Coupons

On average, it seems that most electronics here cost around 20% more than they do on the mainland. Sometimes you can get things for the same price but, usually it’s more (a lot more once you figure in the ridiculous 11.5% sales tax). As a result, after a while, you just start expecting it and almost become numb to it.

However, more frustrating, is the fact that the local chain stores rarely honor their own nationally advertised sales.

For example, a few weeks ago, Best Buy was running a sale where you could get a new GoPro Hero 4 Silver camera, water proof case, floating selfie stick, and a SD card for around $329. Considering the GoPro by itself has a MSRP of $399, this was a great deal. We double and triple checked for language indicating the offer wasn’t valid outside of the continental US and didn’t find any.

We tried to order it online at BestBuy.com for in-store pickup but the site said that our location didn’t qualify – Odd, we thought.

So, we went over to a local Best Buy store only to be told that the deal was not valid in Puerto Rico because of some sort of corporate sponsorship that Best Buy has neglected to setup on the island.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. It didn’t make sense to us or the store employees….

SIGH…

As a result, we ended up ordering the deal online and having Joanna’s son pick it up at his local Best Buy in Arizona. He was coming over for a visit the following week anyway, so it wasn’t a huge deal; but, if he hadn’t been, we would have needed to spend hundreds more dollars to get the camera and accessories.

So, if you’re worried about not being able to get your favorite technology if you move to Puerto Rico, you can stop now. Just be prepared to pay a little more.

Tim

About Tim

is a professional geek. He is a founding partner of JTR Tech and enjoys all things technology. He and his wife Joanna started AbroadDreams.com to help them plan and solidify their dream of moving abroad. After two years in Puerto Rico and Europe, Tim and Joanna are now back in the USA and exploring the American Southwest.

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5 comments

  1. I am wondering about the used car market in PR? Do they have a rust problem like cars in the snow belt, ….only in PR due to the salt water corrosion you find in beach communities? I would also like to know the cost of something like the used truck you purchased, year, model and cost. Do they offer 24 or 36 month leases on vehicles like they do here in the states? We are thinking a pickup would be most useful for us with what we want to do once we move to PR.

    I haven’t found any of your blogs discuss the auto topic in depth, what’s available, new & used, how much, leases, paperwork, financing, etc. compared to stateside, and I think I have read them all. Auto acquisition might be a ‘topic of the day’ in the very near future?? I know I would be interested in all the details that are different.
    My wife is going to be transferred to PR the end of this year and so we are really scouring your blogs and have found most of our questions answered……thanks for doing the writing. We look forward to each of your postings.

    • Hi Robert,
      The used car market is huge here. clasificadosonline.com has lots of cars listed. Yes, there is definitely a problem with salt air and rust but even more so, the humidity in combination with salt destroys car electronics. There is a going joke that the “check engine” light is a Puerto Rico light, because nearly all cars (unless they are new) have it on.

      There are numerous car dealerships in all bigger cities. We did talk to one about leasing and they looked very confused and told us that they don’t do that. So, I don’t think leasing is as common here but financing is pretty easily available. I don’t have details because we’ve not bought a new car here but lots of our friends have and do and they didn’t have problems. The key is to either buy cash or have a job for the financing.
      Joanna

  2. I am moving down to arecebo with my fiance in about 3 to 6 months ,we have a smart tv and i donot speak spanish so i have to use internet to pipe my shows to me , also i am having alot of anxiety about shipping my car and bike , looking at Crowley, seems to be the best alternative at this time .

    • Liberty cable has English option for their cable service. You get a few Spanish channels but otherwise it’s all English. Lots of local gringos get this option.
      Netflix and Amazon Video are two options we use with our TV, it works.
      Car shipping was pretty smooth for us, check out our guide about shipping a car. I don’t think you’ll have too much problem.

      Joanna-

    • Hi James D,
      Welcome to Puerto Rico! Not many people move from the states to Arecibo! Interesting. Nice area. Near the coast and Cueva del Indio or inland near Camuy and the Observatory?

      We have no TV and don’t miss it at all. We have laptops and any mainstream entertainment we get through that…downloaded shows and whatnot. Plus when you are in PR, you will find a lot more off-line real-life adventures and need fewer screen diversions 🙂

      We shipped our bikes in a box through the post office and we chose not to ship our cars. If you do the math it doesn’t make any sense to ship a car to Puerto Rico. PR has a ton of cars. It can be done as they have on this blog, but unless you have some overwhelming reason to, I would suggest selling your vehicle and using the money from that sale to buy a used car when you get here. The used car market is pretty much equivalent especially when you factor in about $2000 for transport and taxes. Not to mention the added hassle, paperwork and bureaucracy -all in Spanish.

      For another perspective if you’d like to read about our move and adjustment to Puerto Rico (Rincón) we have a site called http://www.lifetransplanet.com.

      ¡Bienvenidos!