When converter plugs are enough
Most electronic goods from outside of the UK will come with a different plug to the standard three pin ones we use here. The voltage they run at, however, may be identical or similar enough to the UK variety to require minimum conversion. It is likely you will need to buy a simple adapter, a converter plug which enables you to use your appliance here. Using a global adapter bought at places like airports and travel shops, or the more economical variety of country-specific converter plugs is all you need and you could be enjoying your electronics and seeing your savings in action in no time. European electrical items will probably work in the UK with a simple converter plug. But before you go plugging foreign devices into a UK system based on advice you read on the Internet, remember to read the manufacturer's instructions first.
When converter plugs aren't enough
Electrical items from countries such as the USA will require more than a converter plug. All converter plugs do is act as a go between to make one set of plug pins fit into an incompatible set of socket holes. If you are using a device which is made for a different voltage you will need a transformer for it to work. Some devices like mobile phones, laptops and other portable devices people tend to lug around from one country to another are likely to work with a converter plug alone (do check before you plug them in, though!), other electronic devices such as audio visual equipment will likely require a more serious piece of equipment if it is to work in the UK or in Europe.
Where can I buy converter plugs and transformers?
The Internet is your best friend when it comes to buying everything you need to run your foreign electronics. Electrical stores will carry common converters, but more obscure ones may not always be in stock. On the Net, however, you can easily get a hold of even the most unlikely plugs, as well as specific transformers for all your international electronic needs. So whether you've been shopping in Germany or mail ordering from the States, save yourself time and money by looking up the suitable transformer or plug and ordering it online so that it's there when your new toy arrives.