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  #21  
Old 03.10.2013, 11:17
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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The OP was writing about services.

Everyone else is writing about goods.
I buy most of my services over the border. Car needs repairs? Off to France I go. Want to go to a restaurant? Yep, it's off over the border again. Dry cleaning? Ironing? Yep, that goes to 5-a-Sec in France.

For other services, I do it myself. And when I absolutely, positively have to purchase a service in Switzerland, you'd better believe that I shop around and insist on a clear, up-front quotation.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:22
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

I kind of get annoyed by the Amazon, Starbucks, Zalando etc... that do sell low products/services at a very low price to swiss-resident population but do not pay TAXES in CH for the infrastructure they are using. All taxes are paid in Luxembourg or Ireland. They should pay their share of local taxes as well to participate to the cost of the infrastructure.
I want to support the local economy and it annoys me to see Amazon and alike kill local businesses like bookshops.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:24
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I buy most of my services over the border. Car needs repairs? Off to France I go. Want to go to a restaurant? Yep, it's off over the border again. Dry cleaning? Ironing? Yep, that goes to 5-a-Sec in France.

For other services, I do it myself. And when I absolutely, positively have to purchase a service in Switzerland, you'd better believe that I shop around and insist on a clear, up-front quotation.
Why don't you live in France then? Housing is also cheaper.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:26
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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For other services, I do it myself. And when I absolutely, positively have to purchase a service in Switzerland, you'd better believe that I shop around and insist on a clear, up-front quotation.
This is the point I was trying to make in my earlier post. It seems that people move to Switzerland, find they need something doing, find a company to do it and baulk at the cost, then open a thread on EF .

Most Swiss I know shop around and get a recommendation. If you are new to the country, you don't know where to find the best deals unless you make some attempt to shop around.

Maybe it would be useful to have a new and specific section to the forum where people can list great experiences of garages, builders, hairdressers, etc. so newbies to Switzerland can avoid getting shafted by companies charging megabucks for services.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:26
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I kind of get annoyed by the Amazon, Starbucks, Zalando etc... that do sell low products/services at a very low price to swiss-resident population but do not pay TAXES in CH for the infrastructure they are using. All taxes are paid in Luxembourg or Ireland. They should pay their share of local taxes as well to participate to the cost of the infrastructure.
I want to support the local economy and it annoys me to see Amazon and alike kill local businesses like bookshops.
What infrastructure, exactly, does Amazon use in Switzerland? Their merchandise ships from a warehouse in Germany or France, via SwissPost (which is paid for in the form of postage).

And what does Starbucks in Switzerland sell at a low price? A coffee costs CHF7. And they pay their workers (who pay Swiss income tax), Swiss wages. And every cup of coffee they sell attracts 8% VAT, just like everything else in Switzerland.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:26
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I kind of get annoyed by the Amazon, Starbucks, Zalando etc... that do sell low products/services at a very low price to swiss-resident population but do not pay TAXES in CH for the infrastructure they are using. All taxes are paid in Luxembourg or Ireland. They should pay their share of local taxes as well to participate to the cost of the infrastructure.
I want to support the local economy and it annoys me to see Amazon and alike kill local businesses like bookshops.
omg. this is ironic coming from switzerland.

they are in ireland and luxembourg because those countries are tax competitive.

tax competition is probably the one thing switzerland is willing to compete on (that and banking secrecy).
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:27
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Historic exchange rates matter not a jot for purchases made today. Value isn't a perception, it's an absolute.

Nappies cost EUR 4 a pack in Germany. Here in Switzerland, they cost CHF12 for the same pack, or EUR9.79 at today's exchange rates. By my math, I've gotten EUR5.79 more value by purchasing the same goods over the border.
Of that 5.79eur "value" how much is due to change in the status quo between currencies (a fundamental revaluation), how much due to the impact of you being taxed less, and how much due to a fundamental price difference?
(The above is a deviation from defining a clean profit)

Country A: VAT 20%; Income tax 35%; Price 5
Country B: VAT 8%; Income tax 15%; Price 12
Rate: Historical norm 1.6; Current 1.2

NET VAT
A = 4.17
B = 11.11

Required to earn
A = 6.41
B = 13.07

Rates
Historical = 10.25
Current = 7.69

Savings
Based on the current face value exchange (for a tourist) the amount is 6 (12-(5*1.2)). Taking into historical data and looking at a full picture the difference is just 2.82 (13.07-10.25).

I will happily benefit from the "cheap" price of shopping/services while being a tourist. However I am keenly aware that the differences are far greater now than they ever used to be - and if compared on a local basis there is a smaller difference.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:28
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Why don't you live in France then? Housing is also cheaper.
Housing is cheaper, taxes are higher. If you're a non-EU citizen, you may not have the option of moving.

Just like shopping around for goods, today's mobility means that people can shop around for tax rates. We're much more mobile than in previous generations.

Just look at what happened when France decided to raise its top tax rate to 75%. Or the influx of capital into Switzerland when they lowered their tax rates to attract business and investment?
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:29
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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omg. this is ironic coming from switzerland.

they are in ireland and luxembourg because those countries are tax competitive.

tax competition is probably the one thing switzerland is willing to compete on (that and banking secrecy).
I think you completely missed the point.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:32
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I kind of get annoyed by the Amazon, Starbucks, Zalando etc... that do sell low products/services at a very low price to swiss-resident population but do not pay TAXES in CH for the infrastructure they are using. All taxes are paid in Luxembourg or Ireland. They should pay their share of local taxes as well to participate to the cost of the infrastructure.
I want to support the local economy and it annoys me to see Amazon and alike kill local businesses like bookshops.
If I want a book which is 30chf in store and 10euros on Amazon, which one do you think I am willing to buy from?

If the book in the store had a better competitive price, I would buy it there to get it on the spot but paying 3X its price? No thanks.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:34
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I kind of get annoyed by the Amazon, Starbucks, Zalando etc... that do sell low products/services at a very low price to swiss-resident population but do not pay TAXES in CH for the infrastructure they are using. All taxes are paid in Luxembourg or Ireland. They should pay their share of local taxes as well to participate to the cost of the infrastructure.
I want to support the local economy and it annoys me to see Amazon and alike kill local businesses like bookshops.
Posteth maketh no sensenth. They use no infrastructure in CH, so why should they pay taxes? They are based outside of CH, so not subject to CH tax. That should be obvious.

As for them selling things to CH and "killing local businesses"... well, welcome to the Global Marketplace and the resulting competition that it causes... it's been happening for a while now I believe.

Besides, most Swiss DO shop locally I think, it's mostly expats who use foreign services, and there's no reason why they shouldn't either.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:34
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I will happily benefit from the "cheap" price of shopping/services while being a tourist. However I am keenly aware that the differences are far greater now than they ever used to be - and if compared on a local basis there is a smaller difference.
Your math is all very fancy, but it doesn't make a difference. I pay my income tax at Swiss rates regardless of whether I shop in Germany or Switzerland. So I have exactly the same amount of money in my wallet when I leave the house.

And we can both agree that 4 is less than 9.79, right?

You're arguing about local purchasing power, which is different (and assumes that people can't purchase outside their local environment). It's not worth comparing prices here with those in Thailand or the US, because it's not practical to spend money there on a regular basis.

When Germany or France are only 2km down the road, it's a different equation.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:39
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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If I want a book which is 30chf in store and 10euros on Amazon, which one do you think I am willing to buy from?

If the book in the store had a better competitive price, I would buy it there to get it on the spot but paying 3X its price? No thanks.
I think it's obvious that people will buy from the cheaper source, which is just how things are today. I watched a report on TV in the summer that high streets in the UK are becoming ghost towns with the only shops left open are cafes and these pay-day loan shops because the retail shops can't compete with the online industry.

It's a bit of a shame that all these lovely bookshops, florists, music shops, boutiques are falling by the wayside but I guess it's progress and the way of the future.

The report showed that in many cases these high streets will ultimately be knocked down to make way for either housing or big supermarket/hypermarket development.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:39
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Posteth maketh no sensenth. They use no infrastructure in CH, so why should they pay taxes? They are based outside of CH, so not subject to CH tax. That should be obvious.

As for them selling things to CH and "killing local businesses"... well, welcome to the Global Marketplace and the resulting competition that it causes... it's been happening for a while now I believe.

Besides, most Swiss DO shop locally I think, it's mostly expats who use foreign services, and there's no reason why they shouldn't either.
But you (and other previous posters) still believe that Amazon pays taxes in germany, france where they are using infrastructure? They pay taxes in Ireland or Luxembourg. Is that fair?
The Globalization...yep kind of aware of it. But does not mean I should accept everything from it. I assume everyone enjoys buying made in china baby food (it's cheaper) or products manufactured by "slaves". The question is what are you morally willing to accept at some point. The buy always cheaper strategy can't last on the long term.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:40
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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When Germany or France are only 2km down the road, it's a different equation.
Perhaps for you? But for others?

60km?80?100?

All of which assumes zero cost to travel - and zero cost of time.

You are fortunate that you can travel, quickly and cheaper, to a country where the cost of goods/services is cheaper. For the majority that is not possible.

For example: Getting a car serviced in Germany is much cheaper - but would require a day off work waiting around. In Switzerland I can drop the car off before it opens - and collect it at the end of the day - after the garage has closed. Both events happening on my way to/from work. The time cost is low (saved a days holiday).
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:42
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

I buy very little in Switzerland.

Price is a factor, yes - but far more important is quality, customer service, and choice.

Much of what I buy is not available in Switzerland. Much of what is available in Switzerland is of a lesser quality. And with a few exceptions, customer service is abominable. This last is probably what drives me to spend my money elsewhere.

When I do find a local source for the goods I want, at a quality/price ratio I feel is justified, sold to me with a smile - then I happily support the local economy.

But local never trumps choice/quality/service.

And at Swiss prices, it's a lot easier to walk away from poor choice/quality/service.

I feel no compunction to support a business that cannot meet my needs or that does not value me as a customer.

If a local business is not making it, perhaps the owners should ask themselves why.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:46
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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It's a bit of a shame that all these lovely bookshops, florists, music shops, boutiques are falling by the wayside but I guess it's progress and the way of the future.

The report showed that in many cases these high streets will ultimately be knocked down to make way for either housing or big supermarket/hypermarket development.
Yes, two hundred years ago we had small villages, and we only went to market to buy some specific things. Maybe we will return to this concept: live locally, work and purchase online.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:56
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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The OP was writing about services.

Everyone else is writing about goods.

Just saying...
I will give you some of my experience with services....

I've always been a bit handy around the house, but have become real DIY type of person of late. This is in reference to most house repair type services. I realised I can do a better job with less problems, less hassle, and certainly less costly. I do not mind paying the going rate, but often the quality is crap or something gets broken. Here are my big 3:

Issue number 1--no availabity, cannot get someone to come or give estimate, no return of phone call, obviously do not need or want the business is the message I get.

Issue number 2--unreasonable timeframe, even if can get someone to come, it may be several months, and by that time the issue will have deteriorated significantly or be beyond fixable.

Issue number 3--the most important in my experience is shoddy workmanship, bad quality, not up to professional standards, or makes more of a problem than the original issue. Maybe just my bad luck but it seems to happen regularly in dealing with all types of trades. For example, come to change a simple faucet and break the pipe behind, leaving a whole wall to be replaced and piping to be replaced after the wall dries out for a week; or put in new walkway and knock half the crepi off the house wall, etc... etc..
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:57
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I kind of get annoyed by the Amazon, Starbucks, Zalando etc... that do sell low products/services at a very low price to swiss-resident population but do not pay TAXES in CH for the infrastructure they are using. All taxes are paid in Luxembourg or Ireland. They should pay their share of local taxes as well to participate to the cost of the infrastructure.
I want to support the local economy and it annoys me to see Amazon and alike kill local businesses like bookshops.
Actually, this is a problem in many countries around the world where companies such as Amazon and others sell their services and goods globally and pay tax only in one location but are competing with local companies who provide additional services such as allowing people to try on clothes, test the musical instrument, flip through the books, for example - who then are essentially providing a free service, since the "clients", having made their choice, then go and buy on line, i.e. the shop owner gets nothing. Apart from the fact that the shop owners still have to pay their staff, rent etc. and taxes, which is bad for them and local services, it also reduces the amount of tax the country can collect in terms of VAT, for example. It will ultimately affect profitability, local wages, local number of jobs etc.

Imagine a world where all shopping is on line only - no shops for you to visit or browse, no possibility to try out the best skates, no repair service around the corner - this is what it will eventually come to if the majority of people buy on line - local providers will eventually just go out of business. I personally know of one - the only shop of this type in the town which will stop selling musical instruments as he has exactly that problem, "selecting" is done in his shop but purchasing on line through an on-line competitor.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:59
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Whilst Swiss companies employ foreign labour as we're cheaper than the locals (such as my line of work - IT, or all the French staff working in Cogros in Basel), they should not be upset that those same people do the same thing when it comes to THEIR goods and services.
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