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  #81  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:15
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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No, I'm being a rational homo economicus.
Fixed that for you.

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The cost of a good to me is not only the price of the item, but also the cost to obtain that item. To me, any bricks-and-mortar purchase has to be weighed against the cost of getting out of the house.

Which is why I buy so much online.

[...]

But to purchase a book for 4 times the Amazon price? Which might not be available? No, not worth it.
This is not specifically aimed at you, but your post seems to sum up many of the opinions in this thread:

I am not generally against the free market or that one tries to get the best price. In many places in Switzerland products or services are unreasonable expensive and I don't want to defend that, but I am also a strong supporter of the idea that people vote with their feet when buying at a certain company.

It might be cheaper to buy at Amazon, but personally I don't because of the practices of that company. Similar for buying certain "cheap" goods (locally or abroad). Economically it might make sense for me, but maybe it does not from an ecological point of view or maybe I am saving my money on the back of someone else. I am not saying this is the case for all or even most goods. I am also not saying that it is easy to find such "underlying issues" in a cheap product. It might even exist as well in a more expensive one. But I am sincerely interested in the criteria in your decision-making processes, so to all of you:


Are you always going for the best price-performance-ratio option? Do you actively investigate any issues that could "explain" a cheaper price, do you only avoid products where the fishy (or, lately, horsey) component was brought to your attention or don't you care at all?


If there is an alternative of course....
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  #82  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:15
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Orell Fussli are also in with a chance, unfortunately, even though they don't deserve to be. Isn't it great being a monopoly in a city with more money than sense?
Not only that, they print the money!

Anyway, I download out of copyright () e-books for free, and buy a lot of hard to find motorcycle parts online, as simply the shops in NO country will have them in stock.

But for food, always in shops. One of my favorite butchers is in Italy, the other two in Lugano. Depends what I want.

Italy, however, is not so much cheaper for most things to make a special trip worthwhile, rather we buy stuff there when we go for other reasons (i.e. visiting family, friends, or to buy stuff not available here), in fact we buy electronics here for my wife's relatives in Italy!

Tom

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  #83  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:18
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Not only that, they print the money!
Yup. You just have to add your own serial numbers...
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  #84  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:24
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

I expected a Friday thread with that title and the OP being Cheesey...but am pleasantly surprised at this very good discussion! To respond to a few comments:

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Yes, two hundred years ago we had small villages, and we only went to market to buy some specific things.
Are you and Sandgrounder trying to compete for oldest EF member?

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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...
This has been the case in the U.S. Online retailers (and their customers) only had to pay tax if they had a brick-and-mortar location in a particular state. So Walmart has to pay in all 50 states since they have locations everywhere, but Amazon in very few because they don't have many warehouses. Customers also feel cheated. If I live in California I probably pay tax on every internet purchase. Oklahoma, maybe not. I am not sure if this particular tax issue has been resolved yet.

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I find it a bit strange that people find service bad everywhere with every situation in Switzerland.
I wouldn't say all service has been bad, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've thought services here were "great." I think it has a lot to do with my perspective. As an American, I'm used to over-the-top amazing service from pretty much everyone, even if they only make $2.35 an hour. People in the service industry generally go above and beyond their basic job functions to keep customers happy. Now to be honest, I don't need the waitress, the manager and the cook all coming to my table three times to see if my burger was good...but in comparison to here where you practically have to tackle the server (if you can find them) if there's an issue... I suppose most people who have been in Switzerland all their lives are just accustomed to this service so they don't think it's bad or good. Just how it is.

Here in CH, it's just different. Doing a good job here doesn't seem to be equated with keeping customers happy. It doesn't require saying hello or asking if you can do anything to assist. It doesn't include friendly chit chat about the weather. Just ring up the sale or paint the wall, and go on with your day.

As for goods, I buy some here and I buy some abroad or online. Price is a factor, but selection is too. Like meloncollie, I'm not going to pay for a train ticket into town to pay 3x more for a book that can be delivered right to my door from Amazon. I don't shop for clothes here because they don't fit me and I'm not wild about some of the styles. Apparently most Swiss women do not have boobs. I do buy most foods and household items here now, but have learned which stores seem to have better sales, and how to catch the 50% off deals at Coop near closing time.
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  #85  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:24
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Fixed that for you.



This is not specifically aimed at you, but your post seems to sum up many of the opinions in this thread:

I am not generally against the free market or that one tries to get the best price. In many places in Switzerland products or services are unreasonable expensive and I don't want to defend that, but I am also a strong supporter of the idea that people vote with their feet when buying at a certain company.

It might be cheaper to buy at Amazon, but personally I don't because of the practices of that company. Similar for buying certain "cheap" goods (locally or abroad). Economically it might make sense for me, but maybe it does not from an ecological point of view or maybe I am saving my money on the back of someone else. I am not saying this is the case for all or even most goods. I am also not saying that it is easy to find such "underlying issues" in a cheap product. It might even exist as well in a more expensive one. But I am sincerely interested in the criteria in your decision-making processes, so to all of you:


Are you always going for the best price-quality-ratio option? Do you actively investigate any issues that could "explain" a cheaper price, do you only avoid products where the fishy (or, lately, horsey) component was brought to your attention or don't you care at all?


If there is an alternative of course....
To be fair to Amazon, it is not as though smaller establishments dont engage in dodgy practices themselves. They're just much smaller, so no one really cares. Amazon are bigger, so their controversies are also bigger.

The cheap corner bookshop that one might frequent, could be owned and operated by a man fiddling his taxes and underpaying his employees. If you found out he was reporting that he was earning a few less francs then he was reporting, would you refuse to buy a book from there, and insead go to the other more expensive one for the exact same book?
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:32
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Here in CH, it's just different. Doing a good job here doesn't seem to be equated with keeping customers happy. It doesn't require saying hello or asking if you can do anything to assist. It doesn't include friendly chit chat about the weather. Just ring up the sale or paint the wall, and go on with your day.
Bullshit.

My local garage guy will suggest to me things I can do myself (OK, he knows I have the tools, etc.), the local Denner staff will remind me that a sale is upcoming, so I shouldn't buy so much wine at the moment and would I like to reserve some, etc.

Also, I'd prefer that they didn't chit-chat, but they do, as I'M IN A HURRY!

Tom
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:32
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Invitation Recieved:
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/images/c/cc/Prison_population_2005_2010.PNG

That is prison population. Switzerland averages around 80 people in prison per 100,000 population. That is around the same as or more then:
Denmark
Ireland
Cyprus
Malta
Slovenia
Finland
Sweden
Northern Ireland
Iceland
Norway
Croatia.

IT is among the lowest, but not the lowest. It is comparable to other coutries of similar size and population. It is nothing special.

Regarding the roads The difference is as far from 'marginal' as it is humanly possible to get.

From your own source:

Road deaths in Switzerland are higher then in the UK, despite the UK having a population over 8 times higher. The number of UK motorists is approx 40 million, around 5 times higher then the total swiss population. This doesnt even include foreign drivers (eg HGVs) How this translates into safer roads here or only a marginal change, i do not understand. If anything, the UK system is well above expectations.

Also, you mention London and Paris...what is the population of these cities? There are probably more drivers in London alone then the whole of Switzerland. Imagine every swiss driver on the streets of Geneva, at the same time. There would be traffic jams the likes of which London has not seen. The roads in Switzerland are not as good as people seem to think - they just carry far less. They are adequate, not good.

The Tube carries far more people then the entire swiss train network. Something that big, and with that many individual parts will of course break down occasionally. Can you imagine if the Swiss transport system suddenly had to carry 5 times as many passengers? it too, would collapse. And you can bet the prices would still be higher. The swiss system is good, but is not that much ahead of the UK network.

All this goes back to my original point - Switzerland is very good, and people would not mind paying a little extra. But paying 3-4 times as much for something of the same or worse quality (have you tried swiss Ketchup? Good god.) is what people have a problem with.
- look at the crime rates (homicide, rape, robbery etc...) and not prisoon population --> some people are in prison because they don't have working/residence permit. So it's not a good indicator.

- death tolls: sorry but these are death/100'000 so it's a kind of percentage and how much population does not really matter.

- swiss transport system is sized according to the needs of the country but it's true that growth requires more investment especially in Romandie.

- I won't judge a country based on its ketchup..this is all subjective. Let's talk healthcare system instead.
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  #88  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:34
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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People forget that Amazon has spent the best part of 10 years selling books below cost to create market share. If a business is losing money, the business is not liable for tax........

Luckily Swiss companies can sell their products for high prices in both CH & abroad. The moment they are unable to do so they will not need to employ so many foreign workers, so failing to support local business's will ultimately lead to your own redundancy. This is of more importance to people who wish to become Swiss & live here happily ever after.
we'll just all move to the asian switzerland in 5 years time. at least we'll get better food there...
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  #89  
Old 03.10.2013, 15:36
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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To be fair to Amazon, it is not as though smaller establishments dont engage in dodgy practices themselves. They're just much smaller, so no one really cares. Amazon are bigger, so their controversies are also bigger.

The cheap corner bookshop that one might frequent, could be owned and operated by a man fiddling his taxes and underpaying his employees. If you found out he was reporting that he was earning a few less francs then he was reporting, would you refuse to buy a book from there, and insead go to the other more expensive one for the exact same book?
That means you would rather eat the Horse-Meat-Lasagne(TM), because you do at least know of what nature the problem is?

I am trying to avoid products that are obviously harmful to others or myself in the long run. That is not always possible, but I do try. E.g. I would not buy a bottle of water that originates from the other side of the planet or products where it is obvious that they are so cheap because they are produced with child-labour or under otherwise unworthy working conditions.
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:38
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Bullshit.

My local garage guy will suggest to me things I can do myself (OK, he knows I have the tools, etc.), the local Denner staff will remind me that a sale is upcoming, so I shouldn't buy so much wine at the moment and would I like to reserve some, etc.

Also, I'd prefer that they didn't chit-chat, but they do, as I'M IN A HURRY!

Tom
Depends where you are, how frequently you use the particular service, how proficient you are at the particular variety of foreign they speak there and, well, loads of other factors.

I have found service in Zurich and its suburbs to be as described: short, impersonal, sometimes downright rude. On the other hand, I have never received anything less than warm, friendly and helpful service in Glarnerland.

The difference? Well, it might be that my German's better than it was when I lived in Greater Zurich. Or it could be that I'm better known round here. Or it could just be that Zurich shopkeepers are tossers and Glarners are all lovely.

I just know that even in my own limited experience, there are enormous differences between levels of service in different shops and service providers, with something of a geographical aspect involved, apparently.

... all entirely anecdotal, of course...
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:41
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I wouldn't say all service has been bad, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've thought services here were "great." I think it has a lot to do with my perspective. As an American, I'm used to over-the-top amazing service from pretty much everyone, even if they only make $2.35 an hour.
I think this is pretty much the crux of the matter. When we've travelled in the US and Canada, we found the queue at the supermarket shifted along a lot slower because the check out chick was talking to all the locals, then had a good old chat with us about where we were from, where we were going, etc., etc., which was lovely, of course, but took an age.

It was also in the backend of nowhere, where everyone knew everyone and I guess if you dare to give a crap service to someone, the whole town hears about it .

In New York or Vancouver or Montreal, the service was pretty much the same as you get in Zurich. Impersonal, quick, peppered with insincere "Have a nice day". Not what I would call "bad" service, just "get-you-out-of-the-shop-as-fast-as-possible" service.

The same difference can be seen in Switzerland - out in the sticks the people are much more willing to chat and be interested in their customer. In Zurich or Luzern or Geneva, etc., you are just another money spender.

I'm fine with all that, as long as they don't try to stiff me and they retain a modicum of respect and politeness, I'm good. Maybe if you come from North America you are expecting a more personal service?
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:47
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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But you (and other previous posters) still believe that Amazon pays taxes in germany, france
do you believe that amazon doesn't pay any tax in germany and france?
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:48
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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That means you would rather eat the Horse-Meat-Lasagne(TM), because you do at least know of what nature the problem is?
No.

Rather, because we like eating horse (guess what is in my fridge )!

Tom
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:49
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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do you believe that amazon doesn't pay any tax in germany and france?
It's not a matter of what I believe....almost no taxes paid compared to sales volume . it's about facts
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:50
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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In New York or Vancouver or Montreal, the service was pretty much the same as you get in Zurich. Impersonal, quick, peppered with insincere "Have a nice day". Not what I would call "bad" service, just "get-you-out-of-the-shop-as-fast-as-possible" service.
Indeed, drove my wife and I (but especially her) nuts when we went there last summer for two weeks.

Tom
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Old 03.10.2013, 15:52
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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It's not a matter of what I believe....almost no taxes paid compared to sales volume . it's about facts
"Amazon paid just 3m in income tax for that year"

So they do pay taxes then. Glad we sorted that out.
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Old 03.10.2013, 16:02
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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No.

Rather, because we like eating horse (guess what is in my fridge )!

Tom
As I posted in this thread already, it should be noted that the issue with the horse meat was that it wasn't supposed to be there and that it was probably not being checked by vets before slaughter (so probably sick animals, old animals, animals loaded up on hormones, who knows). I think quality (or at least "legal") horse meat is possibly more expensive than equivalent quality beef and pork, and if so, companies would not infiltrate that into their "mystery meat" products.
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Old 03.10.2013, 16:03
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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"Amazon paid just 3m in income tax for that year"

So they do pay taxes then. Glad we sorted that out.
- 3m on 6.8b sales in Germany
- 110m profit declared in Luxembourg but no tax paid due to exempt.

it's about them paying their fair share of tax. It needs to change.
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Old 03.10.2013, 16:04
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I

In New York or Vancouver or Montreal, the service was pretty much the same as you get in Zurich. Impersonal, quick, peppered with insincere "Have a nice day". Not what I would call "bad" service, just "get-you-out-of-the-shop-as-fast-as-possible" service.
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Indeed, drove my wife and I (but especially her) nuts when we went there last summer for two weeks.

Tom
I prefer that actually. Short and speedy. What I hate in BCN is how slow they are. They will take care of everything else while you are waiting to pay. And when passing your items, they do it so slow its like they are scared to get high pressure. In Montreal, they will multitask the customers and answer many at the time. Here, they will stay with the same customer even if he or she is in meditation for minutes...

That drives me nuts.
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Old 03.10.2013, 16:05
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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- 3m€ on 6.8b€ sales in Germany
- 110m€ profit declared in Luxembourg but no tax paid due to exempt.

it's about them paying their fair share of tax. It needs to change.
They do pay their fair share of tax. In Luxembourg. The EU works like that. And Germany benefits a LOT from being able to export everywhere in the EU. So does Luxembourg, apparently...

I'm willing to guess that Germany / German politicians had a good deal of influence over the particular laws they are now complaining about.
I do agree something should be changed though.
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