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  #741  
Old 22.06.2012, 14:12
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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NYC ? I visited the USA extensively 4 times, and always found the country rather expensive.
I lived in the USA for a couple of years and I'm struggling to think of many places where US prices would be close to Switzerland prices. The middle of huge, expensive places like New York and LA, maybe, but in general - and particularly for residents - prices are dramatically less for food, rent, consumer goods, vehicles, travel, etc. Pretty much anything, in fact.

Having returned to Australia I am astounded at how the cost of living has increased here. It's now on par with Switzerland, but with few of the advantages !
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Old 22.06.2012, 14:28
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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It's the same car, being used in the same way, as it would be by any driver of any nationality, but to drive a car internationally with a Swiss ID makes it a higher tariff.
I'd be quite willing to bet this is happening due to different default insurance coverage on the car for USA hirers (where no insurance coverage at all is common, and consequently most people have third-party coverage) vs other countries (where at least some coverage is mandatory).

This recently happened to me hiring a car in the UK, using a USA-based address/credit card, but travelling from Australia. Ended up having to pay quite a bit extra on the spot for the lowest insurance coverage (since the price I paid had included none at all) - coverage that had been included by default (at a roughly equivalent overall cost) when I checked the quote as an Australian.

You're not being targeted because you're from Switzerland, you're being targeted because you're not from the USA.

On a related note, if you are looking for good deals on car rentals worldwide, I highly recommend www.carrental8.com. Comprehensive insurance included by default, and very competitive prices. The few times I haven't used them I've ended up paying more after being stung by additional insurance costs.
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  #743  
Old 22.06.2012, 22:29
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I lived in the USA for a couple of years and I'm struggling to think of many places where US prices would be close to Switzerland prices. The middle of huge, expensive places like New York and LA, maybe, but in general - and particularly for residents - prices are dramatically less for food, rent, consumer goods, vehicles, travel, etc. Pretty much anything, in fact.

Having returned to Australia I am astounded at how the cost of living has increased here. It's now on par with Switzerland, but with few of the advantages !
Well, if I look back to visits to the USA, it looked as follows :
1976 > the USA being exceedingly expensive
1982 > the USA being expensive
1988 > the USA still being fairly expensive
1997 > the USA being on the same level as Switzerland (affordable)
imagine that in 76 you had to pay CHF 4 for a Dollar, but one Dollar only had a merchandise value of about CHF 1.50 ! NOW, we can purchase US merchandise commercially at really good rates which shows that the merchandise value of the $ is around CHF 1.-- still.

I have an old friend who emigrated to Australia in about 1975, and who visits Switzerland (plus other places in Europe) once or twice per year. And he for decades always stated that price-wise Australia and Switzerland were more or less similar. He is a successful businessman but not a scientist, but I tend to trust his overall judgment
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Old 22.06.2012, 22:41
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

Every time I go back to the States now to visit my family, I am completely blown away by how cheap everything is. I think many things are even cheaper now than they were 5 years ago, when I was still living there.

I'm going back to the US in August, and I almost fear coming back here to CH because I know how painful it will be when I shop here again.

I know some people try to justify the high prices here with the higher-wage argument, but I still think it's the Swiss government that's making much of the profits from customs and is, hence, kind of ripping off its own people. I just don't understand why people here should be financially punished for the fact that there's not much of a manufacturing sector here. I don't want to be coerced into always having to buy Swiss goods. I think "Swiss quality" is a bit of a myth, anyways. (e.g. all of my Zug appliances suck).
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Old 22.06.2012, 22:54
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

The USA is quickly becoming where the rest of the world goes to get cheap shopping. While the US goes to Mexico the rest of the world go on shopping trips to the USA and its not planning that got them there its actually progressive mismanagement over a number of years.
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  #746  
Old 23.06.2012, 15:22
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I lived in the USA for a couple of years and I'm struggling to think of many places where US prices would be close to Switzerland prices.
Well, I just arrived in the US yesterday (Danbury, CT), and was shocked to find many food items the same or more as in CH, for example $2.29 for an avocado (CHF 1.40-1.70), $13.99/lb. for Gruyere (CHF 15.00/kg for that which I brought with me), more than twice the price, beef filet $18.99/lb, about the same as I pay in CH. And veal is about twice the price here compared to CH!

Tom
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Old 23.06.2012, 15:34
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Every time I go back to the States now to visit my family, I am completely blown away by how cheap everything is. I think many things are even cheaper now than they were 5 years ago, when I was still living there.

I'm going back to the US in August, and I almost fear coming back here to CH because I know how painful it will be when I shop here again.

I know some people try to justify the high prices here with the higher-wage argument, but I still think it's the Swiss government that's making much of the profits from customs and is, hence, kind of ripping off its own people. I just don't understand why people here should be financially punished for the fact that there's not much of a manufacturing sector here. I don't want to be coerced into always having to buy Swiss goods. I think "Swiss quality" is a bit of a myth, anyways. (e.g. all of my Zug appliances suck).
Hey, I think you are way out of line here. All my sponges I buy at Coop are made in Switzerland, even the packaging!!!
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  #748  
Old 23.06.2012, 15:36
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Well, I just arrived in the US yesterday (Danbury, CT), and was shocked to find many food items the same or more as in CH, for example $2.29 for an avocado (CHF 1.40-1.70), $13.99/lb. for Gruyere (CHF 15.00/kg for that which I brought with me), more than twice the price, beef filet $18.99/lb, about the same as I pay in CH. And veal is about twice the price here compared to CH!

Tom
Well Conneticut...tell me when you get to Texas the price of a filet. Anything metropolitan (Chicago, NYC, Deerlick) the prices are a lot more then the rest of the country.
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Old 23.06.2012, 16:12
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

Recently had to do an MFK on my car, were upon i was told i should put new disc brakes on my car, the price in CH including parts and labor amounted to 2500chf ..well thats what i was quoted, could have ended up higher, i just walked out smiling.

I went to Munich and had it done for 600 euro

Dont know how long this little swiss island can last, i hear the only thing holding up the economy is the construction industry, i.e. Idiots buying overpriced fish bowl type apartments for 1M+..
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Old 23.06.2012, 16:43
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Every time I go back to the States now to visit my family, I am completely blown away by how cheap everything is. I think many things are even cheaper now than they were 5 years ago, when I was still living there.

I'm going back to the US in August, and I almost fear coming back here to CH because I know how painful it will be when I shop here again.

I know some people try to justify the high prices here with the higher-wage argument, but I still think it's the Swiss government that's making much of the profits from customs and is, hence, kind of ripping off its own people. I just don't understand why people here should be financially punished for the fact that there's not much of a manufacturing sector here. I don't want to be coerced into always having to buy Swiss goods. I think "Swiss quality" is a bit of a myth, anyways. (e.g. all of my Zug appliances suck).
I can't speak for anyone else but I personally DO "justify the high prices here with the higher-wage argument". I can grumble about high prices all I like but it would be disingenuous of me not to mention that my basic salary is at least 30% higher than it was in the UK.

On top of that I have to take into consideration that I pay less tax here, though of course UK tax includes healthcare. It's a complex calculation but certainly for me I am better off, or certainly no worse off, than I was in the UK. But yes, if I was a tourist paying USD or GBP, I would find it expensive.

Of course, some prices seem disproportionately high to residents. Someone mentioned car expenses - yep, agree. On the other hand, you could recently buy an iPad in InterDiscount for 299 CHF. Tech stuff in general is well priced.

You have to box clever. I shop for groceries all over the place but certainly Aldi and Lidl seem well priced if you're being careful about money. And wine in general is usually well priced compared to the UK.

Must admit, if I had a young family, I think I'd probably notice the cost of living far more. But from what I can see, most expats, and indeed Swiss people in general, seem reasonably comfortable.

And finally -- I LOVE our Zug appliances
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  #751  
Old 23.06.2012, 17:10
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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And finally -- I LOVE our Zug appliances
I am quite pleased with our V-Zug appliances as well

Also, each time I go back to the states, I notice how it is becoming more expensive at the grocery store, etc. Will be interesting to compare when I go back in Oct now that we live here. The last time we went back we were living in Germany and I think groceries are the cheapest there...My sister who lives in Palo Alto, CA isn't shocked at a lot of the prices, so it is all a matter of what your baseline is.

What gets me are the websites that have exact matches to their German counterpart, like Kidoh (kids toys and such) and Sport Scheck. Often times, the items in CHF are almost 2x as much as what they charge in €...

Luckily I don't need to stay in them (and at their prices, maybe I never will) but I find hotels super expensive. Was going to go to Zermatt or Engelberg for a few days when my sister visits (ok, admittedly really expensive places) and an apartment for 6 people (3 adults, 3 kids) would put me out close to 400 CHF a night. Instead, we are going to Serfaus, Austria (a pretty expensive resort for Austria, imo) and are paying 100€ a night for an apartment. And all the Bergbahnen and buses, etc are free and they have free kiddy programs as well...
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Old 23.06.2012, 17:54
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I am quite pleased with our V-Zug appliances as well
Luckily I don't need to stay in them (and at their prices, maybe I never will) but I find hotels super expensive. Was going to go to Zermatt or Engelberg for a few days when my sister visits (ok, admittedly really expensive places) and an apartment for 6 people (3 adults, 3 kids) would put me out close to 400 CHF a night. Instead, we are going to Serfaus, Austria (a pretty expensive resort for Austria, imo) and are paying 100€ a night for an apartment. And all the Bergbahnen and buses, etc are free and they have free kiddy programs as well...
Yeah, we intended spending 2 nights in Zermatt but reduced it to 1 after trying, and failing, to get a halfway decent hotel for less than 300 CHF a night. We ended up paying 200 for a really grotty room with no WiFi and a flickery TV. We are prepared to pay over the average for a really nice hotel or even a modest hotel with a great view, let's say, but it's galling to be expected to pay a lot without any obvious justification. I guess it's just supply and demand -- though as I said, if we had found a more reasonable deal we would have stayed longer and ended up spending more. Not sure how a tourist with USD or GBP and a couple of kids in tow could afford it. I guess they can't these days.
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  #753  
Old 23.06.2012, 19:28
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Recently had to do an MFK on my car, were upon i was told i should put new disc brakes on my car, the price in CH including parts and labor amounted to 2500chf ..well thats what i was quoted, could have ended up higher, i just walked out smiling.

I went to Munich and had it done for 600 euro

Dont know how long this little swiss island can last, i hear the only thing holding up the economy is the construction industry, i.e. Idiots buying overpriced fish bowl type apartments for 1M+..
Sounds expensive, I bought the Parts on Ebay.DE for under 100 euro & did it in under an hour myself!
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  #754  
Old 23.06.2012, 19:42
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Every time I go back to the States now to visit my family, I am completely blown away by how cheap everything is. I think many things are even cheaper now than they were 5 years ago, when I was still living there.

I'm going back to the US in August, and I almost fear coming back here to CH because I know how painful it will be when I shop here again.

I know some people try to justify the high prices here with the higher-wage argument, but I still think it's the Swiss government that's making much of the profits from customs and is, hence, kind of ripping off its own people. I just don't understand why people here should be financially punished for the fact that there's not much of a manufacturing sector here. I don't want to be coerced into always having to buy Swiss goods. I think "Swiss quality" is a bit of a myth, anyways. (e.g. all of my Zug appliances suck).
It is simple. The US$ still has a merchandise value of, depending on the stuff, between CHF 1.-- and 1.50 . If the $ exchange rate continues to drop even against the Euro (etc) the discrepancy will be even more extreme.

A commodity in which the USA still IS expensive is WINE ! Alright, affordable inside the USA but rather expensive, and VERY expensive in Continental Europe. The US wine producers simply rely on their home market. ONE aspect however is to be taken into account and that is "economy by scale", which means that some products in the USA have always been relatively cheap as produced in vast quantities.

AND, I never understood why US-Americans in Europe in general and Switzerland in particular tend to do shopping in expensive places where average Europeans NEVER go shopping. And middle-class Americans, when in Europe, go to luxury hotels who in reality do not offer so much better service than normal middle class hotels.
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Old 23.06.2012, 19:52
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Well, I just arrived in the US yesterday (Danbury, CT), and was shocked to find many food items the same or more as in CH, for example $2.29 for an avocado (CHF 1.40-1.70), $13.99/lb. for Gruyere (CHF 15.00/kg for that which I brought with me), more than twice the price, beef filet $18.99/lb, about the same as I pay in CH. And veal is about twice the price here compared to CH!

Tom
Well, I am indeed astonished to hear how high prices for meat and fruit are in the USA now, in spite of the USA being a large-scale producer of both. THIS may explain what I was puzzled about, and that is the permanent dropping of the exchange-rate of the Dollar

And Danbury : is this a nice place to be ? I on the map see a sizeable or even big lake just north of Danbury. What about
- swimming there
- fishing there
- scheduled ships on the lake
- cycling along its shores
??
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Old 23.06.2012, 20:19
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

I have closely followed this debate on a virtual daily basis because I once put in my two-pennyworth. It occurs to me however, that although I have every sympathy with those who are making comparisons on this topic and who have found many places outside CH to shop where the price is probably less than half, please remember that you are probably earning 2/3 times what the rest of Europe is earning, and probably paying less tax too. This is probably why the prices are so high in CH - it takes our breath away each time we go to a shop for even trifles because the CHF is still strong against the Euro which also has an impact. That means that anyone earning in Switzerland but shopping in Euroland is probably receiving a heck of a bargain!
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Old 23.06.2012, 21:27
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I have closely followed this debate on a virtual daily basis because I once put in my two-pennyworth. It occurs to me however, that although I have every sympathy with those who are making comparisons on this topic and who have found many places outside CH to shop where the price is probably less than half, please remember that you are probably earning 2/3 times what the rest of Europe is earning, and probably paying less tax too. This is probably why the prices are so high in CH - it takes our breath away each time we go to a shop for even trifles because the CHF is still strong against the Euro which also has an impact. That means that anyone earning in Switzerland but shopping in Euroland is probably receiving a heck of a bargain!
Sorry, but this is just wrong. The reasons have been debated to death on EF and no doubt they will continue to be debated. But in particular, the contention that "the CHF is still strong against the Euro which also has an impact" is false -- if you mean that the strong CHF increases prices in Switzerland. A strong CHF should mean cheaper imports from Europe -- but the benefits haven't flowed through to the Swiss consumer. Presumably the savings get pocketed by the importers.
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Old 23.06.2012, 21:39
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I have closely followed this debate on a virtual daily basis because I once put in my two-pennyworth. It occurs to me however, that although I have every sympathy with those who are making comparisons on this topic and who have found many places outside CH to shop where the price is probably less than half, please remember that you are probably earning 2/3 times what the rest of Europe is earning, and probably paying less tax too.
-
A) It is necessary to make it clear that many of the expats from the USA and elsewhere are driving prices UP here !
B) average people in Switzerland do NOT earn 2 times as much as people in Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg, but less the 15% more. The statistics are complete rubbish as they of course reflect those rich foreigners with domiciles in Switzerland and astronomic incomes


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This is probably why the prices are so high in CH - it takes our breath away each time we go to a shop for even trifles because the CHF is still strong against the Euro which also has an impact. That means that anyone earning in Switzerland but shopping in Euroland is probably receiving a heck of a bargain!
-
Travelling to Euroland from places farther inland is NOT free-of-charge. And the still unrealistically high exchange-rate of the CHF continues to damage the economy. It is good for the outbound-travel-industry and for Swiss tourists abroad, but disastrous for the prime money-earners for Switzerland, the export-industry and the inbound-tourism. However, the 1.20 PEG was the compromise between the requirement and what is actually sustainable. The aim of the SNB however clearly is to raise the PEG to a realistic level, maybe 1.30 or 1.35 as soon as achievable. Some financial speculators in recent months tried to challenge the SNB, but the SNB persevered, and succeeded to pull through
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Old 23.06.2012, 21:47
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Sorry, but this is just wrong. The reasons have been debated to death on EF and no doubt they will continue to be debated. But in particular, the contention that "the CHF is still strong against the Euro which also has an impact" is false -- if you mean that the strong CHF increases prices in Switzerland. A strong CHF should mean cheaper imports from Europe -- but the benefits haven't flowed through to the Swiss consumer. Presumably the savings get pocketed by the importers.
AND by the EXporters ! Who when dealing with Swiss companies automatically try to get elevated prices and often simply push those prices through as the Swiss importers need their stuff for both prestige and competition reasons.

AND you also have to see that the costs of Swiss retailers are "Swiss-made". Quite recently, a retailer in railways-models nearby gave up. A major reason was the costs of the locality plus the rent of the apartment of the couple. They would have continued business, had it made sense, but as both are in retirement age, they closed down the shop and moved to Thun, where the husband originally came from. And where the costs in many respects are considerably lower than in the Zürich area.
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Old 23.06.2012, 22:04
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And Danbury : is this a nice place to be ? I on the map see a sizeable or even big lake just north of Danbury. What about
- swimming there
- fishing there
- scheduled ships on the lake
- cycling along its shores
??
It's where I grew up.

Swimming, fishing, boating/sailing, ice skating in winter, water skiing in summer, but no ships and no cycling along the shores.

Wine's a lot more expensive here too!

And you pretty much need a car to do anything.

Tom
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