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  #1241  
Old 06.04.2015, 17:34
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

Neither did I. We actually had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of moving to Switzerland actually. As we were coming up for retirement, we were looking for a little place to rent so we could spend more time with my elderly parents and childhood friends. And then the Vicar visited to say he was leaving and would not be replaced, as the Church is so short of funds (NE voted a few years back to make Church tax totally voluntary)- and I casually said 'what about that lovely lovely old house' and he replied 'will be on the market tomorrow' - rest is history, as they say. I've always loved those traditional Neuchâtel farmhouses, and had always admired its sunny position and south facing garden. Once we got confirmation from all local artisans that it is in excellent order- that was it.

We had to wait 2 years to be retired fully and to sell our own house in the UK, etc. (sadly, mum died 3 weeks before we moved, and dad 3 months later...but at 94 and 96, we knew they would not be with us for long... but it would have been nice to have them just a bit longer after we settled here).
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  #1242  
Old 06.04.2015, 23:24
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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When I first went to London in 1983, it was a neat 1USD = 1 GBP!

Tom


You did NOT first go to London in 1983, Tom. It was in 1976, no? Or, do you mean since you got your new identity from Langley? Oops, sorry, err, where is the destructive backspace on this keyb
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  #1243  
Old 06.04.2015, 23:47
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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You did NOT first go to London in 1983, Tom. It was in 1976, no? Or, do you mean since you got your new identity from Langley? Oops, sorry, err, where is the destructive backspace on this keyb
The £ was quite strong in 1976, very weak in 1983 as Tom notes.
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  #1244  
Old 08.04.2015, 17:12
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I know this is probably an old topic, but it retains the power to shock. The wife and I have seen a large piece of furniture we wish to buy, from a particular furniture maker.

Price in Germany: 2,500 Euros (3,700 CHF or thereabouts).

Price in Switzerland: 9,000 CHF!!!!

It's currently looking like: Hire a van for 2 days, stay overnight in a fancy hotel, pay the customs, and still save 4,000 CHF!

Anyone else seen any other barmy examples?

Cheers

Jim
In Switzerland, we have this ridiculous and idiotic excuse of always comparing our minimum wages to the minimum wages in the rest of the world, and then justify the high prices...

All I can suggest therefore is (and also what I do), do as much as possible through Germany and even Italy to some extents.

A recent example: I purchased a brand new car, they wanted for the original GPS-kit approx. 8900 chf extra... then I found out in Italy the same exact same, with the antenna, mount and wires and Europe GPS card, etc it costs 790 Euros !!!!! The exact same original GPS. Installation would take 2 hrs here in CH, and with import cost etc, all in all, I would be spending 1500 chf the most. Then I stopped, and started doing research regarding the car I was about to buy in CH, then chose to have a friend of mine that works in a Garage do a regular import for me directly purchasing the car from Germany, so then I obviously got it with the GPS kit, etc and guess what, for the exact same car I saved 19,000 CHF !!!!

The only downside is that in the first year you are not able to get assistance in CH and every thing you need for your car you have to do through Germany but it is well worth it, as new cars seldom break down these days. From the second year on, you can do regular services in any Swiss place and get their services such as AMAG additional services (if you want to pay a bit more for your maintenance etc)...

My point, just get as much as you can from the surrounding countries but if you are dealing with more expensive products such as cars, make sure you know what you are doing.

Last edited by Swiss787; 08.04.2015 at 17:52.
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Old 08.04.2015, 17:30
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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In Switzerland, we have this ridiculous and idiotic excuse of always comparing our minimum wages to the minimum wages in the rest of the world, and then justify the high prices...

All I can suggest therefore is (and also what I do), do as much as possible through Germany and even Italy to some extents.
How patriotic of you.
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  #1246  
Old 08.04.2015, 23:52
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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In Switzerland, we have this ridiculous and idiotic excuse of always comparing our minimum wages to the minimum wages in the rest of the world, and then justify the high prices...

All I can suggest therefore is (and also what I do), do as much as possible through Germany and even Italy to some extents.

A recent example: I purchased a brand new car, they wanted for the original GPS-kit approx. 8900 chf extra... then I found out in Italy the same exact same, with the antenna, mount and wires and Europe GPS card, etc it costs 790 Euros !!!!! The exact same original GPS. Installation would take 2 hrs here in CH, and with import cost etc, all in all, I would be spending 1500 chf the most. Then I stopped, and started doing research regarding the car I was about to buy in CH, then chose to have a friend of mine that works in a Garage do a regular import for me directly purchasing the car from Germany, so then I obviously got it with the GPS kit, etc and guess what, for the exact same car I saved 19,000 CHF !!!!

The only downside is that in the first year you are not able to get assistance in CH and every thing you need for your car you have to do through Germany but it is well worth it, as new cars seldom break down these days. From the second year on, you can do regular services in any Swiss place and get their services such as AMAG additional services (if you want to pay a bit more for your maintenance etc)...

My point, just get as much as you can from the surrounding countries but if you are dealing with more expensive products such as cars, make sure you know what you are doing.
About "The only downside is that in the first year you are not able to get assistance in CH" If a Swiss main dealer refuses to action the warranty on a grey import then you can report them to the Swiss Govt.
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  #1247  
Old 08.04.2015, 23:54
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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How patriotic of you.
So patriotism is defined as supporting the rip-off merchants?
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  #1248  
Old 09.04.2015, 08:59
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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So patriotism is defined as supporting the rip-off merchants?
Here we go again!!

Lets say the "raw cost" on an item is 100 (no need for currency) - that is bought direct from the manufacturer and delivered to the point of sale.

Lets compare two points of sale which sell ONLY that item - in the first the hourly wage (and associated costs) of an employee is 5 and monthly rent is 1000. At the second (a higher cost location) a full cost employee is 20 per hour and monthly rent is 5000.

The first shop covers an area with a population twice as big as that of the second shop - and that both areas have an equal pro rata demand for the item IE shop 1 will sell twice as many as shop 2.

Do you expect shop 2 to offer the item at the same price as shop 1? I certainly don't.

Time to crunch numbers. The point of sale is open 60 hours a week with 2 employees. The demand at shop1/shop2 is 2,000/1,000 units per year. The requirement is that the profit is 120,000

Shop 1 costs: (60*2*52*5) + (12*1,000) = 43,200
Add the required profit: 163,200/2,000 units = 81.6 per unit.
Shop 1 prices at: 185 per unit

Shop 2 cost: (60*2*52*20) + (12*5,000) = 184,800
Add the required profit: 304,800/1,000 units = 304.8 per unit.
Shop 2 prices at: 405 per unit

The above is an incredibly simplistic view on the impact of wages and rent - but even if the demand was the same the unit price would be 255. You are also fighting against that for Shop 1 the demand for profit might be 80,000 due to lower costs in the whole economy.

That was fun wasn't it
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Old 09.04.2015, 09:21
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Here we go again!!

Lets say the "raw cost" on an item is 100 (no need for currency) - that is bought direct from the manufacturer and delivered to the point of sale.

Lets compare two points of sale which sell ONLY that item - in the first the hourly wage (and associated costs) of an employee is 5 and monthly rent is 1000. At the second (a higher cost location) a full cost employee is 20 per hour and monthly rent is 5000.

The first shop covers an area with a population twice as big as that of the second shop - and that both areas have an equal pro rata demand for the item IE shop 1 will sell twice as many as shop 2.

Do you expect shop 2 to offer the item at the same price as shop 1? I certainly don't.

Time to crunch numbers. The point of sale is open 60 hours a week with 2 employees. The demand at shop1/shop2 is 2,000/1,000 units per year. The requirement is that the profit is 120,000

Shop 1 costs: (60*2*52*5) + (12*1,000) = 43,200
Add the required profit: 163,200/2,000 units = 81.6 per unit.
Shop 1 prices at: 185 per unit

Shop 2 cost: (60*2*52*20) + (12*5,000) = 184,800
Add the required profit: 304,800/1,000 units = 304.8 per unit.
Shop 2 prices at: 405 per unit

The above is an incredibly simplistic view on the impact of wages and rent - but even if the demand was the same the unit price would be 255. You are also fighting against that for Shop 1 the demand for profit might be 80,000 due to lower costs in the whole economy.

That was fun wasn't it
Good summary, especially once I read your last comment re. lower profit expectations for Shop 1 (I was looking for that!). But it doesn't explain why shopping abroad would make a Swiss unpatriotic. Or wasn't it meant to?

Your calculations also don't explain how Swiss retailers of electrical and electronic appliances manage to undercut their EU competitors; nor how Swiss online retailers of other products, who have virtually no overhead, fail to beat the prices of high street retailers in Germany and France (even with their ~20% VAT).
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  #1250  
Old 09.04.2015, 09:27
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Your calculations also don't explain how Swiss retailers of electrical and electronic appliances manage to undercut their EU competitors; nor how Swiss online retailers of other products, who have virtually no overhead, fail to beat the prices of high street retailers in Germany and France (even with their ~20% VAT).
Dodgyken missed the Switzerlanding-variable that is used for setting the price.
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Old 09.04.2015, 09:29
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Good summary, especially once I read your last comment re. lower profit expectations for Shop 1 (I was looking for that!). But it doesn't explain why shopping abroad would make a Swiss unpatriotic. Or wasn't it meant to?
I was targetting the "rip-off" merchant part

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Your calculations also don't explain how Swiss retailers of electrical and electronic appliances manage to undercut their EU competitors; nor how Swiss online retailers of other products, who have virtually no overhead, fail to beat the prices of high street retailers in Germany and France (even with their ~20% VAT).
I suspect that with electronics the VAT portion makes a difference - and perhaps it is cheaper to import electronics from the supplying country than it is in the EU??

You may say they have no overheads - but they do - they still need a store room, they still need staff etc. Even with a reduction in rent the wage bill still ensures thst prices stay high. I did similar calcs yesterday for the KFC - and although the numbers are incredibly simplistic you'd still need to budget 1m CHF a year - with a big chunk of that being wages.
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Old 09.04.2015, 09:48
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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About "The only downside is that in the first year you are not able to get assistance in CH" If a Swiss main dealer refuses to action the warranty on a grey import then you can report them to the Swiss Govt.
that is correct, I said it wrong. I was referring to an additional service offered by some garages like the 24/7 support if something happens, like free towing, free transportation, free back up car, if you do your services with those people. Good point, thanks !
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Old 09.04.2015, 10:15
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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that is correct, I said it wrong. I was referring to an additional service offered by some garages like the 24/7 support if something happens, like free towing, free transportation, free back up car, if you do your services with those people. Good point, thanks !

Nothing's free sunshine, it's all included in the initial sales price of the car

(maybe explains a bit as to why it is cheaper outside CH )
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Old 09.04.2015, 13:03
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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I was targetting the "rip-off" merchant part



I suspect that with electronics the VAT portion makes a difference - and perhaps it is cheaper to import electronics from the supplying country than it is in the EU??

You may say they have no overheads - but they do - they still need a store room, they still need staff etc. Even with a reduction in rent the wage bill still ensures thst prices stay high. I did similar calcs yesterday for the KFC - and although the numbers are incredibly simplistic you'd still need to budget 1m CHF a year - with a big chunk of that being wages.
About "I was targetting the "rip-off" merchant part"

That you failed to do.

Let us assume that Shop A is outside Switzerland and pays the manufacturer 100 raw cost for an item.
Let us assume Shop B is inside Switzerland and pays the sole importer 200 for an item.
Now do you see where the rip-off is?
I know sole importers whose Swiss wholesale price is higher than the price in retail shops outside Switzerland; and their main offices are outside Switzerland so admin costs are not higher.

The Swiss adoption of cassis de dijon decision was supposed to increase price competition in this area but so far failed to make an impact.

Of course Swiss shops can buy outside of Switzerland but usually only very large shops can afford to buy the minimum quantities required by such manufacturers. And as can be seen by the CocaCola controversy last year there is anyway strong resistance to this approach in some areas.

If you want to compare shop workers wages then there have been a number of independent studies that show there is not a huge difference between Switzerland and outside when you properly take account of the longer working week here and the different social, tax charges and holiday regulations.

Rentals? Bahnhofstrasse is cheaper than Champs Elysee, Paris and via Montenapoleone in Milan - see here. So using an assumption of rental 5 times higher is unduly pessimistic.

The story about electronics is simple; the importers do not charge excessive prices and the VAT difference is a big help.

Electronics are not the only area where Swiss prices are reasonable due to decent import prices.
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Old 09.04.2015, 13:14
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

So let me get this straight - buying a product from a merchant (shop) in Switzerland is considered a rip off because the importer (based outside Switzerland) is charging a higher price. So it is not a Swiss rip-off at all!!

It is also worth considering contracts between manufacturers, importers and the merchants themselves. These may include clauses that relate to prices in a currency that has been adversely effected by an exchange rate, minimum purchase quantities and also tie in periods.
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Old 09.04.2015, 13:19
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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About "I was targetting the "rip-off" merchant part"

That you failed to do.

Let us assume that Shop A is outside Switzerland and pays the manufacturer 100 raw cost for an item.
Let us assume Shop B is inside Switzerland and pays the sole importer 200 for an item.
Now do you see where the rip-off is?
I know sole importers whose Swiss wholesale price is higher than the price in retail shops outside Switzerland; and their main offices are outside Switzerland so admin costs are not higher.

The Swiss adoption of cassis de dijon decision was supposed to increase price competition in this area but so far failed to make an impact.

Of course Swiss shops can buy outside of Switzerland but usually only very large shops can afford to buy the minimum quantities required by such manufacturers. And as can be seen by the CocaCola controversy last year there is anyway strong resistance to this approach in some areas.

If you want to compare shop workers wages then there have been a number of independent studies that show there is not a huge difference between Switzerland and outside when you properly take account of the longer working week here and the different social, tax charges and holiday regulations.

Rentals? Bahnhofstrasse is cheaper than Champs Elysee, Paris and via Montenapoleone in Milan - see here. So using an assumption of rental 5 times higher is unduly pessimistic.

The story about electronics is simple; the importers do not charge excessive prices and the VAT difference is a big help.

Electronics are not the only area where Swiss prices are reasonable due to decent import prices.
Maybe a random observation here, but one I' very much in the middle of. I'm doing up my holiday house in Spain so have been shopping around quite a lot for tools, materials etc. In Spain basic materials (bricks, cement, tiles) are way cheaper than in both Switzerland and Germany and there is also much more choice in terms of colours, designs etc. I guess that is due to local manufacturing and low salary costs as well as maybe a certain price dumping mentality driven be the crisis. But tools, especially power tools in the higher quality / performance bracket, can cost you a fortune there. They're mostly imported, but in Switzerland they're imported too, and Spain has both a bigger market and lower salary costs. So sometimes things just aren't logical, or there is a cartel of some sort milking the market.
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Old 09.04.2015, 13:49
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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So let me get this straight - buying a product from a merchant (shop) in Switzerland is considered a rip off because the importer (based outside Switzerland) is charging a higher price. So it is not a Swiss rip-off at all!!

It is also worth considering contracts between manufacturers, importers and the merchants themselves. These may include clauses that relate to prices in a currency that has been adversely effected by an exchange rate, minimum purchase quantities and also tie in periods.
I probably phrased it badly - the importers are smart enough to have Swiss registered head offices for tax reasons.
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Old 10.04.2015, 04:17
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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The £ was quite strong in 1976, very weak in 1983 as Tom notes.

The GB£ was CHF 8.85 in Sep-72 and 8.25 in December -- which was the reason why the MidlandBankPaddington chap advised me to spend my Pounds in Britain before leaving, and so I bought books and technical equipment and themore


The Pound thereafter slowly tumbled but in the late 70ies lost exchange value very rapidly. While the UK had been rather expensive before it became very affordable swiftly then. Imagine that the UK£ was CHF 12.-- during the 1960ies and CHF 24.-- in pre WW-II times (an uncle of me lived in London between 1924 and 1933). Do not forget that PETROL was charged in Pounds until the late 1960ies
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Old 10.04.2015, 10:26
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Maybe a random observation here, but one I' very much in the middle of. I'm doing up my holiday house in Spain so have been shopping around quite a lot for tools, materials etc. In Spain basic materials (bricks, cement, tiles) are way cheaper than in both Switzerland and Germany and there is also much more choice in terms of colours, designs etc. I guess that is due to local manufacturing and low salary costs as well as maybe a certain price dumping mentality driven be the crisis. But tools, especially power tools in the higher quality / performance bracket, can cost you a fortune there. They're mostly imported, but in Switzerland they're imported too, and Spain has both a bigger market and lower salary costs. So sometimes things just aren't logical, or there is a cartel of some sort milking the market.
We are in the middle of having a new bathroom installed, which involves major restructuration work, eg, walls coming down, new walls erected, insulation and more (building into the barn part of the house)- and yes, the prices make your eyes water. It would have been much cheaper to rent a van, drive to the UK and come back with all the equipment- but the problem is that NOT A SINGLE ARTISAN HERE, be it builder, plumber, electrician or carpenter will work around and fit foreign bought materials, not even from nearby France- so unless you are going to do the work yourself, they have got you over a barrel.

They are all very friendly and ver competent- but that's the way they work, and that is it. Moreover, you have to use them as if there are any problems in the future, should you do the work yourself or get someone from the UK to come and do it- they will just refuse to come and sort you out. Whereas if they supply the goods (the builder is a friend and passing on his discount to us, the others keep the trade discount!) - then they will be at your beck and call in emergencies... Hey ho- only way to go.

Next year we will renovate the kitchen, and that won't involve any structural work at all- so we intend to import the new kitchen and get a friend to do the work- but with structural stuff, just not possible.
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Old 10.04.2015, 10:37
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

Fabric. Textiles.

Pretty much all "raw" materials will cost you an arm and a leg, even without paying the sewing labor put in it. The import tax isn't justifying it all, I wonder what gets piled on on those margins since I just bought a ton of really high quality canvas and cotton elsewhere, and paid 30fr instead of the Swiss 180fr.

I am glad I can sew, so I am happy for any material, good quality and cheap, but maaaan - that much of a difference?

People in CH in general are like at home, they usually know they way with needlework, which is fab. It's just a shame the prices often do not permit even thinking about having a good hobby like this, unless one goes to IKEA for a limited choice, or, recycles old clothes, or has a sponsor. Nothing bad with recycling and reducing our garbage trail, I just wish it was possible to be more creative, more environmental, more original in CH for less, the prices make it quite unattractive, unfortunately

(Still, Anker's paintings of creative kids getting busy with needlecraft are my fav Swiss art)
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