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Old 14.03.2011, 10:58
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Swiss and purchasing habits

Blech. I'm moving and I'm so frustrated by being unable to sell my furniture. I have put my ads on ebay, ricardo, englishforum, golocals, etc. The furniture is in beautiful condition (I took really good care of it precisely because I thought that I might sell it back one day) but find that ricardo and ebay are hopeless! No buyers at all!

It's like: the Swiss won't buy anything used. All they buy is brand new and at 3 times the normal price (or the price you'd get in a different country) for the same quality of a good.

It seems the Swiss think that the more expensive something is, the better, and something previously owned is undignified.

Just as an example, the other way I went to the recycling center and saw a pile of almost new, beautiful bicycles. They were more than 10, in all sizes, shapes and colors. Clearly someone thought that these perfectly good bikes were not worth selling or getting a few CHF for, they were simply unceremoniously thrown away as scrap metal.

Which reminds me how, when I was looking for a bike, I scoured all the ads and veloboerse to try to find a bike for less than 100 CHF, new or used.

The cheapest I could find in a veloboerse was 250 CHF.

Dammit, if people throw away bikes at the recycling center, why not just sell one to me for 100 CHF on ebay? (Also, funnily enough, the bike I bought at the veloboerse was advertised as new, and the pedal came off after just one hour of use. Price=quality??). If only I'd had known, I'd just have hung out at the doors of the recycling center and simply waited for someone to just hand me a perfectly good, previously-owned bike for free.

What a weird country this is. Do the Swiss have tons more money than it appears or what? I just don't get their spending habits: buy new at 3 times the price for same or worse quality then throw away stuff that is almost new for nothing. Weird.

Anyway, if anyone wants to buy some furniture in Bern, let me know (or check out my ads in the marketplace, I have several ).
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Old 14.03.2011, 11:05
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

if its cheap enough it will sell.

as you have just found out, selling something here is a pita, on top of that buying something like a 2nd hand sofa is a pain, you have to get it picked up, which is going to cost unless you happen to own a van.

so for the price you could sell something like a bike for its just not worth the hassle.

I recently tried to GIVE AWAY!! a tv and satellite setup, that was a total ball ache with loads of PM's asking for just one bit, or for me to deliver, or carry it all on the train etc etc in the end we gave it all to the local brockhause
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Old 14.03.2011, 11:28
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

One day at the grocery store I ran into the wife of one of my husband's colleagues. We chatted a few minutes, exchanging pleasantries, as one does.

Next day my husband came home, laughing. He had been scolded by one of his HR minions - apparently I had committed a serious social faux pas. In my shopping trolley - for all the world to see - I had (shock! horror!) Prix Garantie products. Oh the shame!

Apparently, one should only purchase top of the line goods. Apparently, purchasing generic products reflects badly on one's husband and more importantly, on the company he works for. Apparently.

Seriously - who a.) even notices what in another person's shopping trolley, b.) would think such a thing, and c.) would go to the trouble to make an issue?

There are some things I'll never understand, no matter how long I live here... but hey, at least we had a good laugh over that one.
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Old 14.03.2011, 11:44
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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Seriously - who a.) even notices what in another person's shopping trolley, b.) would think such a thing, and c.) would go to the trouble to make an issue?
Hahaha, yes, this happens. Actually quite a lot. Not only gaze into somebody's shopping, but also wallet when I open and want to pay, it's hilarious..Jut try to bring Denner labeled food to work, or worse, dare to bring Aldi or Lidl. Or...imagine, a French 1Euro packed lunch! It's fun, but on the other hand, aren't all exempt from this as foreigners? Can we even know better? I love using that excuse. People are curious and sometimes do look like they want to do the same, if they didn't feel so bad about it..We have beautiful antique baby furniture and pretty, old toys, that we found at flee markets, our guests love it and playdates, too. It was peanuts, and it is useful and esthetically pleasing. We could have spent 10x as much for new, not nearly as pretty. Sometimes, it is good to go against the grain. I recycle yarn, old clothes I find into new, classy stuff.

OP, I know you are one foot at the door and feel like off loading a lot of frustrations..there could be a lot, here, I hear ya. On the other hand, try to make it a riot for yourself, have some fun. It does not have to be such a pain, really. We have flee markets here regularly, if you price well, it will all go. Girls often do it together, get a van, rent a table or stand together and sell their "garage sale" stuff, clothes, little furniture, bikes, shoes, they also sell their home made cakes and cookies, have fondue together and mulled wine and chitchat, some bring music. I am sure there is a friend you will miss, who can do this with you.
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Old 14.03.2011, 12:19
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

Me and the missus were informed by the current occupant of our new apartment that she was throwing some of her furniture out in their move. So we said we'll come to Zürich from Regensburg, Germany, to take a look and tell her what we want if anything. Over the years of giving away literally thousands of dollars worth of stuff to charity, including a new shape VW beetle, that our good charity is going to pay us back in a form, not that was our intention at the time. So we drive over(€€), stay overnight in a hotel (€€€€) and pay the new place a visit. Take a look around, stuff is ok, we will take some of it. They send us an email with the price for their stuff being over a thousand francs, bit chicken shit I think. Considering we're sort of doing them a favour by them not having to do anything with it....
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Old 14.03.2011, 12:48
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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if its cheap enough it will sell.

as you have just found out, selling something here is a pita, on top of that buying something like a 2nd hand sofa is a pain, you have to get it picked up, which is going to cost unless you happen to own a van.

so for the price you could sell something like a bike for its just not worth the hassle.

I recently tried to GIVE AWAY!! a tv and satellite setup, that was a total ball ache with loads of PM's asking for just one bit, or for me to deliver, or carry it all on the train etc etc in the end we gave it all to the local brockhause
Got the same thing.... stuff I wanted to give away were asked a ''recent'' picture... It is for free, take it and stop being such a greedy jerk! Or stuff you sell here at really good price and they ask to have it almost for free....

I find expats not better than the swiss on that. Here you have those very very cheap one that want everything for free and they usually sell their stuff for the same as a new one in store.

I love to look for good deal, I am not pushy, I won't ask to go down at ridiculous price. I got some great deals on this forum for genuine people who wanted to have their stuff in good hand. I have a lot of old furniture that I bought second hand from paarticular or brokenhaus that I won't get rid of because they are absolutely awesome and cost me almost nothing. Those pieces of furniture are the one that people comments on when they come to our place.

Ikea stuff, forget it, people won't buy it unless it is very very cheap almost for free.
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Old 14.03.2011, 12:54
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

I can't even give a car away free

Buying 2nd hand is emminently more enviromentally friendly. This message needs to be spread around more. Given the hard economic times ahead, it is a perfect excuse for the 2nd-hand -shy people to adopt a new buying strategy whilst saving hard earned pennies and a few trees.

Over 50% of my major purchases in the last few years have been 2nd hand. Cars/Clothes/Furniture etc... It's cool. I should aim higher.
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Old 14.03.2011, 12:54
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

I just sold a table on Ricardo. A piece of junk to me, but aparently a designer's treasure. Over 500 people viewed it on Ricardo

I thought that I was going to have to thow it away! It was very heavy, and it would have cost me a packet to dispose of it (CHF 5 per 10kg) and we needed another man to help with getting it from the roof terrace.

A Swiss man collected it last week :-)
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:03
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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O


Seriously - who a.) even notices what in another person's shopping trolley, b.) would think such a thing, and c.) would go to the trouble to make an issue?

There are some things I'll never understand, no matter how long I live here... but hey, at least we had a good laugh over that one.
I got a filthy look from a silly woman next in line to me at a Zurich COOP a couple months ago when I put my items onto a Barkat bag with the rest of my shopping from there
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:11
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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One day at the grocery store I ran into the wife of one of my husband's colleagues. We chatted a few minutes, exchanging pleasantries, as one does.

Next day my husband came home, laughing. He had been scolded by one of his HR minions - apparently I had committed a serious social faux pas. In my shopping trolley - for all the world to see - I had (shock! horror!) Prix Garantie products. Oh the shame!
I know exactly what you mean...

I often spot products at Co-op that are marked down 50% because they only have another 2-3 days left on them before the expiry date. So a chf 30 steak was marked down to chf 15, and I go - why not? I feel like a steak tonight!

Then I ran into a neighbor. Yup... she could barely drag her eyes away from the red shiny 50% label that was calling out to her from my basket.

I don't think she ever spoke to me again
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:12
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

Years ago, my AOH wanted to do a garage sale here in Switzerland, just like she would do in the USA when stuff is piling up. I had to tell her that most likely she would need some kind of a permit, and even more likely, no one would show up to give her things even a quick glance.

I'm not the one who says, "The Swiss do this," just like I wouldn't say, "Americans do that," but I venture to say that many Swiss do frown at used stuff. Some even seem to take the saying, "You get what you pay for" a bit to literally.

On the other hand, I have never experienced anything like what meloncollie wrote about Prix Garantie (M-Budget, Volg Familienpreis etc.). Or maybe I just do not care enough to notice other people assessing the content of my shopping cart, just like I do not constantly step into dog p00p like other people seem to do. I do buy some of those low-budget things simply because they are good value for the money, not all but quite a few.
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:19
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

Don't worry about funny looks for Prix Garantie/ALDI/LIDL/M Budget stuff - after the next coming financial crash you'll be seen as a visionary!
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:37
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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I just sold a table on Ricardo. A piece of junk to me, but aparently a designer's treasure. Over 500 people viewed it on Ricardo

I thought that I was going to have to thow it away! It was very heavy, and it would have cost me a packet to dispose of it (CHF 5 per 10kg) and we needed another man to help with getting it from the roof terrace.

A Swiss man collected it last week :-)
OK, so what's the secret then? I have tons of stuff in there, some for (cheap!) fixed price, others for auction starting at 1 CHF, been up for 5 days, only 20 views, no bids and no buyers. The ad is in german, but laconic (i.e. not much written describing the object other than a picture and dimensions). Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:43
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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OK, so what's the secret then? I have tons of stuff in there, some for (cheap!) fixed price, others for auction starting at 1 CHF, been up for 5 days, only 20 views, no bids and no buyers. The ad is in german, but laconic (i.e. not much written describing the object other than a picture and dimensions). Am I doing something wrong?
Send us a link of your Action and I will try to help you.

I put good photos from all angles and a clear description of size and the condition. Brands sell really well second hand. I wouldn't bid on something that didn't specify the condition, for example, "table top is in great condition with no scratches". I just don't trust the seller. "Used" can mean anything - and there is so much crap on Ricardo. I would also only buy from someone with good ratings.

I've had the experience like Bigblue2 when I tried to give things away. I contacted someone who needed a car seat. The one I had was current safety specs and a good brand (Römer). I was asked to send them a photo. It ended up at the brockenhouse.
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Old 14.03.2011, 13:47
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

Ha, I'm buying certain things from Ricardo for my new flat and there actually isn't a lot nice stuff on offer. Bagged a really nice table though. I guess there is a kind of snobbishness/caution around getting stuff free or cheaper, for instance, I really can't barter.

Also, dealing with individuals can be suuuch a hassle, I have tried to sell things in the past, you arrange to meet for a viewing, then people just don't turn up. Or you suggest certain times and ask for them to confirm one and you never get an answer - they just turn up (luckily I happened to be in). Or you bend over backwards to fit into their time schedule, many messages go back and forth and then suddenly nothing. Especially if you have several things to go and several people want the same thing - you end up getting told off for selling to the first person who definitely said they wanted it whereas the angry person only vaguely showed interest.

At least with things like Ricardo, people are obliged to pay up if they agree to purchase...
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Old 14.03.2011, 14:02
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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It's like: the Swiss won't buy anything used. All they buy is brand new and at 3 times the normal price (or the price you'd get in a different country) for the same quality of a good.

It seems the Swiss think that the more expensive something is, the better, and something previously owned is undignified.

...

What a weird country this is. Do the Swiss have tons more money than it appears or what? I just don't get their spending habits: buy new at 3 times the price for same or worse quality then throw away stuff that is almost new for nothing. Weird.
Another wrong generalisation! Used products do quite well; take a look at the flea markets, the local "troc", etc.. The used car market is quite lively. Some people will drive all the way across Switzerland to buy a good deal of a used car. There are still a lot of Swiss who take after the Scots, remain good Calvinists, and try to save a bundle (by the way I am not disparaging the Scots, in fact I am on their side!). It depends on the type of Swiss and their level of income that you hang around with.

Concerning the "shame" of buying generic products; again it depends on the type of crowd. I know many people who gladly buy into the Migros Budget line, even buying the horrendous looking Migros Budget green bike! I guess I must hang around some "lowlifes".

Basically the reasons are economic. You make a lot of money, you show off your new stuff. You make an average amount of money (like most of the Swiss) and you look for a good deal.

Now, I am beginning to think expats are the ones that are weird.
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Old 15.03.2011, 11:02
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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One day at the grocery store I ran into the wife of one of my husband's colleagues. We chatted a few minutes, exchanging pleasantries, as one does.

Next day my husband came home, laughing. He had been scolded by one of his HR minions - apparently I had committed a serious social faux pas. In my shopping trolley - for all the world to see - I had (shock! horror!) Prix Garantie products. Oh the shame!

Apparently, one should only purchase top of the line goods. Apparently, purchasing generic products reflects badly on one's husband and more importantly, on the company he works for. Apparently.

Seriously - who a.) even notices what in another person's shopping trolley, b.) would think such a thing, and c.) would go to the trouble to make an issue?

There are some things I'll never understand, no matter how long I live here... but hey, at least we had a good laugh over that one.
this is... fascinating. gross and disgusting... scary and funny... all of the above.

one thing isnt clear to me tho... how did HR get involved? The wife you talked to complained to her hubby who complained to HR who told you to be more careful with your miserly habits in public?

where does your husband work so i know to never apply there?

if i were him i would make that guy's life a living hell with teasing. Swissys in general seem to take jibing poorly.

"ooh i washed my hands with bulk bought handsoap, still wanna shake?"
"hang on there, that lunch only cost your 40CHF, still gonna eat that, think its safe?"
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Old 15.03.2011, 11:28
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

Basel Stadt (dunno about anywhere else) used to have four "throw out" days a year.

You could dump virtually anything onto the street one day, and the next morning it was picked up and disposed of free of charge. Lots of people, including me (it was a highlight of living here!) would walk around in the evening looking for things.

I got a coffee table, brand new TV stand, wine rack, a light, some weird green shelving, plant pots, photo frames and some pictures. The best was two days after I'd bought a mattress and bed frame, but didn't even know what a "lattenrost" was, two fully adjustable 80cm lattenrosts were dumped on the next street.

They aren't doing it any more, and it's a pity. I'd go out with my neighbour and especially in winter when it was dark, it was like a lottery what you'd stumble across.

Some big furniture was also put out but they tended to get taken quickly by Frenchies popping over with vans.
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Old 15.03.2011, 11:37
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

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Blech. I'm moving and I'm so frustrated by being unable to sell my furniture. I have put my ads on ebay, ricardo, englishforum, golocals, etc. The furniture is in beautiful condition (I took really good care of it precisely because I thought that I might sell it back one day) but find that ricardo and ebay are hopeless! No buyers at all!

It's like: the Swiss won't buy anything used. All they buy is brand new and at 3 times the normal price (or the price you'd get in a different country) for the same quality of a good.

It seems the Swiss think that the more expensive something is, the better, and something previously owned is undignified.

Just as an example, the other way I went to the recycling center and saw a pile of almost new, beautiful bicycles. They were more than 10, in all sizes, shapes and colors. Clearly someone thought that these perfectly good bikes were not worth selling or getting a few CHF for, they were simply unceremoniously thrown away as scrap metal.

Which reminds me how, when I was looking for a bike, I scoured all the ads and veloboerse to try to find a bike for less than 100 CHF, new or used.

The cheapest I could find in a veloboerse was 250 CHF.

Dammit, if people throw away bikes at the recycling center, why not just sell one to me for 100 CHF on ebay? (Also, funnily enough, the bike I bought at the veloboerse was advertised as new, and the pedal came off after just one hour of use. Price=quality??). If only I'd had known, I'd just have hung out at the doors of the recycling center and simply waited for someone to just hand me a perfectly good, previously-owned bike for free.

What a weird country this is. Do the Swiss have tons more money than it appears or what? I just don't get their spending habits: buy new at 3 times the price for same or worse quality then throw away stuff that is almost new for nothing. Weird.

Anyway, if anyone wants to buy some furniture in Bern, let me know (or check out my ads in the marketplace, I have several ).
from your arguments i think brockie is not doing any business then, eh?
flea market, velo börse...all fake, no business? vintage bikes...brand new make made looked 70ies n charged 2011 prices?

maybe your stuff is plain crap, not fitting into anybodies houses or flats, its not everybodies style, nothing somebody is looking for in particular?

where is your post here on EF? i need stuff.
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Old 15.03.2011, 11:38
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Re: Swiss and purchasing habits

It is true, I have never seen people try to haggle so much in CH as in other places it can be ridiculous!
I had a spot on the fleamarket here in Basel and I was selling some clothes which included a dress with the tags still on for 50 euro, a woman comes and asks me how much do I want, I say 15 CHF, she says I will give you 2...I turned around and continued chatting with my friends...like, really? This is only one example.
Anyways afterwards comes another woman this one elderly, asks how much I said 15 and she said I think that is fair and gave me the money.
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