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Old 10.07.2011, 12:06
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Shopping over the border....

i don't have time to nip across for groceries, but this article really caught my attention!!!

especially the table at the end - per item - wow! we buy some of these articles weekly. i realize we pay more to have a higher minimum wage and the exchange rate and and - but wow - maybe instead of working on the garden on saturdays i should drive north...and join the grocery crowd!
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Old 10.07.2011, 12:09
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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i don't have time to nip across for groceries, but this article really caught my attention!!!

especially the table at the end - per item - wow! we buy some of these articles weekly. i realize we pay more to have a higher minimum wage and the exchange rate and and - but wow - maybe instead of working on the garden on saturdays i should drive north...and join the grocery crowd!
yes indeed. driving across for groceries and some other things is really worth it. And because everything is closed on Sundays I make sure that Saturdays are for shopping. Yesterday I was in France buying groceries and I almost bought a blue-ray and a toaster oven, too. Woo hoo!

I do wish stores would be open in Europe on Sundays though. It really makes it hard having to do all of the shopping on one day, which takes away from relaxing and socializing.
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Old 10.07.2011, 12:21
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Re: Shopping over the border....

Indeed, and there wasn't even any meat on that list which would make it even more shocking. They stuck to staples that aren't that disparate in price as wild as that seems. You don't have to buy much to make it pay for the drive up there and back. It's going to get even more uneven I suspect as the Euro tanks against the Franc.

But this is why I really don't understand the massive difference in price and economy in Switzerland relative to its neighbours. Why are things so massively more expensive - especially when you consider that the rest of the EU has higher taxes to pay for things like social welfare programs that you have to pay extra for here.
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Old 10.07.2011, 12:38
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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But this is why I really don't understand the massive difference in price and economy in Switzerland relative to its neighbours. Why are things so massively more expensive - especially when you consider that the rest of the EU has higher taxes to pay for things like social welfare programs that you have to pay extra for here.

There are a lot of folks who work here in the Basel area but live in France and Germany. They get the advantages of higher wages here but lower cost of living there.

I'm no economist but I believe the way it works in principle is that the prices are set somewhat accordingly with wage and other factors (housing costs, taxes, etc) in mind. So, with lower wage + higher taxes in the area, prices for goods is kept low to help ensure that people can afford them.
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Old 10.07.2011, 13:09
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Re: Shopping over the border....

As has been mentioned (I shop in Marktkauf regularly, and also Geant in St Louis, France) the price differential in meat and also dairy is even more extreme. And yes, I'm comparing non-Swiss products.

And in Germany, you can reclaim the tax (19% on non-food items, around 8% it seems on food items) too.

As a single person I don't buy that much food, and can afford to buy here in Coop or Migros, but two days ago I stocked up on milk in Marktkauf (I have a coffee machine which can make lattes, and I drink loads during weekends) at 54c a litre (less with tax back) compared to 1.40CHF here. These little differences add up quite quickly.

An advantage of living in Basel; an odd situation caused by bordering countries having a different currency, different taxes and different salary levels.
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Old 10.07.2011, 13:14
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Re: Shopping over the border....

The comments to the article are also worth reading. Some people claim the buy always in CH as a means of supporting the local economy.
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Old 10.07.2011, 13:16
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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There are a lot of folks who work here in the Basel area but live in France and Germany. They get the advantages of higher wages here but lower cost of living there.

I'm no economist but I believe the way it works in principle is that the prices are set somewhat accordingly with wage and other factors (housing costs, taxes, etc) in mind. So, with lower wage + higher taxes in the area, prices for goods is kept low to help ensure that people can afford them.
i realize this and was ok with it when it is 15% and seemed far away, but these days i feel lazy and a bit stupid to not buy over the border at these prices!!!!
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Old 10.07.2011, 13:37
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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The comments to the article are also worth reading. Some people claim the buy always in CH as a means of supporting the local economy.
There was another article some time back (in the UK press I believe!) that said some Swiss pretend to buy locally and put their French/German shopping in Swiss bags (e.g. the Coop paper ones) in the car park so that when they get home it looks like they shopped locally.

Other people, on this forum, have said they've been berated by Swiss neighbours for shopping in poor places like Aldi/Lidl and then seeing the same neighbours in those shops.

In other words, you can't trust all the comments made to the original article
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Old 10.07.2011, 13:38
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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The comments to the article are also worth reading. Some people claim the buy always in CH as a means of supporting the local economy.
Any "daily" (or near-to) stuff I buy tend to be locally at Coop, Migros or Aldi here. Our big weekly shop though is usually done over the border in Germany as it is that much cheaper to buy meats.

Some things I "have" to buy over there as they are not stocked properly here... I have yet to find a shampoo + conditioner combo that I like here as well as I like the Pantene for curly hair. Here, I can get THAT shampoo but I can not get the conditioner to go along with it yet I can find the pair in Germany.

So, I do a bit of my part to support local economy while also doing some that makes it so we have our base week covered for about 50€ per week.
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Old 10.07.2011, 14:04
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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There are a lot of folks who work here in the Basel area but live in France and Germany. They get the advantages of higher wages here but lower cost of living there.

I'm no economist but I believe the way it works in principle is that the prices are set somewhat accordingly with wage and other factors (housing costs, taxes, etc) in mind. So, with lower wage + higher taxes in the area, prices for goods is kept low to help ensure that people can afford them.
If I was an EU citizen, I would totally live in France or Germany. Being non-EU it's a bit more difficult NOT to live in Switzerland (due to residency permitting requirements in each place).
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Old 10.07.2011, 14:11
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Re: Shopping over the border....

That's actually quite shocking. I mean, I know things are cheaper in Germany/France but to have it spelled out like that I'm really surprised that the difference is so very big! We generally don't shop across the border because with 2 kids it just takes too long and is too much hassle, but honestly having seen that I'm going to reconsider my shopping habits.
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Old 10.07.2011, 14:16
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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The comments to the article are also worth reading. Some people claim the buy always in CH as a means of supporting the local economy.
Well I buy across the border to support MY economy
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Old 10.07.2011, 14:31
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Re: Shopping over the border....

Ricola, a Swiss product, according to that article is cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland. Yesterday in Casino (France) we saw Rivella - 9.90CHF (€7.95) in France, 13.50CHF in Switzerland.
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Old 10.07.2011, 14:54
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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Ricola, a Swiss product, according to that article is cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland. Yesterday in Casino (France) we saw Rivella - 9.90CHF (€7.95) in France, 13.50CHF in Switzerland.
Ya but Rivella is just nasty no matter how cheaply you can find it.
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Old 10.07.2011, 14:55
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Re: Shopping over the border....

I realised things were messed up when I started buying Lindt chocolate in London and re-importing it to Switzerland ;)
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Old 10.07.2011, 16:31
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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Ricola, a Swiss product, according to that article is cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland. Yesterday in Casino (France) we saw Rivella - 9.90CHF (€7.95) in France, 13.50CHF in Switzerland.
When the exchange rate was 1-65 chf to the euro, it was much less attractive. The chf won't be strong for ever or the local shops will end up closing!
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Old 10.07.2011, 16:33
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yes indeed. driving across for groceries and some other things is really worth it. And because everything is closed on Sundays I make sure that Saturdays are for shopping. Yesterday I was in France buying groceries and I almost bought a blue-ray and a toaster oven, too. Woo hoo!

I do wish stores would be open in Europe on Sundays though. It really makes it hard having to do all of the shopping on one day, which takes away from relaxing and socializing.
But that's what Sundays are for...LOL. I love having a "quiet" day. Actually in Switzerland a person has to be a bit more organized which isnt' a bad thing really...Enjoy your Sundays!
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:10
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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When the exchange rate was 1-65 chf to the euro, it was much less attractive. The chf won't be strong for ever or the local shops will end up closing!
...or the importers will finally lower wholesale prices in Switzerland to reasonable levels.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:25
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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...or the importers will finally lower wholesale prices in Switzerland to reasonable levels.
Who says the wholesalers have not? The salaries in CH shops are probably 100% highter, makes a big difference. It's only the shops clsoe to the border that are at risk so overall prices in CH wont change.

Restricted items from milk to meat are priced to subsidise Swiss Farmers, thats not going to change.

For many years cars were most expensive in the UK, now they are way cheaper. Goods are priced at what the market will bear, the net cost of the goods does not come into it.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:27
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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There are a lot of folks who work here in the Basel area but live in France and Germany. They get the advantages of higher wages here but lower cost of living there.

I'm no economist but I believe the way it works in principle is that the prices are set somewhat accordingly with wage and other factors (housing costs, taxes, etc) in mind. So, with lower wage + higher taxes in the area, prices for goods is kept low to help ensure that people can afford them.
I'm a big believer in 'things all averaging out in the end' but, here I just don't see how that happens. Prices on so many things are 3-10x what they are over the border or in the US and the DHs salary isn't even 2x of what he made in the US (or elsewhere in the EU). If he would transfer to Paris or Munich the reduction in salary would be very small.

Also, given that the average salary in CH isn't that much greater than the average EU salary/DE salary...once you start subtracting all the insurances you need to buy, the much more expensive rent and much more expensive bits and pieces here, I still wonder how this economy and local folks manage to stay in business.

It would be really interesting to compare two families with equal incomes and see just how much more expensive CH is and where the gains/losses are.
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