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Old 12.09.2017, 16:44
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Why so expensive

I'm trying to figure out why "normal" things are soo expensive in Switzerland.
I'm not trying to get into an economics debate, or a debate on why my homeland is less expensive. I'm just curious as why things tend to be on the expensive side.

Please understand, I live in Zurich - and I want to continue to live in Zurich. I'm not upset, I'm just curious.

Let me give you an example -- this is just an example.
Recently I was in Iceland -- a country surrounded by water and can't grow much, and most things need to be shipped in.... I found normal items in the Grocery store that were far cheaper then in Switzerland (a few silly example was Lindt chocolates, M&M candies, Meat, Spaghetti sauce) Even Dominos Pizza and Subway was cheaper

Hawaii, I was there recently enough and found the grocery stores to be much less expensive.

I feel as though Switzerland acts like an Island but it's not, Iceland is an island, Iceland can't maintain a proper growing season - yet it's cheaper there.

Again - don't take this as a complaint, don't take this as I'm upset -- It's just weird to me that when I was in Iceland I started to stock up on groceries to bring back to Switzerland because it was a better price.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:50
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Re: Why so expensive

Shopping in Iceland is famously cheap.

That's why it's usually next door to Poundland and the Sue Ryder shop.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:51
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Re: Why so expensive

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Recently I was in Iceland -- a country surrounded by water and can't grow much, and most things need to be shipped in....
Did you also check if you would find a job there?
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:54
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Re: Why so expensive

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Did you also check if you would find a job there?
That pays 120k.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:59
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Re: Why so expensive

Have you ever been to Norway?

Switzerland is cheap by comparison, especially for wine, cars and motorcycles.

Tom
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:07
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Re: Why so expensive

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I'm trying to figure out why "normal" things are soo expensive in Switzerland.
I'm not trying to get into an economics debate, or a debate on why my homeland is less expensive. I'm just curious as why things tend to be on the expensive side.
I think that inadvertently closes down your thread, through. A lot of people that balk at the price of things here aren't really interested in the bigger picture which includes the economy and the market, as well as the culture to a certain extent.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:08
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Re: Why so expensive

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Have you ever been to Norway?

Switzerland is cheap by comparison, especially for wine, cars and motorcycles.

Tom
I thought your get a 134.000 USD tax break for buying a Tesla... aren't there some decent electric motorcycles available as well by now?
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:14
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Re: Why so expensive

Swiss Quality
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:19
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Re: Why so expensive

The main reason is the strong franc. When I first came here 10 years ago it was 2.50 to the pound. It's now around 1.25 and the rise has been similar with other currencies.

When you compare prices today it's easy to just compare the CHF with the pound, euro or dollar price where you are visiting and it makes things seem very expensive. A couple of years ago an American guy at the foodhall where I work was balking at the price of 1.00 CHF for a chocolate chip cookie "$1 for a cookie that's crazy!".

The woman selling them was very quick with her reply "Yes, they used to be 50 cents but the dollar collapsed in value against the franc, so now they are one dollar"

Her point being that prices have hardly changed here in the last 10 years, it's other currencies being so weak that make it seem very expensive. And yes I know, some things were expensive before, but Switzerland is a very small market and Zurich in particular is expensive because of high rents and very high salaries.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:20
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Re: Why so expensive

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I'm trying to figure out why "normal" things are soo expensive in Switzerland.
I'm not trying to get into an economics debate, or a debate on why my homeland is less expensive. I'm just curious as why things tend to be on the expensive side.

Please understand, I live in Zurich - and I want to continue to live in Zurich. I'm not upset, I'm just curious.

Let me give you an example -- this is just an example.
Recently I was in Iceland -- a country surrounded by water and can't grow much, and most things need to be shipped in.... I found normal items in the Grocery store that were far cheaper then in Switzerland (a few silly example was Lindt chocolates, M&M candies, Meat, Spaghetti sauce) Even Dominos Pizza and Subway was cheaper

Hawaii, I was there recently enough and found the grocery stores to be much less expensive.

I feel as though Switzerland acts like an Island but it's not, Iceland is an island, Iceland can't maintain a proper growing season - yet it's cheaper there.

Again - don't take this as a complaint, don't take this as I'm upset -- It's just weird to me that when I was in Iceland I started to stock up on groceries to bring back to Switzerland because it was a better price.
Well, that's the point. IT IS AN economic debate. It's mostly a problem of supply and demand. Not only S&D of goods, but also S&D of labor. Complete that with a large dose of protectionism and a strong Franc, and the prices in CH are well above of those from the countries you mentioned.

The things that are expensive in CH are those in which large part of the cost depends on local, Swiss wages: restaurants, supermarkets, agricultural products, etc. Although the Domino's pizza (), the M&Ms, etc., are imported, their manufacturing costs are tiny if compared to the cost of the employees who transport, stock, or sell them. And then these people, who have higher salaries than the equivalent Joe in other countries, are the ones who buy these stuffs. On the other hand, goods which the final prices don't depend too much on local Swiss labor (e.g., electronics, cars, fuel, etc.) are cheaper or about the same as in other countries.

From another perspective, these things are more expensive in CH because people here are willing to pay more.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:21
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Re: Why so expensive

Yet petrol is cheaper here than just over the border(s).
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:23
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Re: Why so expensive

No McDonalds in Iceland to compare the Big Mac index but at least this source thinks they would be more expensive...:
http://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/ne...big_mac_index/
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:26
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Re: Why so expensive

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The main reason is the strong franc. When I first came here 10 years ago it was 2.50 to the pound. It's now around 1.25 and the rise has been similar with other currencies.
I don't know... stuff was expensive when I arrived a long time ago and still is. I can explain a lot with higher costs, salaries, the strong Swiss franc and what not else, but in reality seems at least half of the cases be completely made up. There is absolutely no reason why non-food items at COOP that are made in the EU cost not 30 or 40% more than in Germany but multiple times as much. The simple answer in my opinion is "because they know that they can get away with it". Swiss people are famously insensitive to prices, nobody here ever questioned why small stuff like toothbrushes or shampoo costs as much as it does. "If that's what Coop charges, that must be the correct price then"...
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:26
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Re: Why so expensive

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I'm trying to figure out why "normal" things are soo expensive in Switzerland.
I'm not trying to get into an economics debate, or a debate on why my homeland is less expensive. I'm just curious as why things tend to be on the expensive side.

Please understand, I live in Zurich - and I want to continue to live in Zurich. I'm not upset, I'm just curious.

Let me give you an example -- this is just an example.
Recently I was in Iceland -- a country surrounded by water and can't grow much, and most things need to be shipped in.... I found normal items in the Grocery store that were far cheaper then in Switzerland (a few silly example was Lindt chocolates, M&M candies, Meat, Spaghetti sauce) Even Dominos Pizza and Subway was cheaper

Hawaii, I was there recently enough and found the grocery stores to be much less expensive.

I feel as though Switzerland acts like an Island but it's not, Iceland is an island, Iceland can't maintain a proper growing season - yet it's cheaper there.

Again - don't take this as a complaint, don't take this as I'm upset -- It's just weird to me that when I was in Iceland I started to stock up on groceries to bring back to Switzerland because it was a better price.
Prices in CH have stayed the same whilst the currency got stronger at GBP 2.60, Euro 1.60 USD 1.8 to the CHF Switzerland seemed quite cheap. Those rates were available in fairly recent history.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:27
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Re: Why so expensive

It is a fact, that companies exporting to Switzerland put a much higher margin on the goods than to other countries. Because they get away with it, people here still buy the stuff (what else can they do )
The answer would be paralell import, which is mostly illegal since the Kodak-decision (sorry, German).

The fight keeps going on (sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker), specially Denner fought hard for a while.

The reason for internal goods being more expensive is mostly because the people producing them earn Swiss wages (to be able to pay the imported stuff, ROFL).
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:29
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Re: Why so expensive

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Recently I was in Iceland -- a country surrounded by water and can't grow much, and most things need to be shipped in......... Even Dominos Pizza and Subway was cheaper
Wondeed about this as Swiss friends have commented on how expensive Iceland is. Medium Margarita in Iceland Kr 1,740 / CHF 15.70. In Zürich CHF 12.90.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:32
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Re: Why so expensive

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much, and most things need to be shipped in.... I found normal items in the Grocery store that were far cheaper then in Switzerland (a few silly example was Lindt chocolates, M&M candies, Meat, Spaghetti sauce) Even Dominos Pizza and Subway was cheaper

Iceland can't maintain a proper growing season - yet it's cheaper there.
You said it, Iceland doesn't have an agriculture with high salaries to protect, which probably means there are no import taxes and that they buy from where it's cheaper. Especially for products like meat it can mean much lower prices.
But still, price is not decided only on material cost but on what people is willing to pay for a certain product, market segmentation, etc.
Higher salaries with very low inequality leads to higher prices in Switzerland than other countries. Low competition (also caused by people which are very slow to change habits) and cartels are a problem too.

Last edited by Meerkat33; 12.09.2017 at 17:43.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:37
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Re: Why so expensive

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Wondeed about this as Swiss friends have commented on how expensive Iceland is. Medium Margarita in Iceland Kr 1,740 / CHF 15.70. In Zürich CHF 12.90.
I heard that too about Iceland, so the op also surprised me. But I've not been there myself (and a Margarita is probably not what the OP means by "normal items" .... then again M&M's seem to be, LOL.

In your example it may also be the alcohol. Many northern countries put A LOT of taxes on alcohol.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:54
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Re: Why so expensive

All economics aside, there is one simple main reason:

Because we are willing to pay those prices.

I look at our financials, I see the lady handling my groceries earning 4K a month and having a decent life, I see the high price of the building the supermarket is in, and I see that the company where I buy things is making a healthy profit, I see these prices and the market protection allow a lot of jobs and smaller companies to be able to exist in this country and I realise all is good and pay for my groceries and have good quality meat on the table while enjoying my life.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:55
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Re: Why so expensive

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I heard that too about Iceland, so the op also surprised me. But I've not been there myself (and a Margarita is probably not what the OP means by "normal items" .... then again M&M's seem to be, LOL.

In your example it may also be the alcohol. Many northern countries put A LOT of taxes on alcohol.
Yep, Beer in Sweden is as expensive as here (Which makes it damn expensive when comparing large majority of countries)
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