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Old 01.01.2011, 21:08
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Appliances - what to bring from US

Hi All
First let me apologize for bringing this up again. I have seem some threads on this topic recommending NOT to bring (kitchen) appliances from the US to Switzerland.

I have not seen any advice on the following though and was wondering if I could get opinions/suggestions:

- Television (newer model)
- lamps
- printer
- chargers (camera, cell phone, etc)
- telephone
- electric blankets
- coffee maker/kettle/toaster
- shaver/hair dryer
- electric toothbrush

Thanks everyone, in advance. And again, sorry if this is re-hashed!
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:11
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

My take on this briefly is that all of the above are not worth bringing over here to CH largely owing to the fact you'd need a transformer converting 240V AC to 110V apart from changing the plug heads.
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:35
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

.....
- vacuum cleaner
- air purifier
- car buffer/waxer
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:36
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

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My take on this briefly is that all of the above are not worth bringing over here to CH largely owing to the fact you'd need a transformer converting 240V AC to 110V apart from changing the plug heads.
Thanks JRSPET. That's what I thought....
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:37
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

On the other hand, it might be worth it to bring in your car - see under Transportation - Importing - many threads about it.
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:48
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

There are a very few items which come with a universal power supply (110-240 V, 50-60 Hz) and these will work with only a plug adapter, and are probably worth bringing over. My laptop power supply, camera battery charger, generic NiMH battery charger and cell phone charger are the only items I own that fall in this category.
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:53
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

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Hi All
First let me apologize for bringing this up again. I have seem some threads on this topic recommending NOT to bring (kitchen) appliances from the US to Switzerland.

I have not seen any advice on the following though and was wondering if I could get opinions/suggestions:

- Television (newer model)
- lamps
- printer
- chargers (camera, cell phone, etc)
- telephone
- electric blankets
- coffee maker/kettle/toaster
- shaver/hair dryer
- electric toothbrush

Thanks everyone, in advance. And again, sorry if this is re-hashed!
Personal appliances are sometimes sold as dual voltage, might be worth checking as then you just need a plug adapter, and make sure you switch the voltage. I have several lamps I brought home with us from Asia. They are simple lamps, not halogen, so they use no transformer and take a standard bulb (E14 base). All I had to do was buy new bulbs here and change the plug and they work. I also brought a printer/scanner but this was a real hassle as you cannot pack it with toner.

Cameras are often sold with chargers that are dual voltage. Just the plug will be wrong. But if you have many small items that need to be charged, bring a power bar with you and then all you need is one plug adapter.
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Old 01.01.2011, 21:55
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

If you want to save some money, DO bring your favorite appliances.

These ones
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- chargers (camera, cell phone, etc)
- electric toothbrush
will most probably work just fine with 220V (check the label on the power supply). It's definitely worth taking a good electric toothbrush. The plug heads can be bought for a few cents.

For everything else, you can buy a transformer, something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ef=oss_product

Check the power rating on the appliance, and choose the transformer accordingly, with some margin. They are very heavy, but work just fine. It might not be convenient to use the transformer for everything, so I wouldn't bring all appliances, but it's worth taking the ones you like.

I don't know if TVs use the same standard for the signal in the US and CH. Also, US radio would only receive half the FM stations in Europe.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:13
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

Printer and chargers worked for us, as did Mrs Doolittle's advice on the transformer + power strip. Laptop was fine, but for the desktop, we had to switch the voltage (we learned that the hard way). We left the TV at home and bought minor items, such as vacuum, lamps, telephone, coffeemaker, hair dryer and electric toothbrush relatively cheap at the Co-op Good luck.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:13
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

Noone has mentioned the posters electric blankets. Does anyone use them in Switzerland? I know that all the houses I have been in seem to have such good heating systems that an electric blanket is totally unneeded.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:24
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

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Noone has mentioned the posters electric blankets. Does anyone use them in Switzerland? I know that all the houses I have been in seem to have such good heating systems that an electric blanket is totally unneeded.
True - we often crack the window and bought a standing fan to not be too warm at night.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:32
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

I would disagree, having just purchased a KitchenAid for 4x the cost of my US one. We have a transformer and a powerstrip and I would bring everything that can be discretely charged from a single transformer (we keep ours in the kitchen). It might also be worth it for a second by the TV (which you should not bring) because a Wii or Xbox will allow you to continue to buy US games (which can be half the price of those bought in Europe). Vacuum cleaner- didn't bring my Dyson and am still sorry because even bringing it over from the UK (where it's 1/3 cheaper than Germany) is still double the cost of having it in the US.
Depends on whether you are bringing a container over, of course. To give an example, a coffee grinder (Krups!) that costs 50Euro here costs $11 in the US. We grind our coffee every three days with a Germany to Us purchased German product!
In short, if you own quality products, bring them over. With lamps, you can have them (very cheaply) rewired to run on Swiss current, or else you need (small, inexpensive) at the wall transformers (only for low current) and would need to also import light bulbs. The lamps might require only a plug change, which one can do oneself.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:34
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

Look at the cost of transporting all this stuff, whom is going to pay? How do you manage without your "toothbrush" while it's travelling on the ship?

The TV would also have to work with PAL format, not NSTC. Any TV will have problems with the slower 50 Herz electricity supply here, even if it can manage twice the voltage, as the picture frames are synchronized to the mains electricity (50 not 60 Herz or c/s) Also the sound system (Intermediate- Frequency) is on a different side-band (I think 5.5 instead of 6 MHz)

The transformers are an option, but are definitely not safe with young children about, there is very little protection there. In a modern Swiss house there are safety cut-outs (earth leakage trip circuits) but older houses do not have these.

My best advice is to "lend" all your stuff to your family and friends, and buy cheap or second hand here. If you go back within a few years you can ask for all your stuff back again

.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:53
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

That's why I said not to bring the TV- I think that's not worth it and we "loaned" ours to a friend. But a toothbrush can go in the suitcase. And it , of course, depends on what one is bringing over. We had the smallest container available and filled up extra spaces with boxes of diapers, but I should have added all those appliances in as well- containers charge by external cubic, not weight or internal, of course.
If you want to get more interesting, dryers cannot be modified to run here but washers can- and I still think it's not worth bringing them over, although we were given a dryer by a German family who discovered that the hard way, and thus it made the round trip.
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:54
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

Thanks Everyone for the suggestions / advice.

Cost of shipping is not prohibitive (thank goodness). I have looked at some 220/240 to 110 converters on Amazon, which seem relatively cheap. Good for running things on low voltage (e.g., toothbrush, razor, coffee maker). I think that will be an option for some things. Also have looked at simple plug adapters, which I have used in the past without converters - maybe good for lamps??

I'm a little bummed about the TV, etc. I think the option of storage for some of these items is the best bet. Fortunately I do get an allowance to purchase appliances and the like.

It just seems like so much to replace - everything gets plugged in these days!

Again, thanks for the advice....Please keep it coming!
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:55
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

And when we moved here, we had a 15 month old and a 4 year old- why wasn't a transformer safe?
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Old 01.01.2011, 22:56
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

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That's why I said not to bring the TV- I think that's not worth it and we "loaned" ours to a friend. But a toothbrush can go in the suitcase. And it , of course, depends on what one is bringing over. We had the smallest container available and filled up extra spaces with boxes of diapers, but I should have added all those appliances in as well- containers charge by external cubic, not weight or internal, of course.
If you want to get more interesting, dryers cannot be modified to run here but washers can- and I still think it's not worth bringing them over, although we were given a dryer by a German family who discovered that the hard way, and thus it made the round trip.
Yes, we will be making a run to Target just before the packing/moving date to stock up on the basics!
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Old 01.01.2011, 23:03
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

Louisiana hot sauce, chocolate chips, graham crackers (until you learn to make your own), Costco Diaper Wipes and the big container of Balmex Diaper ointment (we found no wipes or ointment here that did not cause a rash, including the bio ones),habaneros, habanero stuffed olives, toss a big Costco bottle of cumin in and one of red pepper until you find a local source(still haven't found one for habaneros),poptarts (I have a recipe for home made ones), children's meds (my kids find German ones disgusting), -is Nyquil available in CH?-, and my personal faves of Costco Blue Mountain beans and crystalite lemonade
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Old 01.01.2011, 23:03
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

True enough, that's why we stayed away from the high end brands here


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I would disagree, having just purchased a KitchenAid for 4x the cost of my US one. We have a transformer and a powerstrip and I would bring everything that can be discretely charged from a single transformer (we keep ours in the kitchen). It might also be worth it for a second by the TV (which you should not bring) because a Wii or Xbox will allow you to continue to buy US games (which can be half the price of those bought in Europe). Vacuum cleaner- didn't bring my Dyson and am still sorry because even bringing it over from the UK (where it's 1/3 cheaper than Germany) is still double the cost of having it in the US.
Depends on whether you are bringing a container over, of course. To give an example, a coffee grinder (Krups!) that costs 50Euro here costs $11 in the US. We grind our coffee every three days with a Germany to Us purchased German product!
In short, if you own quality products, bring them over. With lamps, you can have them (very cheaply) rewired to run on Swiss current, or else you need (small, inexpensive) at the wall transformers (only for low current) and would need to also import light bulbs. The lamps might require only a plug change, which one can do oneself.
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Old 01.01.2011, 23:26
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Re: Appliances - what to bring from US

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Thanks Everyone for the suggestions / advice.

Cost of shipping is not prohibitive (thank goodness). I have looked at some 220/240 to 110 converters on Amazon, which seem relatively cheap. Good for running things on low voltage (e.g., toothbrush, razor, coffee maker). I think that will be an option for some things. Also have looked at simple plug adapters, which I have used in the past without converters - maybe good for lamps??

I'm a little bummed about the TV, etc. I think the option of storage for some of these items is the best bet. Fortunately I do get an allowance to purchase appliances and the like.

It just seems like so much to replace - everything gets plugged in these days!

Again, thanks for the advice....Please keep it coming!
I have moved too often and it's always been to countries with different voltages. If I move again, I am not taking one appliance with me. I've gone the transformer route, and the adapter route. Now I just want plug and play. The only things I might take are my camera, phone and IPad.

There are appliances on sale all the time, and the advantage of buying new is that you get a guarantee. Appliances in Germany can be less expensive than in Switzerland. There are always people leaving who are selling things if you don't mind something used.

If you decide to bring appliances, you might find you can swap with someone who is going back to North America who has 220 ones for sale. I've done that before.
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