Chemicals, Why so pricey ?!?!

I am a DIYer in many ways. gardening, canning, soap, beer… allsorts. there are products i use a lot, simple things, that cost peanuts in the UK but are ludicrously expensive here in France. its not generally a problem, i stock up when visiting family but yeterday i ran out of sodium Tetraborate (borax) so had a hunt online which lead to me spitting out my tea and mumbling swearwords !! !

Pine Resin
Epsome Salt
Nitrite Salt
diatomaceous earth
Sodium Hydroxide
Sodium Tetraborate
Creatine Monohydrate

why are things like this so expensive in France compared to the UK ?

If anyone is visiting the UK and is traveling back via Caen in the next couple of months, do you fancy earning a crate of home brew?? ha ha

Would you like a list of the things that are much cheaper here to balance things out? As I have posted many times, certain items may be more expensive in France but I enjoy a much higher standard of living in France on my fixed inćome than I could in the U.K.

1 Like


Have you asked around… to find out what the equivalent chemicals are over here. and…don’t forget… more and more chemicals are being given the thumbs-down here… so that is perhaps another angle.

In my experience in France…if something is generally used by the “man in the street” the price is not prohibitive.

Cheaper “French” alternatives might be the way to go…

i wouldnt mind hearing some to make me feel better. i feel food, clothes, products, business costs are all a lot more here. so far i have found my insurance and a trip to the cinema to be cheaper…

maybe i’ve overlooked things?

I understand the issue, and this is my view. In the UK I am an expert shopper! many many years of searching out products from all sorts of sources. When I came to France I was back to being a novice again. Right royally shafted some times! You have to learn where to buy things, the other issue is how much bigger france is. the cost of obtaining something can rapidly rise and not all of france is on line.

the only one i feel could be safely (or practically) replaced is sodium hydroxide for potassium hydroxide. but it doesn’t make great soap.

What ones (shops) have you tried (so I don’t write a list of different places)?

so far brick and mortar shops ive done a couple of pharmacys, leroy merlin and point vert. online amazon and ebay.

for the Nitrite salt i might have just found a source

Liam google Produits chiminiques

1 Like

In my life my main outgoings are much cheaper, some significantly so. I don’t consciously buy chemicals so I can’t comment.

Crikey - what is it with some people? Liam is simply asking why chemicals are so pricey in France because, in his experience (as a grown-up!), he has found that to be the case. Why (try to) make it into a big deal? - if you don’t have anything constructive to help him then don’t bother to post.

If you have Brico Depot in your area - then tend to be pretty good for chemical supplies - at least they are in my area! :slight_smile:

Please read his original post. He asked why things are more expensive in France. Some things are more expensive, many are not. Your reply is hardly necessary nor mature.

Thanks for that David - huge help :-1:

Anytime Simon.

1 Like

You don’t happen to make stout, by chance :slight_smile: ?

sorry no, ale. sort of a Speckled hen clone but stronger :wink:

1 Like

Forgive me for straying a bit off topic but it’s not just chemicals. Today I wanted to buy tree felling wedge/s and 8" Oregon 570726 would do fine. €17.06 Amazon FR; €14.29 Amazon DE; £7.50 Amazon UK; Post €4 FR, €5.64 DE, £4.10 UK.

Of course things are not always more expensive in France but frequently they are and that’s for identical items bought on the internet, which should be a level playing field.

Hi Tom … not sure why you think the Internet should provide a level playing field…

I have never found it to be so… I just shop around until I find the package
ie best product/price/delivery

for instance: 1kg Epsom Salts 5,89 euro (postage free) and on the same page a wide variety of Epsom Salts costing for 1kg anything up to 15,00 euro plus postage… horrendous difference.

Yep and…you’ll find that regardless of whether you order from Amazon UK or Amazon FR - many items are dispatched from Orleans (in France!). So if you have ordered from the UK and paid the additional ‘international’ postage for delivery to France - ask them to refund you the postage, they always have done for me!


great idea Simon…