French rip-off prices, garden refuse, donkeys, goats and anything else the thread drifts to


(Paul Flinders) #81

First, as Tim points out I live in the UK and have a 2nd home in France

2nd where did I say I was unhappy - regularly moving between the two countries means I can buy my tools (and wine) wherever I like. It doesn’t alter the fact that many things are more expensive in France than in the UK.

3rd - you obviously “take advantage” of France since you seem to be complaining about Swiss prices and “shopping there [France] often as it’s just over the border” - I presume that you visit to make economies not admire the scenery (attractive as it might be close to the Swiss border). Aren’t you being somewhat hypocritical?

(Anna Watson) #82

Well no, nothing will alter this (apart from sea changes in state policy). I just don’t understand what it is about this particular fact that makes it a burning issue and why you seem to think it needs changing.
A recent cost of living survey puts the UK at number 26 in cost of living, ie there are 25 countries more expensive and lots more cheaper. How exactly would you like to rearrange all the countries? Would it make you happier if as a compromise France and the UK were joint 20th, for instance? Are there any other countries you would like to see price-matched with them? Australia is quite expensive too, so is Ireland, so are the Netherlands, so is Hong Kong whereas Spain is quite a bit cheaper, do any of those need changing? Or is it just the fact that the UK is cheaper than France that bothers you?

(Paul Flinders) #83

Why are you attacking me over this?

I offered the observation in response to someone else also noticing the differential, that prices in France, for similar items, are indeed very different than in the UK. I feel sorry that my French cousins might be paying over the odds and genuinely find it odd that the price for the same item from the same manufacturer should be so different in two countries which are similar in very many ways, both (currently) in the EU, similar sized economies etc.

I have nowhere said I am unhappy with this - puzzled but not unhappy; after all, as I said above, I can buy my tools either side of the English Channel and, if supermarket prices are a little higher in France it does not stop me coming over and enjoying life in France

I do not understand why you and Jennifer have been so aggressive.

(Bill Morgan) #84

Odd :+1: :thinking:

(Anna Watson) #85

Didn’t mean to be “aggressive”, it’s probably how I react when I’m trying to get my head round something that I don’t understand, I’m like a dog with a bone until I can make sense of it. It’s why I really should keep off forums. But in fact it’s worked because it got you to explain your reasoning and I think I do now understand where you’re coming from. You’re starting from the view that there are so many similarities between France and UK that you expect prices to be similar too. I actually think that there are so many basic difference that I don’t expect prices to be similar. (Population density, social policies, taxation policies, consumer habits, culture…)

OK I can let go now :grinning:

(stella wood) #86

Ha Ha Anna… The very title gets my back up… “why are the French ripped off?” :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: … I reckon that is “argumentative” .:grin::rofl::zipper_mouth_face:

but the sun is shining… and I have better things to do…

(David Martin) #87

The vast majority of people worldwide shop locally with, possibly, an occasional purchase via the internet. People who travel, those who live near borders and especially those who own holiday homes notice price differences and can act on that knowledge if they feel inclined. I lived on the Dutch/German border for most of my adult life and got to know the important price differences between the two countries. I rarely bought petrol in Holland or diesel in Germany when I was near my home because there was always a significant price difference. I bought all my coffee in Holland and take out beer and soft drinks in Germany. If I had lived even 30km away from the border I wouldn’t have bothered. I did most of my everyday shopping in Germany, on my way home from work but would often go into Holland at the weekends to buy food and clothes, not because those items were cheaper there, often the opposite, but because they were different and I was prepared to pay for that difference. At the time I bought most of my DIY items in France.
It’s easy to find examples of one item being more expensive in one country than another but that doesn’t mean that one group is being ripped off. People like Paul who travel regularly between the U.K. and France are welcome to look around and bargain hunt but I have never bought an electric drill that has cost as much as his return trip. I live in France and as I’ve said before buy most of my things locally and others via the web. France wins hands down cost wise for me because my housing costs and the costs involved with my main hobbies and pastimes are considerably cheaper here. Mind you to live in my beautiful house in its rural location and to benefit from the low stress, high quality life I enjoy here I would be prepared to pay more than my friends and family who live in crowded, busy parts of the U.K. The fact that I don’t is a bonus.

(Catharine Higginson) #88

For a long time the French have had far less consumer choice than people in countries like the UK for example. Hence the tolerance for inflated prices. Things are now changing with the onset of stores like Action - eg 2.99€ for a 500ml pot of organic coconut oil compared with 6-12€ in the mainstream supermarkets / bio cops. Whether prices will fall across the board or huge numbers of overpriced stores such as Fly / But will go out of business due to Ikea in particular and the internet in general, remains to be seen.
Given the way my French friends and neighbours shop, I suspect the latter.

Mind you, come March 19th no one will be able to buy anything - it will all be stuck on a motorway somewhere outside Dover :slight_smile:

(Paul Flinders) #89

OK, I get that way myself. :slight_smile:

Probably a bit of both, retail in the UK, especially chains with big stores and high rents is really struggling. It is likely the French market will “catch up”.

Whether this is a good thing or not I am genuinely not clear.

(damian john ) #90

Well if you are happy to have French town centres become a melange of chicken shops, nail parlours, charity shops, pound shops and tattoo parlours then that is fine. Personally I’d rather preserve a little style even if I have to pay more on occasion knowing that if I choose I can revert to the internet.

(Catharine Higginson) #91

I actually do miss both the pound shop and charity shops - but that’s just me. I’m all about never spending a centime more than I have to :slight_smile:

(damian john ) #92

Yes they can have their attractions Catherine I will admit but I’m not so keen on them being in the majority as they can be in some town centres.

(Catharine Higginson) #93

Where do you shop generally Damien? Apologies for being nosy! X

(damian john ) #94

Happy to share…do you mean where or in which shops?

(Diana Pinnell) #95

I think that, just as the French believe that a carpenter who can do the job next week must be no good, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to fit it in until next May, they are suspicious of lower prices, believing you get what you pay for. I was once told by a plumber that only his preferred supplier sold top-grade goods and that if I bought the same washbasin etc in Leroy Merlin I’d only be buying seconds. Maybe the Brits are a bit more world wise? Transport costs must affect prices, and whereas in the UK the more you buy, the lower the delivery costs, the reverse is true in France. We often buy on Amazon UK with cheaper delivery to France than if we bought on When we loaned our Numatic Henry vacuum cleaner to a neighbour and she asked us to get one for her, the price was dramatically lower in the UK. I asked Numatic why this was and they replied that it was up to the company who imported their products into France to set the price. In the case of Kingfisher, they seem to be selling for what the market will accept, and the French market accepts higher prices than the UK, maybe because we have enjoyed Screwfix and Toolstation for so long?

(Mat Davies) #96

As a business - isn’t this exactly the correct thing to do - charge the maximum that people will regularly pay.

(John Scully) #97

I like Bosch as a brand but I’d consider their drills as top end domestic and I prefer DeWalt which are professional quality IMO. I have a couple of DeWalts, one for over eighteen years and it’s still going strong. Interestingly, they are cheaper on Amazon France than Amazon UK.

(Mat Davies) #98

This is why Bosch have a separate Pro range of tools which are dark blue instead of green.

(Mark Robbins) #99

Pal of mine just bought a blue Bosch impact driver. My 6 year old Makita knocks spots off it.

(Mat Davies) #100

My barn is like a Makita showroom - so I am also of the same faith.

Recent purchase of a makita cordless chainsaw is excellent - most used product is makita impact driver.