Rip Off Britain

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by limpet, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. limpet

    limpet New Member

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    Browsing the net the other night, looking for touring bikes I came across some US sites selling the Trek 520 for between 900 and 1000 $.
    When I found a British site that sold them I was astonished to see the price was £899.
    I emailed the Trek distributor and he replied with some guff about import duties and US taxes not being included in US sites.
    Even so, with the exchange rate at the moment the price over here is getting on for twice that charged in the US.
    I personally think this applies to many other products, I can remember about 5 years ago when during a trip to France I was amazed that the price of most cycling items , Shimano- Campag components , clothing etc, was about half what was charged over here.
    I still believe we are being Ripped off at every turn and I for one am fed up with it.

    Any comments???

    Limpet :mad:
     
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  2. cbaugher

    cbaugher New Member

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    ;)

    While traveling by bike in England a few years ago, my daughter had her new Trek stolen in Oxford (in fact, I think it was a 520). I recall having to pay something like 75% more to replace it with an identical model. On the same trip, somewhere up in the Lake County I ran into a British international airline pilot who told me he brought a bicycle back on every trip from the US and sold it in England because of the price difference.
     
  3. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Come and buy in Europe , you could be suprised at the difference ie deda 214 = 60 euros - local bike shop , pazzaz stem 25 euros ditto .
     
  4. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    It's a well known fact that for almost everything you can spend money on, Britain is the most expensive place in the world. London has long been known to be the most expensive place to live in of all the European cities, and has recently been judged more expensive than anywhere in America too.

    Add to that the fact that right now the pound is ludicrously strong against the dollar, and you get an absurd state of affairs whereby we can't afford a goddamn thing even though we are technically doing better economically than most of the rest of the world.

    Crap isn't it?
     
  5. limpet

    limpet New Member

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    Crap it most definately is!!!

    Why do we put up with it.

    Why don`t we all just tell the shops to sod off until they bring their prices down, after all thats what the free market is all about, isn`t it!!!!!!!!!!

    I`m sick of hearing stories about products manufactured here being sold for less abroad than we can buy them for here, just so they can compete.
    After all, on the wages I earn ( you wouldn`t believe it ) I can`t afford to subsidise the rest of the world.

    I for one have had enough, I shall be keeping my money ( such as it is ) in my pocket.

    Anyone gonna join me???

    Limpet :mad:
     
  6. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    If it's any consolation to you, your neighbours here across the Irish sea are being royally screwed too.

    OK : we're told that prices are high because we're an island and we have no direct connection to mainland Europe (no channel tunnel) therefore to get product here we have to pay transport costs.
    Throw in Excise duty (?%) and VAT at 21% - euro losing value against Sterling but gaining against the dollar : you get the picture.

    We are all being screwed : on way or the other.
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Just watched a piece on the news about how shoppers are getting bargains in the USA - where goods are cheaper but also where the dollar/euro exchange rate is making cheaper goods in the USA, even more cheap when compared to Euroland.
    For example :an iPod which retails here in Ireland at Euro 584.00,
    costs 320.00 Euro equivalent in down town New York.

    Limpet - if you have any contacts over in the States, it might be worth you while seeing checking with them to see if you can get
    more affordable prices for product - depsite the sterling/dollar
    rate.
     
  8. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    There seems to be quite a good deal to have if you work in Northern Ireland and shop/live in Ireland.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    That's right !
    The shops in the Republic of Ireland which are located close to the border with Northern Ireland are doing well : so yes, it is beneficial to those living (earning money) in Northern Ireland
     
  10. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Bloody Winging poms, LET IT BE KNOWN that we in New Zealand pay abot $5k+ for a trek 520 and often find it cheaper to buy online FROM THE UK....you want expensive Bike stuff....try living here
    (exchange rate $ - pound is about 3 - 1. So a 520 is about 1333 pound) and that is conservative btw, they have come down because the Giant is now selling for $4,100, the Treks where >6k
     
  11. Saucy

    Saucy New Member

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    I'm confused. I think I may have to dig up my old economics textbooks. I always thought that if a country's currency is strong relative to another country's currency (ex UK vs. US dollar) that then the UK would be able to afford more American goods at a lower price. Thus imported goods would be less expensive in the UK than say a year ago. Has economic theory changed since I was in college?

    I feel everyone's pain but the reality is that goods are priced according to what the market will bear. Its not realistic to compare the price of goods in the UK vs. New York vs. New Zealand because salaries are different, taxes are different, tarriffs, etc. All these factors will result in the fact that there is no real "bargain" by buying from one place to another. If there was a "spread" or profit to be made by doing so, then people would take advantage of that, the market would then readjust and the spread would be eliminated.
     
  12. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Ah yes, my mind just went thundering back to when I studied Economics. Ouch. I dont think it is quite as simple as you suggest however with other market forces playing a big part. ie over here we have relativly few competiters/brands ect. I think a bike over here would be more expensive as a % of annual sallery here than say the UK....I must say though that is still alot better than it used to be. A new trake bike (531 with suntour gear) cost me $2500 in 1984 where a new one last year with a Miche group costs $2000 today. In 1984 I was getting $67 a week after tax today the same job pays $313 as a comparison.
     
  13. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    In a perfect world you would be right. The country with the stronger currency has greater buying power and can import foreign goods at a greater advantage. Our problem is that as consumers, we are not doing the importing. Therefore it is the retailers (e.g. Evans, Halfords etc. who import bikes to UK from abroad), who rake in the profit - we as consumers have to pay the higher price. In a perfect, competition-driven world Evans and Halfords would not rake it in, but instead pass on the savings to the consumer by lowering their prices. But they know that we little people aren't going to import from abroad, so they have no competition - they can keep their high prices.

    On your second point, again you're absolutely right in theory. Different parts of the world have different average salaries and different tax rates, and prices should reflect that. But (going back to the above point), we bike-shoppers go on the internet and see bikes going for way cheaper somewhere else in the world, and we don't think "yes that makes sense because our average GDP per head is higher," we think "hey how come those yanks can get away with that!"

    It may be that the high cost of living is softened by a higher salary (which by the way I don't believe is necessarily true - particularly not in London). But that doesn't make it any easier to bear for the consumer who watches other people get the same product for 15% less, but can't do the same because they are in the wrong part of the world.

    And this all assumes that everyone in a given city earns the same - in fact, everyone earns different, no one thinks they are typical, and everyone thinks they should have a right to the best bargain! Well we're only human...
     
  14. belfast-biker

    belfast-biker New Member

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    So bike stuff is cheaper down south?

    A trip to Dublin is in order... any recommended shops?
     
  15. Saucy

    Saucy New Member

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    I agree that economic theory is simply that, theory. But still, I would think that if it were cheaper to buy a bike somewhere else rather than buying domestically then wouldn't everyone be doing that?

    I would point out that the original poster was specifically referring to a Trek bicycle. Trek is an American company so doesn't it make sense that it would be cheaper in the U.S. than in Europe or elsewhere? Import duties, shipping costs, profits for the importer, would naturally make this product more expensive in the UK. It may not seem "fair" but that's the way the world economy works. I'm just pointing out that there are reasons for these price differences. Imported goods are always more expensive than domestic goods.

    By the same token, I'm sure that Italian made bikes are cheaper in the UK or EU countries than in the USA. If I was in Europe I would be buying a sweet italian bike, but alas I am stuck riding a cannondale. Italian products are more expensive here.

    Be happy with what you guys have in your own countries. Trek is no better than any other company out there. Buy products made by your own countries, support your own economy, and create domestic jobs. Every dollar you send to the U.S. is money going towards foreign policies that I would suspect a lot of you disagree with.
     
  16. Brian Cotgrove

    Brian Cotgrove New Member

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    G'day Limpet, Mate, there's a very easy solution to your problem, save up your money come to Australia, have a good holiday, buy your bike here, get a custom made frame, in Brisbane, top stuff, Campag equip, or Shimano.

    Meet some really good people, ride around in the sun, race with some of the worlds best, then go back to pommy land and tell the others how good it is here.

    Become a tour guide, make some money at it, while you soak up the sun?

    Now what could be easier than that, simple as ABC?

    Keep the wheels in motion, and don't look back, unless it's to see who you dropped on the last climb? TBC
     
  17. Weisse Luft

    Weisse Luft New Member

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    Welcome to the world of taxation. Here in the States, if one buys from another state, the taxes are waived.

    Oddly enough, I bought my last gruppo from a shop in Belfast because it was the cheapest due to discounting of VAT. This is due to the price fixing of Shimano North America. VAT forces Shimano to lower the retail price in Europe but here, the online sales sans taxes allows much higher aftermarket pricing.

    The savings were on the order of $300 for 7800 Dura Ace. Shipping took 4 days, faster than any domestic source.
     
  18. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Joe Daly Cycles in Dundrum is superb.
    Plenty of stuff - Dave T is the man there and he will sort you out.

    Take the LUAS from Stephens Green out to Dundrum (it stops opposite his shop in the Dundrum Shopping Centre - and you can stop and see the Stephen Roche
    stone 100 yards from his shop too).
    LUAS cost €1.45 to travel out.
     
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