Cheapness of materials in Spain

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Tom Stanworth, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I was amazed to discover that both Kodak, Agfa and Ilford darkroom chems were so much cheaper here than in the UK (not that the Agfa or Kodak will be about for long), which in the case of Ilford is where they are made. In some cases the price was about 70% (euro for a pound) but in other a quarter or so! I paid €3.50 for 1L or Ilford wetting agent, about €3.5 for 1L of Agfa fix etc etc. This is just plain nuts esp as the store was small and had a small stock of darkroom stuff. If a small provincial store in Spain can do it at this price, just makes you realise how we get ripped off in the UK!!! Even the film was as cheap as the cheapest online bulk mailorder from the UK!!!

    Madness...

    OH, BTW they had a few large bottles of Rodinal too.....snigger.

    Tom
     
  2. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    Hello Tom,

    Another possible example...

    I was checking the price of Kodak 3.8l Dektol Powder Yesterday.

    At Silverprint in London it is £16.74 for a pack.

    At Fotoimpex in Berlin it is Euro 9.28 (£6.40) for the same pack.

    Has Fotoimpex has made a mistake?

    Barry
     
  3. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Well, the prices in Russia are maybe the same like in Spain - a 0.5l Rodinal costs US $7, Ilfotol - $5, Ilfotec-HC is $24. That's the "pricey high-lifecost" overflated UK economy, I think. If the prices there are so very high, it's indeed a ripping of the customers for nothing. Maybe that gives more money to, say, Iraq campaign? I don't know :sad:
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Must be, since Norway is even more expensive :sad:
     
  5. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    That could be also a matter of the marketing as well. In case of Japan, foreign imports (from Europe and the U.S.) are always treated as luxurious goods.
     
  6. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Sorry to inject a note of reality, but the UK military consumes around 7% of total taxation revenue, the rest being spent on a whole raft of items such as the National Health Service (by far the largest consumer), education, social security payments of a multitude of types, police, the army of bureaucrats in Whitehall and elsewhere, local development aid, overseas aid etc, etc, etc....

    Cheers, Bob.

    P.S. Annually, Russia spends nearly twice as much (around $65 billion) as the UK (approx $38 billion) on its military. Mind you, that still makes the UK the 5th largest military spender in the world - gotta keep those rebellious colonies in check & you never know when the French might decide to invade - maintaining those Martello towers costs a fortune... :wink:
     
  7. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    It's not just on film and equipment that we get ripped off in the UK. When living in South Africa I could buy items made in the EU cheaper than what they sell for in the UK. This is after high shipping costs, import duty and tariffs. Sony UK have now stopped offering cheaper electronic goods to internet stores in order to protect the stores such as Comet etc., but in mainland Europe the policy is not in place. We also pay more for iTunes than the rest of Europe. This is a software product with no distribution, shipping costs etc.

    Lets not get started on fuel...
     
  8. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    To those readers outside of the UK maybe an explanation regarding the underlying nature of this thread is due.
    It is a national pastime, second only to the mind destroying affliction of watching football, to rundown our country, to try and disassociate the Great from Britain.
    Actually some of us quite like it here.
     
  9. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Dave, my reply is not aimed at running down Britain but specifically at the manufacturers, distributors and retailers policy of marking goods up because we will pay.

    In fact I argue quite vociforously with people that if you've never lived in a country with private medical care, no social security, only private schools, high murder rate etc. then you don't appreciate how good the United Kingdom is to live in.
     
  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Lee, your phase “because we will pay” is the nub of the matter. I don’t think that having paid for goods we should then complain that they cost too much. The answer is simply either to accept the price as the market rate, or refuse the offer, and source your supplies elsewhere. In these days of internet shopping, it matters little where you purchase from; providing of course you factor shipping and taxes into the equation. This has unfortunatly sounded the death knell for the local shop, such as that which Tom found in Spain, but since we are now so hooked on price issues, that was inevitable.
    That argument apart, my post was aimed at helping our overseas friends understand the British psychic for self denegation.
     
  11. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Yes, that's a good injection - that's what I thought about it, a protection of nation from anyone coming on the homeland to live and work there by the overflated prices. High work cost - high taxes - high social security payments (though even a best insurance won't cover a really serious case), all high-rated to protect the economy and local producer. A clever strategy, but the people who work are to carry all this burden on their necks. And as I know about Scandinavian countries (I worked in Sweden for awhile), people there (and anywhere) likes it cheaper - cheap clothing and shoes, cheap booze, cheap anything, and China offers the cheap and useable in multitude. Swedish people took trips to Estonia (in pre-EU time), Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, carrying back suitcases full of cheap vodka and clothes - and that's with their salaries! And the EU currently limits the import of China textile, for example, because no one there want to buy the same made in the EU with the prices fourfold higher. The future would show what strategy would be better - the overrating of everything or many many goods for a small price. The concurrence from the Big East is growing every day, and I think that there would be changes in the financial policy of the EU and its members to preserve their own production.

    And the army spending of Russia - well, isn't it just a bit bigger that the UK, and isn't it borderline a bit longer and more complicated? :smile: I am sure that in relative units Russia spends maybe 10% from the expenses of the UK. And in case of Russia those rebellious colonies and invaders are real - so the power has to be kept for a reason. What really makes me puzzled, is why the USA put so much stock to create a discord between Russia and the EU? Russia would once make a real joint with China and, say, India, and I am very doubtful that Europe would benefit from it anyhow. So maybe in our life we are going to see some biiiig changes in the world.

    Cheers, Zhenya

     
  12. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    I think that maybe we're leaning towards a Lounge topic.
     
  13. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Since you've brought this up, I have to ask you a couple of serious questions in a friendly manner: Are any of your (nuclear) missles directly pointing at Japan right now? Or Japan is not even the slightest part of your concern because it's so tiny and has no major impact in today's economy. :sad:

    As a Japanese citizen, I beg you: Please keep supplying us enough natural gas and give up on those two really tiny islands north of Hokkaido. But seriously regadless the history of the war between the two countries, is Russia looking at Japan the way things will get better or not? :smile:

    Also will you manufacture any photo supplies and sell them to Japan at a friendly cost? In the current domestic market, we get ripped off pretty bad, and it's due to the old trade block or whatever it is. And I'm a bit jealous about China who gets all the attention. :wink:
     
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  15. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    Don't forget that the average income in the UK is quite a bit bigger there than here, and that here the VAT is a 1.5% smaller. Local taxes in the UK can make a big difference selling here or there, even with the same production costs.
     
  16. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Hey, dear tovarisch, if I only knew to where Russian missiles are directed now! It's kinda secret, I think :smile: But I doubt that Japan is regarded by Russia as a target - this direction should be too well covered by North Korea and China, of course :sad:

    Gas is okay, as we can see from Ukraine story - but it's better forget about the islands. Giving them back would be regarded by Russian population as a high treason act - some wounds from WWI and WWII are not still healed, somehow. It's also losing power and space in the region, and losing money due to fishing limits coming. Also it can create a precedent when further question could be posed, like giving half of Sakhalin back to Japan. Germany doesn't even mind to want, say, Sudeten to be returned by Czechia, Memel by Lithuania, Koenigsberg and East Prussia by Russia? Russians are quite friendly to Japan and its people, but not in question of the islands - that's the echo of two wars. Old hatred, like the one of Stalin who said after hearing the news about atomic bombing: "We Russians (!) of older generation have waited for this moment since 1905". Personally I think that Japan could manage better those islands (making there a fine nature reserve, for example) - but again, Russian people, its educated and tolerant part, and its government are not connected in any way!!

    Photo supplies, ahem... some of them are still good, and there's a good way to send Slavich paper to Japan - a Transsiberian railroad! :smile: It's very good and dirt cheap. And China catches more attention due to its size and human/natural resources, and again, because of very very cheap stuff :smile:

    I love Japan really much, as well its photo supplies - Fuji is my favorite in almost anything, but... if we can't manage our own pigsty of government here, who except G-d himself could? :sad:

    Cheers, Zhenya

     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It's perhaps a pity that the thread has metamorphosed into a Lounge thing. There are serious questions here. The EU has a single market policy designed to avoid just this very example of vastly differing prices. This can of course be distorted by shipping cost and more importantly by local taxes or not. Hence the difference in alcohol prices between the UK and France. Your more expensive bottle of wine in Tesco compared to Carrefour in France is not down in this case to an unscrupulous company but rests with the UK's taxes on alcohol.

    It may be that photographic goods are subject to less local axes, VAT etc in Spain but I'd be surprised if this accounted for the differences quoted. The way it is supposed to work is that Ilford or any other EU company should base its prices on cost of production plus necessary profit. This should enable it to sell for a reasonable profit in both the UK and Spain. If we are paying what the market will bear and this is much higher than what it will bear elsewhere then in theory and with perfect market knowledge on the part of buyers and wholesalers parallel/grey imports will start to curb any excesses on the part of the companies.

    This works in large markets such as vehicles and vehicle parts where companies found themselves competing with their own large dealerships in say Germany who were wholesaling back to the UK cheaper than UK dealers could buy from the manufacturing source and with companies who would ease the burden of ordering a left hand drive car from say Belgium and importing it into the UK.

    Unfortunately in smaller markets this can fail to work. I have no problem supporting local distributors/shops in the UK who to stay in business may need to charge more than the internet sites who "pile it high and sell it cheap". However I do have a problem if higher prices are the result of a deliberate market distortion by the manufacturer.

    There could be several reasonable explanations why the examples quoted do not indicate any deliberate market distortion and it would be nice to get to the bottom of it.

    If however a company is rigging the market, so to speak, then this is a short term gain only. Any company whose consumers feel they have been "had" are liable to react. Companies underestimate the effect of consumers' sense of fairness.

    If people didn't feel this way about fair treatment there be no Consumers Association or programmes like Rogue Traders and Watchdog on TV.

    I wonder if Simon Galley would care to comment?

    Pentaxuser
     
  18. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I feel rested and I think I can sleep well tonight. Thanks. :smile:

    Fuji products are fine with me also. But generally the market needs more variety other than the big names, and the Slavich paper sounds good. :wink:
     
  19. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I don't think it's running down one's country to say that the UK is commonly known by us UK residents as "Rip-off Britain" because so many things here cost more than they do elsewhere. Even allowing for differing rates of VAT etc the differences can be quite substantial. Notorious examples are DVD's & CD's, but there are many others. I blame it on greedy importers & manufacturers whose attitudes date back to when being an island we were much more insular than we are today. But as someone else has said, with the internet one can shop around so if we choose (and I do) we can vote with our feet (or our keyboard)
     
  20. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Ermmm... once again, a little reality... The UK is the largest destination for legal migration in Europe. More people from the new EU countries come to live and work in the UK than anywhere else in Europe - estimated at 150,000 in the last 12 months. 25% of all investment into the EU comes to the UK. 60% of all US investment in Europe as a whole comes to the UK. Hardly indicators of "protection of nation from anyone coming on the homeland".

    The UK has the 2nd largest economy in Europe (Germany being no.1) and the 4th largest in the world. Also fyi, there is no "health insurance" in the UK - it is ALL free, paid for from taxation. Speaking of which, taxation is the lowest of all the large EU countries - Britain is in fact in 17th place of the group of 25 EU nations for taxation as a percentage of GDP.

    It may be a language problem, but you seem to have very strong views about a country you have clearly demonstrated that you know nothing about, and for reasons that do not make much logical sense...

    Ah well, such is life...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  21. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    Maybe its something about Spanish speaking countries, but I dropped by the (or an) official Kodak distributor in Guadalajara Mexico to find that their prices on film, or at a least large format, were incredibly cheap. A box of 50 sheets of 5x7 Tri-X (TXP) cost roughly $32, as opposed to $70 in the states. Weird.
     
  22. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I knew it was good here Bob; but didn’t know it was that good. Now, can you do something about the weather please; it’s far too cold at the moment?
     
  23. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Ah, well... short term weather conditions are unfortunately beyond human control (and in the case of the British Isles, beyond human comprehension) but hang on a bit and global warming will do the trick eventually... Besides, the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift/Atlantic Conveyor (choose your favourite name for it) means we are several degrees warmer than the same latitudes in, well, say, Russia, for example... (see: even Mother Nature likes us - even if some people who rely on politically biased and oppressed media for their information do not... :wink: ).

    'Scuse me - I have to go now and put Elgar on the stereo, put a recording of Last Night of The Proms on the TV and dance a one-man conga through the house whilst singing "Knees up Mother Brown"... :tongue:

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  24. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Yes, I agree that I apparently know but a few things about the UK economy, but I clearly see that the UK is indeed accepting many many legal migrants. Including the whole pack of Russian nouveau riches, who did steal zillions of property from our people (Gussinsky, Berezovsky, Abramovitch), and the big team of Chechen separatists including Mr. Zakaev. They all use UK as a shelter for their propaganda and dirty tricks, and invest the stolen money in its economy... and that's under the label of democracy and freedom of speech.

    Ah well, such is life...

    Zhenya

     
  25. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    I cannot totally agree with you Bob.

    Off course Britain looks good at the moment to the Poles, Estonian's etc, look at their starting point. But I don't think they will stay for the long term. As soon as their economies get up to speed with the rest of the EU, their homeland will look a much better choice. The investment oportunities for business in these countries are great and I believe will eventualy have an impact here. Skilled workers, low set-up costs, better tax regimes...

    If we are down at 17th in the EU taxation scale, why are most goods dearer here than in the rest of Europe? That implies that the high prices are due to greedy companies setting their RRP high. This may have something to do with it , but it's also due to 'Stealth taxes', high business rates (Local taxes) and current employment legislation.


    Barry
    UK

    ps I don't think I would call the NHS 'free' after seeing my NI Bill for last year.
     
  26. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Aaaah Tom. You can't do that to us!!

    Wish I'd worked out earlier that you were actually going to the land of toreadors, flamenco dancers and cathedrals. I would have mentioned ARPI in Barcelona. I guess Spains answer to Calumet or B&H. Worth dropping into their 3 floored store just to see the models of ULF cameras and bundles of sheet film on display. Does the heart good.