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Locked Topic Cost of Living (Read 277409 times)
latsida
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #7 - 15. Oct 2009 at 13:34
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There are various haulage companies here who make regular runs to the UK.
why not place an order with the retailer in the UK and then get them to pick it up and bring over here. They do not charge much for small loads
If the scheme takes off then you could start expanding
Co-ops, bank accounts, accountants, business registration and tax etc. all seem like a lot of hard work for toiletries and household essentials.
the shampoos that I use retail at the moment in Boots at 3.69 and around 4 euros here so there is not that much difference.
If there is something I need that I cannot get here I get someone to send it or bring it over.
Good luck anyway, think you must be missing the cut and thrust of the business world
christine

« Last Edit: 15. Oct 2009 at 13:34 by latsida »  
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Topdriller
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #6 - 15. Oct 2009 at 13:11
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Kathleen,

I agree it could be a minefield which is why much thought and investigation would have to be carried out first.

However, I don't think the payment thing would be a problem.  Since everyone would be paying in sterling (so as to maximise their buying power) and because they presumably have their sterling bank accounts in the UK no one would be paying anything over here in Greece.  In fact, I'd suggest we would open up a UK account and anyone participating would pay directly into that account from their UK account and then the newly opened cooperative account would pay for the goods purchased in the UK.

But I do agree it would have to be well researched and indeed checked over by a local accountant to ensure there was no future comeback. 

I might run this past my accountant in the next week or so to check that what's being proposed does not fall foul of some legal red tape.

Jon
  

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x5kmt
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #5 - 15. Oct 2009 at 13:01
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Topdriller wrote on 15. Oct 2009 at 11:38:
Since we're all in the EU there shouldn't be any erroneous import charges but this is something we'd need to check out and confirm.Because the goods would be for personal use - non profit - this should not be a problem - but then this is Greece!


I think this could be where you may have a problem John. If the assorted items were bulk packed, as a single load ie in their original packaging of multiple units as collected from the cash and carry or whatever. (12 cans deodorant, 24 shampoo etc) It may be hard to justify that they could be classed as personal imports. To justify that I would think you would need each purchaser to have an individually addressed package of items shipped ready for collection in Crete, different/mixed quantities of items in one box.

There could also be the possibility that from a Greek tax point of view, collecting the money for the orders and the the distribution of the goods by an 'organiser' or 'agent' was considered to be a taxable supply and may, therefore, require them to be registered for business.

The difference between the service that Nomad provides, for example, albeit charging for shipment, is of course that the items purchased are bought and paid for in the UK, your 'customers' will be paying in Greece.

As you say a lot of research to be carried out, it could be a minefield from a logistical point of view.

Kathleen
  

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Topdriller
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #4 - 15. Oct 2009 at 11:38
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The first thing to do is find out the local cost of all the staple items people normally buy and want and then compare against the best UK prices.  (The only way this will be cost effective is if we save money.)  Again, the only way this will work is if people buy goods in volume and that means buying things in the UK that they'd buy weekly or monthly over here i.e. we buy in bulk.

I have a friend here on Crete who owned a trucking company which ran Artics between Colchester and Athens.  He sold it when he retired here but he still has the contacts etc so it should be easy to work out weights, dimensions, prices etc.

Since we're all in the EU there shouldn't be any erroneous import charges but this is something we'd need to check out and confirm.  Because the goods would be for personal use - non profit - this should not be a problem - but then this is Greece!

Distribution once here would be important as would the contact at the other end who would buy the goods.

Because the trucking company is based around Colchester it would make sense to buy in that area so as to reduce the cost to get the goods to the trucking company's depot.

If enough people are interested in doing this I'll investigate further re local prices, cost of shipping etc.

Again, this would be run solely as a cooperative with everyone gaining i.e. this is not a business for profit but a business to save annualised costs for all those who decide to participate.

It would have to be run along the lines of a quasi business though because people would be paying up front and therefore they'd need confidence in the fact their money would be spent correctly, the goods would arrive as stated etc.

I'd also suggest the first shipment would have to be limited to x amount of commonly needed goods so that we keep it simple, test the premise and don't over complicate until we build up the relationship with the buyer in the UK, the trucking company etc.

Jon

  

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BJ
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #3 - 15. Oct 2009 at 10:40
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I would find this interesting if organised properly, I questioned why marks and spencers clothing was so much more here than in the uk and the reply was of all things (wages and shipping costs) Alsotried to get various department stores to send things here offered to pay all costs etc and the reply was (We do not sent to greece) Why??  Cheers,
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #2 - 15. Oct 2009 at 08:37
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I find this definitely interesting, it certainly makes sense.
I think there might be a bit of problem when the bulk goods reach Crete. Distributing them to the various homes, would certainly add to the the costs. If they were kept in a central location for people to collect, that might be cheaper.
Collecting their goods twice a year shouldn't be much of a hardship. People without a car, might be able to work something out with a neighbour, who also has goods to collect.
All we need now, is a volunteer in a central location with enough space to store the goods for a short time, and who would be willing to take on the role of administrator to make sure that everybody takes only what they ordered!!!
Perhaps someone who supports one of the animal charities would be willing. A small donation twice a year when collecting goods shouldn't upset anyone. Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Bell
  
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Re: Cost of Living
Reply #1 - 14. Oct 2009 at 19:17
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Yes I would find this interesting, worth investigating anyway. No sterling won't reach 1.48 again but the Euro might!

John
  

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Cost of Living
14. Oct 2009 at 13:26
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I was back in the UK last month and "she who likes to shop" commented on the relatively low price of a large number of household goods that most people buy across here on a weekly / monthly basis e.g. shampoo, washing powder, deodorant to name just a few.

The relatively high price here on Crete is down to two things i.e. the cost of bringing imported goods to an island and the continuing demise of sterling versus the euro.

Today 1 buys you 1.07 compared with 1.48 two or so years ago. Since a large number of Brits across here rely on their Sterling savings or pensions to live on Crete everything we buy locally is almost 30% higher than it was two years ago. What's more, because the UK banks are offering historically low interest rates on these savings the problem is not set to improve anytime soon. This even more so since most commentators think the UK's economy will take longer to come out of recession than other parts of Europe.

What's more, many of the large UK based supermarkets i.e. Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, Lidl, etc. are discounting certain basic goods - lost leaders - so as to entice shoppers into their stores.

It struck me that if the Brits wanted to reduce their living costs here on Crete the simple thing to do would be to buy their basics across in the UK and then have them shipped here to Crete.

Now quite obviously the cost of shipping would be prohibitive if doing this on an individual basis but if basic goods were bought in sterling in the UK and then shipped in bulk to Crete the savings for the individuals involved over a year would be significant.

There are several locally run business enterprises who do this already but they generally bring in UK goods which you can't usually buy here on Crete and because of this the mark up is high so as to give the owners of the business a profit.

What I'm suggesting is a cooperative i.e. a number of like minded people agree to buy a large quantity of basic every day items and then ship them to Crete. The cost of shipping would be spread across the whole range of goods bought and therefore the shipping costs would amount to no more than a few pennies on each item bought across. There would be no mark up at this end - because it's a cooperative - and therefore your sterling would go far further than if converted to euros and you then buy in your local Champion, Spar, Inka etc.

True, you'd have to order in bulk and order sufficient goods to cover six months at a time but long term your savings could potentially be considerable.

It's just a thought at the moment and might be hard to organise but it's no different than what any wholesale business would do except there would be no mark up at this end i.e. everyone who participated would benefit equally.

I'd be interested to know what others thought about this idea because it seems fairly certain that sterling is not going to see 1.48 anytime soon.

Jon
« Last Edit: 01. Nov 2009 at 18:11 by Gerald » 
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