Gone are the days of the 10 penny mixture…

I think I’ll start a regular ‘Rip-off Ireland’ name and shame spot, prompted by the fact that retailers in ‘Dublin’s fair city’ think that they can charge what they damn well please and get away with it. For an excellent example of this, see Conor’s post from a few weeks ago about rip off rice merchants.

Another shining example: I brought my 5-year-old son and 8-year-old cousin to Charlestown Shopping Centre during the week to run a few errands. After bribing them with anything their little hearts desired to ‘please behave for just half an hour’, I made good on my promise and told them to pick out 5 sweets each from the pick-n-mix vendor, Sweet Express. My jaw almost fell off when the assistant asked for payment of €7.90. Yes, you read right… €7.90. For 10 sweets.

More fool me for paying it you might say, but (note to self) doe eyes and quivering lips can be a powerful tool.

6 Comments so far

  1. yreilly on August 14th, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

    That is a ridiculous price, and I understand your reaction completely, but the fact that you paid for these sweets means that you are supporting this ‘rip-off Ireland’ system that you are now complaining about.

    It’s a common problem in Ireland that people complain after the fact – like posting about how they paid 30 Euro for two sandwiches in a cafe even though the prices are quite clearly displayed – instead of shopping around and taking advantage of more competitive prices. When you don’t check the prices before buying something you are just putting money into these dodgy people’s pockets. (It is illegal for a business not to display their prices – if they don’t do this, they really are ‘rip-off’ merchants, in the true sense of the word!)

    If you are determined to start a name and shame spot, please think about balancing this by listing businesses that are good value for money in your opinion. Good value for money doesn’t always mean the cheapest – it can also mean a good atmosphere, excellent food and friendly staff.

    Dublin is well-known for being expensive (like London) and it’s important for people to be vigilent against over-priced places by checking prices and shopping around. Just like, for example, people are telling me to be extra careful with my belongings in Barcelona when I visit as petty theft is a common problem there!

  2. sheena on August 14th, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

    Thanks for your views yreilly. I agree with you completely about the necessity to boycott retailers like this one in order to have any effectiveness on a grand scale… unfortunately I am weak when it comes to the pressure powers of children!

    Just as ‘rip-off merchant’s’ will be outed, anywhere with exceptional value for money or great service will always get a mention. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment.

  3. Mo (dub_mohan) on August 18th, 2008 @ 11:09 am

    just my 2 cents – i have yet to come across a place which can go under "businesses that are good value for money" in dublin. I think people in dublin have very less choice when it comes to such situations. London as mentioned is VERY expensive, but there are lots of places / surrounding areas where I have found prices very reasonable n doesn’t compromise on quality. NY is same.

    thou i have to-do task here now: Find a merchant/shop which gives me good values for my money, be it food, drinks, etc.

    which reminds me – last week, I was in Limerick with some friends n we went to have coffee n home-made scones :) in a cafe n i was surprised when she asked for "12 Euros" for "3 cups of cappuccino n 3 scones with butter n marmalade". Now that was good value for money :)

  4. yreilly on August 19th, 2008 @ 10:41 am

    Mo, I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there. I lived in both West and North London for years, both close and far away from the city centre, and I’ve been able to spend less in Dublin while still doing the same things.

    I can only speak from my own experience – I live just off Parnell Street:

    1. Tesco, Dunnes and Supervalue supermarkets all within a ten minute walk radius. My partner and my weekly food spend is never more than 70E (yes, we do cook from scratch, convenience food is expensive, but we have fresh fish every second day) I didn’t have a car in London and every area I lived in had those "Express" versions of supermarkets which hiked up the prices 30%-40%. That hasn’t been my experience here.

    2. If I wanted to save more, there’s a greengrocers and three butchers located five minutes walk from my house. All excellent value for money as the prices are lower than the supermarkets and you get great service and advice too.

    3. The Chinese and Polish shops are good for bargains – I buy most of my stirfry ingredients in our local Chinese shop, which also does cheaper staples than Spar and cans of diet cokes for 70c (95c in the local Spar)

    4. The Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants on Parnell Street are in fierce competition with each other and are all good value for money. For example the Ailiang restaurant on Parnell Street offers two course lunches seven days a week for only 7.50E and their dinner mains start at 8.80E. I have been there many times and have never had a bad meal. Also the Hop House is good, they have taken over The Shakespeare pub beside it where you can expect great service for slightly cheaper alcohol prices than you would expect in Dublin city centre.

    5. I’ve booked tickets to see No Man’s Land directly through the Gate Theatre for 32E each. Tickets for sale in London for the exact same play and cast are available from £35 (up to £54!). I’ve never had a bad seat at the Gate because it is small and well set-out. (Matinee seats are only 27E for an even better price.)

    I could go on and on – but I have work to do! ;) All of these businesses are within ten minutes walk from my flat and all located in the city centre. There are bargains to be found in Dublin no doubt – it just requires some imagination, a willigness to think outside the box and shop around – I doubt you’ll be disappointed. I’ve lived in Dublin city centre for five years now, have bought a flat here and live very comfortably – I made more than I did in London in the exact same job and spend a lot less. And no, I am not in a well-paid job!

  5. Mo (dub_mohan) on August 22nd, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

    thanks yreilly, can’t argue against that now :D ..

    living in city center def. has its benefits ..

  6. yreilly on August 22nd, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

    Yep, it does have its benefits. I just felt "I have yet to come across a place which can go under "businesses that are good value for money" in dublin" was such a sweeping and inaccurate statement to make, especially for someone who writes for a website that states: "We created our first blog as a throw back to the days when a local news paper focused on local issues…We are bloggers first and foremost, and we love our cities. Even the parts we hate."

    I really like this blog, I’ve championed it on my own, but some balance and accuracy would go a long way.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.