Posts Tagged ‘Rip-Off Ireland’

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.

Lost in conversion

Have anyone gave a read to today’s Irish Times Pricewatch article (premium content, subscription needed) about Irish consumers being ripped off, not just by virtue of high prices but also by losing out in the process of currency conversion?

Many of the retailers within the city are part of UK chains, such as Topshop/Topmen, Oasis, Coast but to name a few, and often times, you do see the prices on the tag, being in Euro and in Sterling. Some European retailers such as Zara and H&M would have pricing in Euro as well as other European currencies not within Eurozone.

In facing this, how many consumers are actually asking if we’re being charged accordingly?

Given the strong Euro at the moment, we should rightly be paying less for our purchases. However, such currency advantage is not being passed on to us at all. If anything, should the conversion rate be following the other trend, I can bet that the price would be hiked immediately to reflect the market situation. “We have no choice” would be the mantra of the retailers. But of course, the current situation is one that shows stronger Euro, and these businesses simply have no wish to pass on the benefits and rather keep the profits higher to themselves.

Such discrepancy is more apparent when dual pricing tags are operational. To that end, some retailers are now moving to display only single currency unit (i.e. Euro) and remove the Sterling for comparison. A tad sneaky really.

I have switched a good bit of my purchasing to online shopping of late, particularly those of books and CDs and the likes. By being exchange rate-aware and choosing the appropriate currency for payments to be charged, not only am I paying a cheaper price to start of with, I’m also making a saving through the currency conversion. Even with the delivery costs associated, I’m still paying less.

It pays to be price aware, and don’t let bad business practices flourish!

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