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Jaw dropping prices but where else to go?


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I would like to start this thread to alert people to some of the more ridiculous prices asked for some products in France together with alternatives if they exist, although I suspect that most of them will be to buy in England.

My contribution for today is kiln dried jointing sand for block paving, the backbreaking task that I am currently doing.

In the UK circa £3.50 for a 25kg bag, -  I need around 15 bags.

Todays jaw dropping price courtesy of PointP, wait for it  - €48 per bag trade [:-))] and I think that may have been hors taxes [blink] I was incapable of speech to ask. At that price it would represent 50% of the material costs for the job.

A cheap alternative is sable blanc joints de carrelage at €3.87 for a 35kg bag although they did at first try it on at €4.80 per bag, it is not kiln dried but dries in a few minutes when the sun is shining.

The other alternative is to take the kids or grandkids to the beach for the day, give them a bucket and spade but builders size and make them work to pay for their treat. I can heartily recommend the sand from Boulogne Sur Mer [;-)]

Your nominations please!

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Hello Chancer

those people wanted to sell a ready mixed jointing material with everything in it and not just sand. Something like this from Leroy Merlin


bonne chance

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The problem is that is all that is available in my area (I am speaking dried sand) and when you factor in the real metrage you get from each sac as opposed to what is written on it, rather like paint but this is common in both countries, then the cost per M2 of jointing sand very nearly equals what I pay for blocks in the UK.

I have tried these wonderful polymer/whatever claim they invent that day mixes in the UK and there was absolutely no discernable difference or benefit other than emptying faster the pockets of the vulnerable or to enable an artisan to boost his earnings exponentially by facturing this essential product at list price.


I often do that as the cost of sable de macon (<2mm) is much higher than sable de riviere (<4mm)  it works OK on paving especially when whackering down as it fragments into smaller particles but it does not flow dow the joints like the real thing or dried carrelage sand.

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Front shock absorbers for my VW camper.

French discount parts company OSCARO (roughly translates in Spanish as "you expensive") - 365€ a pair.

Same item, same brand, from camper specialist Just Kampers in UK - 133€ a pair.

Shipping cost and delivery time about the same.

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For today I would like to nominate TCT circular and bench saw blades.

Whenever I have to cut out some floorboards which usually wrecks my blades when I hit a nail (and some kind sole has previously secret nailed using masonry nails) I know it is time to start looking at ferry prices.

Around here all the bricolages charge about one Euro per tooth, the grossistes nearly double that for their branded ones.

So a set of three blades (20, 24, and 40 tooth) for my Skil saw which I buy for £10.52 in the UK would cost me between €80 and €150 in my area.

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I knew it was inevitable that this would degenerate into a much cheaper in England discussion, if anyone knows where to get better deals on these things in France please post.

For me at least I would gain the time and expense of ever more frequent UK shopping trips and the money could be spent in the French economy.

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I have often found equipment and parts for my boat are cheaper or the same price here.

Boat moorings, marinas, and storage are certainly cheaper than most of UK, probably apart from parts of the North and Scotland.

Maybe boat owners are not automatically regarded as being rich in France.

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That is encouraging Nomoss as I intend that to be my next "life change" and ideally to get into the scene in France.

Or could it be that anything related to boats is stupidly priced in the UK as it is viewed as a rich mans hobby?

I remember a hilarious Jim Davidson quote:

"I learnt to my cost quite early on life that if it floats, flys or ****s you should rent it not own it" [6] [:D]

I have bought the first bit of my boat, a bosuns chair that I used to lift me and the materials up my eschafaudage de fortune, sadly that too had to come from an E-bay UK shop.

I have a classic car (awaiting renovation) in secure long term storage here which I pay €20 per month for, I think that is cheaper than would be the case in the UK.

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I am not sure about the jaw dropping aspect of prices but, for my last trip home I had a suitcase that was 50% full of various spices, loads of printer cartridges and one or two items of clothing.

Apparently spices and printer cartidges are quite expensive in France. I was paying next to nothing for the spices here.

You would need to save an awful lot to buy the airticket though.

I have no idea of the legality of it all, but as I wasn't stopped at CDG its a bit academic.

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Boating again.

For my boat.

A one year licence covering all the French inland waterways - 216.45€

For UK canals and rivers, from British Waterways - £479.22

PLUS, for the Thames and Medway, from Environment Agency - £485.12

PLUS, if you want to go on the Broads also, from Broads Agency - £201.12

Total £1,165.46, about 1,328€

THAT'S jaw dropping!

You do have to pay a few cents per square metre in the canal for mooring in the same place for more than a month, but all you have to do is move the boat now and again to avoid this charge.

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Fein Multimaster Pro with lots of goodies from Axminster Power Tools including delivery a fraction over £200. Here well over 300€ without any of the goodies and I would have had to go and fetch it!

CD- or + R and DVD - or + Rs from Amazon.fr are a fraction of the price that you can get them in the supremarkets or 'puter shops. The ones I got were Sony and they came from Germany, but bought via amazon.fr [8-)]

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CD- or + R and DVD - or + Rs from Amazon.fr are a fraction of the price that you can get them in the supremarkets or 'puter shops

The special taxes on DVDs, CDRs etc explains part of that difference.

I believe the specific tax on 50 CDRs amounts to 17 Euros, and the same tax on DVDs is about 10 Euros.

Its lucky for Amazon that they can at least avoid that tax even if they do have to add French VAT.




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Horse feed.  The stuff we use - if we can find it here - is over three times more expensive in France.   It's cheaper to go back to the U|K with a trailer - more than covers the cost.   And....we get to pick up any other goodies as well.   Such a shame as we would happily pay reasonable prices in France.

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I have mentioned this before, but slimline cutting discs for the angle grinder are around 80p each in UK, and around €3.50 each in France.

I looked for an electric polishing machine, and found one locally for €150 with no accessories at all. I got exactly the same thing sent from ebay.de inclusing dozens of accessories and including postage for around €80. To buy everything I got with it here would have taken the price up to well over €200.

Any car part you care to mention - it will be at least 30% cheaper in uk. My latest buy is a small square rear fog light. Cheapest I saw it here was €35. I bought it for £8 in UK, plus a few quid postage.

same goes for most car related consumables. €3 for a half-dozen crimp spade terminals? Its £6 for a bag of 100 in uk.

This laptop is on its last legs. I havent seriously looked into prices yet, but a quick glance at the prices in the supermarkets has already given me The Fear.

Blank Cd`s and DVD`s as mentioned, although I noticed the other day that

external hard drives and usb stick`s are very cheap indeed. I dont know

if this is the same in UK though.

Kids clothing - Asda etc sell pretty decent kids clothing for a couple of pounds per item - to find similar quality here will cost you 3 or 4 times that. Same goes for kids shoes.

Fridges, freezes and washing machines are much cheaper in UK. In the lobby of my local superU there are a few fridges on display. "€109 for an under counter fridge - thats a bargain, I will buy one" thought I. Then I got closer and saw the label was for 3 payments of €109. Not quite the same bargain! I found a local shop that does factory seconds, ex-display stuff etc etc and even these are dearer than new UK prices.

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OK maybe not an every day purchase but I was lucky enough to be given one of super quality. It was made in Germany and I saw similar on sale in The Fatherland for around €200, also on special here in Luxembourg, same thing similar price. Nip over the border to France (Srico Shed at Thionville) same thing €600 !!!
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i am also amazed who many good deals you can get in the uk on line.

for example i have just bought a ryobi log splitter in the uk, on line, by googling the product name.

I found it, with free delivery for about £100 cheaper than in the shops, in either country and £100 cheaper than many other places on line.

An of course the one in France came without a mains lead...grrrr

Have members looked at a Guernsey site, where i get a lot of electronic bibs and bobs from, which are clearly expensive en france


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