As those Spanish residents who have their income in £s rather than Euros are well aware, the Pound has fallen appreciably against the Euro recently. But whatever currency your income is in, the arguments for buying from the UK still stack up. If you have Euros then they go further in the UK, if you have £s you don’t want to exchange them at this rate.
So, what are we buying? (There is also a good reason, if buying from outside the EU, to take delivery in the UK before bringing your goods to Spain.)
Spare Parts for Cars. In Spain, cars are valuable and labour is considerably cheaper than in the UK. This makes spares expensive in Spain (where they keep their cars going for ever) and cheap in the UK (where they throw it away when it breaks). For goodness sake check the price on eBay.
Jewelery. OK, this is from China not from the UK but we recently bought some really lovely pearls and had them sent to the UK for stringing. Silver Nutmeg do a wonderful job at re-stringing pearls for around 40% of the price we were quoted in Spain and in the UK High St. The pearls from eBay were around 33% of the price in the High St in either country. IVA would have been payable if they had been sent direct to Spain.
IT products. Again these come from China and are bought from eBay. Really, you can’t imagine how cheap these items are (cordless mouse, €3, to replace the one that didn’t work from Carrefour, €18). The quality is excellent and there are no import duties which there would be if they came direct into Spain, they were sent to the UK.
Brochures and printing. KallKwik in Horsham print 5,000 two sided A5 leaflets for £210, say €240. The last ones I had printed in Spain cost over €100 more.
Seeds and vegetables. Can you find rhubarb in Spain? Horseradish? In our local garden centre you have a choice between Red and White seed potatoes in the UK you have many tens of different varieties. The nub is that they will not send outside the UK so you have to use our UK Address in Spain .
Shoes. My wife takes a size 42, most Spanish shops only stock up to a size 41. I’m not saying that they are cheaper but this is more of a necessity.
Homeopathic and vitamin supplements. These are tightly controlled in Spain (so may be stopped on import from outside the EU) but not so in the UK, you can import to the UK from the USA for around 40% of the price you need to pay in Spain. Even the UK doctors recommend glucosamine for stiff joints.
Printer toner and ink. A no-brainer, I can’t even find replacement colour cartridges for my laser printer in the shop I bought it from so why not save 50% and get them from eBay? Inkjet cartridges – madness what they cost in Spain.
Christmas presents. Yes, the season is well under way. Again, I’m not saying that you can’t grab a bargain in Spain but with the internet you have the whole world to examine for the lowest prices. What about the other parts of Christmas – seen crackers for sale? Mince pies? Probably in your local English Shop but why not explore a large order from Asda and save money? Where are you getting your Cheddar or Stilton – will it be the best quality?
That’s what we’re buying – what are you buying?