As you know based on my last post, I tend to frequent Swiss second-hand markets. I’m a regular at the Baden flea market, which is the last Saturday of every month, and I never pass by an opportunity to step into a Brockenhaus, or a second-hand store. I also occasionally visit Switzerland’s online second-hand store, in other words, the Ebay of Switzerland, which is, in the Swiss style of being very independent, not Ebay.ch, but ricardo.ch.
All of these second-hand Swiss entities have a few things in common: the prices of things are high and most sellers don’t want to bargain.
Both of these traits run counter to the idea of selling second-hand stuff, but then again this is Switzerland, and that fact alone somehow exempts the country the rest of the world’s way of thinking (not that this is always a bad thing, especially in these crazy economic times).
For example, my husband and I are in the market for a baby stroller. Most used strollers in Switzerland seem to be priced around CHF 350-500 ($464-$664) for something three years old. Alas, we watched one particular ricardo.ch seller try to sell their stroller for three weeks straight for CHF 350. Each week, when it didn’t sell, they just relisted it AT THE SAME PRICE. Like I said, rules of economics need not apply to Switzerland.
We finally emailed them after it didn’t sell for a fourth week and asked if we could come by over the weekend, have a look at the stroller, and then possibly buy it if we liked it. We were prepared to offer CHF 300 if we liked it, which seemed fair, considering they weren’t selling it at CHF 350.
The response: yes, you can come by and see it, but we’re not taking it off ricardo.ch. My response? Forget it. I’m not going to spend half a day renting a car to come see your stroller if I can’t buy it and take it home with me right then and there.
Anyhow, further research reveals that thanks to exchange rates and normal prices that do exist outside of this little exception of a country, we can buy the same stroller, new, from Germany for only CHF 100 more than the used, three-year-old Swiss ones are going for.
So goodbye, Swiss second-hand market. Hallo, Deutschland.