Thursday, March 30, 2017

Will Sell Webcam for Food




The always working perfectly Logitech C920 webcam that I really have raved about has recently been replaced in the Marcus and Agata household.

With a potential house move on the horizon, and with Agata protesting that she never used this fine device that I handed down to her; I set about advertising it for sale.

A reluctant Sale
Our new 4K webcam is not working perfectly.  And I rather wanted to keep this C920 webcam as a backup.

But we are moving, and we are trying for absolute minimalism.  So sale it is to be.  Hmm.

In Switzerland it's a well kept secret that Electronics is cheap.  VAT here is just 8% verses say 20% in the UK.  So practically every Computer  item is more expensive in the UK, and I don't dare to contemplate the difference post Brexit Article 50!

And because many rich people are in Switzerland they will advertise their cast offs cheaply, driving down the second hand price.

Worse, in Geneva and Lausanne areas live many ex-pats, with company allowances. So when they leave they flood sites like anibis with low cost items to clear.

So overall my sale price was going to be low!


Just give me one excuse
Advertising items on the Swiss site Anibis is the generally accepted way to sell second hand items.  But the problems are

- There is a lot of Pay Pal scamming / fraud.  I mean that sellers (like me) get emails from people pretending to want to buy your items. 

- Buyers are often at the low end of the social market, expecting bargains

- Buyers have a variety of dirty tricks to lower the price even after a deal is agreed in principle

So what is your final price
This is a line that an irritating buyer will trump out to you at the last minute even as they open their wallet.  The idea is that although you agreed a price and time, and in our case we have often traveled half the city to sell something at practically nothing,  the buyer at the last minute wants an extra discount, using that above line.

I told Agata, should this buyer come out with that line I would cancel the sale and refuse to sell him / her the item.

Did It Sell
We walked about 15 minutes to the rendezvous suggested by the buyer.  Evidently he was too lazy to come to our house.

He was a little late

But then he offered me the asking price.   40 CHF.  That is a measly 32GBP.  So I kept my word (of course) and made the sale. Hmmm.




We Went Shopping
In contrast to Electronics, Food prices in Switzerland are astronomical.   Funny because the VAT rate is a bonkers 2.5% on food.   I wonder if the 2 principle Supermarket  (Coop and Migros) "don't call us a Cartel" relationship is in any way responsible?







Total cost of this evenings modest daily shop.  43.65 CHF

I refer you to the famous quote from Wilkins Micawber for my sentiment.


Summary
What have we learnt?

Selling Electronics second-hand in Switzerland will never make you rich.

Food costs in Switzerland are astronomical despite low VAT rates.

If I need an extra webcam in the next 6 months the Internet will hear me scream "I know I should have kept that webcam!"