This e-mail came in from a ValueIreland.com reader recently:
My query is about the pricing of the products in the Asian food Shops. Most of the ethnic foods in Ireland is imported from UK and they have the Sterling price printed on the them but the converted prices in Euros over the till are very high as compared to Sterling amount and sometimes its more than double. This has nothing to do with the conversion rate between Euros and Sterling but in general the products are very expensive.
If these products are imported from UK; then they should not be priced at such an rate as the sellers/ vendors are making huge margins both in UK and Ireland. And if they are directly imported from Asia; then they are are already priced at an reasonable rate for end-consumer in Sterling and the seller in Ireland is making double the profits then their couterparts in UK. But in both the insatnces its the people of Ireland who are paying from their nose for these products.
I will be in a position to produce the bills and packagings to support my claims.
And what is becoming my standard response to these types of e-mails:
Unfortunately, what you’re finding is quite common across many stores in Ireland. Shops in Ireland are allowed charged whatever they want since Ireland has no price control legislation. Therefore the only things that will control prices will be the costs of the retailer and the price that the Irish consumer is willing to pay.
As I’ve highlighted many times before on ValueIreland.com, Irish consumers in the past have been more than happy to pay the high prices charged in many stores, and it’s only in the last year are so since money became tighter that people have started to ask more questions than before about the prices charged.
The only option for Irish consumers is to shop elsewhere – ideally, to find stores that are charging more realistic prices. The options then for the stores charging the higher prices is to either close down because they’re getting no business (as we’ve seen many stores close already) or drop their prices to try to attract consumers back to their stores (as we’ve seen Tesco do in their border stores).