Rip-Off Britain

On Sunday I bought a North Face down jacket in preparation for my move to Sakhalin, almost identical to this one for sale in Cotswold Outdoor for £145.  I paid £53 for mine, a saving of £92, or 64%.

I can expect the usual glib replies that the one I bought is probably fake, but I’m betting these will come from Brits who cannot comprehend the degree to which they are being shafted by their own retailers.

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6 Responses to Rip-Off Britain

  1. Andy says:

    I wish I’d known you were in the market for a heavy duty winter coat. I’ve still got my sheepskin and heavy duty leather coat from when I was in Irkutsk.

    It’s been up in the attic for the past few years, quietly waiting for the moment when temperatures in England to drop below -30.

    Affectionately known as the inside-out sheep, it’d have made you look like a proper Russian.

  2. Tim Newman says:

    I’ve already got a sheepskin coat which a mate brought back for me from Afghanistan. It’s a shame they didn’t wash the sheep before killing it and stitching it all together on the side of the road, as it still smells of a sheep. Nonetheless, it is very warm but Yulia tells me it will not suffice for the Russian winters so I had to buy myself some real heavy duty stuff.

    The North Face jacket I’ll wear as an underjacket. I’ve got a Canada Goose Antarctic explorer’s jacket which fits nicely over the top. I may be going a bit overboard, but -40 sounds bloody cold and I don’t want to risk it.

    Anyway, did you buy your jacket in Russia? I suppose I could always buy one there.

  3. Andy says:

    Yes – I got a local to take me round Irktusk and advise me on what to buy. Cost about 200, I think, but kept me toasty warm all winter as the temperatures dipped down towards -40/-50.

    You’ll be able to find something suitable fairly easily, I’d imagine – there are people selling good quality coats left right and centre in the cities.

    I’m assured that dogs hair gloves keep your hands warm, although I never tried them myself – I just made do with two pairs of regular gloves.

    Good boots are useful too – although bear in mind that the ones with wool insides stink like you would not believe after a while of wearing. Russian made shoes are, in my experience, bloody uncomfortable, so I’d recommend investing in some good ones before you go.

    Several pairs of legwarmers will come in handy, to go under your regular trousers. But don’t splash any cash on them – pick them up for cheap at the market.

    And don’t forget headgear. I think wooly hat with a bobble on the top would be a good choice for you.

  4. Keefieboy says:

    I think all Brit expats recognise what a rip-off Britain is – makes it painful to go back!

  5. Tatyana says:

    What are you complaining about? It’s a real estate’ slogan in action:”Location, location, location!”.

    I’m sure the Speedo beach shorts would cost peanuts on North Ploe.
    Who needs parkas/down jackets in Dubai? Demand and supply.
    Really.

  6. Tim Newman says:

    This is nonsense, Tatyana. The reason stuff is cheap in Dubai is because it is shipped in bulk straight from source to retail outlet without taxes being heaped on, and the retailers are more interested in volume than margin. Stuff is expensive in the UK because it gets whacked with multiple taxes which are all passed onto the consumer, plus a huge markup which retailers slap on because they know the Brits are either unable to get the same product without going abroad (which must involve a costly flight) or are too stupid to realise how much they are being shafted compared to the residents of other countries.

    If it were only winter clothing which was noticeably more expensive in the UK than anywhere else, you might have a point. But laptops, electronics, cars, clothing, and pretty much everything else are much more expensive in the UK than in the US, much of Europe, the Far East, and Dubai. As Keefieboy says, any Brits who have lived abroad are gobsmacked by how expensive the place is when they go back for a visit.

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