View Full Version : I get to buy a stroller in England !!!
04-29-2004, 02:38 AM
We'll be traveling to England in July, and I already told my DH about my shopping plans (probably a swivel 3-wheeler...)
I keep looking at http://www.twoleftfeet.co.uk after someone once posted about the Jane powertrack, which I can't stop thinking about...
I guess my question is, does anyone know why the MBUS for example is almost twice as expensive as here? Does that mean all prices are so marked up? why is that?
Also, does anyone have an opinion on the maxi cosi speedi? It looks really nice too and a little cheaper.
04-29-2004, 09:00 AM
Their prices include sales tax and sales tax is a LOT there! Not enough to double the price I don't think, but it is an incredible amount.
04-29-2004, 11:26 AM
Hi, I currently live in Belgium and yes, things are much more expensive here. Value added tax (called VAT, like our sales tax) is often 17 to 21%, dependingon the European countries. The good thing is that you may be able to get part of that back when you return to the US. Look at the airport, tourist office, search the internet, and ask at the store about "VAT refund." It has been several years since I did this, and that was in Sweden, but generally, you get a receipt from the store that clearly lists the VAT (most receipts do this automatically), find out whether you have to leave your item upopened and/or sealed, then show the item, your receipt, passport, and return ticket at the VAT refund desk at the airport when you return to the US. You will get back about 80% of the tax you paid. This process can be easy, like in Sweden, or highly complex, like in Belgium, so you may have to search for the info. Make sure you follow the rules exactly!
In general, European prices are just higher - I have not been to England, but I see less competition, fewer sales, and less price comparison among consumers here in Belgium. Europeans value strollers highly and spend a lot on them. (It helps that every European country I know of gives you a money from the government at the birth of a child. It adds up to hundreds of dollars, and many people use that bonus money to buy an elaborate stroller.) Also, probably 80% of Europeans that I have seen buy a separate bassinett to snap in the stroller; this adds about 100 dollars to the cost of the stroller. They also buy matching diaper bags, rain shields, foot muffs, etc. However, these items are all priced separately, at least in Belgium.
As for Maxi Cosi Citi - I don't like the way the frame curves out in front, and uses a double piece of metal (don't know how to say that better). Most other three wheelers, swivel or not, don't have frames that look like that. If that doesn't bother you, then ignore my comments. I have never pushed one. I think Maxi Cosi and Quinny are the same company; Quinny's are the most popular stroller here in Belgium and I think three wheel Maxi Cosis get short shrift in comparison. Maxi Cosi is the major brand of car seat in Belgium; perhaps consumers associate them with only that product.
Happy looking! Try not to faint at the prices! And beward the lousy exchange rate for the dollar!
04-29-2004, 12:16 PM
If you want to buy tax free in Europe, you have to tell the cashier when buying. You need your passport. They'll pack it and seal it and the seal is not supposed to be broken, when you show your purchase when checking in for your flight. After going through the safety control you can get your money at any of the tax free stores by showing all the paper work. The amount they give back is not nessesarily as high as the real tax, don't know why.
Anyway the main thing here is that you can't use the product before it's out of country. Some big department stores pack and ship the product for you. I don't know how much they charge for it.
I've almost always had trouble getting the VAT back when I've been over in Europe. It seems to be such a hassle (why should they make it easy). But last time I was there and bought a pair of Doc Marten's the store gave me a something to fill out and a couple months later the VAT was credited back on my credit card. Now that I like. I'm sure for something as pricey as a stroller it might be worth the hassle.
~ mommy to Declan 3.24.03
and number 2 EDD 9.14.04
04-29-2004, 01:33 PM
Also, Maxi-cosi is made in the same china factory as zooper, so it is essentially a zooper...just thought I'd let you know so that you dont spend a fortune on a stroller that you can get here in the states for much cheeper!!!
Sounds like fun, I am jealous!
I lived in England for 2 years and moved back here about 2 1/2 years ago. While living in England, I was amazed at how inexpensive the strollers were! Oh, by the way, they call it a "Push Chair" there, not stroller. ;-)
Tax is 21% but since I've never tried to get back VAT, I can't offer any info on that.
It's so funny...In England (at least when I was living there), the Maclaren was just the run of the mill type push chair. Was pretty low priced and not considered fancy! lol.
I think the Silver Cross (?) was the stroller everyone wanted. Sort of the Who's Who among push chairs. heh heh.
Best of luck!
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