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May 2, 2008 10:51 AM

Buying cookware

I gave my AllClad cookware to my daughter when she moved to Texas because I wanted to replace it with Demeyere. But suddenly we are relocating to Switzerland in a couple of months. Would it be better to wait and buy it when we get to Europe or is it cheaper to buy it before we move and ship it?

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  1. You need to relate what your shipping costs are. USPS to Switzerland is going to run $4 to $5 per pound. UPS and FedEx even more. Bulk container rates would apply though if you're moving your entire household.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ThreeGigs

      We will not be paying for shipping. This is a corporate move. My question is more related to a comparison of purchase prices here in the US and Europe.

      1. re: salley225

        Ahh, in that case, either way. Might as well buy it there as in the states. Buy it now and you'll be able to use it between now and the move. Buy it there and you won't have to wait a month for your cargo from the states to show up. Pricing is a bit cheaper in Europe, but the 22% VAT tends to bring it back in-line with prices in the states.

        Then again, since you'll be in Switzerland, you may want to get some good solid copper cookware instead. Most of the higher end copper pieces are cheaper in Europe, especially in France which is a hop skip and jump from Switzerland. Besides, telling your friends "Oh, I just hopped on a flight to France to buy some pots and pans" will definitely get you some jealous looks.

        1. re: ThreeGigs

          My experience is quite dated, but FWIW when I lived in Switzerland nothing there was cheaper than here, and that included Swiss made goods. They had, and AFAIK still have, a very consumer-unfriendly retail distribution system, to put it mildly. Cookware was cheaper in France than here, but the Swiss customs guys made bringing it (or anything) home to Switzerland a real PITA. Given that the dollar has dropped so, European items in stock in US stores may well be cheaper than the same thing there, depending on when they were imported and depending on how the European manufacturers are pricing them in the US (they often eat the exchange fluctuations in order to preserve market share).

          Really, the only way to know is to price a few things there and compare to the price here, before you commit one way or the other. If there is any way for you to do that, do it.

    2. Having just moved back to the US from London, and having shopped for household goods in England and France, I would say that if something is available in the US and France/England, it will most often be much cheaper in the US. The exception to that was Le Creuset which i regularly bought on and at TKMaxx for much less than US prices. Also, I bought copper cookware in the French village where much of it is produced (villedieu les poeles) and did very well. I haven't priced Demeyere in Europe, but you can google it in German and French and come up with an idea. I bought Fissler pots and pans years ago in Germany, and they were very expensive compared to similar brands in the US. Great pots, though.