Shopping in Europe

Jan 24th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Shopping in Europe

Indeed I am a blessed man, my wife does not like shopping that much. Having said that she does give the Amex a good work out at times. However, we are going to London, Edinburgh and Rome for 3 weeks in April and she is hoping to shop there for things which are different or cheaper than what is available in Sydney. Any ideas? I hope clothes are not cheaper, that means lots of time looking. But she does want a new watch. And gifts that are different but not tacky souvenirs.

Thanks all, Rick from Oz
ozrick33 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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For a good deal on a watch stop in Switzerland on your way to Rome. Geneva is a very civilized city.
hopscotch is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Sounds a good plan but we are flying from London to Rome. Does Italy represent good value for shoes? Leather?
ozrick33 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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I don't know what the exchange rate is between the euro and the Aussie $, but NOTHING is a bargain in Europe for those of us paying in US $. I think you should consult your Aussie colleagues or go online and see how the Aussie $ has fared against the euro in the last, say, 5 years.

I'm guessing you won't want to do much shopping until you get back home again.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 04:34 PM
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The US dollar is certianly stronger. You guys are getting .67 euros to the dollar while we are getting .59 euros for one Aussie dollar. Sounds like my credit cards are pretty safe from a big shopping trip.
ozrick33 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 05:14 PM
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Hello ozrick, most people I know, all residents of the US, really do not do a lot of shopping in Europe anymore do to the very strong Euro. May I alert you..if when in Rome if you see inexpensive leather goods stamped "Made In Italy" be aware these goods are not the quality that "Made in Italy" products are normally thought of I am sad to say. They are made from inferior leather and the factories where they are sewn are IN Italy but the employees are not Italian craftsmen but immigrants (many not legal immigrants) and the quality of the workmenship is not the quality one thinks of regarding Italian leather products. They are legally stamped "Made In Italy" because their factories are located in Italy.

There are beautiful clothes, leather goods, jewelry etc. to be found in reputable shops ozrick but with the strong Euro..well I don't think you will find the items cheaper than in Australia. So you are safe in that regard! I wish you two a wonderful time in Europe.

LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Even though the exchange rate isn't great, if you find something you love, don't pass on it. Some of my favorite things are my splurges from Europe. In Edinburgh I bought a cashmere sweater and a scarf that are timeless. DH bought several items at Ferragamo that he still wears all the time. So my only advice is to not worry too much about the exchange rate if you can.
mms is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 01:43 AM
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Thank you everyone. 'LoveItaly' I appreciate the heads on the inferior workmanship. And 'mms' you are 100% right. If something is beautiful and unique then price is a secondart consideration. I have resolved that I am going to have spent a significant amount of money by the time this trip is over and if that includes picking up some classic and unique items from Europe then that is just fine too!
ozrick33 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 02:15 AM
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Hello I think London is better for shopping than Rome.
This will get slated, but London has better shoe shopping than Rome!
Rome is truly expensive, whereas london has a bigger range of quality and price. I actually brazenly emphasise this for shoes.
And I think the same for value will go for most shopping, comparing london to rome.
Edinburgh, the only thing I can think of is the music shopping at Fopp! stores there.
Bring back some buckfast from Edinburgh
travel_buzzing is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:18 AM
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Pardon my ignorance but what is buckfast?
ozrick33 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 04:05 AM
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Watch out for cheap branded goods. In some of these countries the possession of fake brands is a petty crime and they may be taken off you at the border and destroyed.

Rome for leather oh yes
London for not a lot apart strangley for high cost wine
Edinburgh you would think whisky but.....
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 25th, 2008, 04:26 AM
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ozrick33 wrote: "Pardon my ignorance but what is buckfast?"

It's an ignorance of which you should be proud, and not need pardoning.

Buckfast Abbey Tonic Wine, the drink of choice for many British winos, because it offers the most bang per buck (highest alcohol content in relation to price).
Padraig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 04:58 AM
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"They are legally stamped "Made In Italy" because their factories are located in Italy."

What other bloody basis could there be for saying "made in Italy"

Are you really such a complete racist you think goods should be stamped "made by foreign immigrants. And, since they're illegal, the goods must be really crap".

Unless you're 100% Native American, most of your ancestors got into America without the consent of the indigenous population. Do you think the rest of us should be told their production was inferior as a result?

Prejudice like yours might be acceptable in your own countty. Please don't pollute Europe with it.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:49 AM
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flanner, I think it is pretty funny the way you manage to condemn someone as a racist while trying to insinuate that the US is some sort of racist haven. Do you see why this is a problem? I mean, the vitriol you spew toward the US is pretty ridiculous, but now you are taking the moral high ground? And implying that Europe suffers less from racism is a bit far-fetched don't you think? Do you just like riling people up? Because, frankly, you don't really come across that well.

As for the question at hand, while it is no bargain, I second that London is the place to shop. But, I would stick to top-label stuff, and concentrate on getting quality pieces with an eye for design. The cheap stuff won't be cheap enough to be a bargain.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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Padraig buckfast is very popular amongst Irish winos also
travel_buzzing is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Hi ozrick,

I can't answer your question directly as I've never ben to OZ unfortunately.

on our trip to Rome, i got hold of a little book called "the civilised shoppers guide to Rome". i found it invaluable in our wanderings as it highlighted all the little independent shops and some workshops too - much more fun than chains which I suspect can be found just as easily in Sydney as in London.

i have to say that buying a watch abroad may not be a good idea - how do you take it back if it goes wrong? I'd be surprised if you can do so much better here to make it worthwhile.

Regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Hi Rick,
We're Australians but live in the UK now. Before we started earning pounds, every purchase was made with a shaky hand. The dollar certainly does not go very far here. We've found Europe generally cheaper than the UK.

Here are a few ideas for different things:
- clotted cream fudge or fudge made with Scottish whisky
- Baileys type drink made with Scottish whisky - we bought some at Edinburgh castle - yum
- tartan scarf or mittens
- teatowel with tube map printed on it, a fun talking point at home
- Mind the Gap tshirt (maybe a bit tacky)

I think books sometimes come out in the UK about 6 months before Australia so if you have a particular author you like or special interest you could check that out. Lots of specialist book shops. Borders and Waterstones are the big chains.

Past Times is a shop with some nice gifts/souvenirs and I'm pretty sure they don't exist in Oz.

There is a shop at Covent Garden (and we've seen others in Europe)but don't know the name unfortunately. They sell ordinary type items, like toasters, hairbrushes, bicycle bells, graters etc etc but all painted really bright colours. They are really different.

Have a great trip.

KayF is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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For heavens sakes flanneruk, your hatred toward the US is so tiresome.

FYI it was Italian friends IN Italy that called my attention to the inferior leather goods that are being sold to unsuspecting visitors.

Another problem is olive oil that is labeled "Made In Italy". Not all olive oils are made with 100% olives from Italy. Some olive oils are made from olives from Spain, Greece and other places. But the olive oil from these imported olives is made in Italy and thus they are allowed to mark the bottles "Made In Italy". If one wants to buy olive oil made with 100% Italian grown olives they need to read the label which which tell you where the olives were grown. I assume you will interrupt this as another racist comment also, lol.

LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Thanks everyone, sound slike we will have fun. Wed dont drink so alcohol is not on the agenda but I do sense that will be picking up some fun and interesting items.

If we dont save dollars, then that is cool. Some of the favourite things we have bought back from travels in the USA and Canada cost an arm and a leg as the Aussie dollar was buying just 57 cents at the time, but they are different and keeps the memories alive.

And the memories live on long after the credit card bill has been paid. My son wants me to buy him a kilt. The mind boggles.
ozrick33 is offline  

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