Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Name Game

Most Germans will tell you that they never look on the side of a box or a see the comment "made in".  To those doesn't matter.  I'd take a humble guess that for roughly forty percent of Germany...the "made in" comment does make some difference.

Germans will readily agree....if they buy some product made in typically costs more.  Figure at least twenty percent more.  If you wanted finer quality underwear, socks, shoes, furniture, or cars made in Germany....then there's a price tag attached and you have to be willing to pay that bit extra.

Products made in France or the Netherlands?  There's not much difference in pricing.  There might be drugs produced there, which are cheaper sold in Germany.

Italian products?  Typically....a German might be food products without any questioning.  An Italian-made car?  Well....folks start to ask quality questions, and things get difficult to sell.  A vacation in Italy?  No problem....those sell easily.  A house in Italy?  Well....back to the quality question again.

Spain?  Norway?  Denmark?  Austria?  Switzerland?  These are all European countries....with different pricing schemes that work, or marginally get by with sales in Germany.  Agricultural products to be always sold and rarely questioned.  Pricing is generally the issue to prevent German sales from taking off.

So we come to those oddball Turkey, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania.  There's a short list of successful items which seem to have enough quality in be a good sales item in Germany.  Then you come to some items.....especially cars and motorcycles....where there's a big question mark.

Looking across the shoe market in Germany?  If you want a decent pair of shoes for less than fifty won't be German-made, or European-made.  It's either an Asian-produced product or from a country like Bulgaria or the Ukraine.

Looking across the t-shirt market?  Same deal...inexpensive German-made t-shirts are non-existent.  If you were agreeable to a 16-Euro t-shirt ($20)....then we can talk German production.

So, this all brings me to PRC.  It's a term that you see in abundance now on products bought in German stores.  You see....for the typical German.....there's no name recognition for PRC to China. Yeah, I know some Germans will get testy and say I'm way-off on this.  But if you stopped a hundred Germans on the streets of Wiesbaden today.....ninety of them would have no idea what PRC relates to.

I had to go out yesterday and buy a replacement toilet-seat.  An emergency purchase?'s best not to get into those details.

I arrived at my local Obi (the big-store for hardware), and shopped for five minutes to find the right toilet-seat.  You can spend sixteen Euro and buy an extremely cheap seat made in Bulgaria.  From my brief browsing.....of the forty possible toilet seats sold by Obi.....I could not find a single one made in Germany.  There were a couple made in Italy.  And then I came to some superior quality seats....made in PRC.

I know what PRC stands for.....probably for over forty years of my life.  It doesn't bother me to buy a quality-made PRC item.  It's just that they tend to produce cheap-crap, and they don't ever get any bad shame for such production.  When they do produce some quality feel shocked.

The bottom line?  When you see a German eyeballing the side of a box or product, and trying hard to read some size's because they'd like to know who made it.  For matters.  It matters more....than the price on the item.

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