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Old Nov 21, 09, 3:01 am   #1
 
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Things to buy in Germany - unavailable in the USA

I just had an idea of compiling a list of stuff that one can buy in Germany that is either much cheaper there or that is as good as unavailable in the USA.

It is one of my greatest pleasures when I can tell my European friends that I just bought this pair of Timberland shoes for $50 where they pay $200. Of course, it is nice to bring them things, too. On the way back, it is great to do the same things for my own benefit and that of my American friends.

Keep in mind that despite the high Euro one can deduct the sales tax with an export slip. So that's about 19% off.

A very travel related item would be suitcases. Rimowa, Travelite and Titanium luggage are all much cheaper in Germany.

In the items of daily life one can get Burgol and Saphir shoe polish and accessories here (one is Swiss and one is Spanish) that are hard to come by in the US.

What are your examples?

Till
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Old Nov 21, 09, 8:09 am   #2
 
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Nutella and Haribo. Better and cheaper than what they sell in the US.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 12:13 pm   #3
 
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How about real beer? And I'm not talking about the mass-produced stuff that you can buy anywhere in the world, I'm talking about real, honest-to-goodness unpasteurized beer!
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Old Nov 21, 09, 12:22 pm   #4
 
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There are no really good sausages in Australia, and Teewurst is specifically banned here.

Apart from that, marzipan, chocolates, good biscuits (cookies). I now order my Niederegger on-line, thankfully - supplies here vary between erratic and non-existent.

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Old Nov 21, 09, 1:41 pm   #5
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I know people who bring back the Oetker cream/pudding/glaze mixes. You can get some Oetker products in the US, but the selection is limited in comparison to Germany. These mixes are cheap, light, and easy to pack.

German chocolate is available in the US, but sometimes hard to find and always pricey.

I usually bring back some German teas that I like (I'm partial to East Frisian tea).

I used to bring books back, but since I can order books with no shipping charge from globalbooks.de (but with no MwSt refund from this site, unlike Amazon.de, which deducts the tax but adds a shipping charge).
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Old Nov 21, 09, 1:48 pm   #6
 
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Nugatbretzel from Merzenich (bakery chain in Cologne)

Curry ketchup :-)

German Riesling
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Old Nov 21, 09, 4:34 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falconea View Post
There are no really good sausages in Australia, and Teewurst is specifically banned here.
I'm a huge fan of mettwurst (teewurst) and I cannot wait to enjoy some when I return to Germany in a few weeks. So it's banned in Australia? According to wikipedia, mettwurst is quite common in South Australia. Is this one of those cases in which you can't believe all that is written in wikipedia?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mettwurst
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Old Nov 22, 09, 8:37 am   #8
 
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Great suggestions. I didn't notice a difference in taste of Nutella between Germany and America. Will pay attention next time. Gummibaerchen are different, indeed. Still the American variety (sometimes produced in Mexico or Hungary) is edible enough.

The East Frisian tea is an awesome idea. I love that, too. Which reminds me that I forgot to buy some Roi des Earl Grey at Mariages Frere this time. Darn it.

Oetker pudding is not a bad suggestion, either. I tried the American chocolate pudding by Oetker and it wasn't great. Have to look on the package again where it was produced.

Curry ketchup is a really cool idea. I must admit I am so well adapted to the American lifestyle now that I am perfectly happy with KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce and peanut butter in lieu of curry ketchup and nutella.

What about stuff in the higher priced range, though? Say clothes, electronics etc?

For example, I buy a lot of nice clothes in Europe that are cheaper and nicer than the US equivalent or the same thing imported to the US. I also find the suits fit me better. They are usually tailored for a slimmer silhouette. However, Germany specific I would be hard pressed to name something. Electronics aren't cheaper here, either. A Braun razor for example costs more in Germany than in the US. It's quite ridiculous. And when you compare the prices of a Mercedes Benz you start to wonder what is wrong. Some of these cars cost almost twice as much in Germany.

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Old Nov 22, 09, 9:02 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
What about stuff in the higher priced range, though? Say clothes, electronics etc?
I know Leica sells cameras in the US but are they cheaper than in Germany? What about watches from small manufacturers in Glashütte/Saxony?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
And when you compare the prices of a Mercedes Benz you start to wonder what is wrong. Some of these cars cost almost twice as much in Germany.
Sadly very true... Unless you are interested in a A-Class or B-Class which you can not get in the US.

Last edited by ACflyerDE; Nov 22, 09 at 9:19 am..
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Old Nov 22, 09, 2:06 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
I'm a huge fan of mettwurst (teewurst) and I cannot wait to enjoy some when I return to Germany in a few weeks. So it's banned in Australia? According to wikipedia, mettwurst is quite common in South Australia. Is this one of those cases in which you can't believe all that is written in wikipedia?
There was a major food contamination scare in Australia a number of years ago, and as a result food safety laws were changed to ban any raw fermented meat products. They all have to be cooked, which completely destroys the character of the sausage.

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Old Nov 22, 09, 2:38 pm   #11
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Cosmetics and Esprit clothes

I write from Spain so I am not sure if this is useful to you.

Some cosmetics are cheaper in Germany than in Spain, France, Italy and some of them cheaper than in the US. Facial treatments and moisturizers named Olay are called Olaz in Germany, I think, and they are cheaper in Germany.

And Esprit clothes are also cheaper than in some other places.

There is a nice Outlet Mall near Stuttgart with good prices in many clothes brands, like Hugo Boss. I don't remember exactly but can look for the exact place if you are interested.
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Old Nov 22, 09, 2:49 pm   #12
 
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Sweet mustard.
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Old Nov 22, 09, 3:30 pm   #13
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My mother likes Dr. Hauschka cosmetics, and even with the exchange rate they are cheaper in Germany. I bring those back, too.

Electronics are almost always much cheaper in the US.
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Old Nov 22, 09, 3:37 pm   #14
 
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Yes, cosmetics might be cheaper for certain brands. Clinique on the other hand is much cheaper in the US and many Europeans love that stuff.

Sweet mustard should be easily available, if not in the same selection and variety as in Germany. Still, good call.

Hugo Boss would indeed be a bit cheaper, especially if you can get it at the Metzingen outlet.

For Leicas I have no idea. Watches are so-so. The high end can be cheaper in the US due to the exchange rate and the lack of sales tax as well as the possibility to buy online and grey market. Sinn is a bit cheaper in Germany. There might be models available that are indeed very hard to find in the US.

I didn't think of Class A and B Benz. Interesting. I was just amazed to see the C63 AMG at a dealer here for 93k Euro. That's basically $140k. That model starts at around $62k in the US, IIRC. And let's not even think about the price for insurance, tax and gas we pay in Germany. Ouch.

Sidenote: Today I polished my shoes with those Swiss waxes and yak hair brushes, I mentioned above. Very nice; very, very nice!

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Old Nov 22, 09, 5:17 pm   #15
 
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The outlet mentioned in #13 is in Metzingen, a small town near Stuttgart.
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