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#46572 - 02/04/02 10:18 PM USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 743
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
Hi, everyone--
I have often browsed various import sites, looking for little "treats" from Spain--everything from hot chocolate to saffron to lovely capes to shawls to tiles. I never buy, though, because I know that the prices are pretty inflated. So...I was wondering whether anyone has found any great online or catalog deals on Spanish products here in the US, either from well-known importers or from lesser-known places? It would be great to know, for example, whether I can find even silly things like ColaCao cheaper than it's sold at the main importers' sites!

MM, is this question too "commercial"? I don't want to solicit ads, but it would be great to be able to know who has good deals on what.

Tara smile

[ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: MadridMan ]

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#46573 - 02/05/02 10:48 AM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
No. I don't think it's too commercial at all. Well, it IS commercial, but since no one here will benefit from such discussion I don't see a problem with it.

I'd also like to reference the " shopping on-line for Spanish goods? " thread in this forum started by rgf from October 2000, but your topic is about finding GOOD deals so they are a bit different.

I agree that almost ALL prices found in stores/online ARE going to be much higher than those you'd find for the same items IN Spain, but you know, you pay for the importation of these products, plus tax, plus a kind of "convenience" fee.

I'll throw in MY deals right now. At Tienda.com and also at, I think, LaEspanolaMeats.com, I found the standard cans of anchovy-stuffed green olives from Spain for about $2.99/can. This is about $.50 more than for what I find them here at the latino store in Columbus, Ohio, USA. PLUS, you have to pay shipping on those online-items which might come to about $.50/can or thereabouts. If you buy them 6 at a time, for example, the shipping is less. But if you cannot find them where you are in the USA this is a good option.

The latino store here in Columbus is frequently OUT of these wonderful Goya brand anchovy stuffed green olives in Spain so when they DO have them I practically "buy them out". Last Saturday I bought 15 cans... and left two just to be nice. hehehe.. But at $2.49/can that REALLY adds up! Anyway, for months this store didn't carry it or never got a new shipment so I went to one of the two online stores I listed above and got them for $2.99/can and they were equally good, but of course, more expensive. I guess it's all supply and demand, right?

Saludos, MadridMan
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#46574 - 02/05/02 12:06 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
MadridMan,

Good points on shipping costs and availability. Also, about pricing.

Maybe it's time for MadridMan to open up his own little "on-line" super market, or buyers club, where people join together using their numbers to create a better buying environment. Maybe importing the products as a group, then disseminating them with a small profit for the person who runs the "store."

It's possible we could actually save a substantial amount of money, be able to get a larger variety of products, and create a draw for other people to join us here at the MadridMan site.

Like they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Wolf (Who would certainly become a customer/group member.)

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#46575 - 02/05/02 12:43 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Sounds like a GREAT idea to me! Imagine if we had 100 partners, all "putting up" a small percentage of the start-up and maintenance costs. This way we'd all have less to lose and more to gain! And surely we could pad the price-per-item LESS than the competition to cover the import fees, shipping, etcetera.

Actually, I prepared myself for the possibility of doing SUCH a thing a couple years ago with buying/registering a VERY appropriate Spain-related domain name, but I won't share that now.

Quote:
Like they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I agree 100%. But can we get 100+ people to put up the "VENTURE" Capital eek to get the thing started?!?!

$aludos, MadridMan

[ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: MadridMan ]
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#46576 - 02/05/02 02:38 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 743
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
I'm still stuck on the idea of arranging a little informal trade ourselves, too...I think I started a thread about this a long time ago, but why not do something like the following:

I really LOVE the 300-gram blocks of "Chocolate a la taza" made by Valor. They go for $5 a block online here in the US, and I know they are WAY cheaper than that in Spain. So...if someone in Spain wants, say, $10 worth of Listerine Strips, and would mail me $10 worth of chocolate bars (taking into account shipping costs, of course), then isn't everyone happy?

MM, you could trade cans of olives for something easily purchased here in the US, and probably save quite a bit on the cost of them. Aren't there enough expats in Spain who can't bear to live without their Right Guard or Crest?

Just a thought...with so many well-traveled members, it's likely we have all fallen in love with something we can't easily buy at home. smile

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#46577 - 02/05/02 03:08 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
taravb, I LOVE your idea of the informal trading amongst ourselves.... however, it may be difficult to be worthwhile or even prohibitive for Spaniards IN Spain to send things abroad. Not only are post offices not as accessible as they are here in the USA, but shipping/postal rates are VERY VERY high (as I understand it). A better option might be to "mule" (bad word, I know) desireable items back to the US from our trips and then ship them via USPS to others here as I did with the Osborne Sherry black bull stickers this last time. I've even asked some travelers to buy 10 Madrid keychains in exchange for my Madrid/Sevilla Video and it seemed to work out well for everyone.

Anyone want Goya brand anchovy stuffed green olives from Spain or Inca Kola (popular, yellow soft drink from Perú) ?? rolleyes

[ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: MadridMan ]
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#46578 - 02/05/02 03:18 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 743
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
MM, I think that's a great idea, if travelers to Spain are willing to take the trouble to purchase and transport things. I was trying to balance the time and effort out for the parties involved, but if, as you say, it's very difficult to ship things from Spain, perhaps "no vale la pena."

Just as a frame of reference, you can do a little virtual shopping at the supermarket at http://www.elcorteingles.es ... you just have to enter the online "supermercado" and type in a postal code (28027 is where my friend lives in Madrid). Obviously, you can't buy from there, but you can see what things cost--the chocolate a la taza that I mentioned above ($5, plus shipping costs, in the US) is 1.47 euros there.

And MM, you already know that olives like you describe cost under 1 euro a can in Spain!

Happy browsing! smile

[ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: taravb ]

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#46579 - 02/05/02 04:01 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Tara,

After looking up the UPS rates, it wouldn't seem practical to do small exchanges. A box, shipped UPS from Madrid, weighing 15 lbs., with a size of 12 inch x 12 in x 12 in, valued at 100 Euros would cost $169.10 to ship. This would be the approximate size of 18 small cans of olives. That means that each can would have a shipping cost of about $9.30. As you can see, it's just too costly.

The objective of a buying club is to arrange through an exporter/importer to buy products in quantities that are shipped into the US by sea. These shipping costs are only pennies compared to the UPS charges. By ordering the products we want, in advance of their ordering them, we get a better price, because we benefit in advance from their freight discounts for specified quantities. Of course this means waiting for up to three months or more for those products, so you have to be patient. In some cases, we'd be able to get the product that the importer already has in stock.

Of course that means ordering cases of products, not one or two cans at a time. As an example, we'd probably have to take as many as three to six cases of several items to make it cost effective.

This means we'd need numbers to make it work. A buying club of 50 or more members can do that, but less won't cut it. The reason is quantity. We would be able to buy for a specified price, sell to our membership at a fair price, and offer products to others who aren't members, for a higher price.

Of course, as time goes on, if these non-members want to join the club, they can, for a membership fee. That figure would be determined by the original investment of the charter members, and an agreement amongst them as to what is a fair fee. It should never be less than what it cost to become a charter member, that's for sure.

All of this would be worked out by potential members, and based on the initial investment it takes to get this started.

To be honest, it could end up a very large club. It's possible that prices could easily be less than 20% higher than they would, if you went into a store in Spain, and bought the products. Especially since the majority of the things we all are interested in don't fall into the high import tax categories.

I think it's worth a shot.

Wolf (Whose mouth is already watering for paella spices, olives, turron, and a host of other delicacies that are too damned high priced in most areas.)

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#46580 - 02/05/02 04:24 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 743
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
Wolf, with prices like that, the UPS guy had better show up at my door, naked, with a dozen roses and a flamenco band to serenade me as I open my box of olives (actually, though you all might disown me, I don't like olives!)!

I'm intrigued by the idea of a buying club--but have never heard about such a thing before this. It sounds like a lot of administration...is it?

Maybe the thing to do is to open a thread advertising when we are going to Spain, where, and how much we're willing to bring back. Last time I was there, I brought back some beer, olive oil, chocolate, and other things for a friend and they were pretty heavy! But I should have planned more carefully for myself by picking up lots of hot chocolate and saffron.

For those who have branches of the Whole Foods grocery chain nearby, you can find some good Spanish cheeses and membrillo for pretty reasonable prices there. I wonder about anchovy-olives...maybe they have them.

Anyway, I think the upshot of all this is that it's pretty expensive to get Spanish goods into the US, and it's not quite the highway robbery I thought it was to charge $5 for my chocolate a la taza. But it would still be nice to know who has the best deals on what.

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#46581 - 02/05/02 07:11 PM Re: USA:Good deals on Spanish products?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Hmmmm! The rusty gears in my head are spinning like crazy!!! rolleyes (<-gears spinning) Let's see.. we'd need combination office/storage space in one of those industrial parks and there we'd package and ship the items available. Hmmm....

So we'd "simply" pay an importer to ship the stuff and then we'd go get it "at the docks" (??) and drive it back to the "office"? "El Jefe" would pay the importer the fee (expense) and make new orders to that importer and then count the orders (income). Hmmm...

taravb, YOU DON'T LIKE OLIVES!??!? eek

The Future Spanish Green Olive Baron, MadridMan wink
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