Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Muqatonomics: Israel's a Rich Country

The most prolific Orthodox Jewish blog on economic issues in the JBlogosphere is by far Orthonomics.

Understandably, the majority of the issues she raises relate to economics in the United States -- so a service to all, I present a special Muqatonomics (tm) edition on the economics of living in Israel.

As my father-in-law loves to remind me, Israel is a rich country.

Everything costs more here.

Well, not exactly -- there's Jewish education which is still much more inexpensive here in Israel, but many more staples are more expensive.

What I'd like to understand is why an Israeli snack food, "Nish Nash", (known in Israel as "Nishnushim") is manufactured in Israel, sold in stores in Israel, yet costs 3 times more in Israel than via Amazon in the United States?!

In Israel -- the 300gm package costs 13.39 NIS in the store (and on the Blue Square WebSite, they have a special, buy one, get the second half price, but the 19 NIS minimum shipping boosts the price up, so we'll ignore the "special" for now...the identical equivalent if you want to see it yourself is נישנושים זעתר בייגל בייגל 300 גרם -- use נישנושים as the product loookup word)


In the USA -- on Amazon, you can buy 2 twelve-packs of the same product for $32.46 (using the $10 bonus coupon offer "BEIGEL05") and you are entitled to free shipping! $32.46 for 24 packs comes out to $1.35 (or 4.49 NIS at today's 3.32 exchange rate).

13.39 NIS in Israel

4.49 NIS in the USA



Why does it cost 3 times more in Israel?

Simple. We're a rich country.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

19 comments:

Rafi G said...

will they ship to israel?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Probably, but Meches (customs) will charge you a fortune! :)

Gee a Moron said...

Some years ago I was in the States two weeks before Pesach and a friend asked me to pickup up some 18 minute mehadrin shmura matzoh meal in a store in a frummy neighboorhood over there. The wheat was grown in America, and shipped to Israel where it was ground into flour, baked into matzot, and shipped back to America. It was sold for half the price in America as in Jerusalem.

Two months ago, importing an American washer/dryer at full taxes and with air frieght cost less than 2/3 of buying them here.

A wise friend once said to me that everything here costs twice as much because we all earn 1/2 the salary. So it all balances out...

Would you like to go into a business partnership re-importing nishnushim? With that much markup we could sell for 10% less than the local market price and still make a profit. On the other hand I'm sure the goverment will find a way to nvent/impose a "re-importation" customs tax.

Gee a Moron said...

There should be no meches on a product marked made in Israel, only VAT. I'm sure they will figure out how to charge it anyway.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

GAM:
A wise friend once said to me that everything here costs twice as much because we all earn 1/2 the salary. So it all balances out...


Probably the same guy who said the best way to make a small fortune in Israel is to come with a large one.

There should be no meches on a product marked made in Israel, only VAT.

Since when does meches care about the law? It all depends on what side of the bed they woke up in the morning...

tnspr569 said...

You don't want to know how much a shwarma in a laffa costs here!!

Pragmatician said...

it makes perfect sense since all Jews are flthy rich, right?

nikki said...

i know that people are cracking jokes, but really, this is a chutzpa. it's one thing to pay more for imported food, but not for "homegrown."

nikki said...

sorry -- i need to continue. prices are ridiculously hiked here, especially now. i needed new running shoes, they were marked over nis600, i paid about nis500 something b/c of a discount. on the shoe company's website, the very same running shoes cost $85, works out to about nis280 at 3.32 exchange. are you going to tell me that meches and vat add about nis400 to the price of the shoes? in the store, this particular model was the most expensive of that brand, on the website, mid-range. why? i'm ordering more shoes to my parents house in n.y. to have someone bring them to me. we are idiots to keep paying these prices, especially now that we can check on-line almost immediately to see how much they really are. why is there no comsumer protection here? why are prices on imported goods not lowered to reflect the falling dollar? i prefer to support our own, but to a point, you know. this is just ridiculous.

rant over.

Jack said...

Eat more waffles. Beats the heck out of me why this would be so, but can't say that I am surprised.

You guys still haven't managed to get rid of Olmert...

David said...

Dibat Haaretz
Comparing a wholesale price (2 dozen bags!!) on a discount web site with an added sale (coupon) to the price of a single bag at normal prices at the most expensive stores in Israel is very deceitful.
You are totally out of line on this one. Let's stop this dibat haaretz nonsense.

nikki said...

you know what? even at *not* the most expensive store we still over pay. at supersol deal they come out to $2.80 per bag. and this is really not taking into account the fact that our salaries are lower than american ones. the crackers aren't traveling by boat to get from haifa to the center of the country, or anywhere else in israel for that matter. there is no reason why we should pay more *here* for products manufactured *here*. and if we, the consumer do not talk about this, and just accept status quo, nothing will change. just because we live in israel doesn't mean we can be vocally disgruntled. actually, we should be loud, as that is only way to effect change here. anyone remember how yellow-box cheerios made their comeback here?

nikki said...

correction:

"can't" be vocally disgruntled!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

David: Dibat haaretz? What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with Dibat Haaretz -- if anything, saying that Israel is a POOR country would be dibat haaretz!

The absolute cheapest price I have found for this item is 11 NIS, which is still more than twice the cost of buying it in the US.

When the Neviim wrote about the sordid state of affiars of Am Yisrael's leadersip 2000+ years ago, that wasn't dibat haaretz, just like saying that Ehud Olmert today is an ubercorrupt, slimey politician isn't dibat haaretz either.

Lurker said...

David: Dibat Haaretz

I guess you've got a point there. Here in Israel, we see ourselves as nishnush-eating grasshoppers, in a "land that consumes its own snack foods"...

mevaseretzion said...

I urgently need to contact lurker, someone please give me his email

Lurker said...

mevaseretzion: I urgently need to contact lurker, someone please give me his email

I've sent you an e-mail.

David said...

3 bags for 24 shkalim (= 8 NIS per bag) at Zol Po in Kfar Saba.
And this is likely not the best price that could be found.
My experience is that in general food prices here are not that different than in the US.

BBJ said...

I'd sympathize, but I find Israeli snack foods disgusting. I had a housemate some years ago whose Israeli dad would send her piles of Bamba, which we would evade eating until they went stale.

I have never tried Nishnush, but something tells me I am going to stick to my salsa verde Doritos for as long as possible.

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