Price / fee weirdness

I’ve been here a while now, but every once in a while I am still amazed how strange some things in Taiwan are with regards to fees for services and prices on certain things.

For example, today I took a plain T-shirt to a real small and simple ‘mom and pop style’ tailor in my neighborhood, and asked them to fix up the hem at the bottom of the shirt where it had begun to come apart. I kind of figured they were going to say ‘wait a moment sir’, fix the shirt, and charge me anywhere from 20nt to 50nt. It was 150nt and two days wait. Okay, no problem, but kind of surprised me. That must be expensive thread!!! My wife said she figures it’s because most people here can’t sew. So, I suppose that is a service old granny can charge a bit of an inflated fee for. I wonder if I got ‘foreigner price’.

Compare this to scooter shops/mechanics who fix things here and don’t charge you for the time. Back in Canada, holy shit is it expensive…just to have your car in the garage without them even working on it!!

In Canada, at Canadian Tire for example, I can get a dehumidifier for maybe $60. Here, at the various outlets, they are at least $4000 for a real small shitty no-name brand. I’ve bought a few in my time here. What gives? Supply and demand, no? You’d think here, a humid hell at times, that dehumidifiers would be sold at 7-11 cheap. Well, okay, maybe not, but it strikes me as odd.

Another example from a few years ago, before VCD and DVD players, is VCRs. A good 4-head VCR back 8-9 years ago would set you back $9000 or more. Back home, Canadian Tire electronics dept special, $79.95.

I guess it goes both ways sometimes though. I paid 20nt for my household registration document in Pan-Chaio today to get my ARC processed. I thought that was a good deal. :slight_smile:

Price of replacing zipper in men’s dress trousers, including the new zipper: 150 NT. This was a few weeks ago in Tao Yuan. Taken to the shop in the late afternoon and picked up the next morning.
Excellent work and a very low price.
I don’t mind if an old granny makes some extra NT off me. I wonder about the big ticket items even inflated medical/dental fees.

Shop around. You might find a cheaper granny. And ask the price in advance, so you can still walk out, rather than being forced to pay whatever she charges after the fact.

You got gypped. I just paid NT$200 to my local granny to get my new suit pants cuffed. Took a day.
Still though, its only NT$150 and she probably likes you as a result. Probably thinks you’re a crazy super-rich foreigner, but a nice one. :wink:

Ya, indeed. It’s all good.

There actually was a closer option, but the husband is a water/electric fixit dude, and pretty goddamn surly. I’ve had attempts at doing business with him before. I figured she would be ‘bitter seamstress’ just having to live with him on a daily basis, and decided to go the older folks shop route. It was such a small job I wasn’t going to pull out on them over the price after getting a receipt, etc.