Thursday, August 18, 2011

The reality of currency exchange, or just tourist inflation?

I found the answer to my question in Luzerne a couple of days ago.

In my last post, I wondered how much more an Apple connecting adapter, which would connect my digital camera to my iPad2, would cost in Switzerland. It's $35 in Canada from the Apple Store.

I went into an Apple Authorized Reseller in the Luzerne's Altstadt (Old Town) a couple of days ago to check it out: 39 Swiss Francs---at current exchange rates, $48.45!

The clerk told me that Switzerland was historically very inexpensive when it came to Apple products. I told him the cost in Canada. He responded that the difference must be due to changes in the exchange rate. In his words, "The franc has really gone up."

For that to be true, the franc would have had to appreciate by nearly 40 percent between the time that the store received and priced the adapter and the day I walked in their door. And that may be the case: according to, which can graph the relative performance of almost any pair of currencies, the franc has gone from $CDN 1.02 in March to a high of $1.36 at the beginning of August. Not quite 40 percent, but close to it.

Still, perhaps it's time for the Swiss retailers to do some recalculation?

Another factoid for those traveling with the iPad2. Lesson: buy all your accessories before you go.

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