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What's worth buying in Poland when you work in the British Isles? [REPORT]

Strollers, garden tools and electronic equipment – these are only a few things that you can buy cheaper in Poland than you can in the United Kingdom or Ireland. When it comes to the services of private dentist offices, as well as gynecologist offices, the situation is similar. Do you work in the British Isles? Check out how to save money by buying products and using services in Poland. We will also give you some hints about what is not worth taking abroad from Poland.

If we compare prices, as well as the quality, between the products that are available in Poland and countries from western Europe, you should keep in mind that there is no rule saying that, “it will always be cheaper here.” Moreover, you may be deceived by the fact that a lot of products in the west are available for lower prices, especially when they're a discounted. - Household chemicals are one of the most expensive sectors in Poland. However, there are discounts that seem irrational for newcomers. For example, a shampoo by a nominal price of four pounds, will cost only two pounds, if you buy two pieces at one time – explained Ewa Ostrowska, who works in Birmingham for three years.

However, the advantage is not always on the side of “buying abroad.” - It's true that products such as shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants or dish detergents are cheaper in the British Isles than they are in Poland. This is the same case when it comes to infant clothing, which interests me a lot, since I will become a father soon. This is also the reason why I observe the prices of strollers and it really is worth buying them in Poland. - said Grzegorz Paniec from Leeds. He has been a landscape designer since 2013. - I imported the entirety of the equipment for my company from Poland. The prices are so attractive that I will even import some materials used in arranging a garden, such as the irrigation system elements. A trailer bought in Poland would be cheaper as well – adds Grzegorz, who is known among his customers as “Greg the Gardener.”

We decided to check to see if this enterprising man is exaggerating. The cheapest new trailer that we managed to find on British eBay costs 384 pounds. After checking the exchange rate with the currency converter, the price is approximately 2,008 PLN (all exchange rates as given by Cinkciarz.pl on 14.07.2016). A quick look about the prices on the Polish shopping websites, indicates that the cheapest new trailer of the same size costs 1,300 PLN. Thus, a short session with an internet browser confirms the theory of “Greg” from Leeds.

Cheap shopping, expensive shipment

Shipment prices of equipment bought in Poland continue to be a problem. - The only thing I shipped from Poland was a TV set. In spite of the fact that the prices of many products from Poland are lower, the cost of shipping one large package to Edinburgh, where I live, is huge – explained Kamil Magda who works in the court administration. He has lived in the capital of Scotland since 2005 and he is certain of one thing regarding the differences in prices. - I don't compare Polish and British prices as often as I used to. I have been living here for too long, and I’ve gotten used to them. However, despite that I'm not particularly keen on alcohol, I must say that it is definitely cheaper in Poland. A 0.7 liter bottle of vodka costs approximately 35 PLN in Poland, right? The same product costs 17 pounds in Edinburgh (89 PLN – author's footnote).

Other stimulants are not cheaper at all. - When I used to smoke, I used to bring entire cartons of cigarettes from Poland – said Katarzyna Szeliga. She has lived in London since 2014. She previously worked in Ireland for a few years. She confirms the opinion that shipping packages of minor products from Poland is not profitable. - Regardless of thinking that shopping in Poland is much cheaper, the shipment costs are too high to buy basic products there. Whenever somebody pays me a visit, they usually bring something with them. I only buy my favorite products, which aren’t readily available here, such as instant puddings and fruit jellies - a weird mechanism that causes you to begin to miss the things that normally you wouldn't buy – she adds.

However, tradesmen do not confirm Katarzyna's opinion regarding access to Polish products in the British Isles. Sławomir Pawlak has lived in Carlisle since 2006. He is the owner of JW Polish Shop. Almost the entire stock of this store consists of Polish brands: preserve, candy, rice, flour and it also has a large separate section of smoked meat. If it was not for the prices expressed in pounds, you could assume that you are in a very well-stocked local shop in Poznań or Łódź. - I have customers who only look at the prices. However, there are also those who like being appreciated and comprehended. I keep my stock abounding, because everything we do is for our customers. I want everybody to be able to find something for themselves – this is how Sławomir describes the philosophy of his activity.

Find health in Poland?

Taking savings under consideration, the use of medical services in Poland continues to be very popular. Dental care is among the most popular. - We have Poles who work in the United Kingdom, Ireland or even Sweden among our patient base. In my opinion, it’s mostly due to the favorable prices. However, I think that the competition between the private dentist offices in Poland is crucial as well – explained Anna Studnicka-Wróbel, the dentist. She also warns that - The market is forcing us to invest in the latest diagnostic equipment, as well as our own knowledge. The services level in the Polish market is very high in general, while access to dentists in the United Kingdom may be hampered, so the patients are taken up by less qualified staff.

Gynecological care in Poland is mighty popular as well. Despite the fact that it's free-of-charge in the United Kingdom, a visit to the obstetrician-gynecologist is only possible with a referral from a family doctor. Moreover, patients need to be aware of a long waiting period for an appointment. - Polish women who live in Holland, the United Kingdom or Ireland regularly visit our clinic – said doctor Michael Herbich, obstetrician-gynecologist. Women who desire their pregnancy to be overseen in Poland are very often willing to give birth here as well. - In my opinion, it is more about medical matters rather than money. The progress that Poland has made in the obstetrics field is enormous. The views on woman's health in many countries of western Europe are obsolete in comparison to what goes on here. Woman's health is belittled there. Childbirth is one of the most dangerous common medical occurences. Thus, I'm very critical towards the fact that many pregnancies in the United Kingdom are guided by midwifes, instead of obstetricians – he comments.

In search of beauty…

Ewa from Birmingham works as a barber and a beautician. She claims that a price of a single beauty treatment in the United Kingdom is not much more expensive than it is in Poland. In her opinion, Polish women will certainly not benefit from going to Poland for the purpose of just one service. - Gel manicures, as well as hybrid manicures, are available in English beauty parlors for approximately 20-40 pounds (approximately 104-208 PLN, as given by Cinkciarz.pl). I've never heard of somebody going to Poland just to save some zlotys – she comments.

However, the situation is different from the Polish perspective. - I wasn’t going into details when comparing the prices, but many of my customers are using beautician services during their short stays here. From my experience, I can say that visiting customers purchase the full-package. This means a visit to the beautician, a package of sessions in a tanning salon solarium, a new hairdo etc. - explained Anna Petrów, who is a beautician just like Ewa, however she works in Poland.

Thus, when you visit Poland next time, perhaps it’s not only worth taking a bigger suitcase for your favorite snacks, but also worth it to prepare visits to a few medical and beauty specialists as well? This is positive for your health, as well as your self-esteem.

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