What do you struggle to buy in Spain or pay a huge premium for ?
Posted: 27 August 2012 03:49 PM  
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2012-08-27

I am looking into starting a business coming to Spain from the UK in a small van twice weekly, I would be gratefull for any ideas for items from the UK that are either difficult to obtain or are sold at a large premium. Anything from Heinz baked beans to Ink toners ! Also if there are opportunities to send things back the other way. If you can give me any examples of the prices paid in Spain for the items that would also be very helpfull.
Thanks Richard

Posted: 28 August 2012 12:36 PM  
Total Posts:  818
Joined  2006-06-15

Richard Hi… Now I have no doubt that you are well intentioned here but you really haven’t thought this out have you…?

Twice a week UK-Spain… Looking at your IP address it looks like Crawley would be your kicking off point so lets consider the logistics for a moment…

Firstly there is no way that a one man band could meet the schedule you plan… Crawley to Malaga for instance is 1200 miles, Crawley to Torrevieja or Alicante is 1050 miles each way so we are talking about 4800 or 4200 miles per week.
In fuel alone this amounts to around 160 gallons for Malaga and 135 gallons for Torrevieja; at £1.45 per litre that’s £1,053 Malaga / £888 for Torrevieja and that’s assuming 30mpg.
Then you have the cost of the Ferry crossing… a quick check with Brittany Ferries shows a typical return fare of £250 in October/ Now assuming the ferry company can give you two return trips a week that’s another £500.
So each week is going to cost you about £1500 Malaga or say £1300 for Torrevieja or Alicante…
Then there is the cost of Insurance and that wont be cheap, always assuming you can find a company that will give you more than 90 days European Cover and insure each load. Add to that the cost of European Breakdown Insurance.
Add to that the wear and tear on the vehicle… we are talking 200,000 miles per year so maybe 4 sets of tyres?
And what about accommodation enroute…? You might do the first outbound trip once with just a single overnight stay enroute but I doubt you will do the return trip with a single stop, you will be too tired. Given that you seem to plan on a quick turn around at each end (and you will have to because of the Ferries and your own totally unrealistic schedule) you will be totally knackered at the end of the first week…

Each week of two return trips is going to cost you around £1700 after apportioning the annual costs and that 1700 has to come from the proceeds of the business and doesn’t include your pay. Just to round the figures up lets say £300 per week for your pay so now we are talking £2000 per week. That is to say that this cost has to be spread across the cost of the load… that’s a whole load of Heinz Beans or Printer Inks… Realistically each load would have to be worth at least 10 times your operating costs… so each load would have to be worth at least £40,000 given that most of the time even if the outbound leg is with a full load, the return leg will be empty…

There are also the legal points to consider; for this kind of commercial operation I’m pretty sure you would need to have a Tachograph fitted and comply with all the European Driving hours Laws; they will immediately put the Ki-bosh on your schedule. Both the Gendarmes in France and the Guardia Civil in Spain come down very hard on transgressors and can stop commercial vehicles for random load, vehicle condition, tachograph and documentation checks at any time.

Iceland and Morrisons supermarkets are expanding in Spain particularly in the Brit enclves along the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol so for the most part those ‘hard to get items arent really so hard to get… As for printing inks there are many cut price stores over here just as there are in the UK. lets not forget either that in most cases Amazon will deliver from the UK free of charge on orders about £25.

My immediate thoight when I saw your post was ‘Oh Dear’ having done the math it is to my mind totally unrealistic… Sorry….



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