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Thread: Central Embassy Mall

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    Senior Member tnlawyer's Avatar
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    Central Embassy Mall

    Calling All Big Spenders, Thailand?s Latest Luxury Mall Opens for Business - Southeast Asia Real Time - WSJ

    Looks fancy. Thought it was interesting that the article mentioned import duties in Thailand being 30-40% versus HK and Singapore that are zero...I had no idea. Tough to compete against that, especially when dealing with very high end merchandise. The managing directors answer was pretty funny...

    “Tourists are already coming here for beautiful nature, the best and the cheapest hotels in Asia, Thai food and Thai hospitality, so let’s make them perceive the prices are reasonable here,” said Mr. Chart.
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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    I believe this is the same mall with the 1000 - 1500 thb movie tickets..

    In many ways this is very relevant to the urban rural divide..

    And yes, Thai luxury goods tax (which is applied on very non luxury items) makes lots of stuff very expensive here. But then so few pay income taxes so they have that problem to work around.

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    Senior Member tnlawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    I believe this is the same mall with the 1000 - 1500 thb movie tickets..

    In many ways this is very relevant to the urban rural divide..

    And yes, Thai luxury goods tax (which is applied on very non luxury items) makes lots of stuff very expensive here. But then so few pay income taxes so they have that problem to work around.
    I always wondered why some of my wife's family orders stuff like iPads, iPhones, Beats headphones, Under Armor clothes, etc over here, has them shipped to my house, and then has my wife ship them to Thailand. Always figured they could get them cheaper over there, but apparently not.

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    Depends. I bought an iPad in Thailand and it was nearly 200 € cheaper than Europe.
    But then, for Apple 1 € is equal to 1 $
    What costs US 499$ in the states costs 499 € in Europe

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Almost everything in the states that isnt labor intensive (eating out, medical, etc) all sorts of consumer goods, are cheaper.

    Clothes are probably cheaper here in some stuff but inferior..

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    But with Apple it is company policy to sell everything in Europe by keeping the amount from the States but change the sign from $ to €. Check their website.
    What costs 499 $ in the US is 499€ in Europe. I am sory but 499 $ is not 499€ but now something like 360€.
    Don't tell me those 139€ difference are taxes.
    That is why buying Apple in Thailand is cheaper than Europe.
    Last edited by Captain; 13th May 2014 at 23:42.
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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Almost everything in the states that isnt labor intensive (eating out, medical, etc) all sorts of consumer goods, are cheaper.

    Clothes are probably cheaper here in some stuff but inferior..
    I literally don't buy anything in Canada
    it is too expensive, we are in the US enough we can wait and if we really need something, we can drive 1hr to the mall in US

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    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    I literally don't buy anything in Canada
    it is too expensive, we are in the US enough we can wait and if we really need something, we can drive 1hr to the mall in US
    Somebody's gotta pay for all that "free" medical care. I don't care what it is, nothing's free.

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    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnlawyer View Post
    Calling All Big Spenders, Thailand?s Latest Luxury Mall Opens for Business - Southeast Asia Real Time - WSJ

    Looks fancy. Thought it was interesting that the article mentioned import duties in Thailand being 30-40% versus HK and Singapore that are zero...I had no idea. Tough to compete against that, especially when dealing with very high end merchandise. The managing directors answer was pretty funny...
    Needed to buy a new watch for the memsahib (TAG Heuer), Thai prices for the legitimate item were STUPID, so we waited till we got back to the States and paid HALF of the best price we could get in Thailand.

    Vis-a-vis HK, luxury goods, cameras etc. used to be cheap in Hong Kong, but no more. My belief is that there is so much money and demand for goods of this type coming in from the Chinese mainland now (HK IS cheaper for them) that the sellers have simply jacked up prices and margins to the roof because they can still sell everything they can get in, even at the higher prices. Singapore ain't no bargain hunters paradise either, just too much money there now.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    Somebody's gotta pay for all that "free" medical care. I don't care what it is, nothing's free.
    for sure
    i pay enough taxes on wine/beer and eating out to pay our share for the medical

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    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    for sure
    i pay enough taxes on wine/beer and eating out to pay our share for the medical
    Atta boy! Just out of curiosity, and none of my business really, but as I understand it, you're a US citizen in Canada on a visa and WP, but your wife is Thai national… How do the Canadians deal with her presence (legally) in the country? Is is as simple as a WP holder can bring along a "dependent" or does she need to jump through other hoops to get a Canadian visa independently?

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    Atta boy! Just out of curiosity, and none of my business really, but as I understand it, you're a US citizen in Canada on a visa and WP, but your wife is Thai national… How do the Canadians deal with her presence (legally) in the country? Is is as simple as a WP holder can bring along a "dependent" or does she need to jump through other hoops to get a Canadian visa independently?
    Any spouse of a person in the country on a WP is granted an "open work permit" which allows them to work any job(there may be some restrictions but not many). It mirrors the length of my WP
    Because she is from a country that needs a visa to enter Canda she then has to apply for a temporary resident visa that matches the lenght of her WP
    However, she can travel to the US and re-enter Canada with just her WP, no visa needed

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    Senior Member Easycpl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Any spouse of a person in the country on a WP is granted an "open work permit" which allows them to work any job(there may be some restrictions but not many). It mirrors the length of my WP
    Because she is from a country that needs a visa to enter Canda she then has to apply for a temporary resident visa that matches the lenght of her WP
    However, she can travel to the US and re-enter Canada with just her WP, no visa needed
    Still a lot simpler than Thailand… At least she doesn't have to put 400K in the bank :-)

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easycpl View Post
    Still a lot simpler than Thailand… At least she doesn't have to put 400K in the bank :-)
    With a WP she is also entitled to health insurance

    She also has a 10year US visa that allows her to come and go as she pleases for up to 6 months at a time


    But both of us will be waiting on new WP in 2 weeks time and they are making them tougher. The fact I bring revenue into Canada and Canadians get compensated off that revenue SHOULD make everything ok but you never know

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    Senior Member tnlawyer's Avatar
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    So I went to the Central Embassy mall and not quite sure why they opened it. Floors weren't done, tons of vacancy, etc. Something that big will all that fanfare should have been near 100% complete before they have the public come in to shop. I was definitely unimpressed and it seems like overkill with Paragon just down the road.

    Visited a few other malls and the number of very high end stores never ceases to amaze me. I know there are a lot of wealthy people in Bangkok, but the number of stores that sell $600 shoes and $250,000 watches boggles the mind.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnlawyer View Post
    So I went to the Central Embassy mall and not quite sure why they opened it. Floors weren't done, tons of vacancy, etc. Something that big will all that fanfare should have been near 100% complete before they have the public come in to shop. I was definitely unimpressed and it seems like overkill with Paragon just down the road.

    Visited a few other malls and the number of very high end stores never ceases to amaze me. I know there are a lot of wealthy people in Bangkok, but the number of stores that sell $600 shoes and $250,000 watches boggles the mind.
    They have opened 3 huge new malls near me.. The central is just enormous.. But the one nearest me, which I go into fairly often as it has a rimping (supermarket) I dont know how it is making any returns.. As you enter there is a high end type yale store, an entire store devoted to selling locks, in a shopping mall.. I must have passed it 20 times and I have never seen a customer in there, how many door locks have you got to sell to pay that rent !!! The same thing through the whole mall, a few of the restaurants are busy, but the actual stores ?? Just such weak trade being done.

    The busiest section seems to be the food court !! In fact theres 2 food courts, a posh one for customers and the cheap one down hidden by the car park for employees, the busiest one is the employee canteen !!

    I have been saying that the Thai credit fuelled economy is running on fumes for so long, I cant keep at it.. But the investment needed to make that place, it cant make any sense..

    Its a really odd design also.. About 1/3rd as many car park spaces as it needs (as everyone refuses to park in the open as it makes the cars hot).. A really odd 'outdoor zone' where no one wants to go as they come to the mall for the AC.. And the cinema section.. Its like its all restaurants and no shops.. But then people go to the mall for a day out here, I go to the mall to buy something I need, its not a day at the fair for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    for sure
    i pay enough taxes on wine/beer and eating out to pay our share for the medical
    What proportion of your $100/week spend is on eating out? 555!
    Sipping from the Fountain of Youth that is Thailand.

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    Senior Member tnlawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    They have opened 3 huge new malls near me.. The central is just enormous.. But the one nearest me, which I go into fairly often as it has a rimping (supermarket) I dont know how it is making any returns.. As you enter there is a high end type yale store, an entire store devoted to selling locks, in a shopping mall.. I must have passed it 20 times and I have never seen a customer in there, how many door locks have you got to sell to pay that rent !!! The same thing through the whole mall, a few of the restaurants are busy, but the actual stores ?? Just such weak trade being done.

    The busiest section seems to be the food court !! In fact theres 2 food courts, a posh one for customers and the cheap one down hidden by the car park for employees, the busiest one is the employee canteen !!

    I have been saying that the Thai credit fuelled economy is running on fumes for so long, I cant keep at it.. But the investment needed to make that place, it cant make any sense..

    Its a really odd design also.. About 1/3rd as many car park spaces as it needs (as everyone refuses to park in the open as it makes the cars hot).. A really odd 'outdoor zone' where no one wants to go as they come to the mall for the AC.. And the cinema section.. Its like its all restaurants and no shops.. But then people go to the mall for a day out here, I go to the mall to buy something I need, its not a day at the fair for me.
    This also struck me...the advertisements for easy credit. One was even called something like "magic card". That's the kind of stuff that got much of the rest of the world into trouble recently.

    And these developers building malls financed on pipe dream pro formas. They'll flip it to an idiot investor and then the whole thing will collapse because it's a house of cards.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    I am constantly baffled by the level of credit/debt Thai people will tolerate, and how much of their overall income that credit then costs them.

    I cant remember if I posted, I certainly told some friends, but I recently went to buy a track toy motorbike.. Being sold by a really nice Thai guy, friendly, easy to talk with, pleasant wife and 2 cute kids.. So they meet me in town in a brand new red plate pajareo, its loaded with aftermarket big wheels and as I follow on my bike I can see they have TV screens modded into the cars headrests.. Its dripping with added costs in other words.. We end up back at their home and she has a newish suzuki swift also.. 2 car family and yet they live in a house with a value of less than 2 mil at a guess, more money in depreciating cars than their home.

    The wife had that flaw of someone who puts her husband down to other people, using me as a sounding board for her nagging kind of thing.. Saying how her husband had to grow up, sell his toys, now they had a family, it was time for him to concentrate on working, etc etc.. The guy was telling me of other motorbikes he had owned (big ticket bikes also) and he was saying he likes the 500k ducati hyper motard (yeah I bet buddy).. But when it came time to make a deal on the bike, it was very clear (from the wife) they were going to take a really lowball offer. It was the middle of hot season, the guy was an airco installer, and yet he didnt have enough cash on hand to even buy any air co hardware to install once a job came up !!! The wife was explaining when they got a job, clients wouldnt pay up in advance, and he sometimes lost the job as he had no money to buy the units to install. She explained she worked as hard as she could but as a hairdresser in isaan your not exactly bringing in the big bucks.

    The guy is driving around in a mil plus brand new car, with a couple 100k in wheels tires and TVs added to it, and cant put his hand on 50 or 75k in cash to keep his business stock flow operating !!! I almost felt bad about screwing the price so hard as I did, but hey, I didnt make his life choices.

    That kind of thing just floors me.. Theres a guy who if you looked at it from the outside you would think hes doing well, new motors, toys like bikes etc, runs his own biz.. Must be part of Thailands new middle class.. But visit the house and they are a payment or two from disaster, with no plan, no buffer, no room for anything to go wrong.. And when as life does, he gets thrown a curveball, they will be lighting joss sticks and cursing their bad luck and karma.. Its not bad luck, its insane risk !!

    I really cant get my head around it.. I wouldnt sleep at night in that situation, I would drive an old beater, work my ass off, and if later my biz worked out.. then you get the toys.. I just couldnt leverage up on consumption now while on such a razors edge. This kind of pattern is the whole country over.
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