My partner, Mr. Hahn, admits that he is a bit “uncomfortable” every time when seeing the milk and toilet paper I bring home. Because the brand and product size I chose may not be the most cost-effective in his view.
Yes. German will pay close attention to “price performance ratio” when they purchase, order and use anything. The words of price performance ratio in German is Preisleistungsverhältnis, and translated into Chinese is “性价比”. German law even stipulates that in addition to the sale price, the price per liter or 100 grams shall be clearly indicated on the price tag of each retail product. In this way, each consumer can compare the price on tags and then choose the highest price performance ratio from similar products. In Taiwan, such detailed data are probably only marked on products sold by foreign supermarkets such as Jason’s, therefore Mr. Hahn often calculates in mind in Asia.
Attention! Getting the highest price-performance-ratio product is absolutely different with the purchase of the cheapest!
For example, the reason why he frowns at the milk I bought is that I chose the small and relatively cheap milk. However, under the same brand (with the same quality), if you divide price by the number of liters, buy the large-size, the milk with a relatively high price is actually more cost-effective. This concept and calculation are applied by him in many aspect of daily life. For German, the price performance ratio is crucial for daily life, a bit like an ingrained value. The CP value which people oftenly talk about in Taiwan is literally negligible compared to the accuracy which Germans persue.
This is why the VW car, not Benz, dominates the top four best-sale cars in Germany, where all kinds of luxury cars are made. It is completely different from the situation that Benz AMG fills the streets in Taiwan. For the household electronic products, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., there is a recognized “price performance ratio award” sticker. Certainly, the first-place product may not be the prettiest or most famous brand, but it is completely ranked by performance and cost for consumers to judge.
When I see Mr. Hahn shopping, I find that besides the price, he cares about whether the product is durable and can be repaired. As buying shoes, for example, Germans will carefully compare the sole material and consider how long it will last. For the purchase of a car or motorcycle, they will talk to the salesperson first about parts substitution, considering whether parts are easy to find in the market for future repairs.
On the other hand, I have also observed that buying products with high price-performance-ratio does not mean it possesses all additional benefits. For example, although the milk I choose is not the most cost-effective, it is packed in cartons while the same brand milk with high price-performance-ratio is in large plastic bottles.
I’m not trying to emphasize how green I am but considering the results of long-term consumption, paper is easier to decompose than plastic.
After we starts to live together in Shanghai, I often go shopping online, because more imported products from Germany or Taiwan can be found at one time. If I buy more products at one time, there will be a discount, and the transportation costs can be saved, it is already cost-effective for my current, not-in-hometown life status.
我的伴侶 Mr. Hahn 承認，每次看到我買回家的牛奶與衛生紙，他的心頭總是揪一把。
是的，德國人買東西、點東西、用東西，基本上只要是要從口袋掏出銀子的事情，絕對認真考慮「性價比」。「性價比」這個單字在德文是Preisleistungsverhältnis，翻譯成英文就是大家熟悉的Price Performance Ratio。德國的法律甚至規定，每個零售商品的價籤上，除了售價之外，還需要清楚標註每一升或是每一百克的價格。如此一來，每位消費者能依據價籤上的信息清楚比較，然後能在同類商品中選出性價比最高的那一款。在台灣，大概只有在外國超市如Jason’s所賣的產品上，會標示這種細節數據，因此Mr. Hahn在亞洲經常心算。