Begin the Battle for the Bargains

Photo by Erica Simone

Begin the Battle for the Bargains

Parler Paris Previews…
A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

“Les Soldes d’Hiver” began today at 8 a.m. Uh oh…I’m an hour too late to get the best deals!

The dates of the semi-annual sales are fixed at the level of the “préfets des départements” after consulting with the professional organizations and consumer associations. They last a maximum of six weeks each during two periods a year, summer and winter. Millions of people wait with credit cards in hand to hit the sales the moment they begin — this winter continuing through February 17th.

Normally, I avoid them like the plague, this massive frenzy every winter and summer, but a friend is traveling here from Italy just to take advantage of them (and visit with, too, of course).

If you’re not in Paris, the dates may differ. Consult the official chart of sale periods at
The government proclaims that by virtue of Articles L. 310-1 à L. 310-7 of the code of commerce, Decree n° 96-1097 of December 16, 1996, for the application of title III, first chapter, of the law number 96-603 of July 5, 1996, relative to clearance and liquidation sales in stores and factories. The law is meant to provide an advantage to both the merchants and consumers.

It is forbidden to use the word “solde(s)” outside of the designated two sales periods each year, each never lasting more than six weeks. These limitations guarantee the reductions to be “legal,” thereby protecting the consumer from promotional “fraud.” Articles reduced for sale must be clearly marked and visible from those not on special promotion, to comply with “truth in advertising” laws.

An exception to the rule is in the case of liquidations, which fall under a different set of guidelines and is highly regulated. Advertising and publicity must include the dates, a description of the products, the percentage of reduction and the duration of the liquidation period. In the store or place where the sale is held, each product must be clearly labeled with the original price and the sale price or price reference. Merchants not complying correctly with the laws may find themselves fined up to 15,000 euros.

The system for scheduling the sale periods by law is a foreign idea for we Americans who have a very different view of free enterprise than the French. We believe in the simple theoretical framework of supply and demand…”a balance between product availability at each price (supply) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand.” (

This is where the French idea of “égalité” in all it’s glory, riles me. No matter how long I live here, I can’t help but just see it as absolutely chaotic with no advantage at all for neither merchant nor consumer. As a consumer, I find it unappealing to go into battle over a savings on last season’s skirt and as a merchant, I’d be frustrated that my only opportunity to boost sales is when I can’t get an appropriate mark-up!

But guess what? I need a new winter coat, so you guessed right. I waited for the sales (or the “battle”) to begin!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

Express Yourself. Click here to comment on Parler Paris…

P.S. A small but congenial group met yesterday for Parler Paris Après Midi at La Pierre du Marais. Read all about it by visiting /parlerparis/apresmidi.html and plan on coming to our next one on February 13th.

Calendar #143
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Paris, France


The Parler Paris Weekly Community Calendar is a partnership with to provide you with the most up-to-date information about upcoming events related to the Anglophone community in Paris.

We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to be listed, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to: [email protected]

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the calendar format as your guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Your move to Paris can be hassle-free


Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property consultation and search services…visit
/frenchproperty/consultation/propertyconsultation.html or email [email protected]

French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation

Paris…A Technological Heaven or Hell?
Excerpt from Parler Paris
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
By Adrian Leeds

This Week in French Property Insider…

Paris can be a technological heaven or hell. In the last few weeks, the pleasures of high speed Internet, hundreds of television channels and free unlimited telephone worldwide have been peppered with the pain of a bureaucratic and complex system…FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html or email [email protected]

Great food, inviting atmosphere
in the heart of Paris…

Excerpt from the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants By Adrian Leeds

Traditional French, “Bar à Vins,” Arrondissement 4

Just down the block is the elegant and pricey Mariage Frères Salon de Thé and across the street is one of the best hair cutters in Paris, Peter Gadge. For such a small street, there are lots of wonderful shops and restaurants, including Le Coude Fou. Over the past several years, Le Coude Fou has become one of my regular “cantines” because the choices always change, the food is always great, the atmosphere perfectly inviting and comfortable and the service friendly and welcoming. There are only two choices in each category on the fixed price menu, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…for more delectable details, see the guide….

Yes, you can have a great three-course meal with wine and coffee in Paris for between $15 and $40 including tax and tip! Take Adrian’s advice…and discover more than 200 of the best-kept restaurant secrets in Paris. Get your copy of Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants now.

You can trust the team at Parler Paris Apartments

[email protected]

Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!

Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.


This newly renovated one-bedroom suite is located on rue Charlot, one of the most fashionable streets in the Marais district. The apartment style is contemporary, yet very warm and cozy, inspired by Alpine architecture with wonderful natural oak beams and materials such as marble and teak-wood floors. The large attic opens to the sky, thanks to a glass roof, perfect for those who wish to enjoy a bright environment, full of peace and serenity. The en-suite private bathroom with its extra large shower system of power hydro jets, makes the whole space extremely enjoyable and replenishing.

Air conditioned! 5th floor, no elevator. Sleeps 2 adults.

Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/atticlumiere.html

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:

The next gathering is February 13, 2007

So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.



Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

* Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne
3rd arrondissement
Métro Temple, République or Arts et Métier

* Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and
* Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

13 passage Dauphine (entrance between rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine), 75006
6th arrondissement
Métro Odéon, Saint-Michel, Pont Neuf


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The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais.




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