The rising price of tennis racquets and other things

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
I decided to post this here rather than in the racquet section because of the intended nature of the discussion it may bring.
As all of you are aware the price of tennis racquets is getting higher and higher and it is, I think at a tipping point where some may opt out of tennis altogether, particularly working people. Yes there are good deals going around for certain models which is nice for the consumer but I also wonder if it means that the retailer or distributor will take a hit. A lot of businesses may find it tough.
Originally when the high prices came to be, most people would have accepted the idea that lockdowns and supply chains were the reason for the high prices. However we are now heading into 2024 and one would accept that those supply chains would have caught up by now.
And while I don’t know whether there is any correlation to this my understanding is that in China they have an over supply of items such as electric cars banking up in paddocks in many cities which to me seems to imply that China has been busy manufacturing things into a position of over supply, so I wonder whether there would still be a problem with the manufacture of racquets ?
My thoughts are that the reason why prices are so high is due to inflationary pressures caused by many western countries pursuing net zero energy policies at a fast rate and this has increased cost of electricity and fuel and as a consequence this feeds into every stage of business activity, hence the inflation we have. The consumer is being charged for the net zero agenda.
Some are suggesting that the excess money printing and stimulus spending have contributed to the situation that many countries are in but a lot of that would have washed through the economy by now and many citizens would be spending more of their available funds paying higher interest mortgages, council rates, insurances and utilities.
So I put this thread out to see what you think. Are you feeling the effects of inflation? I have also noticed shrink-flation going on where instead of paying more for the product the company has reduced the amount available to keep the price the same including dairy products and items like toothpaste.
What do you think?
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
There is, however, an energy crisis due to increased demand/decreased supply. Net zero has no impact here. Just the usual difficulties plus the impacts of wars, both physical and trade ones.

Green technologies are actually inflationary, which is why people switch, but:

The marginal cost of low-carbon electricity sources (renewables, nuclear and hydropower) is close to zero, while the cost of power from gas-fired plants soared to more than €600 per megawatt hour (MWh) in many European countries at the end of August, when Russia further tightened gas supplies and policy markets scrambled to stock up supplies for the winter. While the role of low-carbon sources has grown across the board, their intermittent nature calls for countries to find ways to plug the hole through baseload fossil-fuel generation or imports. Inevitably, plants running on the more expensive fossil fuels — namely gas and coal — end up setting the market price for all electricity in a market based on MCP.
 
My US perspective working in hospitality and retail. Tennis racket production is tough and it takes skilled factories to produce high quality rackets which is why the performance are pricey. I don’t think tennis is overpriced because most of us could probably play just as well with $50 box store rackets. There are some nice rackets for 75-90 dollars, we don’t need anything 239-300. Brands understand the power of psychology and status symbols that comes with rackets. Overall, I don’t think gear costs keep people out of the game.
Inflation is a deep topic but I don’t think it’s wild out of control. I believe it’s in control and the economy is strong. Things were goofy and prices increased and luckily wages weren’t stuck and have increased. I feel that rackets and goods are relatively the same as when I first started in 08. New rackets were around $200. With purchasing power and inflation it kinda washes out.

Who’s the resident economist here?
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
There has been significant inflation in the system, and that has flowed into tennis goods, or else all those interest rate rises would not have happened.

The Times reported during Wimbledon:

— The average import price per tennis racket has jumped at an annual rate of 45 per cent this year and the cost of a ball has risen by 32 per cent ...
 

Purestriker

Legend
I decided to post this here rather than in the racquet section because of the intended nature of the discussion it may bring.
As all of you are aware the price of tennis racquets is getting higher and higher and it is, I think at a tipping point where some may opt out of tennis altogether, particularly working people. Yes there are good deals going around for certain models which is nice for the consumer but I also wonder if it means that the retailer or distributor will take a hit. A lot of businesses may find it tough.
Originally when the high prices came to be, most people would have accepted the idea that lockdowns and supply chains were the reason for the high prices. However we are now heading into 2024 and one would accept that those supply chains would have caught up by now.
And while I don’t know whether there is any correlation to this my understanding is that in China they have an over supply of items such as electric cars banking up in paddocks in many cities which to me seems to imply that China has been busy manufacturing things into a position of over supply, so I wonder whether there would still be a problem with the manufacture of racquets ?
My thoughts are that the reason why prices are so high is due to inflationary pressures caused by many western countries pursuing net zero energy policies at a fast rate and this has increased cost of electricity and fuel and as a consequence this feeds into every stage of business activity, hence the inflation we have. The consumer is being charged for the net zero agenda.
Some are suggesting that the excess money printing and stimulus spending have contributed to the situation that many countries are in but a lot of that would have washed through the economy by now and many citizens would be spending more of their available funds paying higher interest mortgages, council rates, insurances and utilities.
So I put this thread out to see what you think. Are you feeling the effects of inflation? I have also noticed shrink-flation going on where instead of paying more for the product the company has reduced the amount available to keep the price the same including dairy products and items like toothpaste.
What do you think?
Supply chains are no longer the issue. The issue is consumer demand, rising costs of labor (wages are up significantly) and governments looking to cool inflation by increasing the cost to borrow money. Demand for a lot of goods has dropped, but consumers are still spending (travel and entertainment). The good news is that inflation is slowing, it was essentially flat in the US. Fuel costs dropped in December as well.

If they can get it to the new 2% to 3% annual growth you will see some cooling. But I don't think prices will be going down, unless we go into a deep global recession. Which governments do not want.
 

Bagumbawalla

G.O.A.T.
Interesting.
My first racket, a Stan Smith wooden racket around 1970 cost me 25 dollars.
Accounting for inflation, that would be about 198 dollars today. A can
of 3 balls back then were just under 2 dollars, today (depending on the ball,
They are just under 4 dollars.

It reminds me of that old joke. A man has an idea how he can beat the system.
He hires an investment firm to buy conservative stocks and then has himself
put into a cryogenic storage facility for 100 years.
When he imerges from his frozen state 100 years into the future, he finds a pay
phone (it's an old joke) and calls his investment firm. "Yes, your money is
safe and sound. You now are worth over a billion dollars"...
Just then the operator interrupts, "Please deposit $25,000 for three minutes, thank you".

And so it goes.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
There is something profoundly wrong about these kinds of calculations.

A wooden racquet produced in America is not the same product as a graphite one produced inow n China.

It's only apparently the case that you are comparing like for like as both hit tennis balls.

Interesting.
My first racket, a Stan Smith wooden racket around 1970 cost me 25 dollars.
Accounting for inflation, that would be about 198 dollars today. A can
of 3 balls back then were just under 2 dollars, today (depending on the ball,
They are just under 4 dollars.

It reminds me of that old joke. A man has an idea how he can beat the system.
He hires an investment firm to buy conservative stocks and then has himself
put into a cryogenic storage facility for 100 years.
When he imerges from his frozen state 100 years into the future, he finds a pay
phone (it's an old joke) and calls his investment firm. "Yes, your money is
safe and sound. You now are worth over a billion dollars"...
Just then the operator interrupts, "Please deposit $25,000 for three minutes, thank you".

And so it goes.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
From what I've read, current inflation is not the wage/price spiral inflation that we had in the seventies.

Supply chains are no longer the issue. The issue is consumer demand, rising costs of labor (wages are up significantly) and governments looking to cool inflation by increasing the cost to borrow money. Demand for a lot of goods has dropped, but consumers are still spending (travel and entertainment). The good news is that inflation is slowing, it was essentially flat in the US. Fuel costs dropped in December as well.

If they can get it to the new 2% to 3% annual growth you will see some cooling. But I don't think prices will be going down, unless we go into a deep global recession. Which governments do not want.
 

Purestriker

Legend
From what I've read, current inflation is not the wage/price spiral inflation that we had in the seventies.
A lot of that depends on where you live. Wages in the US had been essentially flat to 1% over the last decade prior to the pandemic. The last three years they are up almost 10%.

Wages and salaries increased 4.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2021 and increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending December 2020.

Over the past decade, the 12-month change in total compensation costs has ranged from 1.7 percent (in June 2012) to 4.0 percent (December 2021). The 12-month change in wages and salaries has ranged from 1.4 percent (December 2011) to 4.5 percent (December 2021). The 12-month change in benefits costs has ranged from 1.7 percent (during December 2015 and March 2016) to 3.6 percent (June 2011).


 

LuckyR

Legend
Putting aside the economy and getting back to tennis. Get a top quality new racquet from 2-3 seasons ago. Cheap and essentially identical (from your point of view) to this year's model.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Other businesses sell cheaply from the beginning, whereas tennis products seem to charge you a big premium to buy new and it seems to work.

But even allowing for this strategy, the cost of buying a racquet two or three years old has also significantly risen over time. I'd put it about $75 more.

Putting aside the economy and getting back to tennis. Get a top quality new racquet from 2-3 seasons ago. Cheap and essentially identical (from your point of view) to this year's model.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Where I live wages are up but they are still following prices ... and more importantly, they are still lagging behind prices.

You need, therefore, to track price growth along with wage growth.

A lot of that depends on where you live. Wages in the US had been essentially flat to 1% over the last decade prior to the pandemic. The last three years they are up almost 10%.

Wages and salaries increased 4.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2021 and increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending December 2020.

Over the past decade, the 12-month change in total compensation costs has ranged from 1.7 percent (in June 2012) to 4.0 percent (December 2021). The 12-month change in wages and salaries has ranged from 1.4 percent (December 2011) to 4.5 percent (December 2021). The 12-month change in benefits costs has ranged from 1.7 percent (during December 2015 and March 2016) to 3.6 percent (June 2011).


 

Purestriker

Legend
Other businesses sell cheaply from the beginning, whereas tennis products seem to charge you a big premium to buy new and it seems to work.

But even allowing for this strategy, the cost of buying a racquet two or three years old has also significantly risen over time. I'd put it about $75 more.
Yeah, who knows why they have increased at that level. Lots of factors that we wouldn't be privy too (licensee agreements, etc.).
 

Purestriker

Legend
Where I live wages are up but they are still following prices ... and more importantly, they are still lagging behind prices.

You need, therefore, to track price growth along with wage growth.
Depends on the industry (look at fuel prices). Either way, I don't see prices going down unless demand and other costs go down via a recession.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
In another thread, we read that Epok are building a wooden racquet for $1,320, not $200. If tennis had mandated wooden racquets, I'm sure we'd get little change from $1,000.

Interesting.
My first racket, a Stan Smith wooden racket around 1970 cost me 25 dollars.
Accounting for inflation, that would be about 198 dollars today. A can
of 3 balls back then were just under 2 dollars, today (depending on the ball,
They are just under 4 dollars.

It reminds me of that old joke. A man has an idea how he can beat the system.
He hires an investment firm to buy conservative stocks and then has himself
put into a cryogenic storage facility for 100 years.
When he imerges from his frozen state 100 years into the future, he finds a pay
phone (it's an old joke) and calls his investment firm. "Yes, your money is
safe and sound. You now are worth over a billion dollars"...
Just then the operator interrupts, "Please deposit $25,000 for three minutes, thank you".

And so it goes.
There is something profoundly wrong about these kinds of calculations.

A wooden racquet produced in America is not the same product as a graphite one produced inow n China.

It's only apparently the case that you are comparing like for like as both hit tennis balls.
 

dannyslicer

Semi-Pro
I bought a racket for $150 back in 2018 or so.
It will be the last racket I ever buy
I should buy a spare grommet set for it
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
From what I've read, current inflation is not the wage/price spiral inflation that we had in the seventies.
Everyone can read these days that the main cause of inflation is employees getting salary rises and public spending.
To curb inflation, we need total unemployment.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
Ok so my view is this:
1. Take the view that economies around the world that implemented quantitative easing and lockdowns created an imbalance that we may still be feeling up till today. It’s like giving the benefit of the doubt. What people have to realise is that when the government first implemented the stimulus it’s the elites and corporates that got first use of the the money and by the time it filtered down to the average working person, inflation had already occurred and the money wasn’t going to go that far:
2. The second part is looking at the next 4 years. If by 2027 if the inflation genie is not back into the bottle and running between 2 and 3 percent then I will say that the reason for this is indirectly related and caused by the green agenda and net zero policies and ESG equity policies.
When you make energy more expensive and you implement restrictive environmental legislation, red tape, green tape and blue tape (wHO, UN, WEF) , you effect all parts of the economy and people’s lives, if local councils, corporates and government departments are all in on this net zero agenda ( which they are ) , all consumers will pay for this. Here in Australia alone many are paying double council rates, massive increases in home, health, car insurances, electricity and compliance costs in building homes. And when you do this to a country, you cause a lot of damage. You cannot control price rises due to energy costs by raising interest rates, because the demand for energy is inelastic, you need it for everything you do. The only way to reduce inflation and keep people prosperous is to increase supply and allow the market to see the meritocracy in things instead of artificially distorting things and putting limitations on everything;
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Making energy more expensive is a problem, but the inflation in the system is not currently caused by the green agenda.

In Australia, the government spent nothing on the green agenda for over a decade and yet inflation still took off.

Although there are costs to the green agenda, if not for renewables the average energy bill for the consumer would be through the roof.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
Making energy more expensive is a problem, but the inflation in the system is not currently caused by the green agenda.

In Australia, the government spent nothing on the green agenda for over a decade and yet inflation still took off.

Although there are costs to the green agenda, if not for renewables the average energy bill for the consumer would be through the roof.
Inflation has been between 2 and 3 percent from the early 90’s until 2020. Many countries were even in deflationary cycles including Japan and Switzerland and interest rates were running into negative figures.
In 2021 the cash rate dropped to 2.14 in Australia to protect asset prices from collapsing plus the mass stimulus and shutting down production fuelled inflationary pressures.
However in the last measure of inflation in Australia the major reason cited by the RBA for inflation was that it was driven by the cost of energy and cost of utilities and insurances courtesy of local government and corporate policies. The cost of energy has gone up because both these entities that I have mentioned have decided to embark on energy transition. ESG and net zero policies.
The public were promised that renewables would make energy cheaper, but the data shows that every city, state or country that has a higher proportion of energy coming from renewables has the highest electricity and energy costs. In Australia South Australia has the most reliance on solar and wind and it has the highest electricity bills and utilities. People can spin it whichever they like but these are the facts.
Tennis racquets will continue to cost more while it costs more to ship them, distribute them and stock them in retailers. I would imagine the shipping of raw materials to China costs more now than before. People need to wake up.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
And I want to make it clear, it’s never been about supporting fossil fuels and demonising renewables that I am talking about here, it’s about doing things that work. ( despite what some of you say )
If your view is that fossil fuels are bad for the climate then you have to outline with data and facts the amount of carbon you will save by implementing solar and wind as your main source of energy and I haven’t yet to have seen the data presented on this in detail. The narrative has just been all about accepting what we say and do and if you don’t agree then we call you names to shut you down.
In Australia alone, the CSIRO has produced 40 different models on possible outcomes of net zero strategies ( this is fact )
The second thing is cost. If you are going to a different energy system in your country, it’s no good if your nation can’t afford it and you go broke. If you last one decade and then the money is gone, what are going to do to save the planet in the next decade.
If land for tennis courts becomes too expensive, court lights too expensive, racquets too expensive and lessons too expensive, what do you think is going to happen to the sport of tennis.
In particular we need to be aware of the future of young people. They need to be able to own a home with a backyard ( not rent for the rest of their lives ) , buy a car, have some land and build some wealth otherwise freedom is over.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
You go from fact to speculation about the effects of a barely-begun energy transition without any evidence.

Inflation has been between 2 and 3 percent from the early 90’s until 2020. Many countries were even in deflationary cycles including Japan and Switzerland and interest rates were running into negative figures.
In 2021 the cash rate dropped to 2.14 in Australia to protect asset prices from collapsing plus the mass stimulus and shutting down production fuelled inflationary pressures.
However in the last measure of inflation in Australia the major reason cited by the RBA for inflation was that it was driven by the cost of energy and cost of utilities and insurances courtesy of local government and corporate policies. The cost of energy has gone up because both these entities that I have mentioned have decided to embark on energy transition. ESG and net zero policies.
The public were promised that renewables would make energy cheaper, but the data shows that every city, state or country that has a higher proportion of energy coming from renewables has the highest electricity and energy costs. In Australia South Australia has the most reliance on solar and wind and it has the highest electricity bills and utilities. People can spin it whichever they like but these are the facts.
Tennis racquets will continue to cost more while it costs more to ship them, distribute them and stock them in retailers. I would imagine the shipping of raw materials to China costs more now than before. People need to wake up.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
You go from fact to speculation about the effects of a barely-begun energy transition without any evidence.
I’m not the one that needs to provide the evidence - it’s those pushing the energy transition agenda that need to do that, and they are spending my hard earned taxes and they better get their act together.
The evidence I have is the inflation I am seeing, the rising cost of electricity, insurances, compliances and the effects of government and corporate interference in my life from the health choices I am allowed to make to the car I am allowed to drive and the words and thoughts I’m allowed to say and think. That’s what’s going on.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
It's your thesis so, yes, you need to provide the evidence. You can't link inflation to the green agenda because there is no link.

I’m not the one that needs to provide the evidence - it’s those pushing the energy transition agenda that need to do that, and they are spending my hard earned taxes and they better get their act together.
The evidence I have is the inflation I am seeing, the rising cost of electricity, insurances, compliances and the effects of government and corporate interference in my life from the health choices I am allowed to make to the car I am allowed to drive and the words and thoughts I’m allowed to say and think. That’s what’s going on.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
It's your thesis so, yes, you need to provide the evidence. You can't link inflation to the green agenda because there is no link.
It is not my thesis but the report from RBA in November 2023 that is saying that energy prices are driving inflation. If you look at what’s happening with energy right now, the government and energy companies are spending billions on renewables and that will continue to happen, and that cost is being past on to consumers. The link between the net zero agenda and inflation is a strong one.
I’m expressing my interpretation of that and my own deductions on what is happening.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
I can agree that energy prices are a problem, but there is no linkage with a green agenda. The RBA November '23 that I'm reading, moreover, states that inflation is broadly based.

It is not my thesis but the report from RBA in November 2023 that is saying that energy prices are driving inflation. If you look at what’s happening with energy right now, the government and energy companies are spending billions on renewables and that will continue to happen, and that cost is being past on to consumers. The link between the net zero agenda and inflation is a strong one.
I’m expressing my interpretation of that and my own deductions on what is happening.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
I can agree that energy prices are a problem, but there is no linkage with a green agenda. The RBA November '23 that I'm reading, moreover, states that inflation is broadly based.
The case for an inverse or neutral impact on Inflation from the green agenda is possible in the future ( not right now but around 2030) if people lose their jobs, professions and independence, or productivity is affected negatively due to declining wages, job opportunities and less investment on measures that increase GDP ( which is possible because money is being diverted to renewables ) and if mortality rates rise ( which is also possible) but at present the cost of building renewables is being paid for by the people.
We may end up with a lot more poor people or people living a lower standard of living,
I would imagine that if this scenario was to become a reality then maybe some people will wake up. Klaus did say that we would have an angrier and hungrier world,
 
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vokazu

Hall of Fame
Thankfully my racquet of choice (in my signature) is still below AUD 200. I got mine for around AUD 180 with shipping included. Best of all, it's so much more comfortable to use compared to big brands racquets which are too light for my liking.
 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
What do you think?

Food and gas prices in America remain high and have been high since 2020. It is true. It is a fact.
Nobody except dishonest paid shills disputes this fact. See graphical evidence below of average CA gas prices since 2020 and of soft drinks.


The explanation for high food prices is that inflationary pressures increase the costs to produce and transport the product.
This results in food companies simply passing the higher cost on to the consumer.

If that is the case, why are companies seeing record-high profits?
These companies should not be seeing higher profits if they are simply passing on the costs.


Screenshot-2023-12-21-212624.png

Screenshot-2023-12-21-212601.png


Screenshot-2023-12-21-214917.png
 
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Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
Inflation has slowed. But that is certainly nothing to celebrate.
Anybody that has been to the supermarket knows that inflation is still a problem.

FOOD PRICES ARE STILL SKY HIGH!! Nobody is fooled by the shameless lying spin.


 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
Inflation has slowed. But that is certainly nothing to celebrate.
Anybody that has been to the supermarket knows that inflation is still a problem.

FOOD PRICES ARE STILL SKY HIGH!! Nobody is fooled by the shameless lying spin.


Yes, when I'm not buying tennis racquets, I get terrified by the cost of other things.
If food is so expensive, 2024 is a good year to start a serious weight loss program.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
There seems to be a few stories floating around both in the written press and from various YouTube content creators that prices of various things are about to crash or are crashing. Has anyone noticed this or read about it and what’s are your thoughts ?
This morning as I walked past a newsagent one of the papers had the headline - Retailers selling at 1/2 price. Now I haven’t seen that with racquets or even used cars for that matter with good cars being snapped up quickly especially if they are under 12k with low kilometres. With racquets, yes I have seen discounts on slow selling models or models about to be discontinued but that’s not unusual.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
It's Boxing Day so the papers are exaggerating the discounts at sale time to get the punters into the store.

The RBA does say that goods prices are stabilizing, but services prices are still going up, so inflation is still with us.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
Will be interesting to see what the trend for prices be in a variety of countries for racquets, cars, houses, food, insurances and electricity bills plus land rates in 2024.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Our last 3 natural gas bills were $24, $58 and $82 and I recall that they were $200-$300/month last winter. Natural gas prices in the United States have plummeted due to record production levels as natural gas producers have applied newer shale techniques to producing natural gas. Electricity prices here dropped a lot this past summer and will drop again in my state in February. It may be due to lower natural gas prices too.

Gasoline has dropped a lot. My favorite station is $2.80/gallon. The peak that I've paid for gasoline is about $4.30.

Housing is a huge problem in my state as so many people moved here during the pandemic and a lot more want to move here. There is very little supply of houses for sale or apartments for rent. Construction companies can't seem to keep up with the demand.

I paid $25K for a Toyota Camry in 2017. I think that the same model is $27,500 today but all of the Camry's are hybrids for 2024 so there's additional functionality added. The price for the 2023 Camry was $26,500.

We have more or less made the adjustments for inflation. Our houses are paid off as are our old cars though I am planning on more remodeling this year. Food prices have stabilized and energy costs are sharply lower. Tennis ball prices and availability have also stabilized.

If you rent, are looking to buy a home, have a long commute that requires a car, have childcare expenses, college expenses, then things are tough in my area. These are things where supply is not great and so the costs are high.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
While I haven’t lived in other countries my view is that the Australian situation is way off balance. I have always held the view that the ability to pay off and own property and other assets is a key to a more settled quality of life and good for tennis as well.
Right now in Sydney, which is currently Australia’s most expensive city to live in, there are not many suburbs where a free standing house is under a million. I think that’s too expensive for many to get into the housing market. All those nice beachside suburbs people see in Sydney are multi million dollar median prices and to get something around 1 million you are looking at least 50km west of the CBD and tougher demographics.
If you are looking at city living in Australia, probably Adelaide has the best balance of house prices, although wages are lower and electricity is more expensive, but I still think housing affordability is the key factor in Australia for many people:
 
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Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
If you own property in the UK and you sell up and move to Australia you could do OK due to the English pound being so strong. Going the other way from Australia to UK you are practically halving your purchasing power.
Do we have many forum participants from the UK posting here ?
 
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