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Old 04-08-2010, 08:23 PM   #2126
Chairman Wood
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Spiegel View Post
What would you like to do?

It's not as it's been said. Actually, I feel kind of offended for the generalization. There are honest and dishonest people in Argentina as in every other nation.
Of course, the problem is that the ratio of honest to dishonest people seem to be much lower than the countries that a lot of the people in this thread are coming from. Also what people consider to be honest and forthright here is very different that what he is probably accustomed.

Furthermore, there are other various problems about the culture of business here that wouldn't fly elsewhere. They range from simple things like people often being late to business meetings to the philosophy of fleecing customers to get every penny from them in the short term instead of developing a product and reputation that has lots of return customers.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:36 PM   #2127
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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I was playing with the idea of opening a coffee shop or a bakery of some sort.
However this would be in the future as I have yet to master Spanish...

I come from Sweden, not the US, if that makes any difference (in getting visa etc maybe ?)
This doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad idea but I feel as if the market might be a little saturated for both those things. Off the top of my head, I count 3 cafes and 4 bakeries within a 1 block radius of my house. But hell, maybe there are so many cause there is that much demand and maybe there is still room in the market for you.

If you really like coffee or baking and it is something you are passionate about, by all means. But in terms of just opening up a business with the idea just to make money; I've never once thought in my time here that there was need for another cafe or bakery. But really, what the hell do I know anyway?
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:37 PM   #2128
Spike Spiegel
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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Originally Posted by Chairman Wood View Post
Of course, the problem is that the ratio of honest to dishonest people seem to be much lower than the countries that a lot of the people in this thread are coming from. Also what people consider to be honest and forthright here is very different that what he is probably accustomed.
That might be in BA and it is as in every other Metropoli: a cement jungle.

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Furthermore, there are other various problems about the culture of business here that wouldn't fly elsewhere. They range from simple things like people often being late to business meetings to the philosophy of fleecing customers to get every penny from them in the short term instead of developing a product and reputation that has lots of return customers.
Yeah, I agree with this. But that doesn't mean you can't set up a store, you just need to meet the right people. And I know people (plenty of) who think long term.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:41 PM   #2129
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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That might be in BA and it is as in every other Metropoli: a cement jungle.



Yeah, I agree with this. But that doesn't mean you can't set up a store, you just need to meet the right people. And I know people (plenty of) who think long term.
I disagree with your first statement. In metropoli like Oslo or Tokyo or Chicago or wherever, the ratio of honest to dishonest business owners is undoubtedly higher and the barometer for judging an 'honest person' is much more demanding. I don't think this really shines negatively on Argentines, but more so the broken system and unfortunate past events that have shaped their entrepreneurial outlook.

If you don't know if your currency will have value next year or if your suppliers will be on strike next week or if your monthly bribes will increase 10 fold, you can't be concerned with building up goodwill for potential customers. The relatively regular series of economic and social crises over the last 100 years has created, for better or worse, a live-in-the-moment type mentality throughout all facets of Argie society. It's only logical it affects their business practices as well.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:37 PM   #2130
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

imakefrush nails it.

alot of argentines would also say that there's something in the Rioplatense culture that exalts 'getting away with it.' as in, it's your fault if you don't pay enough attention and your business partner takes advantage of you in a gray area. your business partner might not think he's doing anything really wrong.

this is a low-trust society, not a high-trust one. and alot of it comes from the traumatization that people have after regular crises.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:41 AM   #2131
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

I'm impressed (though not surprised) at the level of analysis and understanding of argentine themes by posters ITT. There's not a whole lot more I could add re:starting a business here.
The main issue (and I've seen this with expats setting up shop here) is the expectation differential. Particularly talking about people providing services or goods to the business owner.

Nejo, If you're bent on doing this, I'd conciously try to lower my expectations as much as I could. Something along these lines:

* People providing goods to me will act as if I didn't deserve to buy stuff from them and won't function under the premise: "treat your customer right and he'll come back"
* People providing services to me will take as long as necessary and that is to be expected. Also, if I don't push enough I won't get a premium service.
* Some key players in the business model (particularly brokers) will deceive me (or at least attempt so).
* I'll be at a disadvantage because of being a foreigner: some people will try to milk me because of it.

With that in mind, of course, feel free to procede happily. Your experience should probably not be as bad as that, but it certainly could.

In terms of my own experience:
We started our business very (VERY) slowly from scratch, always taking tiny steps (we don't have an IRL shop yet, though it's coming soon). That makes for a much more pleasant experience, since your risks of getting screwed over are low. Also we always try to deal with the best people we can, and it's always better to go that extra mile to dodge bad providers.
The point, though, is that I'm sure many of the minor setbacks we have suffered feel neutral to me while to you they could be frustrating. Having lived all my life here, I'm accustomed to expecting bery little indeed from almost anyone.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:46 AM   #2132
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

btw, i was wrong: California Burrito was started by Americans who wrote a business plan in undergrad.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:13 AM   #2133
Chairman Wood
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by LozColbert View Post

alot of argentines would also say that there's something in the Rioplatense culture that exalts 'getting away with it.' as in, it's your fault if you don't pay enough attention and your business partner takes advantage of you in a gray area. your business partner might not think he's doing anything really wrong.

this is a low-trust society, not a high-trust one. and alot of it comes from the traumatization that people have after regular crises.
I've heard many explanations for this and the most convincing one was that this is not really a proper Argentine or Criolla type behavior, that this is a very common attitude in Italy (especially southern Italy where lots of immigrants come from) and due to the large population of Italian immigrants here, it is just something that spread.

Last edited by Chairman Wood; 04-09-2010 at 04:15 AM. Reason: cue someone for calling me racist against italians
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:31 AM   #2134
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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Originally Posted by Imbécil View Post
I'm impressed (though not surprised) at the level of analysis and understanding of argentine themes by posters ITT. There's not a whole lot more I could add re:starting a business here.
The main issue (and I've seen this with expats setting up shop here) is the expectation differential. Particularly talking about people providing services or goods to the business owner.

Nejo, If you're bent on doing this, I'd conciously try to lower my expectations as much as I could. Something along these lines:

* People providing goods to me will act as if I didn't deserve to buy stuff from them and won't function under the premise: "treat your customer right and he'll come back"
* People providing services to me will take as long as necessary and that is to be expected. Also, if I don't push enough I won't get a premium service.
* Some key players in the business model (particularly brokers) will deceive me (or at least attempt so).
* I'll be at a disadvantage because of being a foreigner: some people will try to milk me because of it.

With that in mind, of course, feel free to procede happily. Your experience should probably not be as bad as that, but it certainly could.

In terms of my own experience:
We started our business very (VERY) slowly from scratch, always taking tiny steps (we don't have an IRL shop yet, though it's coming soon). That makes for a much more pleasant experience, since your risks of getting screwed over are low. Also we always try to deal with the best people we can, and it's always better to go that extra mile to dodge bad providers.
The point, though, is that I'm sure many of the minor setbacks we have suffered feel neutral to me while to you they could be frustrating. Having lived all my life here, I'm accustomed to expecting bery little indeed from almost anyone.
I like your site and I'll keep it in mind when/if a special occasion arises.

I agree within nearly everything that has been written in the past few posts but I want to stress to Nejo we are not telling you that your idea is impossible or even bad. As long as I have known it, (since 2004) Buenos Aires has been ripe with entrepreneurial spirit and opportunities exist. This is not us being a doubting Thomas and saying it can't be done, we are just letting you know that there are obstacles that you need to be on the lookout for or overcome to which you may have not been aware.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:17 AM   #2135
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Glad I found this thread, I am heading to ba later this month for an extended stay, at least a year, perhaps more.
I am kind of torn about my computer, I use a desktop and 2 24's and am not sure of the best way to get it down there. Had been planning on having the hard drive removed and carry that on the plane, and putting the monitors and tower in the original packaging, then inside a moving box, and checking it, But idk, now I am considering buying a laptop and just bringing one monitor....how did you guys get your computers there?
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:39 AM   #2136
allforepar
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

To chime in on the business discussion, there are a couple of good resources to learn more about other people's experiences with opening new ventures here. One is the forums at http://baexpats.org/ where there are several discussions on the topic. I think one of the most difficult things is having employees, if you want to run things en blanco. There is also a networking group that gets together fairly regularly: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=...id=37266779327 I've gone to a few of these events and they tend to be loaded with expats that have started tech companies and locals that have companies catering to extranjeros...but can run across all types.

Also, as an aside, I have a local guy here that did a website for me that I am quite pleased with. He doesn't speak much english, but if you are looking for someone, I'd be happy to refer him.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:15 AM   #2137
imakefrush
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imbécil View Post
In terms of my own experience:
We started our business very (VERY) slowly from scratch, always taking tiny steps (we don't have an IRL shop yet, though it's coming soon). That makes for a much more pleasant experience, since your risks of getting screwed over are low. Also we always try to deal with the best people we can, and it's always better to go that extra mile to dodge bad providers.
The point, though, is that I'm sure many of the minor setbacks we have suffered feel neutral to me while to you they could be frustrating. Having lived all my life here, I'm accustomed to expecting bery little indeed from almost anyone.
Man, chit looks good. Where do you think your physical locale will be? I will def stop by when you open up.

Your drawing makes you look like a middle aged, money obsessed woman btw. I for one would probably prefer to buy dainty pastries from a chick than a dewd, so maybe it was intentional.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #2138
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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btw, i was wrong: California Burrito was started by Americans who wrote a business plan in undergrad.
I know Sam and Jordan well, they are a good example of what can be done but they would be would be the first to admit doing business here is far from easy.

Another example is Nigel from 0800-Vino, he got ****ed over in every single possible way by the Argentine system and people. His horror story of doing business here was enough to put me off.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:23 PM   #2139
imakefrush
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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I know Sam and Jordan well, they are a good example of what can be done but they would be would be the first to admit doing business here is far from easy.

Another example is Nigel from 0800-Vino, he got ****ed over in every single possible way by the Argentine system and people. His horror story of doing business here was enough to put me off.
I've met Nigel a couple of times; guy knows his wine. I actually used 0800-Vino a few times. Can you give a brief account of what happened.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:57 AM   #2140
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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I've met Nigel a couple of times; guy knows his wine. I actually used 0800-Vino a few times. Can you give a brief account of what happened.
Next time you see him ask him
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:01 AM   #2141
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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Originally Posted by LozColbert View Post
btw, i was wrong: California Burrito was started by Americans who wrote a business plan in undergrad.
If by write a business plan you mean carbon copy Chipotle's plan and take it to South America?
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:03 PM   #2142
Scrimmage
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

I have some general expenses related questions for you guys, if you don't mind. This thread seems very down to earth and "Real", which is hard to find in a lot of the information about Buenos Aires from what I can see.

Background: I'm considering asking my boss to allow me to work remotely from Buenos Aires (I'm from Canada) for 6 months. There are a number of benefits for both parties that I'm not going to go into here. I have a wife and young son (4 years old) that will also be making the journey. My wife and I want to experience South America and this arrangement would allow us to do that. We're frugal by nature and have no problems sticking to a budget if the items within it are accurate and reasonable. I have a very good handle on our finances and am asking these questions to see if my estimates are reasonable.

Here are the items on my budget that I need help with, in USD:
Accomodation: $1000/mth - 2bd furnished apartment in a safe area. Is this reasonable?
Food: $150/wk groceries, we almost never eat out
Transport: $25/wk (we have no problem doing lots of walking)

Spanish: Possible to work out arrangements with locals who want to learn English and swap?

I'm not too concerned with things like gifts, entertainment, etc, as my normal monthly budget has an amount for those. From what I understand utilities, heat, and internet are provided in most short term rentals.

Ideally our current routine wouldn't change, we'd just be in a different part of the world. The intention would be to see the sights in our spare time, learn spanish etc. My wife is a stay at home mom so this wouldn't change her routine too much. My son isn't in school yet. I work the typical 9-5 monday to friday desk job, so that leaves weekends for us to explore the city and probably take occasional trips to other parts of the country etc.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:19 PM   #2143
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

For $1000 a month (that's almost $4000 pesos) you would be renting in a somehow premium area of the city. I would not do it, but that's just my opinion. You can get a nice 2bd in a safe area for $600-$700, even less than that.

$25 a week for transport is a lot if you don't take cabs or leave the city. If you commuted by bus or using the underground two times a day you would be spending less than a dollar daily.

I find $150 a week a little too much also. Feeding 2 adults and a child doesn't cost almost $600 pesos a week. I'd say $300 pesos, $400 at most.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:20 PM   #2144
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Buenos Aires is a great city but probably isn't if you're going to be frugal. 1k US probably won't get you a 2bd furnished apartment in a safe area, maybe more like 1.3k minimum (although definitions of safe can differ), possibly more like $1500+. $150 a week is way too low, $50 a head is going to be cutting it very thin. Lots of inflation here right now, I think the real rate is around 25% (you can read here: http://www.inflacionverdadera.com/) and its hitting raw product costs more than anything. $25 for transport seems fairly reasonable if you don't mind taking buses and maybe the odd taxi.

Also, learning Spanish with a swap isn't going to work out all that well, you're better off signing up for a cheap group class (there's some good ones with only like 4 people for 20 peso an hour). To be honest, you'll probably get very bored here after a month if you're trying to live frugally, especially having no or minimal spanish and no local friends, and it'll be difficult to make expat friends since most come here to spend and enjoy themselves (although there's probably some people in a similar situation, maybe check out the ba-expats.com forum). This isn't a city where there's something magical and enchanting, just more where there's always something to do, its cheaper than our home countries (sometimes) and seems to lend itself well to a 'routine', a lot of us play sports, rotate our twice a week restaurant experience and enjoy the odd event that comes along. I don't know, your plan looks like its well suited to Paris or something where you just live there, and its probably enough. If anyone disagrees let me know but that's just my thoughts.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:24 PM   #2145
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Spiegel View Post
For $1000 a month (that's almost $4000 pesos) you would be renting in a somehow premium area of the city. I would not do it, but that's just my opinion. You can get a nice 2bd in a safe area for $600-$700, even less than that.

$25 a week for transport is a lot if you don't take cabs or leave the city. If you commuted by bus or using the underground two times a day you would be spending less than a dollar daily.
I don't know about this, you're welcome to show me some apartments online that are $1000 for 2 bedrooms in a nice neighbourhood, from what i'm seeing it doesn't exist.

Quote:
I find $150 a week a little too much also. Feeding 2 adults and a child doesn't cost almost $600 pesos a week. I'd say $300 pesos, $400 at most.
$400 peso for 3 people = $133 each / 21 meals = 6.5 pesos per meal. Good luck with that one.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:36 PM   #2146
Spike Spiegel
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

For example:

http://aviso.zonaprop.com.ar/346325-...apital-federal
http://aviso.zonaprop.com.ar/348753-...apital-federal


About the meals... Don't know your eating habits, but it's perfectly doable.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:44 PM   #2147
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

It's definitely possible. It will take work though.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:52 PM   #2148
imakefrush
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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For example:

http://aviso.zonaprop.com.ar/346325-...apital-federal
http://aviso.zonaprop.com.ar/348753-...apital-federal


About the meals... Don't know your eating habits, but it's perfectly doable.
I might be wrong, but I think you need a garantia for those. I think it's pretty hard to find a 2BR short term rental in gringo areas for <$1000US.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:23 PM   #2149
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

Thank you for the replies.

To clarify:

My definition of safe would be:
-I shouldn't need to worry about violent crime within the building. Preferably controlled access (at least a key to get into the building).
-A woman and young child would feel safe walking outside the building to shops etc during the daylight hours without a man.

As for our eating habits, we don't buy processed food and usually buy items on sale etc. My wife makes just about everything from scratch and has been doing this for years. We tend to have very small breakfasts, large lunchs, and small suppers. We don't eat much for snacks. I include "eating out" in my entertainment budget, which I didn't include on this - though its no more than once a week. When we travel we usually pack sandwiches etc. I'm not sure if this changes opinions on food costs?

I've done some poking around on apartment sites, but I don't really know the areas. For instance I've read that Palermo is a good area, but is that true of all of Palermo? Same with Recoleta and a couple others. If we did end up doing this we would definitely stay in a hotel for a week or two to get our bearings before getting a longer term rental.

Also, are furnished apartments with 1Br and a futon/hide a bed easier to find under $1000?
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:00 PM   #2150
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Re: Moving to Buenos Aires discussion

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About the meals... Don't know your eating habits, but it's perfectly doable.
Imagine a meat eating elephant
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