Grundig 2035 "Hastings"

Documentation received with the radio


 The first thing you'll see in the invoice below is the enormous amount of Purchase Tax, at face value equating to 57.7%, but considering the £1 discount maybe this is over 60%? However, not all is quite as it first seems...

If you've an eye for small print... look at the sales conditions at the bottom of the receipt. What do you make of this?

In those days (1956) there was a trading condition dealing with "Resale Price Maintenance" or RPM whereby manufacturers sold their products to dealers on the understanding that they adhered to the manufacturers list price. The list price was calculated to allow small dealers to make enough profit to run their businesses whilst ensuring there was competition between brands. Large chain stores could buy at a quantity discount but were forced to sell at list prices. This meant two things. Chain stores made a larger profit than small businesses but couldn't force small dealers out of business by cutting prices. This then was the age of busy high streets. Lots of small shops offering personal service to customers rather than what we have today... lots of charity shops using the vacant premises of bankrupt dealers and huge supermarkets with perpetual phoney cut-price special offers.

If you were well connected or knew wholesalers' staff you could buy stuff at decent discounts and this is what Mr Taylor did...

What about the £1 discount below? Well, it's 3.5% and probably not enough to cause waves in the industry, but if it became common practice might result in Messrs Wireless-Electric Ltd losing their Grundig dealership, and even the supply of radios in general, depending on how their customers and suppliers reacted. I include "customers" because I think this particular company is a wholesaler and, if another customer eavesdropped on the sale and realised they were effectively selling retail they may object. Big shops with a regular turnover of specific makes would be supplied by manufacturers directly through travelling salesmen called "Reps" or by local wholesalers if sales were ad hoc.

The explanation of how Mr Taylor purchased this radio is in a clue written on the sales brochure pictured later. Large companies often negotiated with their suppliers sizeable discounts for their staff. Frequently this was a third off. Not quite as attractive as it sounds however. The list price was quoted as 55 guineas. Now, in those days quoting a guinea was really cheating as it effectively made a buyer relate 55 guineas to 55 pounds, but of course a guinea is a pound plus 5%. A sort of imaginary tax.

The receipt mentions "BAC" so Mr Taylor worked for The British Aircraft Company at Bristol and it was that company that guided rich employees to Wireless-Electric Ltd.

The actual list price of this radio was £57:15:0d (inc PT) so a buyer offered a third off might expect to pay £39:3:4d. Not so because the chancellor expects to be paid the purchase tax included in the 55 guineas which is £16:1:0d. So, deduct a third from what's left (which is £57:15:0d - £16:1:0d = £41:14:0d) and you get £27:16:0d then add back the chancellor's cut and you get £43:17:0d. Now this is more than Mr Taylor originally expected, which was £39:3:4d, so some negotiationg/explaining resulted in a further £1 knocked off; still £3:13:8d extra. This doesn't sound much but was in fact half a weeks wages.

The Purchase Tax official sum seems to have been about 38.5%.

RPM was sort of heavily frowned upon by MPs in 1956 (the year this radio was sold) but by1964 RPM was made illegal. This however instigated the term "Manufacturers Recommended Price" later used as a bargaining tool by discounters.


 Here's the advertising brochure that decided Mr Taylor to part with his cash... Strangely the Model 2035 brochure has pictures of the Model 2085.


 Alas, after four years or in Grundig's view "some considerable time" Mr Taylors radio was giving trouble...

 Was this the reason?



 Was this extra gadjet purchased? Note that five and a half guineas is really £5:15:6d. Arithmetic was a darned sight harder even in secondary modern schools in those days than it is now in these new fangled academies.



 And here's a complete technical document.... produced in the good old days when instructions were written by people with a command of the English language...






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