Here's what you get in Virginia for $2.99--three rather small shallots, which will probably be enough for one, maybe two dishes.
In France, one of these red bags filled with shallots--the yellow one is onions--is 10 Euros, about $14! That works out to 50 Eurocents a kilo although apparently in stores they're more like 5 Euros a kilo. My sisters-in-law have an amazing food network (and it's real, not a TV show). They each find the best deal on wonderful local produce, buying extra for friends and family in other regions. Then they trade!
It's all about the food. That's why I'm so comfortable in Europe.
Here's a sample of the goodies in my other sister-in-law's garage--all these artichokes were only 1 Euro at the co-op, because they weren't perfect! Here they would be considered just fine, to the tune of $2.89.