Most of us see Duty-Free shops as an opportunity to save money and get lower prices on expensive brands. In a lot of cases their airport location allows businesses to avoid paying customs duty, or tax, on their goods. But believe it or not, duty-free prices aren’t always lower than normal retail stores. We’re going to reveal 5 secrets of duty-free that employees will never tell you.
In general, brands such as Hermes, Chanel, and Dior have a policy of keeping more or less equal prices on their products in all their shops around the world. So you can often get a much better deal if you buy an item on sale at a local store. Most duty-free shops have websites with prices listed, so you can compare them with other duty-free locations as well as with regular stores. The only exception when the price is almost always lower in duty-free shops is with alcohol and tobacco.
You probably thought that the items on duty-free shelves are super rare or unique and produced especially for these stores. But, in fact, the things you can find there are no different from the ones you see in a regular store.
Remember your budget and keep a cool head, especially if your country makes you pay tax on items you bought duty-free while traveling abroad to avoid paying crazy taxes for them back home. Keep in mind that finding the best deal depends on two factors: location and exchange rate. If you wanna buy chocolates, alcohol, or tobacco in Southern Asia, for example, better do this in city stores and outlets. It’ll be way cheaper than getting these products at the airport.
Music: Church of 8 Wheels
Duty-free prices aren’t always lower than normal retail stores. 0:34
Goods are sometimes delivered to duty-free shops from regular stores. 2:40
The sales assistants aren’t always specialists. 3:09
You might have to pay a hefty customs tariff once you get back home. 3:29
If you’re smart about it, you can save a ton of money. 4:18
Bonus: some tips for successful duty-free shopping 6:20
-The cost of renting retail space at an airport is so high that it often cancels out the money saved on taxes. Because of this, duty-free prices can sometimes actually be higher than in ordinary shops.
-Duty-free goods are often delivered straight from a local store.
-A lot of Duty Free sales assistants are simply locals who just go to a normal job the same as you or me, and not super knowledgeable experts.
-Americans coming back home have to pay a 3% tax on duty-free purchases exceeding $800.
-It’s better to buy electronics in Asia, cosmetics are generally cheaper in Europe and the Caribbean. New Zealand is famous for its duty-free wine bargains thanks to abundant local production and a relatively cheap dollar. Duty-free shops in Dubai offer amazing prices on gold.
-You can check the price online and find any sales going on in stores to decide if it makes sense to buy something duty-free. Remember that many duty-free shops can deliver your purchases to the plane so that you don’t have to lug them around while waiting for your flight. Do not forget about customs limits!
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