A love of high-end fashion and a love of international travel often overlap. Both require considerable expendable income and aesthetic curiosity, and both fashion and travel have a sense of glamor to them, which compounds on itself when the two are combined. After all, what feels better than someone asking where you got your bag and you getting to say, “Oh, this old thing? Paris.” That’s not the only advantage of shopping while traveling internationally, though: it can save you a lot of money, especially if you live in the US and are headed to Western Europe.

The same designer bag almost always costs a significantly different price depending on which currency you’re using, and although an increasingly global luxury market has lead to brands trying to bring their cross-market prices into closer alignment, there are still some big gaps. In order to find out where you can get the best deal, we tracked down local prices for a half dozen of the world’s most popular bags in the world’s biggest luxury markets in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Whenever available, we found the prices in local currency on brands’ websites and then converted them to US dollars for the most accurate comparison; for some of the brands whose websites don’t offer full international prices, we found prices in USD at third-party retailers for bags available to ship to our markets.

Beyond just currency fluctuations and the vagaries of global MSRPs, there’s also the Value-Added Tax, commonly referred to as the VAT, when shopping on vacation in Europe. If you do your paperwork correctly at both your point of purchase and departure airport in both continental Europe and Great Britain, you’ll be refunded anywhere from 5% to 25% of your purchase price on luxury goods of all sorts. In the UK and France, the VAT refund is up to 20%, which is an enormous discount off the already below-US prices that current exchange rates provide, especially for bags that rarely, if ever go on sale. If you’re traveling to Western Europe from anywhere in the rest of the world, you should consider stocking your closet. (You can also check out our detailed guide to VAT refunds and processes across the world’s most popular shopping destinations.)

Right now, recent British political uncertainties over the Brexit vote have significantly weakened the British pound, which makes the UK a better deal for vacationing US shoppers than usual. When it comes to European bag designers, though, France (and other eurozone Western European countries–MSRPs are usually the same throughout) is still the best place to buy. Check out our full results below.

Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Medium
Lowest Price: $5,095 in Canada

Country Local Price USD Equivalent Price
United States $5,800 USD $5,800
United Kingdom £4,620 GBP $5,760
France €5,150 EUR $5,599
China ¥42,600 CNY $6,022
Japan ¥660,000 JPY $6,132
Singapore $8,270 SGD $5,826
Canada $7,175 CAD $5,095
Australia $8,760 AUD $5,577

Hermès Birkin 35cm Togo
Lowest Price: $9,349 in France

Country Local Price USD Equivalent Price
United States $12,100 USD $12,100
United Kingdom £8,300 GBP $10,345
France €8,600 EUR $9,349
China
Japan
Singapore
Canada
Australia

Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 – Monogram Canvas
Lowest Price: $935 in France

Country Local Price USD Equivalent Price
United States $1,100 USD $1,100
United Kingdom £790 GBP $985
France €860 EUR $935
China ¥8,750 CNY $1,237
Japan ¥140,800 JPY $1,308
Singapore $1,520 SGD $1,071
Canada $1,480 CAD $1,051
Australia $1,700 AUD $1,083

Givenchy Antigona Bag – Small
Lowest Price: $1,792 in France

Country Local Price USD Equivalent Price
United States $2,290 USD $2,290
United Kingdom £1,590 GBP $1,981
France €1,650 EUR $1,792
China ¥16,500 CNY $2,333
Japan ¥230,000 JPY $2,135
Singapore $2,990 SGD $2,106
Canada $3,080 CAD $2,185
Australia $3,050 AUD $1,940

Gucci Supreme GG Small Dionysus Bag
Lowest Price: $1,835 in France

Country Local Price USD Equivalent Price
United States $2,290 USD $2,290
United Kingdom £1,510 GBP $1,881
France €1,690 EUR $1,835
China ¥17,400 CNY $2,460
Japan ¥278,300 JPY $2,583
Singapore $3,060 SGD $2,154
Canada $2,835 CAD $2,009
Australia $2,945 AUD $1,872

Saint Laurent Sac de Jour – Small
Lowest Price: $2,092 in Australia

Country Local Price USD Equivalent Price
United States $2,890 USD $2,890
United Kingdom £2,070 UKD $2,577
France €2,350 EUR $2,553
China ¥18,400 CNY $2,601
Japan ¥313,500 JPY $2,911
Singapore $3,520 $2,479
Canada $3,892 CAD $2,756
Australia $3,290 AUD $2,092
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Jim
Jim
6 years ago

You actually get 12% refund from France. You do not get back the full VAT.

Pamela
Pamela
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim

What about italy?

Londoncalling
Londoncalling
3 months ago
Reply to  Pamela

Only in airport duty free do you get the full refund. Otherwise all shops will take a percentage as a handling fee

Kate M
Kate M
5 years ago
Reply to  Pamela

I would head to The Mall in Florence: https://wordpress.com/mallratsite

Amanda Mull
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I will update! The reading I did was not clear on that.

APD
APD
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

You aren’t entitled to the full VAT tax refund in any EU nation. The VAT tax is generally 20% and you can get back most, but not all, of it. 12% in France, 12.2% in the UK, 11.4% in Germany, 13.5% in Finland, 13.9% in Ireland, 13.9% in Portugal and only 4.9% in Switzerland. You can find the rest of the countries in the EU and calculate your refund through this handy site: http://www.globalblue.com/customer-services/tax-free-shopping/refund-calculator/?_ga=1.135125681.1890223799.1473436373 It’s also a good idea to sign up for an account with Global Blue if you do what I do and only buy your designer bags abroad. Then you get a card with all of your information attached so it just needs to be swiped at checkout and it fills out the forms for you so it’s one less step in store. You then just need to bring the forms to the airport and have customs stamp them and send them back to Global Blue. You have to make sure to have the paperwork stamped at the airport in the LAST European Union country you are visiting before coming back to the States though. If you take advantage of favorable exchange rates, the often substantial price differences overseas, the VAT tax refund and the fact that sales often drop in Europe before they do here in the States, you can save upwards of 40% on designer bags. That’s also not even taking into account sales tax in the U.S. which can reach upwards of 9%-10% on the West coast.

Kathy Oscar
Kathy Oscar
1 year ago
Reply to  APD

Very detailed explanation! This is exactly what I do when I (used to) travel and purchase abroad.

Velda Wanrong
Velda Wanrong
6 years ago
Reply to  APD

Exactly, so are the UK prices in the article wrong because UK’s VAT return shld be between 10-12% only?

APD
APD
5 years ago
Reply to  Velda Wanrong

No, these are the prices after currency conversion but before VAT returns.

cutiem14ril
cutiem14ril
6 years ago

This information and blogpost right here is GOLD. Thank you

Gigi
Gigi
6 years ago

Now if only travel was free, I could afford to snatch one up 😉

TheModMazza
TheModMazza
6 years ago
Reply to  Gigi

You are very welcome!

TheModMazza
TheModMazza
6 years ago
Reply to  Gigi

Selfridges ships to the USA for a flat rate, that includes the importing/customs fee.

Michelle Harris
Michelle Harris
6 years ago
Reply to  TheModMazza

I expected that Selfridges would result in much cheaper bags for me right after the Brexit vote but I was disappointed. When I calculated all the fees and the exchange rate, it seemed relatively close to US price for many bags.

TheModMazza
TheModMazza
6 years ago

Go on the US version of the site.

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago
Reply to  TheModMazza

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Prices are lower than the UK on a lot of items. I just bought some shoes. Will follow up with a Burberry bag too.

celinadang
celinadang
3 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

Hi,
Sorry to bother you, but I also was just planning on making some purchases on the Selfridges website. I am new to the site, and am a bit confused on how you were able to save some money/how did you know prices are lower than the UK for a lot of items. I am planning to have my item shipped in the US. What foreign currency (USD, Euro, etc.) did you click on the website? If you don’t mind, would you be so kind as to walk me through the steps on how you were able to save so much? Would really appreciate your help 🙂

Sparky
Sparky
3 years ago
Reply to  celinadang

I chose an item then compared the same item’s price on a USA site. I factored in the local state sales tax and used this for comparison. Using xe.com I converted £ to $. Since I wrote the original post Selfridges has adjusted many prices (St Laurent Tributes especially) and some items are no longer shipping to USA but don’t let that stop you from comparing. British brands like Ted Baker and Burberry still cheaper on Selfridges USA site. Might only be $200 on a $2000 Bag but hey, that’s $200 in your pocket!!!

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago
Reply to  TheModMazza

WOAH – THANK YOU!!! I just checked out the USA Selfridges site. Burberry is cheaper on their site than the USA Burberry site. A Canterbury tote is $1250 on the USA Burb but only $790 on Selfridges!! $460 difference.

Gigi
Gigi
6 years ago
Reply to  TheModMazza

Thank you for that wonderful tidbit!

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Marna452
6 years ago
Reply to  Gigi

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Virginiatbledsoe3
6 years ago
Reply to  Gigi

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jpmonte
jpmonte
6 years ago
Reply to  TheModMazza

Thank You!!!

laura
laura
6 years ago

How about Italy, is it the same price as France?

Amanda Mull
6 years ago
Reply to  laura

For all the bags I checked, Italy and France were the same.

Dutchie
Dutchie
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

Did you include Germany in your comparisons? I’m always shocked by how low the prices are there, but I’m not sure that holds for luxury goods.

Javeli
Javeli
2 months ago
Reply to  Dutchie

I don’t think this is an overall comparison — it doesn’t have airport stores in Thailand which has one of the cheapest luxury goods.

Lorchik
Lorchik
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

Hi Amanda, I sent you the price of Birkin 30 cm in Canada an hour ago, it is not for sale, by no means only for a fresh update to add to your chart

Lorchik
Lorchik
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

Fresh B 30 cm in Clemence leather $11,340 CAD

TexasST
TexasST
6 years ago

Although I won’t be traveling anytime soon, this is very interesting to see!!

Passerine
Passerine
6 years ago

Maybe next time, add Swiss Francs? Swiss franc prices for many designer bags are lower than in the UK (when converted to USD equivalents).

Amanda Mull
6 years ago
Reply to  Passerine

I will definitely look into that!

Passerine
Passerine
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

Some designers, like Gucci, make it very easy to get prices in Swiss francs on their web sites. Others are much more difficult. Would be happy to help as I regularly browse the designer shops on and near Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.

For comparison (in this case shoes, not bags), my new Gucci Jordaan embroidered loafers cost 560 Swiss francs. The U.S. price is $670 PLUS sales tax, depending on where they’re bought. Given that the Swiss franc and U.S. dollar are essentially on par, buying in the U.S. means a $200 bump in price. IMO, that’s a pretty hefty difference!

Sparky
Sparky
6 years ago
Reply to  Passerine

Valentino lock shoulder bag is around US$1700 in Europe but close to $2300 PLUS tax in USA (add another $200). Mega price difference.

Passerine
Passerine
6 years ago
Reply to  Passerine

And for bag comparison, my Gucci Tian Boston Supreme (larger size) costs 1410 Swiss Francs. U.S. price is $1850. With the two currencies pretty much equal, buyers in the U.S. do pay a significant premium.

Candace
Candace
6 years ago

So…are these comparisons minus the VAT or should we subtract the VAT from the prices you have listed?

Amanda Mull
6 years ago
Reply to  Candace

These are local MSRPs–VAT refund would be on top of the listed information. (We’re working to get all those numbers and expand the data in the post in the near future.)

kk78
kk78
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

No. VAT is built into the sales price. At least in EU. For example, I purchased a Chanel wallet on a chain for €1500 a few years back. I was charged €1500 and then six weeks later I got the VAT refund of back to my credit card.

Katrina
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

It will be difficult to get accurate information on the VAT refund, though, since there’s usually a service fee that you need to account for, and the service fee is not always a % of the value purchased. In the UK, the big department stores encourage you to claim your refund only after you’re done with all your shopping, since an element of the service fee is charged per transaction you have with the tax refund desk at Harrod’s or Selfridges. So two people buying the same bag could have completely different net purchase prices on their bags post-refund, if one person claimed for their refund for the bag alone, and if the other consolidated their purchases before making a claim. So the best you can probably have, for the UK at least, is a % range of the refund you’ll get.

C
C
6 years ago

Love this feature! Thanks for doing the math.

Sparky
Sparky
6 years ago

Cheapest place for Chanel is Hong Kong. I was there and bought a Boy for nearly $1000 less than USA. I found this price calculator online and its accurate: http://www.chanelprices.com

Pamela
Pamela
6 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

Really? When I went I thought everything was the same at non luxe places .. I also did not check out too many high end places. Next trip will for sure!

Sparky
Sparky
6 years ago
Reply to  Pamela

Screen capture from Chanel HK site (sorry the pic is so big). Medium size. Women were shopping in there as if it was Target. Crazy!

Pamela
Pamela
5 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

Totes visiting on my next HK trip! Thank you

NewChanelBag
NewChanelBag
6 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

Sparky, Can you send me a link to this screen capture, please? I visited chanel.com but it’s more like a look book without the price details or possibility to place an order.

Sparky
Sparky
6 years ago
Reply to  NewChanelBag

Main HK site: http://www.chanel.com/en_HK/

Might not be much help because prices are only displayed if you are in Hong Kong connecting through an HK server. You can take a look at the link I posted above for a site that compares worldwide prices. Good luck!!

kk78
kk78
6 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

Amazing to know. I was there in July and the prices seemed the same, but I was looking at accessories. I’ll have to choose more wisely next time!! (And make sure my husband isn’t with me! ?)

Susan
Susan
6 years ago

This is good to know!
Could you add the Kelly to the list please?

http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/2016/08/classic-kelly/

Giselle
Giselle
6 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Check out pursebop.

Amanda Mull
6 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Hermes prices are difficult to come by, but in general, brands’ pricing structures hold true: if one of a brand’s bag’s is least expensive in a particular market, that’s usually true of its other bags as well.

Gucci Exquisite