We took a look at the biggest international shopping markets to find where travelers can get the lowest prices on luxury goods

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  • Jim

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

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

      • APD

        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.

      • Velda Wanrong

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

      • APD

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

    • Pamela

      What about italy?

  • Gigi

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

    • TheModMazza

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

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        Thank You!!!

      • Gigi

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      • Michelle Harris

        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

        Go on the US version of the site.

      • Sparky

        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.

      • Sparky

        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.

    • TheModMazza

      You are very welcome!

  • laura

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

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

      • Lorchik

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

      • Lorchik

        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

      • Dutchie

        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.

  • TexasST

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

  • Passerine

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

    • I will definitely look into that!

      • Passerine

        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!

      • 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.

      • Sparky

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

  • Candace

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

    • 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.)

      • 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.

      • kk78

        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.

  • C

    Love this feature! Thanks for doing the math.

  • Sparky

    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

    • kk78

      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! ?)

    • Pamela

      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

        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!

      • NewChanelBag

        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

        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!!

      • Pamela

        Totes visiting on my next HK trip! Thank you

  • Susan

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


    • 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.

    • Giselle

      Check out pursebop.

  • Wow, didn’t expect the price for Chanel in China to be less than in the US

    • Chanel recently realigned its global pricing to encourage Asian (and especially Chinese) consumers to shop at home rather than on holiday and facilitate eventual online sales, so it’s probably ahead of the curve as far as Asian pricing goes.

  • akm

    Also check out the brands that have lowered prices in Hawaii to compete with the Asian market.

  • helloooooo

    I bought my small SDJ in Spain this summer and was told that their vat refund is the highest in the EU. I think i ended up paying just over 2k USD when all was said and done.

    • Christine Kofman

      I’m going to Spain later this month, what was the VAT refund?

      • helloooooo

        IIRC 14%, I could be mistaken though since it was a few months ago. I’d email or call a YSL in Spain and check, because from what I recall they gave me a somewhat higher % than other stores, even within Spain (e.g. Valentino). I wasn’t really sure why, to be honest.

      • TxnGal

        17%. Highest in the EU. Just got back this week :) However, I did price Chanel, and with the VAT refund, it might have been a 10% difference at best. The Chanel in Barcelona had NOTHING. Gucci, MiuMiu, Prada and LV are better priced, but Chanel has raised prices commensurately. Now, that 10% disappears if you declare your item in customs….

  • cutiem14ril

    This information and blogpost right here is GOLD. Thank you

  • HelloHappylife

    How is it cheaper if you have to pay 5X more just to fly to another country? I’m all about good deals but I don’t see the point unless I already have a trip planned. Very interesting to see thought!

    • I think a lot of people know they are traveling to a certain country or have a friend or family doing so, so they plan their purchases that way :)

      • Pamela

        Yeah my friends from europe/asia come here to shop because it’s cheaper so that’s interesting to me!

      • APD

        Exactly! I go to Europe generally twice a year (summer & winter) so I keep a Pinterest board going of what bags I want to get when I’m there.

    • You can look into luxury websites that ship to your country duty free and use the table to assess if the prices still make sense. There’s quite a few, like LuisaViaRoma, Farfetch, etc. So you don’t even have to fly to get a deal!

  • Lana

    Are these the prices after the VAT refund? I don’t understand how that works – when/where to submit paperwork and to who. I would love to start being able to plan purchases around trips though!

    • kk78

      I don’t believe these are the prices after the refund (they are sticker price). When you purchase an item in Europe you’ll get a receipt that needs to be stamped and the sales person will take care of that for you. They ask for your passport I recall. Then you take that along with your receipt to the airport when you’re flying home to where there are clearly marked tax refund stations. You can wait in line and have someone do it for you or you can mail the paperwork from the airport. That’s how I remember it.

      • APD

        The paperwork has to be stamped by either customs in the EU or in the USA and sent back to the company your refund is through. So either way you have to wait in line. If you do it in the States though, U.S. Customs will charge you 8%-12% for importing the bag because you have to declare it in the process.

  • Tiffany

    If only I saw this before my recent trip to Paris… though I will add that Longchamp (although it’s not a premier designer)is significantly cheaper in France than in Canada. I paid 35% less – and that was before the VAT refund.
    Tip – if you don’t have other VAT refunds to do, just purchase it in the airport where they take off 9.5% VAT (vs. 12%) immediately. It’s less $$$ but it saves you the hassles of the long VAT refund line up and paperwork. ;)

    • kk78

      I totally agree about longshot. However, you can fill out all your paperwork in advance and then mail it at the airport. They feel that should be quicker.

  • TwiggyM

    Chanel just had a price increase in the UK due to the Brexit situation so the price is now about £3600 or something for the Classic Flap medium size (could it possibly be £3650? I don’t remember the exact price).

  • crescent

    In my country, they add luxury tax to designer goods so bags are always cheaper overseas. We take advantage of trips to Europe and the US to buy bags cheaper.

  • janelle

    The Australian price for chanel classic flap medium size (however, they call it large size here in au, for the 26cm one) is actually AUD6800. There seems to be a price reduce last year due to exchange rate (so that I heard anyway). I just got my baby yesterday!!!

  • Justice J. Srisuk

    Wow. Poor Australia always gets screwed when it comes to luxury pricing. Not only that, most of the major fashion houses choose not to offer their entire collections in their Australian boutiques.
    There’s a YouTuber named Mel in Melborrne who has to travel to France to get her bags as she gets both a better deal as well as a luxe handbag company’s entire product line instead of only a limited selection.

    • Lara Wills

      Try living further south in New Zealand. Were even more screwed! :-)

  • Arana

    This is a great idea! Whenever I’ve traveled, I find France / Italy and Hong Kong to be the cheapest. Dubai is usually over priced for US and European brands, except if you shop during the shopping festival or Ramadan, when the deals are unbelievable. How about doing a post on best deals on brands in the US? That would help me decide which bags to ask my friends to get for me..

  • One surprising thing I’ve found was that, with the foreign exchange rates, you could find American brands like Proenza Schouler at cheaper prices than if you buy them in the US. Look for sites that deliver duty paid. I got my PS11 at about 20-25% cheaper than if I bought it in the US on Farfetch. I had a voucher for 10% off, but even without it, it would have still been cheaper than buying the bag within the US.

  • Tin

    All i know is that asia has the highest price when it comes to designer brands..poor us!

  • kk78

    Perfect timing as I am headed to Western Europe on Tuesday! I have been thinking about which items to buy for weeks. Hoping to snag a LV evasion piece and maybe something else. Dying to pick up a Chanel bag but even in euros the price is so hard to justify.

  • Slim

    London Heathrow has great deals. I usually shop for great buys on Cyber Monday and right after Christmas. Purchased most of my bags with 25 – 30% off
    right in the good old USA!

    • Suzanne Grandinetti

      I would be interested in knowing how this is done. I see a London Heathrow website, but no way to shop there online. Help please.

      • Slim

        I was there in person 2014. Instead of getting a VAT refund, the discount/tax is already in the price. You don’t have to complete forms.

      • Imgoingbroke

        I’m confused. You said you that purchased most of your bags with 25%-30% off right in the good old USA. How did you do that from the USA?

      • The Rice Thins Gown

        I think she meant that London Heathrow has a lot of great deals. In addition, on Cyber Mondays and other holiday shopping days designer handbags are marked down 25-30% on American shopping sites.

      • Slim

        Yes, thank you exactly what I meant.

      • Slim

        Sorry for the confusion. I bought a YSL bag at Neiman’s and saved about $800 on sale. I bought a Fendi and also saved about $800 at Bergdorfs in NYC. I bought a Chanel WOC at Hethrow airport and saved over $800. The WOC was $1700 at Heathrow. I bought a Chanel double flap in Paris and saved about $800 with the VAT refund. The best sales on designer buys happens around Cyber Monday in November.

      • Slim

        I live in the USA. . I vacation in Europe every two years. Hope this clears up the confusion.

      • Imgoingbroke

        Thanks slim, I get it now. :)

      • Slim

        Also, Cyber Monday is the first Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, which is celebrated her in the USA.

  • tess

    I travel frequently for work and I am in Paris once a year and yes the prices on all bags are lower but alas Hermes still will not sell me a Kelly. The boutiques even have Birkins and Kellys out on display that are not for purchase …. crazy.

  • Scottsdale Kim

    Great price for Chanel is the boutique within Nordstrom in Portland, OR. No sales tax and you can earn Nordstrom notes if you use their credit card.

    They also carry YSL, Gucci, etc.

    • Joni Allen Ooms

      However, I just checked on line for Chanel at the Portland Nordstom and Chanel is not coming up.

  • Elizabel

    Hi, any chance you can include Bottega Veneta in this? Thank you for a great article!

  • KK

    I think that HongKong will be a better comparison than China, since every single imported stuff that gets into HongKong are way cheaper than in China

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  • Jess

    I can’t believe Australia made it on the list and for Saint Laurent!!!

    • CrazyShopper

      Agreed! I cannot believe that something (Designer I mean!) is cheaper in Australia than rest of the World

  • May Li

    Chanel CF Medium price in China has already been changed to 31,200CNY instead of 29,800 – which is $4,679

  • lee alen

    that all is very fashion stye .but in real .the bag price more and i no have so much money buy it .is cost too much .so i get it from china .real leather top quality and when i get it .i see is same original ,also very top quality .so i think if get real top replica also is very good and no people know that ,i know that seller skype wholesale_lee whatsapp +8618979685416.i like that quality .Fantastic

  • kindled

    Actually, Argentina is suuuuuuuuper cheap. There’s a ~20% VAT but also you can get a ~30% discount by bringing U.S. cash and exchanging it there, because the Argentinian government sets the official exchange rate at an artificial rate, whereas you can exchange it in country at a much better deal. Luxury brands have to use the official exchange rate in pricing, so you get a 30% discount by trading USD in country, plus the VAT back.

  • joo bruce

    Thanks for useful tips and information. I live in shenzhen china, and HongKong will always be a good choice for designer bags at less cost.
    And I also recommend: https://www.lululook.com/collections/womens-bags
    It sells designer brand bags at affordable price.

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  • Audrey K

    I have been contemplating buying a Givenchy Antigona from one of the U.K. sites and I’m a little reluctant despite the potential for a decent savings ($400+). I’m always worried the item will be some how damaged in shipping, or there will be a defect and I have to go through the trouble of sending the bag back. What do you guys think?

    • That’s always a risk with any online purchase. Check your store’s return policy for overseas purchases, some of them offer free returns even for international shipments. Even if they don’t, most reputable stores should have a clear process for returns. Most good online stores are also very careful about packing their shipments (too careful, in some cases) as it’s also in their interests to ensure that the product gets to the customer in pristine condition. But, like I said, there is always a risk, however small, that something goes wrong in the shipping process.

      • Audrey K

        Thanks so much for your feedback! Your right most reputable retailers are pretty good about inspecting items before they’re shipped and will pack items carefully. I suppose I’m just a paranoid shopper. I generally see all my bags in person before buying them so I’m able to look for any issues with it!

    • Karina Halle

      Matches Fashion, LuisaviaRoma, Farfetch… I live in Canada and I only shop those stores online and they’re all in Europe. Most have free returns if you’re not satisfied and some even refund your duties paid as well (which are included in the prices).

      • Audrey K

        Thanks for replying! I’m actually really curious about Matches Fashion! I came across them several months ago and was eyeing the Antigona then but wasn’t ready to pull the trigger on it, even though the price was right! Their international shipping and return policy is actually a lot more clear than other larger retailers, which is shocking. I’m learning toward ordering from them or from Harvey Nicholas’s which is a Harrods competitor in London. Their price, and Matches Fashion are similar. Harrods on the other hand, is more in line with many of the big U.S. retailers like Neimans or Saks. I wonder what the deal is with the price discrepancy?

  • Jennifer McGee

    Great post….would love to see more incl Goyard; YSL shopper tote; Chanel WOC; anything Prada

  • jg

    It would be good to mention that Australia has its GST (Goods and Services tax) built into all its prices, unlike the USA where you have to add tax to the prices.

  • Loulisa

    London is a great place to get luxury bags. I remember when I visited I was able to buy several bags at Harrods and discovered some other brands too like Susurro Ldn which has been my obsession since.