PurseBlog Asks

Have You Shopped in Europe in the Last Month?

I want to hear what you've snagged this summer!


If you’re reading this right now, it means you’re probably a fan of luxury goods. It’s likely you either regularly or semi-regularly purchase designer bags and accessories, and you’ve also probably pondered at one point or another where designer bags cost the least. You probably already know that shopping in Europe can mean big savings, and with Euro falling equal to the US dollar, savings are becoming greater than ever, even with the ever-present price increases.

Now is as great of a time as ever to shop and save if you’re traveling to Europe, right? As summer winds down, some of us still have late summer trips to look forward to (read: me), but many of us are reminiscing on our summer travels (and hopefully some summer purchases).

To Shop or Not to Shop

Before Summer officially comes to a close later in September, I’m heading over to Portugal for a trip two years in the making. I don’t have anything super specific on my mind, aside from the usual list of bags that live rent-free in my head, but as the trip nears, I keep wondering how deep the discounts really are. I would typically get a bag at the end of the year, and even though I’m not leaning towards anything in particular right now, would I be silly not to take advantage of the current market?

Have you shopped in the European market this summer since the Euro fell? What did you buy? Was the discount really worth it?


Leave a Comment

  1. Fabuleux Avatar

    I just returned from a trip to France. Between lower prices, a strong dollar, and the VAT refund, it’s been really advantageous for US tourists. Among other things, I bought a Keepall 25 and a Zippy wallet. Total price was 2185 euros. The VAT refund was a little more than 200 euros. US prices would have been $3050 + taxes. I basically saved 35%. Not bad!

    1. Kaitlin Serio Avatar

      35% is pretty good! Thanks for your input. Enjoy your new purchases!

  2. EJC Avatar

    I bought a Gucci purse that was 2400 Euros and 3400 dollars on the US website. My friend bought a Prada bag that was 1800 Euros and 2500 on the IS website. We both got VAT tax back when we flew out of Rome.

    1. MooMooVT Avatar

      Thanks for this! Heading to Italy in November and have my eye on a few things.

  3. charlottawill Avatar

    I look forward to hearing about your shopping experiences in Portugal. We are going in December and I’m already investigating the possibilities. The Loewe boutique in Lisbon is near our hotel. Maybe I’ll break down and get a Puzzle bag. 😉

    1. Kaitlin Serio Avatar
      Kaitlin Serio

      Loewe is first on my list of shops to visit too!!

  4. Andrew Avatar

    Yes! We were in Spain a few weeks ago and picked up the Loewe elephant bag. The prices are incredible right now for US tourists once you factor in the exchange and the refund of Taxes

    1. Kaitlin Serio Avatar
      Kaitlin Serio

      Great to know! As I mentioned above, I’m also thinking of getting something from Loewe!

  5. Rachel Avatar

    I’ve only ever done the VAT process in a single country. If I’m going to London and Paris (but traveling via train from London to Paris) can I get the VAT from my London purchases when I depart Paris? Or does it have to be done in the country you purchase?

    1. Fabuleux Avatar

      There is no more VAT refund in London since the UK left the European Union.

      1. Rachel Goldstein Avatar
        Rachel Goldstein

        Ah! Makes sense! So save the shopping for Paris then I guess 😉

      2. Fabuleux Avatar

        Yes. Have fun!

      3. Scribbli Avatar

        Technically there isn’t anymore but some stores like selfridges or harrods will allow you to ship your purchase home vat free, you still have to pay tax on the purchase once it gets to US but pricing is still significantly less. This month in London I bought a Chanel tweed mini flap for $2,950 + taxes of approx $400 paid once item was received by DHL in US!

      4. Clisty B Avatar
        Clisty B

        Only bummer w this is Hermes in those two stores won’t ship handbags. At least that’s what the Hermes CA at Harrods told me back in June. Luckily there’s other brands that will! It’s a great little loophole most don’t know about.

    2. PeggySue Avatar

      When I shopped in both London and Paris, five years ago, the stores where I purchased completed my paperwork. Then, I submitted all of my VAT paperwork and showed my purchase(s) to a customs agent at the airport when I left Paris. I received my VAT refund in 6-8 weeks. However, since that was 5 years ago some things may’ve changed.

  6. Slew Avatar

    Just bought a Cassette padded for 2550 with VAT refund. 3900+ tax in the US. I was just stalking realreal when I ran accross it in a random shop in Croatia.

  7. Mnl Avatar

    I just bought a LV twist in Spain for 3500 euros, 2900 after VAT refund. In the US this is $4700 + tax. Lines were long to get into many of the stores.