Buying Louis Vuitton Handbag

May 9th, 2010, 11:10 AM
  #1  
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Buying Louis Vuitton Handbag

We'll be in France in late June and I'd like to get a LV bag. Will there be a significant savings over prices in the US? I checked my favorites online and will do so right before we leave so I have an idea of comparisons. Where is the best place to buy? Will there be duty free shops at CDG? I heard claiming the VAT refund is difficult. Also read that there is a limit of $800 before I have to pay duty on purchases I bring back. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Ohiobarbara is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Do not expect huge savings over US prices. The best strategy is to check prices here, as you have done, and then visit the LV shops in PAris and elsewhere.

It is easy to claim the VAT refund; just make sure you get the papers when you purchase the bag(s) and remember that you cannot pack the bag in your checked luggage--you may have to display it at the airport to get the refund.

I do not buy LV so cannot give many details about exact pricing but as I said, do not expect the savings to be very large. Of course you will get the tax refunded, so that will help.



You are allowed $800 worth of goods duty free; after that you may have to pay a small percentage of the cost of your purchases.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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And remember the bag has to be "unused" to get the VAT. So don't show up with it thrown over your arm. Have in bag nicely wrapped up like they gave it to you.
CarolA is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 08:24 PM
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............ and please keep in mind if you do NOT purchase an LV bag, you should be able to rent an apartment there for a whole week or two or three
goldwynn is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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and you can buy a gently used o noe for less money.

malleries.com
cigalechanta is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Will there be a significant savings over prices in the US?

Significant? Probably not. My experience with luxury goods is that you can sometimes get a deal if exchange rates have shifted and pricing hasn't adjusted, but it is usually a crapshoot and most savings (one way or the other) are relatively small. I would make sure that you know the price in the US before going over.

Where is the best place to buy?

I would find the LV flagship store in Paris and look there.

Will there be duty free shops at CDG?

There is no LV store at CDG.

I heard claiming the VAT refund is difficult.

Not at most major stores. You get a form and receipt and return it to the booth at the airport - the information is usually on the back of the form.

Also read that there is a limit of $800 before I have to pay duty on purchases I bring back.

This is true, but you could always unpack the bag on the plane, fill it up and use it as your purse and it is doubtful anybody would question it. As long as the item is out of its packaging, it is kind of hard for the customs agents to tell that you didn't buy it in the US or previously pay duty.
travelgourmet is offline  
May 12th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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There will be a very good savings. I've been regularly buying LV, in Paris, since 1980.

Just go on the LV website and go to the U.S. price section and then pick out a bag and add whatever your local tax would be. Then go back on the website and click on, France, and pull up the same bag and get the Euro price and go on www.xe.com to convert Euros to dollars. Then deduct the approximate 12% for detaxe, off of the Euro price, and you will have an approximate price. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
May 12th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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"I heard claiming the VAT refund is difficult."

This is somewhat true in Frankfurt but not in Paris.
cafegoddess is offline  
May 12th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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JillDavis is offline  
May 12th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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OhioBarb: Here's an example. I'll use the Passy bag in Epi leather, as that's the one that I purchased back in 2006, in Paris, at the LV store in the 6th district.

Passy GM/Epi leather: $1,730 on the website. Plus 9.75% sales tax, if bought here in Los Angeles. Total: $1898.67.

Passy GM/Epi leather: 1,130 Euros on the website which equals $1,427.42 exchanged on www.xe.com. Then deduct the 12% detaxe ($171.29) and the total if bought in Paris would be approximately $1,256.13.

Now,of course, this is an "approximate" total as there are currency fluctuations and your sales tax could be lower in Ohio. And as for paying duty on it, then duty is supposed to be paid on $1,427.42, not $1,256.13 although at times duties officers have accepted the minus detaxe amount. If taxed, it could be 10% (or less).

So, even if you have to add that, then it would be an extra $142. So: $1,256.13 + $142.00= $1,507.13. It would still be an approximate savings of $391.54, which is my definition of a very good savings.

As far as declaring items, I declare my items and although I'm usually over the duty-free limit, the customs guys have several times just flagged me through with no duty charge.

Once coming home from Bangkok, I was way over the limit, so I did go to the line where I had to show my items. The guy was great and kept apologizing for taking so long as he had to look up all the different types of items, in his book, to see if they were taxable or not. After a while he just smiled and said, " No charge, welcome Home".

Paying duty can, at times, really depend on what airport one is doing customs in. I'm in L.A. and I've found them to generally to be very nice. The airports that I especially dread are Chicago and Atlanta. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
May 12th, 2010, 05:10 PM
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In 2005, I bought an LV bag in Paris. I still have the receipt and research notes from back then. Souvenirs, I guess).

Back then, the bag cost 530 euros and the US price was $750. With the exzchange rate at the time and getting back the VAT, I saved $168.

The VAT process during my trips to Paris has never been issue (except when I forgot to get the form after leaving a store). Also, I didn't know you weren't supposed to wear the items at the airport. I was using my LV bag and no one seemed to care. Funny to see several women on the plane ride going home, using their brand spankin' new LV bags and avoiding the duty tax.
RobertaL is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 04:02 AM
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If by replica you mean a fake, don't buy it. In Europe, fake bags are sometimes confiscated when you enter a country. If you can't afford a LV bag, buy something else. Or is zeodong advertising that site? I wouldn't go anywhere near it.
Tulips is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 04:18 AM
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I would not respond to that second to last post as it looks like an ad to me.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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Purchasing a bag on the Champs de Elysee in Paris, is, in my humble opinion, paradise for a Louis Vuitton lover. Others will not understand; but when someone comments on the bag you purchased, how much they love it, it's such a treat to smile wistfully, and say, "I bought it in Paris." It is the ultimate souvenir. I have bought bags around the US on trips (I have a weakness) and it is not the same. Go for it.
allib123 is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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great thread!
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 06:22 AM
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Goldwynn: I rent an apartment and buy my LV, bags too...like having my cake and eating it,too. My rented apartment is a 10-minute walk from the my preferred LV store in the 6th. LOL! Smiles. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 06:29 AM
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Tulips and Ekscrunchy: I'm confused. What posts are you referring to? What looks like an ad and who mentioned buying a fake? Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 06:43 AM
  #18  
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I was going to mention the shop in the 6th! I prefer it over the one on the Champs. The one on the Champs is usually full of tourists (no problem there, as I am one) who are not intending on buying, but just having a look around. To actually buy something, I've found better service with less hassle in the 6th.

Guenmai -- I covet your Passy. Please tell me it's not Cassis or I'll be absolutely green!
BKP is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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They removed the post I was referring to.

I would advise people to check prices before leaving home. Savings, if any, will vary from year to year and from country to country. I did quite a bit of research about an Hermes watch. The HIGHEST prices I found were at the Hermes store in Paris. (The lowest, by hundreds of dollars, was at the duty-free Hermes shop at Incheon airport in Seoul; Hermes in NYC was in the middle)
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Guenmai-

I also have a Passy, mine is in black Epi leather. Not sure if it's the GM - I have the big one. I love it, though I don't get to use it as much as I'd like.

The rolled handles are not as comfortable as I'd like on my shoulder, but otherwise I find it a perfect bag for me.

As for buying LV in Paris, I agree that the OP should become familiar with the US prices before she goes, so she'll be able to make an accurate comparison, taking into effect the exchange rate, duty, tax, etc.
chepar is offline  

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