Is duty-free cheaper than regular shopping? In this article, we explore the concept of duty-free shopping and whether or not it is a bargain. We will also look at some items that you should be buying for these outlets.
What Is Duty-Free Shopping?
Duty-Free shopping is buying goods that are exempt from a country’s taxes and duties. They are offering tax rebates because you are on your way out of the said country. Items bought in these shops would be cheaper due to the elimination of taxes. Purchasing of goods is also available on an international flight where most shops are usually found in the international departures section of an airport, seaport, or train station.
Is Duty-Free Shopping A Bargain?
Just because taxes are exempt from an item does not mean that its price automatically goes down. Duty-Free retail outlets still price their goods according to their costs and the profits they expect to make. This is why you may have felt that goods are cheaper in regular shops.
Consider that the duty-free outlet has higher costs than a regular shop in town. Because of this, they must pay higher rent to have a good place in the airport. The shops are also targeting tourists who generally pay higher prices for goods than residents.
Finally, there is little competition at the airport. Once you are in the departures section of an airport, you don’t have time to go back outside to buy whatever it is you need. As a captive market, you have no choice but to pay whatever price the retailer has set.
In worst scenarios, some countries still charge you taxes on any goods you bring back home even though you bought them duty-free when abroad. Some may also have restrictions on the number of items you can bring in tax-free. For example, it is only allowed to bring in 10 packs of cigarettes, and anything above is charged duty.
The Best Deals
One bargain that you can take advantage of is tax-free shopping offered by countries such as those in the European Union. In this case, any items bought in the country get a VAT refund. The requirement is to present your goods and receipts to the relevant customs airport office before departure.
After the verification of your receipts by a customs official, they will give you a debit card or cheque with all the taxes you paid refunded. The next time you travel abroad, please check if the country you are visiting offers tax rebates.
Secondly, alcohol and cigarettes are other items that are generally cheaper in these outlets than regular shops. This is because of the elimination of taxes. They are also usually better packaged than the items found in regular shops, hence they are usually good for giving away as gifts.
Finally, another bargain that you can get is on make-up, perfume, and colognes that are on sale. The sale price minus 20% or so VAT makes whatever purchase you are making a sure bargain.
In conclusion, you can get a bargain at the duty-free shop. However, it is important to know the high street price for whatever item you are buying to know whether or not you are getting a bargain.