As you all know, I had been excited for months knowing that I was going to buy a Louis Vuitton in Paris! I know to a lot of people this isn’t any big deal… who would get so excited about buying a purse anyway? But to me, my day of shopping in Paris will be full of memories.
And yes, it’s true, buying a LV in Paris is cheaper than buying one in the US (so long as the dollar is strong).
I’m writing today about my experience buying a LV in Paris! I’ll break down the cost in this post.
Now, I thought I had decided what purse I was going to get before I went. But then when I got there they had just put out a brand new purse that was “10 days old”; one I had never seen before. And of course I had to have it.
This is the purse I bought…
|picture from LV|
I had been thinking I wanted a purse in the blue and white print, aka the Damier Azur but then I thought I was going to get the classic speedy bag in the classic print. But then I saw this one with the pink interior and knew this was the one!
A view from the side…
The other nice thing about this purse is that it has 3 separate compartments in it. I really like the zippered center so I can put my wallet in it.
There are several different LV stores in Paris. Before I went, I read some people’s favorite LV was in St. Germain because it was less crowded. I went to that one, and while it was less crowded, it also had less stuff.
I highly recommend going to the flagship store on the Champs Elysees. If you want to avoid crowds, get there right when it opens. If you go later in the afternoon, there will be a line. I went there when it opened and there were hardly any people in the store. How could you not want to wander through 5 stories of LV products??
|all of the LV stores in Paris|
Okay, let’s talk about money. Since I had a hard time finding out on the internet before I left if an LV was cheaper or not in Paris, I’ll break it down for you for here.
The purse I purchased was 1200 Euros total (1000 for the purse and 200 for the VAT). VAT is a tax.
We will be receiving 144 Euros back from the VAT refund.
Now, let’s convert it to dollars. (in 2015).
In US dollars, we paid $1295 for the purse. Plus a $34 foreign credit card transaction fee.
We received approx. $160 back from the VAT refund.
The total US dollar purchase price with the credit card fee and VAT refund was $1169.
The price for the purse on the LV website in the US is $1820. The purse was $651 cheaper in Paris than in the United States.
I want to clarify, I’m not saying $1169 is a good deal for a purse. Yes, it’s an expensive splurge. I’m just saying, if you are going to buy one and are going to Paris soon… get it there. You can tell the price differences by logging into the Louis Vuitton France website vs the Louis Vuitton US website.
Now, How do you get the VAT refund??
At the LV store, they will fill out a VAT form for you. You *must* have your passport with you when you purchase the purse or any other products that are over 165 Euros. If you purchase over 165 Euros at one store, you qualify for the VAT refund. You will only be able to earn it if you bring your passport. Got it?
Now, getting the refund at Charles de Gaulle. We left out of Terminal 2E. The customs office is somewhere between check-in area 2 and 3 I believe. You must have your goods with you and you must do if *before* you check your bags. If you check your bags and then the customs agent wants to look at your goods, you won’t get your refund.
You need to have all of your VAT refund receipts with you, your purchased goods, as well as your passport and either your ticket for the airplane or your printed itinerary from the airline. We did not have our actual ticket for the plane yet and they let us use our itinerary. You must also do it the day you leave from Paris; you can’t go there early and do it.
Once they approve the form, go over to the big yellow Poste box and throw it in the mail. You do not need a stamp.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do this. Our flight left really early in the morning so there was no line, but they had a large area roped off for a line that I’m assuming would be completely full later in the day.
Other tips… tell Louis Vuitton that it’s a gift. They will wrap it up in a very nice gift box for you! They will do this in the US as well. The gift box *almost* didn’t fit in my suitcase. But I just barely squeezed in it and voila! Made it home!
|a beautiful gift box to place a beautiful bag in!|
I certainly hope you found my buying a LV in Paris guide useful!
If you’ve missed a Paris trip post, catch them ALL RIGHT HERE!
Pictures may not be used to sell products on other websites such as eBay and etsy without permission.