Are Luxury Brands Cheaper in Paris?

One question I get asked frequently is, “are luxury brands cheaper in Paris? and “Are designer bags cheaper in Europe?” Today, I'm excited to answer your burning questions about the pricing of designer brands and bags in Paris and Europe. Paris is home to many luxury fashion houses, including household names such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Hermes, Chloe, YSL and Celine just to name a few. Plus, there are hundreds of smaller designers and brands in Paris. It’s no wonder that people travel from all over the world travel to Paris for the ultimate shopping experience. If people from around the world travel to Paris just to go shopping, it begs the question, are luxury brands really that much cheaper in Paris?

Are luxury bags cheaper in Paris
Diane wearing a Neverfull MM Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Canvas

The short answer is yes, luxury brands are cheaper in Paris. If you are looking for a designer handbag, belt, accessory, clothing, etc then Paris is the place to go!  Let’s dive down to the nitty-gritty and explain why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris and Europe. Brands that are created in Europe are cheaper because when these luxury goods are shipped all over the world there is an import tax, duty tax and transportation cost associated with it.

Why designer bags are cheaper in Europe
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For Example: take a Hermés, Birkin Size 30 bag with Togo leather, the price in Paris is €7,000, which would be equivalent to $8,228 USD. However, in the USA the price for a Birkin is $10,900 + Sales Tax =  $11,650.16 (NYC).  If you buy this same bag in Paris, you will save roughly $3,422. If you are making a luxury purchase, the amount you will save by purchasing a bag in Paris makes the trip worth it. Think of it like getting a free trip to Paris! 

Update as of 2022, With the Euro and the USD being almost equal, you will save even more money shopping in Europe!

The same theory applies for countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and many others. Shop preloved luxury handbags.

Which Luxury brands are cheaper in Paris?

Are birkins cheaper in Paris
Hermés Birkin Size 35 Togo Leather

The best rule to follow when identifying which brands and bags are cheaper in Europe is to check to see whether that brand is actually made in Europe. If the brand is made in Europe, it will be less expensive. If the brand is made in America and you are buying it in Paris, you’ll have to pay the import Tax, thus making it more expensive. Some of the most popular brands that will be cheaper in Paris include, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Balmain, Christian Louboutin, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Roger Vivier, Thierry Mugler, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Lanvin, Chloé, Rochas, and Céline.

Many people don’t know this, but twice a year by law Paris has sales. This is the only time of the year brands are able to put their products on sale. If you are an avid shopper I recommend scheduling your trip around these events. In the summer the sales start the last Wednesday of June, and in the Winter the sales start the second Wednesday in January. Many of the top luxury fashion houses have put their products on sale!

Keep in Mind, if you’re looking for that classic Birkin from Hermes or the Neverfull from Louis Vuitton, these bags never go on sale. If you are looking to shop like a Parisian, I've also written an article about where Parisian's shop. 

Recently I've written an entire article about how Louis Vuitton handbags are cheaper in Italy, Paris, and Europe.

chanel handbags are cheaper in Paris
Chanel Handbag in Paris

Do you receive the tax refund on luxury goods in Paris? 

The great news is that if you spend over 100.01 Euros you’re entitled to the tax refund process in Paris. The tax refund includes luxury goods! Most of the time the sales associate will automatically fill your paperwork, but in case they don’t make sure you ask! You are only eligible for the VAT tax refund process in Paris if you are a non-european citizen and are not part of the EU. Here is a quick breakdown of the qualifications:

  • Spend more than 100.01 Euros in the same store, the same day
  • Cannot be a member of the EU (European Union)
  • Must be older than 16
  • Must not be in France longer than 6 months
  • Make sure you have your passport with you the time of the purchase
  • Have your item readily available to show the customs officer at the airport / train station

When you are processing the tax refund paperwork you have the ability to get the VAT tax back immediately in cash or you can have it added back to your credit card which can take up to 3 months.

If you want cash back immediately, you receive 10.8% of your purchases back as long as you depart from the EU within 21 days. If you decide to wait and have it refunded on your credit card, you will receive 12% cash back.If you decide to add the tax refund back to your credit card, sometimes I can be processed very quickly such as 2 weeks and other times (especially during the busy season) it can take up to 3 months. 

Don’t forget To take your tax refund paperwork and the envelope to the airport! Once you arrive at the airport, find the tax refund kiosk, scan the document and drop it off in the ‘mailbox’. Depending on what your tax refund scans says, you may not need to drop your paperwork in the mailbox. Please ask the customs officer if you have any questions. When you arrive at the airport, there will be ‘mailboxes’ at these locations:

At Paris-Orly: South Terminal: Departures level, gate G, West Terminal: Arrivals level, gate E

At Paris-Charles de Gaulle: Terminal 1: CDGVAL level, hall 6, Terminal 2A: Departures level, gate 5, Terminal 2C: Departures level, gate 12, Terminal 2D: Departures level, gate 6, Terminal 2E: Departures level, gate 4, Terminal 2F: Arrivals level, Terminal 3: Departures level, airside.

I'm mentioned this before in other articles, I highly recommend you take a photo of your phone of all the VAT tax refund paperwork. I would love to hear your experiences with shopping for luxury brands and bags in Paris, did you find it was cheaper in Europe? 

Sincerely Petite in Paris,

Diane 

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28 Comments

  1. Margie Sanders flower says:

    Beauty handbags and wonderful post

    1. Dear Margie,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my latest post about the price difference of luxury brands in Europe vs the rest of the world! I always appreciate your support!! 🙂

      I hope you have a wonderful day

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  2. Jaana McEntee says:

    Beautyful fashion, love this post

    1. Dear Jaana,

      Thank you for reading my article about why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris!

      I’m so glad you loved the post

      I hope you have a wonderful day

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  3. Wow your photos look great! So glamorous!

    1. Dear Zoë,

      Thank you so much for reading my article about why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris!

      I’m so happy to enjoyed the photos!

      I hope you have a wonderful day

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  4. vivirewellness.com says:

    Nothing beats shopping in Paris, not only is it cheaper they carry different designs.

    1. Thank you for reading my post about why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris!

      Yes, exactly they typically have more stock and different designs that never make it to other countries!

      I hope you have a great day!

      Best,
      Diane
      Petite in Paris

  5. Streamed TV Fan says:

    This isn’t a surprise, considering most of these brands are European!

    1. Thank you for reading my article about why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris!

      Exactly, European brands are cheaper since you don’t have to pay the import tax, you receive the tax refund back, etc.

      I hope you have a wonderful day!

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  6. I wish I waited a bit. I got my Birkin and Evelyne in Tokyo and they’re REALLY expensive. I didn’t know about the sales in Paris and I was just so excited to get them, Thanks for the informative post.

    1. Dear Polly,

      Thank you for reading my article about why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris.

      I heard that the Birkin and Hermes Products were more expensive in Tokyo, I just didn’t know the exact breakdown of the pricing. Yeah, it’s very hard to get your hands on a Birkin or Evelyne so I totally understand why you purchased them when you had the chance even if they were a more expensive.

      I hope you have a wonderful day

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  7. I have kids. I am too busy buying them stuff to buy anything more than socks for myself. Lol! But, I really like this post. Even though I don’t buy them, I still appreciate a beautiful bag or clothing item! Great post!

    1. Dear Randi,

      Thank you for reading my article about why luxury brands are cheaper in Paris!

      I totally understand, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the article!

      I hope you have a wonderful day

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  8. Jenn ~ onehoppymomma says:

    I always assumed so because of how much we pay to import goods from other countries to the US

    1. Dear Jenn,

      Thank you so much for reading my article about why designer brands are cheaper in Europe!

      Yes, the import tax makes all the difference, and when you are importing designer bags in the US which is at a higher price point, it can make a huge difference

      I hope you have a wonderful day.

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  9. Ran | Travel & Lifestyle says:

    Thanks for this super helpful post! I certainly didn’t know about the mandated biannual sale before! I’ve never been to France, let alone Paris, but I’m hoping to visit someday. Many of those European luxury brands cost much higher in other places in the world, so this is certainly valuable information for me! 🙂

    1. Dear Ran,

      Thank you for reading my article about why designer bags are cheaper in Paris!

      Yes, the mandate biannual sales are amazing! I didn’t know about it either before I moved here!

      I hope you have an amazing day!

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  10. This is such a helpful post! I was wondering is this all over Europe or just in Paris? And what store in Paris? Are all of them cheaper? Additionally does this tax refund work for Canadians too?? Thank you!

    1. Dear Jessica,

      Thank you for your message! I’m so happy to hear that you found this post useful 🙂

      You are correct, luxury brands will be cheaper in the Europe not just Paris. The best rule of thumb to follow is if the brand is made in Europe then it will be cheaper in Europe. If the brand is from the USA for example, it will be more expensive in Europe. Common / popular luxury brands in Europe include, louis vuitton, hermes, celine, chanel, givenchy, ysl, and many more.

      Yes the tax refund works for anyone who isn’t from the European Union (EU), so yes Canadians qualify for the tax refund!

      I hope that answers your questions regarding luxury brands being cheaper in Europe!

      Kind Regards,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  11. We are traveling to London and Paris next week. I’m quite excited about shopping for some new handbags and accessories! Can I take a copy of my passport for the TAX REFUND paperwork or does it have to be my actual passport?

    Thank you for all of the great information!

    1. Dear Andrea,

      Thank you for the message in regards to luxury brands being cheaper in Europe!

      You’re going to have a great trip and I’m so happy to hear you’ll be doing some shopping while you’re over here 🙂

      Yes, you will need the actual passport to receive the tax refund (VAT), not a copy.

      I hope that answers your question, and you have an amazing time

      Kind Regards,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  12. Hi Diane,

    What if you are not returning back to the airport? I will be taking the EuroStar to another EU country.

    1. Dear Nicole,

      Thank you for your message! If you are taking the EuroStar and you are leaving the EU then there will be a place to drop off your Tax VAT refund at the train station. If you are not leaving the EU which you indicate you are not, then you will drop off your tax refund either at the last train station you are out or the last airport you are out before you leave the EU. I’ve written an article that outlines this entire process that you might find helpful! https://petiteinparis.com/vat-tax-refund-process-in-paris-france/

      I hope you have a great time and that answers your question!

      Kind Regards,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

  13. Hi!

    I’m traveling to Paris in second week of Jan. Where is cheaper to buy luxury bag? Is buying in airport cheaper than stores in Paris? Noted that we will have VAT refund if we buy from actual shop in Paris. Will price be the same after VAT refund? Kindly advise.

    Thank you.

    Yours,
    Yi Mon

    1. Dear Yi Mon,

      If you buy a luxury bag at the airport, the VAT tax will already be removed from the price. If you buy it at the store you will have to go through the VAT tax refund process.

      However, the airport shops don’t always carry every bag that you may want.

      In short, yes the price will be the exact same.

      Hope that helps!

      Kind Regards,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      http://www.petiteinparis.com

  14. Your info is a bit out of date. The dollar to euro is almost 1:1 and you no longer need to mail anything. You just scan the form they give you and that’s all. The machine even tells you you’re all set, as well as the customs/duty agent. Currently in Paris CDG Nov. 2022.

    1. Diane Marz says:

      Hello JC,

      Thank you for your message, I updated the article to reflect the exchange information and the CDG airport update! I really appreciate you sharing this information!

      FYI to other readers, some locations other than the CDG airport (train stations) do require you to drop the forms still in the “mailbox”

      Kind Regards,
      Diane