Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buying a Louis Vuitton on Paris... yes, it's cheaper!

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).
Guide to Buying a Louis Vuitton in Paris... yes, it is cheaper!

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 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 on my new Paris Trip Round-Up!



Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com.  Pictures may not be used to sell products on other websites such as eBay and etsy without permission.

22 comments:

  1. Not that I can justify the splurge, but the funny thing about purchasing an expensive bag (for those of us who worry about it) is that you tend not to buy another purse in the near future, year or 2 or 3 even!

    I love the pink inside and the blue check. You would look great sitting on my blue toile chair with it!!!

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    1. Hopefully I won't buy another purse for a while. I guess I need a blue toile chair to sit in now!

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  2. good for you. i was hoping the boyfriend would buy me one when we were there last april, but he wasn't interested. i did buy myself a longchamp wristlet, and the salesperson took the time to be sure we found one that was actually made in paris. just b/c these are french brands doesn't actually mean they are from there. longchamp is produced in milan, paris, and i forget where else. so this girl literally went through every bag i was interested in and checked every tag. and they say the french aren't nice, eh?!

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    1. That was so kind of the Longchamp salesperson! I didn't even think about that! I have been to France 6 times and I have never once had a bad experience. In one occasion when we were lost, a French lady drove us across town in Normandy to get us to our location! I think if you're being rude, maybe they will be rude to you!

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  3. Enjoy every moment with your new pretty. It is gorgeous.
    But take care of it because (believe me!) your grand daughter
    will want it some day!
    They would almost rather have the designer purses instead
    of jewelry!
    All the best, Mimi
    http://inmyprimetime.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the tip... I will do my very best to keep it in tip-top shape.

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  4. That truly is a gorgeous bag. Yes, it perhaps seems like an enormous splurge to some, but if you are like me, you would rather have one very fine thing than a lot of mediocre things. Agree w/Mimi that great care should be taken to preserve the bag for posterity.

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    Replies
    1. I am with you... I would rather have one fine thing than a bunch of mediocre things. Fine things also tend to last longer because they are better made. I will do my best to keep it in good shape!

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  5. I am a Louis Vuitton Gal also
    My last trip to New York City I purchased two bags and broke my savings account, came home broke and very happy.
    I went to big store on 5th avenue and was surprised it was not a BIG store at all

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    Replies
    1. Well coming home broke and happy is better than rich and unhappy!

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  6. thank you! this was very helpful. Hoping to go there next year.

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  7. So happy for you that you got an LV. For those of us who are long time lovers of the brand, it is an awesome moment to saunter out of the LV store with your prize possesion (finallly!) under your arm. Enjoy!
    ps: I have had my little black LV bag since 2013 - it is my one and only bag, and has travelled the world with me. It still looks as good as new and needs almost zero care (as you will discover).

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    1. Yes, I came out of the store with the biggest smile on my face! It makes me want another one, oh dear. I love my bag, it is my spring-summer bag with the white and blue check, as I have other black leather bags. I am glad to hear yours is looking very good despite the wear!

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  8. Hi, Just wanted to ask if you noticed that LV accepts different mode of payments. I only have a $1000 limit on my card for the Speedy30 that I wanted to get. So I was hoping that they accept separate payments in 2 different cards (or even half card, half cash).

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    Replies
    1. Hello, you would have to contact LV to get the answer to that question as I do not know!

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    2. That should not be an issue. Do give the store a call.

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  9. I am visiting Paris in April and want to purchase a LV purse while there. I am reading up on the VAT refund and am wanting to know if we are not flying out of Paris if we can still get the VAT refund. We are flying into and out of London (my son is going to a soccer game in Liverpool) but we are spending 3 nights in Paris and taking the Eurostar from Paris to London to fly back to the states. Will I be able to get the VAT refund in London airport or before we board Eurostar?

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  10. I am visiting Paris in April and want to purchase a LV purse while there. I am reading up on the VAT refund and am wanting to know if we are not flying out of Paris if we can still get the VAT refund. We are flying into and out of London (my son is going to a soccer game in Liverpool) but we are spending 3 nights in Paris and taking the Eurostar from Paris to London to fly back to the states. Will I be able to get the VAT refund in London airport or before we board Eurostar?

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    1. You claim your VAT refund from whatever EU country you are leaving last. As France and England are both part of the EU, you would get your VAT from London if that is your last EU Country before going home to the States. Now, lets say you went Paris to London to Berlin then USA, then you get your VAT in Berlin. Make sense?

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    2. Thanks for all of the help! I really appreciate it, so excited about this trip and hoping to make a purchase at LV in Paris.

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  11. What is this style called? Love it! I'm going to Paris in July!

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    Replies
    1. I honestly don't know because when I purchased the purse it was not online and I never looked to see if it was.

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