Best way to 'detax' after H in Europe

  1. After shopping at H in Paris, I understand the detax forms are filled at the store and I have to get them stamped before departure and mail them back.

    My last stop in europe is actually Amsterdam. After getting the forms stamped at the airport, should I :

    a) wait till I get home before mailing the forms back to Hermes Paris (I've no time to mail in amsterdam airport )


    b) get my money back from the 'Tax Refund' booths at the airport?

    If mailing back to Hermes Paris, does the rebate come back on my credit card?

    I hope those who have been through this before can give me some advice. Thanks very much! :smile::smile::smile:
  2. Hi, I don't know if I can advise on the best way, but, as I have done this a number of times (always traveling from CDG back to the states directly though), I can tell you what I have done. I used to go check in first, but not check my bags through...then go to the detax counter and show them the paperwork (and the goods if necessary), they stamp the forms and you take the stuff, stick it in the envelopes you already have (try to keep track in advance which envelope goes with which form if you have multiple purchases from multiple stores), seal it up, then drop in mailbox right there in the airport. Then you go back to the check in line and you don't have to wait in it all can go up to the front and give them the bags you had meant to check through. That was how it used to be. The most recent time though, last fall, we were told to do the detax stuff, I don't know what the current policy is; it likely varies by airport.
    If you don't have time to mail the forms from Amsterdam, I suppose you can send them from home. The refund will eventually show up on your credit card. I have no experience with the tax refund booth...
    Good luck and enjoy!
  3. They tax refund booth is a pain. They give the refund back to you in euros and take a fee for the processing. If you want it coverted back to dollars when you get home, the bank dings you again. Go with credit card, it's much easier. Make sure that you double check each detaxe form to make sure your cc number, exp. date, name is CLEARLY printed. Hermes' system is really good, it's all printed from the computer, but some stores handwrite it in and poor handwriting or general laziness on the SA's part could mean your refund doesn't go through.
  4. I've just mailed it at the airport for a cc credit w/o any problems. Some people prefer to get cash at the airport because of problems getting credit on their ccs, but I hate to pay the fees.
  5. I just came backe from Amsterdam and went through the Global Refund kiosk there. I opted to have the refund credited to my credit card. I've been waiting for the credit to hit my account for a couple of weeks, so I called Amex. Apparently Global refund can take up to 3 months to credit your account. Had I known it would be so long, I would have opted for the cash. BTW since Global Refund did not make the original charge on your account (Hermes did), Amex cannot investigate why the charge back is taking so long.
  6. I believe Hermes only returns 10% even though the tax is 19.6%. So if I go through Global Refund, does it take another cut so I end up with less than 10%? How much is Gobal Refund's commision?

    By the way, how long does Hermes take to refund tax on the CC?
  7. Global refund should be free...

    Not all of the 19% tax is VAT.. some are local and sales duties etc.... so u only get back the VAT (value added tax) - which would be the 10%

    If you want the VAT to get credited onto your CC by mailing the forms back (there should be a box next to the Global refund office - which is postage free if mailed inside the EU), you will need to noe that it will take up to 3 months for that tax to be refunded...
  8. If you want cash (in Euros) at the Global Refund desk, they do deduct a service fee. My friend does this just because she travels there frequently and likes keeping the euros on hand for her next trip.

    For CC refunds, I thought Hermes was very efficient. My refund was processed about 5 weeks after returning to the states.

  9. There is a conversion fee from Global Refund for getting cash at the booth. They can give it to you in various currencies (I usually get dollars as I am returning to the States). I can not recall the amount I paid for the conversion fee. I have also chosen to get refunds back to my credit card. It has varied on the time. I made purchases at the beginning of June. For some of the purchases I have received a credit, for some I am still waiting.
  10. Question:

    I am currently in vacation in France, but will be departing from Geneva, which is not an EU country, nor within the Schengen Zone. Anyone know how to go about the refund process in this case?

    TIA :flowers:
  11. Mimi, I'm pretty sure there's a global refund office in the Geneva airport. On the way back to the states, I had a connection through Zurich and saw an office there.

  12. Thanks to all of you who have provided valuable information :p

    Am trying to recap everyone's experience so far. So it would seem that Hermes is quite efficient in refunding via CC ( takes 5 weeks). If using Gobal Refund, it may be better to take cash ( minus a service fee and conversion rate) if not prepared to wait possibly 3 months for a CC refund.

    Does anyone know what percentage of the purchase amount does Gobal Refund return you, if you accept cash in Euros? Am trying to gauge how much I'll be hit for.
  13. Also, anyone here familiar with doing their detaxe at Amsterdam Schipol airport? That's my last stop in Europe. Is the tax refund procedure there smooth or chaotic? I have an hour and a half hour's transit there, so it'll be a mad dash to get my detaxe done.

    TIA :love::flowers:
  14. To detax at Schipol you have to go to the customs office first. Be prepare to show your goodies, or you won't get the customs stamp. Once you get the customs stamp you can go to the Global Refund desk. There are two locations; one in the main concourse and one down past passport control. Depending on your gate, be prepared for some hoofing around.
  15. I always got to the Tax Refund office and then spend it at the airport shops :p I look at it like my parting gift.

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