Shopping for a bag in the US

  1. Hi! I have a question about the taxes (VAT) in the US. I am going there this weekend and i was thinking of buying a bag (deciding between a bbag, paddington or sth from LV). So, will i pay what it says on the price tag or will i be charged with more because of the tax? If so, can i reclaim the tax with the Taxfree service when i go back to europe?
    Or do you think i should not buy anything in the US and buy here in europe instead? are the prices higher here or there?

    Please, someone shed some light on this, coz im scared to death that i'll make a mistake... im a student and i work hard to save up the money, so a mistake would really be a BIG mistake for me...:s

    Thanks in advance!!!
  2. As far as I understand, it depends on the nature of the tax you're paying. In Australia, we have this thing called "duty free". People from overseas can buy items without duty charged on them, so effectively they are cheaper for a tourist than they are for people living in Australia. The idea is that when you go back home, you go through customs in your country and you will be asked to "declare" any purchases over a certain amount. You will be asked to pay duty on the purchases over the amount. This is why most people when travelling overseas, buy stuff, then take all the tags off before packing it in their luggage, so they don't declare the items in customs and don't have to pay duty.

    The best person to advise you would be your travel agent, but definitely get some US PFers to talk to you first, to get an idea of what tax you'll be paying. You should post exactly where you're going, because the taxes are different for different States in America.

    Also, have fun!!
  3. Oh, wow, i didn't even think about the customs! Thanks for the heads up!
    I really will have to rethink the whole idea of buying something in the US. I hope though that some PFers will be able to help me out.

    You are right, i should have posted where i am going! i was gonna do that, but then forgot to mention it! I am gonna be somewhere around Salt Lake city and then Las Vegas and LA. I was thinking of doing most of my shopping in LA..
  4. Las Vegas has some great outlets and other stores to get your handbags. You will pay state/city tax per dollar spent on your bag purchase. In many places it's 6-7 cents on each dollar you spend. Your Euro is worth more than our dollar so you'd probably have more money to spend here than Europe. Someone above suggested avoiding duties on yor purchase-just be careful.
  5. Not sure how strict they are in Europe for those who live there, but traveling back from europe, i packed most of my stuff, didn't pay a "duty" fee, though, the US has this limit, if you go over it, that's when you would have to pay duty fees....

    I honestly think you will be fine. Sales tax are different from state to state, and even from city to city...Los Angeles 8.25% and as JNH14 mentioned, Las Vegas is about 7.25%

    Have fun on your trip!
  6. I found this on (the border patrol agency) in a word doc for visitors from other countries:
    Questions About Taxes

    Foreign visitors to the United States frequently confuse the state sales tax with the value-added tax (VAT). The state sales tax is a small tax on purchases or services, calculated at the time of purchase, which individual states assess and which the U.S. federal government neither determines nor receives. The VAT, on the other hand, is a national tax commonly applied in foreign countries that is included in the actual sales price rather than at the time of purchase.

    The United States does not have a VAT and the federal government cannot refund state sales taxes. State taxes are generally not charged to diplomats or employees of some international organizations who have been issued a tax-exemption card. The card however must be presented at the time of purchase in order to waive the sales taxes.

    Also, many states do not charge tax on items shipped out of state. Ask about state sales-tax policies in the state where you make your purchases.