Europe Tax Free Refund

  1. I have a question for anyone who has received their tax refund through their credit card after shopping in Europe. How were your tax refunds posted on your CC?

    I was in France in June and bought 2 Hermes bags, one at the main store and the other at the George V store. The tax refunds have just posted on my CC but they're a little weird.

    All my other tax free refunds are posted as being from Tax-Free Refund France, as well as for the bag bought at George V. But the refund for the bag bought at 24 Faubourg is posted as being from Hermes Paris.

    Thing is, the refund from Hermes is for the full 10% but for the others, the amounts are credited after Global refund deducts their fee (so less than 10%).

    Since Hermes purchases are quite large, the difference of a few % can work out to be quite a bit, so if there was a way to assure that refunds could be directly received from Hermes Paris for the full amount, the deal could be even sweeter.
  2. Well, that's interesting! Westiepup, do you recall filling out identical Global VAT Refund forms everywhere including Hermes, or does Hermes have its own form?
  3. Hi Gina,

    I have the copies of the form with me now and they are exactly the same.

    I did find this though
    Tax-Free Shopping - VAT Refunds - Europe for Visitors

    2. Get a refund directly from the shop where you make your purchase.
    Request a VAT refund form, have it stamped by a customs official when you leave the country or the European Union, then mail the stamped form back to the store (assuming that the shop is willing to handle refunds this way).
    Note: For smaller transactions, the cost of cashing a foreign-currency check may exceed the amount of the refund. However, it's worth considering for large purchases or if the merchant will credit the refund to your credit-card account instead of mailing you a check. In the latter case, your credit-card company will automatically convert the refund to your local currency.

  4. Right, well, now I'm confused. If Hermes, as well as the other vendors, use Global Refund for their VAT refunds, why would the percentage you receive back be greater for the Hermes purchases than the others? :s

    I wonder if specialistparis would know anything about the store policy? I'd like to know, too, since I'm hoping to swing by there in a few weeks' time.
  5. I found that what affected my refund was the rate of exchange the day that the refund was put in, the company that handled it, (there are 2 or maybe more) one that only does it through the original hermes, and another one (I can't think of the name ) but those refunds are higher, closer to 12 - 16%. It DID make a difference which hermes boutique I used (to my surprise):confused1: , so I recommend you ask the boutique which company, and how much % you get at the time of purchase. None of this is re-negotiable unfortunately.:sad:
    you ultimately will not know exactly how much you will get back...untill you see it on your statement.:shrugs:
  6. You're right, Avandome. 2 years ago, I bought a Kelly 35 at Aix and the VAT refund was 10%. A week later when I was in Florence, Italy, I found another Kelly 35 which I promptly purchased. This time, the VAT refund was 12%. So, it matters which boutique you buy from.
  7. Both Hermes stores told me the refund would be 10%. Everywhere else refunded 12% or more. That's why it puzzles me that their refunding process is not the same.

    Additionally, Global Refund credited my CC in my home currency, so I have no idea how much the refund was in Euro after their fees.

    birkingal - I know Hermes in Italy refunds more than Hermes in France, so even though prices are a little higher in Italy, it's mitigated by the higher refund.

    I know the refund is small change compared to the $$$ spent in Hermes, but now that I know this, I will try to consolidate my non-bag purchases at the Mothership instead of at other stores in France. Crossing my fingers that I get to visit Europe again soon. :P
  8. So, how does one follow up on an unpaid refund? Has anyone had to do it before? The entire form is in French. I have no idea how to do it. THanks.
  9. I have found that it depends on the country, which refund company is handling it (there are 2 that I know of) and which credit card you use. Capital One CC is giving the best deals currently vis a vis exchange and fees and BTW they do not overcharge on on ATM cash withdrawals which is the simplest and cheapest way to get your local currency.
  10. This is all really super information.
  11. Very interesting!
  12. Well.........

    Hermes is not like any other boutique/brand/department store.. they actually DONT use global refund or ANY other detax company.. They have their OWN company for tax refund and this is why their refund is little higher than all the other company (there's no extra charges charged by the global refund or similar companies.. its only Hermes)

    did i explain it well?? hmm
  13. Also.. This is why when they prepare tax free invoice its the exact form of detax.. and this is why on the envelope itself it doesn't mention any other company.. it says Hermes something.. cant remember what is it now!
  14. When we were in Paris in September, we pretty much stuck to the George V store, since it was across from our hotel. The SA there and at the pen store next door both told us that there were places in Paris that we could process the VAT immediately, thus avoiding the airport, but we'd have to be leaving from Paris, not from any other EU country.

    I did notice that there seemed to be a greater percentage refunded from 24 Fbg than from GeoV. This is an interesting thread, because I didn't really pay much attention to it at the time.

    The VAT refunds from London took about 6 weeks to get back vs. 3 months from Paris.
  15. A long time ago Harrods in London did this. You went to a certain dept and registered with them. They gave you a special card which you showed to the SA when you made the purchase. The VAT was never charged. The only downside was that everything had to be sent to you and go thru Customs. We did pay some Duty, but it really was not all that much considering what we bought. Don't know if they are still doing this, but it was worth the time and effort to fill out the forms in the store.

    Sorry, need to amend something I stated about cash withdrawals. What I do to get local cash (Euros etc) is withdraw the cash from my checking account using my ATM card. The fees you pay are to your own bank. The fee is the same no matter how much you take out, so obviously it makes more sense to do one or two larger transactions then a little at a time. You will need to check with your bank to find out what they are charging. Last year I paid $10 per trans. I think it is higher this year.