Hermes in Paris and Barcelona-Import Taxes?

  1. Friends of ours very familiar with my Hermes habit will be traveling to Paris and Spain (either Barcelona or Madrid) in October and have graciously offered to procure a Kelly or Birkin on my behalf should one magically happen to appear on the shelves when they visit the stores.

    I have two questions for those familiar with buying Hermes in Europe: 1) Are Kellys and Birkins more available and out on the shelves there? and 2) What would be the approximate duties to be paid percentage-wise when they bring it back to the States (no exotic skins)?
  2. Orchids.....I just asked our Customs Broker this very question! Anyway, she said that duty on regular leathergoods runs about 5 - 6%. Budget high though just in case....duty really depends on your customs broker...if you know what i mean....:graucho:
  3. Thanks for the very helpful info shopmom; I'll factor in at least 10% for now just to play it safe. Now, I'll have to just hope some bags on my wishlist pop up when they visit. :smile:
  4. When you buy in Europe you can ask for tax-free. That means you will save up to 20%!
  5. ...AND bags are cheaper here in Europe....last time I was in Hermès (a couple of weeks ago) My SA showed me a 35 Clemence Birkin and the price was 5000 euro.....
  6. Wow, no local taxes and cheaper prices--double bonus! I love you guys; I knew I could count on you for answers. Thank you!
  7. Additional questions...

    If you carry your new bag home...

    To get the VAT refund, you have to have your bag available for inspections after you go through airport security, correct?

    Then, when you arrive in the US, you need to declare purchases. Assuming you declare your bag, will you need to pay the 6-10% at that time?

    If your new bag is shippped home...

    How do VAT and duties work if, in contrast, you have the bag shipped home from the Hermes boutique?
  8. SoCal:

    The VAT office is usually before you go through security. I always go before I check in for my flight, that way if I need to I can check something I have purchased but want to get the VAT refund back on. I have never been asked to show anything to the inspector though. When you arrive in the US you should declare your items but if you don't it will not cause you to lose your VAT refund.

    I have never had anything shipped home so I do not know about the second part of your question.
  9. Oh, and you can bring back $800.00 duty free. The next $1,000.00 is a flat 3% duty. Anything above $1,800 will be charged depending on the item, 6% up to I think 33%. The customs department has a website with this information.
  10. Thanks Diana. The only time I have been asked to show all purchases eligible for VAT refund was at the Zurich airport. They inspected each item! (Was so glad I actually had them available for inspection...)

    My previous overseas handbag purchases were more in the 1-2K range, so I did not need to really think through "duties" issues...

    Have you been charged duties for Hermes purchases when arriving in the US?
  11. I have never purchased an Hermes bag overseas, only scarves and perfumes and I have yet to exceed the $1,800.00. I have only ever paid about $19.00 in duty. Most of the time they just let me go. I always declare everything I buy though. My dad had a friend who did not declare some custom made suits that he bought in Hong Kong and was held in customs for four hours and had to pay a huge fine.
  12. Wow, do you HAVE to declare your Hermes purchases when you go back to the US? Cant you just go to the green channel with nothing to declare? If ORCHIDS were to go by herself to Paris she can wear the bag herself and just ship the box, but since this is a friend of hers it would be impossible, right?

    I just want to add some prices, just for reference. I just bought 2 clemence birkins in France earlier this month and for a 30cm one is 4500 euro, and the 35cm will be 4850 euro (with tax). Foreigner can claim tax free, which will be roughly around 10%.

    Availability, well, if you are not choosy about the colors, then I say you have a very good chance of acquiring a birkin or kelly just like that. In the Paris mainstore, birkins are sold before they are even put on display. A few kellys are on display. Kellys run at around 3500 to 4000 for togo or clemence in 32cm (from what I can quickly remember).

    From the SA, I was told that shipments to the main store in Paris are done in the morning and afternoon. Afternoon shipments are after 2PM. My suggestion, check often, twice a day if needed. You never know what's coming. The day after I bought my green birkin, a Japanese young lady was asking for a birkin and she was shown a blue jean 35 cm epsom birkin. And a few days after that, all that were available at that time were only ostrich birkins, no normal leathers.
  13. Sarah, I just finished drooling over your new Birkins and am thrilled that you are sharing your experience here. Thank you for the great tips.
    Yes, unfortunately, my friends will be doing the buying on my behalf so I want to make this is as easy as possible for them and don't mind paying whatever duties or taxes that entails; it would be worth it to me.
  14. Dianagrace, if I buy a crocodile w/ diamond Kelly overseas (I wish) and hand-carry it back to the U.S., do I still need to declare it if I don't apply for the VAT refund? Or is it something along the line of if you apply for VAT refund, you must declare? What happens if it was a gift from someone when you went oversea?
  15. You actually apply for the VAT refund before you leave Europe. The customs issue comes into play when you arrive in the US.

    To declare or not to declare, that is the question...

    If you declare, what is your 35 togo birkin or croc/diamond Kelly going to "cost" you in terms of duties...

    If you don't declare, possible fine, etc...