Purchase in Europe or Australia?

Munchkinxx

Member
Jul 9, 2010
430
0
Sydney
Does anyone know if it's cheaper buying in Europe or Australia right now? What's the VAT %? Going to Germany and probably Italy.
 

nightsz

Member
Jul 13, 2014
19
0
australia
Hi,

I've almost always found it is best to buy in Europe. With the relatively strong AUD it works out significantly cheaper to buy in Europe and then collect the VAT refund on the way out of the country. You can do this via the Global blue refund scheme http://www.globalblue.com/customer-services/tax-free-shopping/. That site has a rough calculator too. Read up if you want to know more.

Just mention when you're purchasing would like to get a form for claiming back vat for duty free purposes (I can't remember if you are required to show your passport I think I did but was too caught up with buying). The LV stores I went to filled this form out for me and I collected when I flew out of the country (you might need to allow for finding/queuing etc so go early). If you're going to multiple EU countries there's something about last point of exit so you will need to check that out.

I can't comment about whether Germany or Italy will work out cheaper, it depends on the price in Euros of the goods you want to purchase there and the relative VAT's of those two countries (as well as currency fluctuations). What I do is compare the prices in AUD vs Euro - rough vat refund estimate then convert them to AUD to compare. The only thing you'll have to worry about is bringing your bag back to Australia and the duty free limit through customs (varies depending on if you're solo or family). My sarah ended up being ~$700 I think and in Aus it was something like 900 at the time.
 

Munchkinxx

Member
Jul 9, 2010
430
0
Sydney
Hi,

I've almost always found it is best to buy in Europe. With the relatively strong AUD it works out significantly cheaper to buy in Europe and then collect the VAT refund on the way out of the country. You can do this via the Global blue refund scheme http://www.globalblue.com/customer-services/tax-free-shopping/. That site has a rough calculator too. Read up if you want to know more.

Just mention when you're purchasing would like to get a form for claiming back vat for duty free purposes (I can't remember if you are required to show your passport I think I did but was too caught up with buying). The LV stores I went to filled this form out for me and I collected when I flew out of the country (you might need to allow for finding/queuing etc so go early). If you're going to multiple EU countries there's something about last point of exit so you will need to check that out.

I can't comment about whether Germany or Italy will work out cheaper, it depends on the price in Euros of the goods you want to purchase there and the relative VAT's of those two countries (as well as currency fluctuations). What I do is compare the prices in AUD vs Euro - rough vat refund estimate then convert them to AUD to compare. The only thing you'll have to worry about is bringing your bag back to Australia and the duty free limit through customs (varies depending on if you're solo or family). My sarah ended up being ~$700 I think and in Aus it was something like 900 at the time.

Thanks for that. Wow Europe is already cheaper if buying here with tax back. Getting VAT back is a cherry on top! What I find weird though is that there's a larger VAT refund on total of the goods than if calculated all separately (unless I'm doing something wrong). Doesn't make sense as I thought it was the same percentage.

Ie.

AU$685
EUR400 AU$580 1.45051
Germany VAT45
Italy VAT47
France VAT48

AU$3050
EUR1800 $2,610 1.45051
Germany VAT215
Italy VAT234
France VAT216

EUR2200
Germany VAT270
Italy VAT290
France VAT264

Only France VAT works out to be the same.
 

nightsz

Member
Jul 13, 2014
19
0
australia
Thanks for that. Wow Europe is already cheaper if buying here with tax back. Getting VAT back is a cherry on top! What I find weird though is that there's a larger VAT refund on total of the goods than if calculated all separately (unless I'm doing something wrong). Doesn't make sense as I thought it was the same percentage.

Ie.

AU$685
EUR400 AU$580 1.45051
Germany VAT45
Italy VAT47
France VAT48

AU$3050
EUR1800 $2,610 1.45051
Germany VAT215
Italy VAT234
France VAT216

EUR2200
Germany VAT270
Italy VAT290
France VAT264

Only France VAT works out to be the same.
It looks like there's a slight sliding scale for the GB refund using the calculator. You get more off if the total purchase is higher on one receipt. Yeah even with GST refund the EU prices are typically cheaper pre VAT. Just remember about the duty free limits at the airport back though (sometimes they check, sometimes they don't but I'm not going to tell you to do something illegal;))!
 

Munchkinxx

Member
Jul 9, 2010
430
0
Sydney
If I were to purchase in Europe and claim a VAT refund do I have to declare it when I arrive in Australia? How would they know if I didn't?

If I were to purchase in Australia and claim a GST refund, if I don't declare it either when I arrive in Australia how would they know? I mean it's a personal belonging when I come back. They'de never know right?
 

Munchkinxx

Member
Jul 9, 2010
430
0
Sydney
It looks like there's a slight sliding scale for the GB refund using the calculator. You get more off if the total purchase is higher on one receipt. Yeah even with GST refund the EU prices are typically cheaper pre VAT. Just remember about the duty free limits at the airport back though (sometimes they check, sometimes they don't but I'm not going to tell you to do something illegal;))!
Ah gotcha!
 

nightsz

Member
Jul 13, 2014
19
0
australia
If I were to purchase in Europe and claim a VAT refund do I have to declare it when I arrive in Australia? How would they know if I didn't?

If I were to purchase in Australia and claim a GST refund, if I don't declare it either when I arrive in Australia how would they know? I mean it's a personal belonging when I come back. They'de never know right?
Kinda getting into dodgy territory lol but..technically they wouldn't if you don't declare it on the inwards card (under $900 or whatever that box is) or you're wearing it or something but this is actually illegal if the value is over the threshold and they sometimes do check and people do get caught (not sure how that works search some other threads on the forum).

If claiming GST from a purchase in AUS your refund is processed at the outwards airport and you're required to show a receipt and passport. If you take the item back into Australia it either has to have depreciated under $900 so you don't have to declare it or you must re-declare it. E.g. Jewellery does not depreciate for GST tax refund purposes but my mobile phone + ipad did just by breaking the seal on the boxes.

I assume they take a copy of the receipt (for my phone also the imei), passport and maybe notes. You might have to search a little more since I don't know the ins and outs just my experience from duty free shopping.

EDIT: Also forgot to add for Global Blue the items MUST NOT HAVE BEEN USED and must be in original packaging. For AUS, you are allowed to use the items before you claim back as long as it is within the time limit to claim GST back.
 
Last edited:

Munchkinxx

Member
Jul 9, 2010
430
0
Sydney
Kinda getting into dodgy territory lol but..technically they wouldn't if you don't declare it on the inwards card (under $900 or whatever that box is) or you're wearing it or something but this is actually illegal if the value is over the threshold and they sometimes do check and people do get caught (not sure how that works search some other threads on the forum).

If claiming GST from a purchase in AUS your refund is processed at the outwards airport and you're required to show a receipt and passport. If you take the item back into Australia it either has to have depreciated under $900 so you don't have to declare it or you must re-declare it. E.g. Jewellery does not depreciate for GST tax refund purposes but my mobile phone + ipad did just by breaking the seal on the boxes.

I assume they take a copy of the receipt (for my phone also the imei), passport and maybe notes. You might have to search a little more since I don't know the ins and outs just my experience from duty free shopping.

EDIT: Also forgot to add for Global Blue the items MUST NOT HAVE BEEN USED and must be in original packaging. For AUS, you are allowed to use the items before you claim back as long as it is within the time limit to claim GST back.
What words should I search for to get more info on coming back into Australia with the goods?

Thanks for the Global Blue tip. Was hoping to pack all the boxes in storage. Does that mean I need to carry all the boxes on board? Was hoping to get around that.
 
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