Shopping at LV in Paris? (Advice needed)

magreen0703

Member
May 16, 2016
64
57
Hi everyone!

I'm so excited because I just booked my first European vacation for my 30th. As you can probably guess from the title, the hubby and I are going to Paris for a week!

Of course I just have to visit LV when I'm there. I'm thinking of grabbing the Pochette Metis as a bday present to myself.

Since I've never been to Europe and therefore through US Customs I'm hoping that some of my fellow TPF LV fanatics can help out with some advice/ on few questions [emoji16] (Basically I'm trying to decide whether it would be more simply to purchase at home and take it with on the trip.)

- I know this would be considered a "personal effect", are those items considered duty-free

- Would VAT apply to my purchase in store? I've also heard that VAT is like "sales tax" in the US but it might be refundable on certain purchases. Any advice?

- One the website it looks like there are a couple of stores in Paris. I'm thinking of going to the Champs-Elysees location (unless they don't have the item I would like) but is there another I should check out as well?

- Any other advice/ tips you'd like to share!
 

bakeacookie

Member
Nov 2, 2008
25,031
19,877
SoCal
When you make a purchase, you get VAT refund paperwork from the boutique. They fill out a portion, you fill out the rest. When you leave Paris back for the EU, you get it stamped by customs and have the option to receive a VAT tax refund on your card or cash at the airport. I haven't done it flying from Paris, so I can't say much there.

Customs back to the US is a different thing. When you land back, you fill out your declarations form, and you tell them what you're bringing back and the value (minus VAT refund). $800 is tax free per person, so you and your husband can bring $1600 without a customs fee. Above that is subject to taxes. 9% for bags.


It should be much cheaper (30%ish?) to buy in the EU after VAT refund. So definitely buy in Paris!!


Happy future birthday! It's my 30th this year too and I'm going to Europe to shop as well. [emoji4]
 

magreen0703

Member
May 16, 2016
64
57
When you make a purchase, you get VAT refund paperwork from the boutique. They fill out a portion, you fill out the rest. When you leave Paris back for the EU, you get it stamped by customs and have the option to receive a VAT tax refund on your card or cash at the airport. I haven't done it flying from Paris, so I can't say much there.

Customs back to the US is a different thing. When you land back, you fill out your declarations form, and you tell them what you're bringing back and the value (minus VAT refund). $800 is tax free per person, so you and your husband can bring $1600 without a customs fee. Above that is subject to taxes. 9% for bags.


It should be much cheaper (30%ish?) to buy in the EU after VAT refund. So definitely buy in Paris!!


Happy future birthday! It's my 30th this year too and I'm going to Europe to shop as well. [emoji4]
Thanks bakeacookie! Happy early birthday to you as well [emoji16]
 

bakeacookie

Member
Nov 2, 2008
25,031
19,877
SoCal
I also recommend to do your shopping in as few places as possible to minimize the amount of forms you gotta do. I missed one form one year and wasn't going back any time soon to get it stamped. :sad:
 

love2learn

Member
Jul 26, 2013
6,707
2,798
Dallas/Ft. Worth
It's an easy process. As bakeacookie said above, when you purchase, they should fill out their part of the VAT and you fill out the rest. When you buy this bag or other items that you want to get the VAT back on, you DO NOT use this purchase or any other that you want the VAT back on. When you go back to the airport in Paris, there's a custom's counter that you declare your items with and they stamp the VAT refund forms. They may ask to see your items and if so, they need to be accessible and shown not to have been used (so tags still on, etc....). I've never had any customs counter ask me to do this, but I have seen others asked and they had to dig out of carry on, or whatever to show them. When I bought my LV I just kept in it's box and bag and carried onto the plane and put in the overhead. At the custom counter there's a little postal thing to put your envelope in to have it sent in. Just make sure it's all filled out appropriately and send it off. Yes, you can get cash back, but we've always opted to wait out the 6-12 weeks to have it refunded to our credit card that we made the purchase with because you do get a little more of a percentage back doing this versus cash. When you're flying into the states the flight attendant usually passes out the forms to declare your purchases and then going back through customs you give it to them. Again, we've been lucky and never had to pay additional tax on items we brought back that went above the limit.

Yes, the Champs store is the major one. Suggest you get there when it opens, otherwise the line to get in may be very long. I didn't buy from there. I went to the St Germaine store, which is very quaint and had the best experience. There's also the LV in the Galleries Layfayette, which is very small, but the massive store itself that houses all the other stores is a shoppers dream (or a husband's nightmare). Even if you don't buy from the Champs store you should at least go in and walk around. You may also want to have a Plan B incase they don't have what you want. Just in case:smile: And it is for sure worth it to save buying in Paris and also using the VAT. So, I would try there first so you can save and have the experience. Have a wonderful trip and enjoy all the sites!
 
Aug 17, 2016
4,108
9,153
I would also plan a significant amount of time in the airport for going through tax refunds. Navigating an unfamiliar, huge airport can be overwhelming, plus there may be lines of tourists in front of you. When I came back from shopping in London, I was by myself and I was behind a large tour group, so it was a little overwhelming but I made it out and you might have a much easier experience than I did!
 

mrsinsyder

Member
Mar 8, 2013
5,469
18,709
Florida
It's an easy process. As bakeacookie said above, when you purchase, they should fill out their part of the VAT and you fill out the rest. When you buy this bag or other items that you want to get the VAT back on, you DO NOT use this purchase or any other that you want the VAT back on. When you go back to the airport in Paris, there's a custom's counter that you declare your items with and they stamp the VAT refund forms. They may ask to see your items and if so, they need to be accessible and shown not to have been used (so tags still on, etc....). I've never had any customs counter ask me to do this, but I have seen others asked and they had to dig out of carry on, or whatever to show them. When I bought my LV I just kept in it's box and bag and carried onto the plane and put in the overhead. At the custom counter there's a little postal thing to put your envelope in to have it sent in. Just make sure it's all filled out appropriately and send it off. Yes, you can get cash back, but we've always opted to wait out the 6-12 weeks to have it refunded to our credit card that we made the purchase with because you do get a little more of a percentage back doing this versus cash. When you're flying into the states the flight attendant usually passes out the forms to declare your purchases and then going back through customs you give it to them. Again, we've been lucky and never had to pay additional tax on items we brought back that went above the limit.

Yes, the Champs store is the major one. Suggest you get there when it opens, otherwise the line to get in may be very long. I didn't buy from there. I went to the St Germaine store, which is very quaint and had the best experience. There's also the LV in the Galleries Layfayette, which is very small, but the massive store itself that houses all the other stores is a shoppers dream (or a husband's nightmare). Even if you don't buy from the Champs store you should at least go in and walk around. You may also want to have a Plan B incase they don't have what you want. Just in case:smile: And it is for sure worth it to save buying in Paris and also using the VAT. So, I would try there first so you can save and have the experience. Have a wonderful trip and enjoy all the sites!
Following along, what does this mean?
 

love2learn

Member
Jul 26, 2013
6,707
2,798
Dallas/Ft. Worth
Following along, what does this mean?
When you buy an item that you can get the VAT back on, you are not suppose to use the item/items until after you go through the formality back at the airport of showing your VAT forms and having them stamped. After that if you want to whip out your new purse, watch, necklace, china, etc.... and use it then you can. It's just the rules that are applied to trying to get your VAT back.
 

mrsinsyder

Member
Mar 8, 2013
5,469
18,709
Florida
When you buy an item that you can get the VAT back on, you are not suppose to use the item/items until after you go through the formality back at the airport of showing your VAT forms and having them stamped. After that if you want to whip out your new purse, watch, necklace, china, etc.... and use it then you can. It's just the rules that are applied to trying to get your VAT back.
Oh, gotcha. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: fabuleux

love2learn

Member
Jul 26, 2013
6,707
2,798
Dallas/Ft. Worth
I would also plan a significant amount of time in the airport for going through tax refunds. Navigating an unfamiliar, huge airport can be overwhelming, plus there may be lines of tourists in front of you. When I came back from shopping in London, I was by myself and I was behind a large tour group, so it was a little overwhelming but I made it out and you might have a much easier experience than I did!
+1 to this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dVn85

magreen0703

Member
May 16, 2016
64
57
When you buy an item that you can get the VAT back on, you are not suppose to use the item/items until after you go through the formality back at the airport of showing your VAT forms and having them stamped. After that if you want to whip out your new purse, watch, necklace, china, etc.... and use it then you can. It's just the rules that are applied to trying to get your VAT back.
Oh wow so much for using the Pochette Metis for my trip, haha. Thanks for the heads up! I'll be sure to bring another cross body bag.
 

Somogyi03

Member
Nov 1, 2016
89
246
New York
I second the St. Germain store. It is in a great location, the staff were very helpful and it was not very busy. We had champagne while she filled out my forms and she had my bag delivered to my hotel so we could continue shopping(I was on my way to City-Pharma). I have not been to the one on the Champs-Elysees. The one in the Galleries Lafayette always had such a long line. But, I recommend going to Galleries Lafayette it is a stunning department store.

I have a upcoming trip to a France. I may try the store on the Champs-Eylsee, but will not wait in a super long line.

Good luck