To Buy In Paris, Or Not?

KittyKat65

O.G.
Feb 27, 2007
4,659
2,538
Austin, Texas
Hello - I apologize if this has been asked already, but my searches did not answer my questions.

Assuming we are able to travel next year, my teenage son and I will be visiting Paris for 3 weeks (this is something we do every year without my husband for "us" time). Anyway, I plan on buying a Cartier Love in yellow gold. I am not so concerned about a VAT refund as I am about getting through TCA checkpoints. Can I buy one in Paris, wear it and come back to the U.S. without any issues? I realize that if I want a VAT refund it will have to remain unworn. If I wear it, do I need to declare it, or is the VAT I already paid enough to cover any import duties? If I wear it, will it set off the scanner (gold, so I assume NO)? Having the little Cartier screwdriver could solve the problem if it needs to be removed, but can I even carry the screwdriver in my handbag or is it on the prohibited list?

Or, do I just buy one in the States? I want to buy in Paris because it is such a special place for me, which is why I am asking.

So many questions. Thanks for answering.
 
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ChanelCartier

Member
Apr 20, 2020
182
174
Hello - I apologize if this has been asked already, but my searches did not answer my questions.

Assuming we are able to travel next year, my teenage son and I will be visiting Paris for 3 weeks (this is something we do every year without my husband for "us" time). Anyway, I plan on buying a Cartier Love in yellow gold. I am not so concerned about a VAT refund as I am about getting through TCA checkpoints. Can I buy one in Paris, wear it and come back to the U.S. without any issues? I realize that if I want a VAT refund it will have to remain unworn. If I wear it, do I need to declare it, or is the VAT I already paid enough to cover any import duties? If I wear it, will it set off the scanner (gold, so I assume NO)? Having the little Cartier screwdriver could solve the problem if it needs to be removed, but can I even carry the screwdriver in my handbag or is it on the prohibited list?

Or, do I just buy one in the States? I want to buy in Paris because it is such a special place for me, which is why I am asking.

So many questions. Thanks for answering.
 

ChanelCartier

Member
Apr 20, 2020
182
174
For the savings, I don't think it's worth it. The prices have increased in Europe. You have to declare it when you get back to the states and pay tax on the item at the airport. If you want to purchase solely to have purchased in Paris that's another story. You really are not saving much if at all.
 

Txoceangirl

Member
Oct 25, 2012
2,270
4,113
SoCal
I looked into this a couple of years ago. Cartier has stabilized their worldwide pricing. You might save just a smidge. Just because you paid VAT (whether you choose to get refund or not), does not mean that you are exempt from customs duties. VAT is a sales tax in Europe. it has nothing to do with US import duties. Hope that helps.
 

Chaton

Member
May 19, 2019
384
696
Hello - I apologize if this has been asked already, but my searches did not answer my questions.

Assuming we are able to travel next year, my teenage son and I will be visiting Paris for 3 weeks (this is something we do every year without my husband for "us" time). Anyway, I plan on buying a Cartier Love in yellow gold. I am not so concerned about a VAT refund as I am about getting through TCA checkpoints. Can I buy one in Paris, wear it and come back to the U.S. without any issues? I realize that if I want a VAT refund it will have to remain unworn. If I wear it, do I need to declare it, or is the VAT I already paid enough to cover any import duties? If I wear it, will it set off the scanner (gold, so I assume NO)? Having the little Cartier screwdriver could solve the problem if it needs to be removed, but can I even carry the screwdriver in my handbag or is it on the prohibited list?

Or, do I just buy one in the States? I want to buy in Paris because it is such a special place for me, which is why I am asking.

So many questions. Thanks for answering.

I say GO FOR IT, and get it in Paris if you are willing/able to wait until travel is allowed there. Not only will it make the bracelet more memorable for you, but it looks like you would get a 12% savings (see refund for France at the link below).

I think the VAT is worth it if you have the time to do it before you leave Europe. Try to do a lot of the guess work prior if possible with the paperwork, location for refund etc. My sister purchased the Prada Galleria tote for me two years ago in Prague, and I saved $473. Grant it, the refund in the Czech Republic is more than France, but that is a huge savings in my opinion. She had to throw away the box it came in because it was too big and bulky, but you should be fine with Cartier boxing. Poor woman had to run like a madwoman to get it done for me, but I am so grateful!

Also, I wouldn't worry about the screwdriver too much if you plan to keep it in your purse and not claim the VAT, but I think you should try if you have the time!

Here's the link (see below), but you can also Google words like VAT, France, Global Blue - there are several articles out there. Good Luck!

 
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twinzluvagrl

IG @sincerelyophelia NYC Fashion & Beauty Blogger
O.G.
Jan 22, 2009
396
276
NYC
I def recommend buying in Paris if you can wait. The feel is completely different and you do save a good percentage. I've wrote an article about how much I spent and compared prices with different luxury items on this page. Feel free to check it out. It calculates VAT which gets refunded to you then you can figure out how much tax is when you declare it (which is less than your standard tax you pay if you were to purchase here. (Def less than the 8% for overall) I hope this helps!
 

KittyKat65

O.G.
Feb 27, 2007
4,659
2,538
Austin, Texas
Ooh, I didn't even consider Galeries Lafayette, but that is a great suggestion. I wanted the quintessential Paris experience in Cartier, but there is no place lovelier to shop than Galeries Lafayette.
 

GucciGoneWild

Member
Sep 2, 2019
402
651
Anyone know if the Cartier on Champs Elysees will be open after June 9, when the lockdown is over? If anyone has an SA at that location please share! (:
 

scheurin

Member
Jun 25, 2020
754
1,251
btw How is the Champs-Cartier? Came by that many times but never went in.

The one near Opera Garnier is excellent and the Place Vendôme is nothing short but horrible.
 

GucciGoneWild

Member
Sep 2, 2019
402
651
btw How is the Champs-Cartier? Came by that many times but never went in.

The one near Opera Garnier is excellent and the Place Vendôme is nothing short but horrible.
Yes - wondering the same. I would think the Champs location has plenty of stock and is probably used to non-EU customers. If you don’t mind sharing your SA at the location near Opera Garnier (i’m guessing the one on Capucines? Or Rue de la Paix?) I would truly appreciate it :smile:

Probably will need an appointment so I’ll call once they open, I wonder how busy it’ll be! I’m heading there in June
 

scheurin

Member
Jun 25, 2020
754
1,251
The one at 12 Boulevard des Capucines but I didn't write down the name of the nice lady. Just woderful. As you know Rue de la Paix is closed for renovation until 2022.

Believe you are right with the international customer thing at Champs so I wouldn't really want to go there. Yes, they are more accustomed to travellers but why I should go to McDonald's while in Paris?
 
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