Van Cleef in Europe

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  1. I heard so many people buying Hermes in Europe because they say the Prices are cheaper compared to US. Is that true with VCA jewelry?
  2. It depends. If you can get VCA without sales tax in US (for eg shipping to few states that still do not require sales tax), the price is actually quite low and there is no need to buy from Europe. Price from Europe after tax refund is only slightly cheaper than US price without tax. You can check out the prices online to figure out the price and whether it is cheaper for you to buy in the US or Europe.

    Due to weak yen, Japan VCA is actually quite cheap at the moment too after tax refund. Cheaper than USA price before tax.
  3. I am speaking from my very recent experience. Buying Hermes in Europe is definitely less expensive even before the VAT discount and including the customs tax that I paid. I was honest and upfront and knew I would have to pay something, so it wasn’t a shock. Just for my own reference I asked what would have happened if I had not been truthful and was told that he would be able to charge me a minimum of 6x times the customs tax I was charged (and they have the power to “adjust” that based on your interaction (no joke! He actually told me that!)) and could even confiscate the item/ items. Not worth it IMHO!

    As far as buying VCA in Europe, it really isn’t worth it and in my particular situation it cost me slightly more. The price is exactly the same (once you get your VAT refund, which you should know going into it ISN’T 20% back but @ 11% back for VCA and only 10% back for Hermes) but depending on how expensive the piece or pieces are keep in mind that you will have to pay customs tax in the US on top of it. Keep in mind that they are now able to thoroughly track your purchases as you show your US passport when you make your purchases and that information is shared with US customs.

    Also, keep in mind that you will need to save all your receipts and have the items on you to show customs to get your stamp. Without the stamp on your forms, you will not get your refund! Also, please keep in mind that this takes time. If the item is over 1000 Euros, they may send you to a second counter after security to get your receipt stamped. I noticed several people who did not have their items on them and got really upset that they didn’t get their stamp, which is required to get your VAT back. I overheard one of them being told that they may be able to get the form stamped in their first arrival city in the US. I do not know if that is true, so do not hold me to that. It is quite a hassle to get your VAT back and in the case of VCA I still ended up being over what it would have cost me in the US. BTW, even though they do state that they need to see everything in order to get the stamp, in my particular case they only actually asked for one thing. Also, they didn’t even want to see or exam it in its entirety. I started pulling it out and the handles were enough. I asked why I needed to go to for the 2nd for purchases over 1000 Euros and was told that this is in place so they know that you are actually taking it out of Europe with you and didn’t purchase it for someone in Europe. I hope this helps answer your questions.
    Mali_ likes this.
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