Duty Free Border Downtown | Price Comparison
Duty Free Products
The comparison of prices for Duty Free and Tax-Free shopping is a complex issue due to the numerous regulations related to each different journey. It is not always so simple to make a straight comparison as there are many different factors to consider. For example, cigarette prices are not normally published by many North American or European countries, more regulations related to the sale of tobacco products are being introduced every year.
Alcohol/Liquor products can be sold in different bottle sizes in different territories, either litres or 75cl for spirits, sometimes 70cl can also be featured and this can make any price comparison confusing and inaccurate. Some sales of alcoholic products in airports located in the European Union are actually Excise Duty and tax paid goods as duty-free sales are not permitted for intra-EU travellers, whereas for those travelling outside of the EU, prices are completely tax free.
So, unless you are careful to study the detail, you could be making an incorrect comparison.
Perfumes and Cosmetics are often sold in special travel-exclusive sizes in airports or on airlines. Again, one needs to be careful as to how you compare the same brand or product specification to prices displayed in regular shops as you may not be comparing 'like with like'.
Tax-Free products, such as gifts, electronics, food products, fashion or accessories can be sold in many locations on your travels and the best advice here is to check the local sales tax (or GST/VAT) for your destination. Then, you will know how much money you are likely to re-claim if this destination offers the Tax-Free Shopping Tax-Refund Scheme, but also how these prices will compare in the airport, on the aircraft or your ship.
Some nationalities or residents of certain countries are not entitled to these tax refunds and in other countries certain products are excluded from the scheme. For example, Britain does not permit tax refunds on perfumes. Likewise, there is a commission charge levied by firms who obtain the refunds for you and sometimes the many websites offering to compare duty-free prices for you do not take these charges into consideration.
We recommend that the most practical way to properly evaluate prices, offers and bargains, is to search this site for the various official duty free price lists which would be relevant to your journey and then to make your own assessment and comparison.