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      06-01-2005, 06:11 PM   #1
RedStripe
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ED: Shopping in Europe! Any Great Deals?

I plan on doing an ED at the end of July, and though I can't stay very long, I want to try to make the most of my trip. Can anyone recommend some shopping locations if I'm looking to purchase European luxury goods like clothes, shoes, and other accessories made by the likes of Prada, Gucci, Hermes, Boss, etc...? I have never been to Europe, so any info would be appreciated, especially if you have something important to tell an American shopper that might come in handy!

It would be great if someone knew of places to find great bargains of items you can buy/find at upscale stores and boutiques in the US, but are cheaper because you are in Europe. Do they have such things as outlet malls in Europe? Also, can you get sales taxes and value added taxes of goods purchased over there reimbursed to you when you get back to the US? Thanks.
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      06-01-2005, 07:44 PM   #2
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you know i think the things will be more expensive in europe cuz the exchange rate from doller to euro is more i think its $1.30 for 1 euro(any one correct me if iam wrong plz)
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      06-01-2005, 09:01 PM   #3
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The $/euro rate was at $1.2203 today - an 8 month high against the Euro. I'm picking up my 330 in July so I hope this trend continues!
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      06-01-2005, 09:25 PM   #4
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I'm sure once the European members wake up they will be able to help you out.
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      06-01-2005, 10:07 PM   #5
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Paris (Champs Elyesses sp? and area) have all those stores. The company I work for has shopping malls worldwide but from my travels malls in Europe are much different than those here in the states. They do have them but don't expect a Galleria like mall or anything like any of the Mills owned properties. Don't forgot, like mentioned above, your losing on the dollar though the Euro has been a falling a little lately. Most purchases I make overseas are wine (it helps though to be flying on a private aircraft) and usually something unique to the area that will be a nice momento of your travels. The Forum Shops at Ceasars Palace in LV has all those shops you mentioned above.

BTW, nothing is cheaper in Europe, not even McDonald's!

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      06-01-2005, 11:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for the post. I can imagine there are great places for shopping, especially at the famous European places and big cities. But I'm also looking for places not often mentioned and you have to be a local or very experienced to know of these gems.

For example, if a European asked me the question I originally posted on this thread and he was coming to NYC for the first time. I could easily point him to 5th Ave and SOHO, but he would probably already be aware of those places. I think if I told him of Woodbury Common Outlets, that might be of particular value to him because it's not common knowledge for foreign shoppers (I think), and he might find great value there. I'm not saying I'm looking for outlet malls per se, just reviews of places people really enjoy or something that is not well known but definitely worth visiting if you want to go shopping.

Also, does anyone know about the foreign sales tax/value added taxes being able to be reimbursed to foreign nationals. For example, when I go to Toronto and make large purchases, I usually fill out... what is it, a duties card?... or something they give me on the airplane or a duty-free shop where I can get the sales taxes I paid on merchandise purchases refunded to me by the Canadian government because I'm a US citizen. Has anyone had experience with this in Europe - Germany, Italy, France, UK, etc.?

I was afraid that the goods I'm looking for here are just as or more expensive. I was hoping that, for example, a favorite pair of Italian shoes which cost $350 at Neiman Marcus or a boutique in the US would cost less in Europe. Wouldn't this make sense since you're closer to the country of origin? I guess I should know better... probably these brands need to maintain a certain level of global "exclusitivity" by making prices consistent everywhere. Well, if anyone knows any great places that gives great value if you're looking to pick up Hermes ties or Prada shoes and the like, please give me a shout out! Thanks.

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Originally Posted by jetmechG550
Paris (Champs Elyesses sp? and area) have all those stores. The company I work for has shopping malls worldwide but from my travels malls in Europe are much different than those here in the states. They do have them but don't expect a Galleria like mall or anything like any of the Mills owned properties. Don't forgot, like mentioned above, your losing on the dollar though the Euro has been a falling a little lately. Most purchases I make overseas are wine (it helps though to be flying on a private aircraft) and usually something unique to the area that will be a nice momento of your travels. The Forum Shops at Ceasars Palace in LV has all those shops you mentioned above.

BTW, nothing is cheaper in Europe, not even McDonald's!
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      06-01-2005, 11:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStripe
Also, does anyone know about the foreign sales tax/value added taxes being able to be reimbursed to foreign nationals. For example, when I go to Toronto and make large purchases, I usually fill out... what is it, a duties card?... or something they give me on the airplane or a duty-free shop where I can get the sales taxes I paid on merchandise purchases refunded to me by the Canadian government because I'm a US citizen. Has anyone had experience with this in Europe - Germany, Italy, France, UK, etc.?

I was afraid that the goods I'm looking for here are just as or more expensive. I was hoping that, for example, a favorite pair of Italian shoes which cost $350 at Neiman Marcus or a boutique in the US would cost less in Europe. Wouldn't this make sense since you're closer to the country of origin? I guess I should know better... probably these brands need to maintain a certain level of global "exclusitivity" by making prices consistent everywhere. Well, if anyone knows any great places that gives great value if you're looking to pick up Hermes ties or Prada shoes and the like, please give me a shout out! Thanks.
Yes, there is a VAT (Value Added Tax) form. However, I was a military dependent when I lived in Europe so I'm not sure if civilians can use the form or not. My guess would be that they could, you'd just have to find out how to get one or two of them. They're really only good for larger monetary purchases though.

If you have time, a quick jaunt to the Czech Republic and you could find good deals. Can't remember the name of the city, but we would go every so often. We'd be able to get Nikes that would originally be $90 (here in the US) for about $20. However, big namebrands like you're looking for probably won't be as cheap as you'd like them to be. Like others have said, since the Euro is higher than the dollar you'd be losing money.

Locally though, I'd suggest a trip to Heidelberg and Mannheim. I spent the best 6 years of my life there and the area is beautiful. There is a shopping mall (as close as you can get compared to a US mall) called the Rhein-Neckar Zentrum in Viernheim. Shopping in downtown Mannheim and downtown Heidelberg is especially good as well. Just use the strassenbahn; it's easy to get around.

Here is a quick site I found on the Rhein-Neckar Zentrum. Dont think it lists stores though. http://www.ece.de/de/shopping/center/rnv/rnv.jsp
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      06-02-2005, 01:55 AM   #8
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since we're on the topic of europe, how much does it cost avg to stay in a hotel for a few weeks? don't need 5 star, just something comfortable is alright
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      06-02-2005, 02:10 AM   #9
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redstripe,

unfortunately, shopping here in europe is more expensive compared to shopping back in the states. they rarely have sales and if you are looking for premium brands like boss, prada, gucci, etc. be prepare to pay full retail. here in germany, there is no such thing as knock offs. Italy however is a different story. VAT in Germany is 16%. You would pay this up front when purchasing goods and fill out a tax free form during the purchase, when you get to the border or airport, you can claim the taxes back. the exchange rate as of today is $1=.79 Euro. Even though this is a 7month low for the euro vs the $. It's still high. I was able to shop for high ticket items three years ago when the exchange rate was the other way around. With the current rate, you are better off shopping back in the states. Nothing compares to USA for shopping. It's great being able to shop online and not suffer the limited selection here abroad. example, there is only two GAP stores that i know of here in Germany. One in Stuttgart and another one way up north. Prices are much more expensive due to exchange rate and selections are limited.

Living here is a great experience but shopping is not just at the top of the list. If the exchange rate were the other way around, then that's a different story.

Oh forgot to mention, if you get a chance to go to Italy (Milan), now that is a place for clothes shopping. You can get high quality silk ties for around 15-20 euros.. I compared them back in the states and they go for around 40 on up.

p.s. there's no such thing as outlet mall here. I miss the woodbury outlet mall in NY.
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