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Old 05.01.2012, 17:26
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Duty free prices at airports

So, when I last went to Portugal, my mother asked me to do some shopping in the airport.

Being Duty-Free area, I was counting on... well... cheaper prices than Manor or Globus (which are not the cheapest places in Zürich).

I was a bit surprised that a nail varnish from L'Oreal was actually 2 CHF more expensive than in the Manor. I first thought maybe I got it in Manor during a promotion. But I checked later, when back to Switzerland, and Duty-Free was indeed more expensive.

This X-Mas my mother asked me to take a look at a La Prairie face cream (wow-ha mom! Those are real WTF prices!).

She sent me the prices from El Corte Inglés in Portugal (which is not the cheapest place either) and I proceeded to check it out in Globus. Apart from the fact that I almost strangulated the woman on the counter for openly insinuating that all top-brand products you can buy in Portugal are fakes, prices were about 30% over the Portuguese ones. This is over the euro rate problem.

When I checked the price at the Duty-Free in Zürich, I choked at the price: it was even more expensive than the Globus.

So, what gives? Which "duty" is exactly free in the Zürich airport? The store duty of caring?

Has anyone noticed this? Is it only cosmetics? Am I looking at the wrong products?




P.S.: Checked same la prairie product in Frankfurt during transfer, and surprise surprise, was similar to Portugal. Probably according to the Globus lady it was a fake... /sigh

And before mentioning taxes, cosmetics were actually 21% tax back home (now 23% weheeee go Portugal!)
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Old 05.01.2012, 17:33
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Re: Airport taxes

this in other/general..????

seems like a rant to me...

The only advantage I see on this is getting last minute items. Or something you might not get normally at your Final destination
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Old 05.01.2012, 17:34
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Re: Airport taxes

It is duty free. You pay no duty on your highly priced items!

They have a captive market and no ability to price compare and frequently charge different currencies.
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Old 05.01.2012, 18:02
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Re: Airport taxes

I've never found duty free shops to be any sort of bargain, except for booze & cigs which I don't buy there either mostly because I can't be bothered to carry around bottles when I'm traveling.
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Old 05.01.2012, 18:03
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Re: Airport taxes

Long gone are the days when Duty Free stores offered anything at a saving over your usual retail outlets. As His Caviarship says, you're bored at the airport, time to kill, there's only so many cups of coffee you can drink before escaping for a bout of retail therapy.
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Old 05.01.2012, 20:02
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Re: Airport taxes

/slap Ouchboy

This is not a rant. It's a realization on a problem specific to an airport of Switzerland, and a concerned question on the possibility, reality and validity of said issue. In short terms, it's a WFT moment.

I'm somewhat relieved to see I'm not the only one noticing the "duty-free paradise" is but a mirage, but I was just not prepared to find out that inside the airport it's actually more expensive than Bahnofstrasse Zürich.

I mean, my brain cannot compute the expression "duty-free more expensive than Bahnhofstrasse"

*inside Helm's brain*

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Old 05.01.2012, 21:00
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

raspberry vodka was cheaper in duty-free ZRH than in regular shops, and cheaper than UK too.

Due to cocktail consumption levels, will check the prices again soon
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Old 05.01.2012, 21:09
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

It is the same in UK as well, some prices are cheaper (like the Harrods bear) but some are not, so you do need to know your prices before you shop.
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Old 05.01.2012, 21:12
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

Zurich airport "duty free" has long been a complete rip-off. I thought everyone knew that?!?
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Old 05.01.2012, 21:23
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Re: Airport taxes

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I've never found duty free shops to be any sort of bargain, except for booze & cigs which I don't buy there either mostly because I can't be bothered to carry around bottles when I'm traveling.
Cuban cigars in Zürich duty free were much higher priced than in Denner last time I checked
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Old 05.01.2012, 21:27
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

If you shop at the Bahnhofstrasse, you have the feeling that you pay to much.
If you do duty free shopping, you have the feeling that you did a good deal.

Conclusion: don't check the prices so that you have the feeling that you got a great deal
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Old 05.01.2012, 22:05
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

When I travel from the UK I look for the price tags (at UK airports, not arrivals in Switzerland) that say the price is only available to people travelling outside the EU. I think they are green. Those are significantly lower than the prices for people travelling to EU destinations and I think really represent a duty free price. However, that doesn't guarantee that the price will be lower than your typical UK supermarket.

I got this single malt for £20 at London City in November. Tesco price currently £28, and airport price for people travelling to an EU destination was £38.

But I agree, for most things duty free isn't cheaper.
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Old 05.01.2012, 22:22
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

In general, Zurich duty free has the same prices (if not worse) that the regular shops in the city. Unless you find a specific offer, it is not worthwhile the effort (example - it is cheaper to buy Tiffany stuff in their Zurich store). If you want to buy something specific, best approach is to check the prices in the stores and then go for it.

In general, Lisbon duty free has good deals (eg Clinique, which is normally a good deal, or some Kenzo's perfume). Same goes for booze - specially port wine - which is cheaper than in the streets.

If you want some really good deals, Copenhagen used to be the best (last time I shopped there was 2008, and it has rained a lot since there). Most of the shops won't charge the VAT as soon as you show you Swiss permit. I have some design stuff that costs 3 times more in CH. JFK duty free used to be fantastic for perfumes and cosmetics (prices are usually lower than in the real world and without taxes, it is even less expensive).

And, yes, I spent a lot of my time getting anxious in airports all over the world. Don't miss it.
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Old 05.01.2012, 23:00
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

What I like about the Duty Free is the special products you can only buy there, like travel make-up kits not available elsewhere. Or special edition stuff. Otherwise, yeah, not really worth it. We could just try and bully them into giving a better price by pointing to the "real world" price on our Smartphones...

If you want to some real duty free in Switzerland, check out Samnaun. My mum's favourite Juvena face cream was about 20% cheaper there. And it's one of those three-figure creams. Nice place too, I stayed at the Casa Montana for three nights in June 2008, had a load of spa treatments and a four course meal every night for less than a thousand francs, which I know does not compare to Austria but I wanted to go to Samnaun.
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Old 05.01.2012, 23:58
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

I agree, and BSL isn't much better. I've found the in-flight stuff generally cheaper - BA has occasional bargains amongst the tat. The price of the onboard duty-free on SWISS however makes ZRH seem cheap ..
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Old 06.01.2012, 07:13
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

I think I posted it earlier: I once went to the watch shop in ZH airport to ask how much cheaper a specific luxury watch is there compared to the same shop's branch on Bahnhofstrasse. The shopkeeper looked at me as if I am out of the world and told me that it "naturally" costs the same... I think she genuinely did not get why I was surprised.

I just brought some booze back from Germany to Singapore and it is the same: Large supermarkets manage to be cheaper or the same as the duty free shop while paying 19% VAT!!!
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Old 06.01.2012, 07:39
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

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So, when I last went to Portugal, my mother asked me to do some shopping in the airport.

Being Duty-Free area, I was counting on... well... cheaper prices than Manor or Globus (which are not the cheapest places in Zürich).

I was a bit surprised that a nail varnish from L'Oreal was actually 2 CHF more expensive than in the Manor. I first thought maybe I got it in Manor during a promotion. But I checked later, when back to Switzerland, and Duty-Free was indeed more expensive.

This X-Mas my mother asked me to take a look at a La Prairie face cream (wow-ha mom! Those are real WTF prices!).

She sent me the prices from El Corte Inglés in Portugal (which is not the cheapest place either) and I proceeded to check it out in Globus. Apart from the fact that I almost strangulated the woman on the counter for openly insinuating that all top-brand products you can buy in Portugal are fakes, prices were about 30% over the Portuguese ones. This is over the euro rate problem.

When I checked the price at the Duty-Free in Zürich, I choked at the price: it was even more expensive than the Globus.

So, what gives? Which "duty" is exactly free in the Zürich airport? The store duty of caring?

Has anyone noticed this? Is it only cosmetics? Am I looking at the wrong products?




P.S.: Checked same la prairie product in Frankfurt during transfer, and surprise surprise, was similar to Portugal. Probably according to the Globus lady it was a fake... /sigh

And before mentioning taxes, cosmetics were actually 21% tax back home (now 23% weheeee go Portugal!)
What "duty" ? THIS is the question ! It is
8% VAT
plus
between 0% and up to 10% customs duty
-
and THIS means that now, when most duty-rates are down to zero, only 8% VAT. Add to this that the airport companies cash in, not on the profits, but on the turn-over of these companies, and this in addition to the exorbitant rents of the localities (not only in ZRH/GVA/BSL) means that these dutyfree-shops have far higher costs than normal shops downtown. When in Dubai, compare the prices of actual shops with the ones of the famous duty-free shop there and you will see that many things are far less expensive. When buying wines, wherever, first check the downtown shops, which usually have the better choice at lower prices.

To do THESE comparisons is YOUR business and not the concern of the DutyFreeShops which are not welfare institutions
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Old 06.01.2012, 07:49
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

The problem is caused by cheap air travel. Only poor people need to check the prices.
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Old 06.01.2012, 09:39
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Re: Airport taxes

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Cuban cigars in Zürich duty free were much higher priced than in Denner last time I checked
Sorry, I mean cigarettes. I have no clue of cigar pricing.

But it also very much depends on where you are going to and from. Imported booze and cigarettes going into certain places is very expensive where in others it's not.
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Old 06.01.2012, 09:47
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Re: Duty free prices at airports

Duty free prices for clothes/perfume/watches are a joke, I thought everyone knew that. The only true duty free bargains are for booze. At Gatwick you can get two bottles of Stolichnaya for 18£. That's just not even fair!
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