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  #81  
Old 24.11.2011, 17:34
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

If I plan to shop on a friday night then stay at konstanz, get the customs form stamped on the following Saturday evening, will there be any issue?
Do we get the VAT returns if we have the stamped forms at the Zurich HB station?

A
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  #82  
Old 24.11.2011, 17:36
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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If I plan to shop on a friday night then stay at konstanz, get the customs form stamped on the following Saturday evening, will there be any issue?
shouldn't be a problem. The form has to be stamped at the time you leave the country with your goods.
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  #83  
Old 24.11.2011, 17:37
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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I have never tried shopping in Germany, but I'm going to head for Konstanz Christmas Market this year. It starts next week. Has anyone been there?
Here's a link in English.
yupp, it's really nice!
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  #84  
Old 24.11.2011, 17:38
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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shouldn't be a problem. The form has to be stamped at the time you leave the country with your goods.
Thanks for the useful info
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  #85  
Old 24.11.2011, 17:38
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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1. The man at the customs desk did not require any ID or look at the value of the goods. Is this normal?

2. I did not get one item stamped today as it was getting late and I wanted to head off. Can I get it stamped at a future date or have I missed the chance?

3. No one was stopped at customs on the way back through the border. It seemed too busy for that and the roads were jammed anyway. Do people actually get stopped on a Saturday?

4. What do customs do when they actually pull you over. Do they look at everything in the car? How do they determine what is new and what is not? We took our young son's clothes and food with us and then bought some of the same type of things there.

5. Presumably the plan of parking in Kreuzlingen is to avoid going through customs by car and thereby having more than CHF 300 in goods (or is it because it is somehow easier to get in and out??). I read above that people are spot checked as they walk. Is there anything to stop someone going back and forth with multiple CHF300 purchases?

6. Finally, does everyone work out what CHF 300 is in euros before shopping? I only thought about that at the end though we were well under it. I suppose everyone does - d'oh!
1. No, absolutely not. Not only do they normally check your ID, they also want to see the stuff you bring. Oftentimes, they'll follow you to the car if you say you have the goods in the car.

2. You have to get the stamp when you leave Germany together with your stuff. Getting it stamped later isn't possible, unless the customs officer doesn't pay attention (which they usually do).

3. I actually got pulled over last Saturday. The joke was, however, that we hadn't even been to Germany. We just drove by the customs office on our way to Germany when they pulled us over. Looked in the trunk, nothing to be found. I then complained about the practice and made the guy stop the traffic for me so that I could back up into the main road again :-)

4. to be honest: when in doubt, you're in trouble. My brother had to pay customs duty on an old blanket he had in his car when he got pulled over once.

5. Legally: yes. Pratically: no. You're only allowed to cross the border with goods once a day. Is there any way they can prevent you from repeatedly crossing the border? Hardly, unless you choose to cross the border through the same customs every time and friendly say "hi" to the same customs officer :-)
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  #86  
Old 24.11.2011, 17:46
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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Thanks for the useful info
anything else would be unfair - if you go to Germany for a 2 week vacation, you wouldn't be able to get the VAT back for the stuff you bought during the first 13 days otherwise.
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  #87  
Old 24.11.2011, 18:37
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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shouldn't be a problem. The form has to be stamped at the time you leave the country with your goods.
Technically, you are supposed to present your form (and goods) at the border point of the country from which you finally depart the European Union. You could buy goods in Austria, drive through Germany, France and half a dozen other EU states, then when you leave the EU by crossing into Switzerland (say, from Italy), get the form(s) stamped at the Italian guard post. And again, technically, you could have left the EU several times and returned, all on the same trip, before "finally" leaving by returning to Switzerland. It's only on that final departure that you get the form stamped -- otherwise you would be claiming the VAT on goods purchased in the EU, exporting them, then re-importing them without paying VAT.

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2. You have to get the stamp when you leave Germany together with your stuff. Getting it stamped later isn't possible, unless the customs officer doesn't pay attention (which they usually do).
As I explained above, actually you can export them later from Germany to Switzerland. Just don't wait too long -- if the customs officer thinks you've taken the goods into Switzerland (where you live) for a while, then back into Germany where you now want a refund of VAT, s/he won't be too happy. Try to get that form stamped asap.
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  #88  
Old 24.11.2011, 18:39
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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As I explained above, actually you can export them later from Germany to Switzerland.
True, but the question was whether you can exit Germany with the goods and then come back later a couple of days to get the stamp. That's definitely not (legally) possible.
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  #89  
Old 24.11.2011, 18:45
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

If you can convince the customs officer that you hadn't "finally" departed the EU until now (the time of presenting the form), then legally you'd be in the clear. Agreed, though, that it'd be hard to do that if you reside in Switzerland and had already crossed the border into Switzerland. But a key point is, does the customs officer know that you've already crossed back into Switzerland? It's a bit like the scenario you noted above: unless you've gone to some lengths to make yourself known to the border guards, they have no clue as to whether you've passed through a day or two ago.

It's definitely not a good idea to present a receipt for fresh fish and bread to the customs people a week after your shopping trip, though ...
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  #90  
Old 24.11.2011, 18:59
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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I have never tried shopping in Germany, but I'm going to head for Konstanz Christmas Market this year. It starts next week. Has anyone been there?
Here's a link in English.
It is very good, large, lots of people.

Usual warnings about pickpockets, putting bags on the ground & not paying attention, etc.
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  #91  
Old 24.11.2011, 19:00
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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If I plan to shop on a friday night then stay at konstanz, get the customs form stamped on the following Saturday evening, will there be any issue?
Do we get the VAT returns if we have the stamped forms at the Zurich HB station?

A
It will not be a problem so long as you have the goods with you at the Zoll when you have the bills stamped.
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  #92  
Old 24.11.2011, 19:04
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

Yep, that ^^^^ is key. Whether you get the form stamped on the day of purchase, or some time later.
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  #93  
Old 08.12.2011, 21:40
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

Lago closes late on Thursdays, at 22:00

http://www.lago-konstanz.de/

Montag bis Samstag bis 20 Uhr geöffnet. Donnerstag bis 22 Uhr.
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Last edited by jrspet; 08.12.2011 at 22:24. Reason: Fixed a typo
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  #94  
Old 08.12.2011, 22:21
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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Lago closes late on Thursdays, at 20:00.

They close Mon-Sat at 8pm like all stores in Germany.
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  #95  
Old 08.12.2011, 22:23
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

Ah, sorry, Thursdays at 22:00 ( 10pm )
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  #96  
Old 10.12.2011, 09:57
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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They close Mon-Sat at 8pm like all stores in Germany.
Not all stores in Germany close at 8 pm. There are some in Hessen (and probably other areas) that close at 10 pm or later. I only wish that was the case when we were living in Bayern...
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  #97  
Old 10.12.2011, 11:30
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

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Not all stores in Germany close at 8 pm. There are some in Hessen (and probably other areas) that close at 10 pm or later.
No need to go that far. E.g. Kaufland stores in Waldshut or Konstanz are open 7am to 10pm Monday thru Saturday. The one in Freiburg is even open till Midnight.
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  #98  
Old 11.12.2011, 19:46
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Re: What should I buy in Konstanz? (besides Food)

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Get a haircut too.
Best one: Zieger Akademie. Ask for Cristian! cheers
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  #99  
Old 31.12.2011, 16:00
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

We visited Konstanz yesterday by the train for the day, it was good but in the spirit of English forum there was some things to complain about..

It was pretty quiet when we arrived ~10am, but got quite busy from lunchtime onwards.

The Lago mall, conveniently next to the train station and with plenty of good store names, was stocked as if it was an outlet mall unfortunately. Most of the shops were mostly empty space, and understocked, contained only last season's left over styles, piles of XXL jerseys etc, plenty of shoes. We were still able to find a few things that fitted, and typically converted to a 30% discount on the CHF price also listed on the tag.
But are other border shopping malls better than that? If anyone understands what I am getting at.

The drogorie markt in the mall was small and lacking compared to the Muller in the town a few minutes walk away. Muller was cheaper and a lot bigger, but certainly very busy. Shampooie things, deodorant etc etc are all a lot cheaper than in switzerland.

I had a good cappuccino on the top floor of the mall (for complaints about zurich coffee pls see other thread)

The rest of Konstanz was nice to walk around.
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  #100  
Old 03.01.2012, 11:37
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Re: Shopping in Konstanz, Germany

Anyone know of a good toy stores? Hoping to get things at a discount to CH. Thinking Lego/Duplo. I don't think they had much in the Lago shopping centre if I remember correctly.
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