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Old 15.09.2011, 21:50
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Shopping in Karstadt, Germany

I cycled over to Lorrach at lunch time* today. If anyone around Basel is after some homewares it's well worth while.

Triple discount!!

1. They have a sale; some things are 50% off. Many are 30% off.

2. I got approached by someone who luckily spoke English and took my name and signed me up for a free store card (no debit/credit just a points collecting one). You get 10% off anything you buy that day, including sale items.

3. Keep all your receipts (you can buy stuff all round the store, using your new card as many times as you like until the shop shuts), go to the tax refund desk and they'll give you a form to claim 19% MWST back. Get it stamped at the border (German side) and take it back next time for the cash. If you spend less than 300 CHF (I did, I can't carry much on my bicycle) then there's no Swiss liability.

Another tip: There's a wine store in the basement. It's in Karstadt but not actually owned by them so not part of the 10% points card discount. However, they also have a sale right now and have some good wines (such as a 2005 Margaux). They give you a tax form too. Maximum two (some people say 3; technically it's two litres I believe) bottles per person per day to avoid duty.

* I took a 4 hour lunch break. Hey, it was a quiet day.
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