Bargain and Europe may hardly seem like two words that you can find together, but if you are a savvy shopper, it’s actually possible! Follow these steps and you’ll be a savvy shopper in the heart of Europe in no time!
- Find the modestly priced shopping hubs in the place. Flea markets and bargains allow you to practice the fine art of haggling. Some French or Italian know-how may also help you haggle to the lowest price possible. In Paris, there are bargain basement fashion stores to check out amidst that sea of signature clothing. They also have Le March aux Puces de Clingnancourtin district 17eme. In Germany, Berlin’s market is the best place for shopping. London’s Harrods corner shop and Portobello Road is also a must see for tourists like you. On the other hand, Italy has its San Lorenzo Leather Market and you can get a lot of Roman loving from Porta Portese.
- Check out the restrictions. You can’t be a savvy shopper if you find during the baggage checkout that you cannot really bring back home half of your purchases. Some of the regulations on wine and other equally sensitive items need to be considered before you buy away!
- Capitalize on each area’s specialty items and its cultural significance. Why buy a scarf in Paris that you can just as easily find in JC Penney’s? Make sure that whatever you are buying, it is very unique to the place and you will not find it back home. Leather in Italy, for example, is a good investment, and so is Parisian wine and clothing.
- Be wary of tourist opportunists. Be very meticulous with labels and item quality before buying. Even if you are swarmed by a sea of people around you impatiently waving around their finds, just make sure that you remain calm and in control. A purchase haphazardly made is often disastrous. If you can, avoid the areas which are near tourist spots since they place a lot of extra fees. Scour the area for hard to reach shops as they will definitely be more congenial with their pricing.
- Plan your route. As a tip, the Southern parts of Europe happen to have the best deals, so save up your cash for the Southern bargains.
- Research on local prices back home. You will only know that you had a bargain if you are able to get something for a lower price abroad than at home. If you are really obliged to buy a similar item that you have back home, make sure that it is much lower than the local price.
- VAT refunds are heaven-sent for you. The VAT is included for every purchase you make. However, as a tourist, you are not really required to comply with those additional taxes. Know the minimum amount you need to incur to be eligible for a refund. Depending on the country, refunds vary. You can check out Global Refunds for the minimum amounts. You can often get it by presenting a receipt and visiting Customs.