What to Buy in Duty Free Shops? Is Everything Really Cheap There?

Maria Goncharova Flights, Tips & Tricks Leave a Comment

Airport Duty FreeDuty Free shops are retail outlets that are exempt from the payment of taxes and duties, on the requirement that the goods sold will be sold to travelers who will take them out of the country. Which products can be sold Duty Free vary by jurisdiction, as well as how they can be sold. What should we buy in Duty Free shops, and how to save some money?

The prices for the same products are different in the different airports. Sometimes prices in Duty Free shops are even higher than in convenience stores. For example, prices in the Duty Free shops at Swiss airports are just exorbitant.

But there is another not so obvious plus. It is the quality of the products. Products in Duty Free stores are checked, they are much less likely to be fake. A lot of passengers buy cosmetics in airports for this reason.

Well, the last. It’s not easy to find some items in usual stores, but they can be found in particular Duty Free stores. For example, the famous German wine “Icewine”. It always can be found at German and Swiss airports.

What Products Should We Buy in Duty Free Shops?

In general, the answer is simple: alcohol, tobacco products, cosmetics and perfumery. In France and Italy, it makes sense to look at the clothing of luxury brands, in Japan – electronics, in Korea – Korean cosmetics. But, of course, do not buy any souvenirs in Duty Free shops. At airports they are not just expensive, but also doesn’t have a good quality.

Duty Free Goods Restrictions

  • Duty Free goods can be taken in addition to the normal hand baggage. But all the liquids and other prohibited items must be packed in transparent plastic bags with a check inside.
  • For travelers on routes with a transit stop, it’s better to purchase their duty-free alcohol or perfume at the last transit port. Otherwise they may have it confiscated by security when they board at the transit port, as they will be exceeding the current limit on liquids in hand baggage. Thinking of the last rule really makes sense if you want to bring something from outside of EU and have a transit stop in EU. They confiscated my bottle of wine just because I bought it in Kiev.  
  • As a rule, items in Duty Free shops are sold only after presentation of boarding passes and passports.
  • Usually, it’s forbidden to acquire more than 10 items of the same brand of products at the same time.
  • There are restrictions on the importation of goods into the country of arrival, even if they are purchased in Duty Free shops. To a greater extent this applies to alcohol and cigarettes.

Inbound Duty Free

Some countries, including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Iceland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Taiwan and Turkey have inwards Duty Free facilities, where arriving passengers can purchase Duty Free items immediately before going through customs.

Prices in Duty Free Shops

The prices for the same goods in different airports vary in half to two times. On the following websites you can get an idea about the prices at some airports:

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