Some of us just like to shop and not bother about all the other gibberish going on in the world. And when people like us travel outside the country and wish to shop, we often face terms like Duty Free Stores, Airport Shopping, Airport Duty Free Shopping, Duty paid Shopping, Customs Duty, duty free limits and allowances…. and what not! At such times it feels like an alien – especially when someone talks like – “Hey, I was busy with Airport shopping…” and then a friend says “Why you didn’t try Duty free shops…. and went for regular airport shopping? you had to pay the duty no?“, because we often find people coolly shopping at these stores at the airports like a pro…. when we are like… “What? Duty Free shopping and Airport Shopping are different?”
So with this blog post, let’s just change all that and understand what all this is about and mainly what is Airport Duty Free Shopping versus usual Airport shopping and how is it all different!
Airport Shopping V/s Airport Duty Free Shopping – What really is Duty Free?
There are plenty of taxes and stuff that get imposed on the products you buy. Generally they are the regular taxes (country specific) that you pay even while you are shopping locally. However, in a foreign land additional taxes such as Customs Duty, Goods and Services tax etc. are applicable.
When a product is imported or exported across the boundaries of a country, the government imposes a duty on these products. This is known as the Customs Duty or you can simply call it Duty. At places such as international airports and sea-ports, Duty Free shops sell products which are exempt from these duties.
So basically, duty free products are those products which can be bought and carried across the international borders without having to pay duty and the stores which sell these goods are Duty free stores. However, you can only buy and carry with you, within the limits of the country you are traveling to. If the goods are beyond the permissible limits, you might have to pay some duty on arrival or your goods can even be confiscated, if those goods are not allowed in that country at all. Hence, it is a good practice to always ask the person at the Duty Free store about the limits and allowances of the country you will traveling to after buying these goods.
So now that you know about Customs Duty and duty free products let’s move to the next section and try to distinguish between airport duty free shopping and general airport shopping.
Airport Duty free shopping v/s Airport Shopping – The Crux of it!
If you are wondering whether all shops present at the airport sell duty free products and services. Sorry to disappoint you, but no, not all shops sell duty free products.
So what is the difference between shopping from these specific airport duty free shops and the other airport shops?
As you might have understood already, when you shop from airport duty free shops, you do not have to pay duty. While when you shop from the other shops which sell products, you have to pay the price plus the duty charges.
This also means that in most cases the products at duty free stores are available at a cheaper rate (owing to the fact that you do not have to pay the duty tax) while at the other stores you will have to pay the full price.
Typically the brand stores, shops which do not explicitly mention “Duty Free” in their sign boards, are your regular Airport Shopping stores.
So, while Duty Free stores in the first place do offer international products at cheaper rates, it is not necessary that you cannot still find cheaper deals on those products.
Saving even more on Airport Duty Free stores!
Well, to elaborate on what I mentioned above, duty free stores do offer lower prices, but what it also means is that different duty free stores will have different duty free prices. So, yes… duty free store in one country’s airport can have a lower duty free price than a store in some other country’s airport.
How do you solve this problem?
The answer is Dutyfree.buzz ! Duty Free Buzz, allows you to actually compare prices of various duty free products across various airports and helps you save money all the more.
It compares prices across duty free stores and finds you the best price. It is accessible on the desktops, laptops and even mobile devices. There is even an app for the same, which you can download from here.
All you need to do is:
- Enter your arrival and departure airports (also stopover airports if any).
- Select the product from various categories…
- Check the best price!
This is how it shows you the price comparison
So, now you can choose, as t whether to buy the product at your arrival airport or during your departure and save more.
Well, I hope that this post clears it all and you probably won’t feel like an alien any more!