Duty free shopping, Is it really worth it?

With many of us travelling over this period, I thought this would be a good topic to touch on. Now to be clear, I write this post from a firmly T total perspective, as I have no idea really about what a good deal is on booze and tobacco as I have no experience of purchasing it. I’m focusing more on the cosmetic/ beauty/ electronics side of things where i’m better versed!

I recently took a trip to Austria, and I took the opportunity to look at some items that I would usually buy on the high street for comparisons sake. I looked at 3 fragrances and 2 cosmetic items I repeat purchase, where possible both in my departure airport and my arrival airport, as well as the live high street price so you can get a real picture. I have to say a sales assistant was giving me strange looks as I photographed labels!

Here’s what I found:

Item UK airport UK High street Desination airport
Benefit hoola Bronzer £20.40 £24.50 Not available
Benefit boing concealer £14.55 £17.50 Not available
Nina Ricci 50ml £36.80 £46.00 £48.41
Marc Jacobs Daisy EDP 50ML £52.00 £65.00 £62.52
Armani code EDP 50ml £51.75 £66 £63.41

The results, to be honest surprised me. At this point I should say that the prices in your return airport will probably fluxutate depending on currecy exchange rates, and popularity of the brand in that particular country.

I rarely buy fragrance at Duty free, mostly because I usually travel cabin bag only to save money. Secondly, I usually buy it in bulk when i can get 25% off- which would equate to cheaper than airport prices. Last year I found the Nina Ricci for £28 & Marc Jacobs for £35 online, but maybe that’s subject for another post! I have also seen better deals on the high street/online to get the cosmetics at a lower price too here.

I would say if you really need to replace an item and theres no current deals, then buy all means spend away. But don’t make the mistake of walking in and thinking it is always the best price possible, because you’ve not paid tax. There are better deals out there, so do your research before you spend, consider stockpiling when there is a good deal and shop smart!

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