Duty-free shopping has all the fun of a shopping trip with far less of the cost. It has long been the place where people go to pick up all sorts of bargains without having to pay tax on them. Duty-free exists between the borders of countries where tax is a grey area. So if you’re in an airport lounge, on a ship or a flight you are not subject to any tax because you are not within boundaries of any tax-controlled area. The requirement is that the person that buys the goods has to take them out of the country (and you usually have to show your boarding pass in order to qualify as a customer).
The first duty-free shop was opened at Shannon Airport, Ireland in 1947 and still remains open today. Its success led people the world over to copy the idea and it is now commonplace in most airports. So what sorts of goods are available duty-free?
Tobacco and Alcohol
There is a very high tax levy on most countries’ tobacco and alcohol sales. By stocking up on pre-rolled cigarettes or rolling tobacco at a duty-free shop you stand to save a considerable amount of money. Depending on the rules in the airport or ship you are shopping in there may be a limit as to how many items one passenger can purchase. There are also very strict rules about not selling the goods on once you arrive at your destination – it must be purely for personal use.
Spirits, wines, beers and lagers are all available in duty-free shops at a fraction of the price that you may be used to. Again, personal use comes into play – if you are caught selling the goods on for profit then you’ll be liable to be prosecuted.
Perfumes and Aftershaves
Top brand names such as Chanel, DKNY, Prada to name but a few all offer their perfumes in duty-free shops at knock-down rates. It has never been cheaper to smell so gorgeous! The men are catered for too with well known brand names such as Davidoff and Jean Paul Gaultier available.
Lotions and Potions
The cost of skin care cream and related goods are going through the roof so save a few coins where you can at duty-free shops. Eye cream, moisturiser, beauty serum and SPF products are all available – and there will be more choice than you know what to do with! There’s nothing better than coating your face with a layer of exquisitely rich moisturiser before your flight takes off – you’ll arrive looking fresh-faced and vibrant, even if you don’t feel it!
All sorts of gadgetry is available at duty-free shops. High end items such as cameras, video cameras, mobile phones, satnavs and personal stereos are all available at highly competitive rates. So if you are looking to invest in or upgrade to a new piece of equipment and you’re travelling soon, wait and see what price you can get it for at the airport.
Sam Donahue is a fun-loving person who likes to share his experiences, interests and opinions with others through blog articles. He works for a company offering budget airport parking services to customers.