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It was cheaper to buy my watch in France than in US even though the US price was less

It was cheaper to buy my watch in France than in US even though the US price was less

Old May 18th, 2022, 02:16 PM
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It was cheaper to buy my watch in France than in US even though the US price was less

I'm posting this because prior to my recent trip I looked for this type of information so in case anyone else is too, here's my experience.

I wanted to buy a French-brand luxury watch. I knew I was going to Paris. It ended up being less expensive for me to buy it in Paris than it would have been for me to buy it in the U.S., even though the US price was less, because of the favorable exchange rate right now, and the refund of VAT.

The price for me to buy the watch online in the US is $8000. The price to buy it in Paris was 8200 Euros. I bought it in Paris and put the purchase on my credit card. The cost the credit card issuer (Chase Bank) charged me in dollars was $8,674.78. I just received the Global Blue tax refund on that same card and the refund is in the amount of $957.49. Therefore, the net cost of the watch to me, in dollars, was $7,717.29. The US purchase price would have been $8000 PLUS TAX.

One needs to be careful to have all of the correct paperwork and the item itself at the airport to do the tax refund process. In my case, the form was not accepted by the machine and I had to go to the official window and talk with the agent. He asked to see the watch, which I had with me, and checked all of the paperwork, and approved it. I dropped the sealed envelope in the collection box. That was on Sunday; today is Wednesday and the refund has already shown up on my credit card statement online.

I know peoples' experiences will vary; I am just reporting on mine. Besides saving money, I had a nice experience purchasing the item at the main store of the company, a unique travel experience I will remember.

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Old May 18th, 2022, 02:59 PM
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$8K for a watch? But my Timex ($10 on sale 20 years ago) just keeps on running.
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Old May 18th, 2022, 08:48 PM
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Good information, thanks. I’m not really a luxury buyer but my sisters are and we’ll be in Italy next week. I’ve watching the price of the euro and am very happy with the direction it’s going!
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Old May 18th, 2022, 10:05 PM
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Sorry bakerstreet, but I fail to see the joy in saving about $300 on a $8000 purchase.

s
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Old May 19th, 2022, 12:32 AM
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Some watches are good investments. I have a Rolex and a pre moon Omega Speedmaster, both worth far more than I paid for them when they were new.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 01:04 AM
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I have the same as Heimdall! Would howeverr not do the purchase for a $300 difference. Am myself not a huge fan of Breguet and a good friend of mine had terrible service issues with that brand in theUS.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 03:02 AM
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I agree heimdell

my 21st birthday present was a Rolex , it’s been to 64 countries, sailed across areas and seas, played with lions and fought off Tiger sharks. It still looks not a day old despite being used and very abused. It was bought 30 years ago for 900 and now worth 6000.

i inherited a 1951 dress (rather than sports ) Omega which is very classic looking and is still in good worthing order, not worth getting it valued as it’s going nowhere other than my son.

Both built for a lifetime

Last edited by BritishCaicos; May 19th, 2022 at 03:06 AM.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 04:45 AM
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Ignore the naysayers Bakerstreet, it made you happy, that is all that matter.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 07:17 AM
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I love Omega watches - my father wore one every day to work for as long as I can remember - at least 25+ years - and it was it's durability (and the childhood memories attached to the watch) that influenced me to buy an Omega when I could afford my own. I started small and upgraded to my second that I currently wear everyday.

I do have an old Rolex that I inherited from my grandfather, but I never saw him wearing it. I've rarely worn it.

I wanted to give my daughter a nice watch when she finishes grad school next year, but she told me that she probably wouldn't really appreciate it that much as she uses her phone to tell the time lol. I guess I'll have to figure something else out.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 07:40 AM
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Do you not have to pay import duties on that watch in the US?
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Old May 19th, 2022, 09:51 AM
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I bought the Speedmaster back in 1969 from the BX at RAF Bentwaters, England. I wanted it to time laps of my friends when we were practicing at a nearby motor racing circuit. For years I looked in jewellery shop windows, wondering why I never saw another Speedmaster with an orange sweep second hand. Later I found out it is a rare original Ultraman.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Tulips View Post
Do you not have to pay import duties on that watch in the US?
IIRC, the US Duty will be calculated like this:

1st $800 exempt from any duty (that $800 includes all items purchased, not just the watch, so if you bought $400 of other stuff, you only be able to exempt $400 of the watch purchase).
Next $1000, duty is 3% import tax, or $30
Above that, it's 6.5%, or ~$385,

for a total of $415 due to Uncle Sam., for a grand total of $8130.

If you decide you don't want to declare the watch at US Customs, the penalties if you get caught could be a lot worse...
Nobody here is going to say it's OK not to declare, or guarantee you won't get caught....


Last edited by Moderator1; May 19th, 2022 at 01:29 PM. Reason: removed inappropriate comment
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Old May 19th, 2022, 03:52 PM
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Don't forget the "use tax" equivalent to the state sales tax on out of state purchases brought into the state if you live in a state with such taxes. In NY that could wipe out the savings from the OP's plan.
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