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Find out if Louis Vuitton is cheaper in France compared to the US and what to do to optimize your savings!
With one luxury price hike after another, trying to pay less for your favorite Louis Vuitton items makes good financial sense. While you might have thought about waiting for sales or buying secondhand, one of the best ways to save money on Louis Vuitton is buying in France. For reasons we’ll explain later, buying LV items abroad can save you up to 25%. If you’re curious to know more, then make sure to keep reading.
Is Louis Vuitton Cheaper in France Than in the US?
Louis Vuitton products can be up to 25% cheaper in France than they are in the United States. Check out the table below for price comparisons between the US and France on popular Louis Vuitton items.
|Louis Vuitton Style||Price in USD||Price in EUR||Price Difference (%)|
|Alma BB Canvas||$1,760||€1,400||14%|
|Neverfull PM Canvas||$1,960||€1,550||15%|
|Noe BB Canvas||$1,620||€1,300||14%|
|Speedy Nano Canvas||$1,760||€1,400||14%|
It’s worth pointing out that the pricing gap has narrowed in the last couple of years following European price hikes. American prices largely stayed the same, but European Louis Vuitton prices have increased somewhere between 1 to 7% (with an average 3% price increase). As a result, your savings are likely closer to 15% on average.
Why Is Louis Vuitton Cheaper in France?
From price discrepancies to taxes to sales, there are several reasons why purchasing Louis Vuitton in France is cheaper than it is in the United States. Let’s take a more detailed look at each of these explanations.
Luxury brands know motivated customers will travel for cheaper prices. In order to discourage this practice, brands do their best to keep prices the same throughout the world. Still, despite their best efforts, prices tend to be lower in the country or region where the brand’s headquarters are located. This is mainly the result of taxes and transportation costs.
Louis Vuitton manufacturers its merchandise in Europe. Thanks to Europe’s open commerce laws, LV items sold within Europe aren’t subject to import taxes. Conversely, items made in Europe and sold in the United States are subject to import taxes, a fee that’s passed onto consumers in the form of higher retail prices.
When it comes to transportation, the explanation is similar. If a Louis Vuitton item is made in France and transported to another part of the country for sale, the cost of transporting that item is a lot lower than the cost of transporting the same item from France to the United States. Just like with taxes, this additional transportation cost is added to the retail price in the United States.
Value Added Tax (also known as VAT) is a consumption tax added to goods and services purchased in Europe. Unlike in the United States where sales tax is added at the register, VAT is built into the retail price shoppers see when browsing Louis Vuitton items in France. To put it another way, the price you see is the price you pay.
Countries in the European Union, including France, allow non-EU travelers to claim a VAT refund if they spend enough money in a given store. The percentage refund varies between countries, with France’s VAT refund coming in at about 12% on average. France’s full VAT amount is 20%, so you do end up paying some taxes but the percentage you can get back is significant, especially on pricey luxury items.
Another important point to remember is that France requires you to spend a minimum of €175.01 on a single receipt in order to be eligible for a VAT refund. This likely won’t be a problem if you’re purchasing items from Louis Vuitton, but it’s worth keeping in mind for smaller purchases in France.
No additional sales tax
When you shop in France, the total amount of taxes you have to pay is included in the retail price. Therefore, if you’re from a US state with a sales tax rate above 0% (every state except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon) you could end up saving a bit by shopping in France.
Will Louis Vuitton Stay Cheaper in France?
We can’t say for certain that LV’s prices will always be lower in France than in the United States, especially in light of recent price increases in Europe.
Another France brand, Chanel, increased its European prices twice in 2022 to counteract price savings that came from the parity between the US Dollar and the Euro. If that’s any indication of what Louis Vuitton will do in the future, then the days of massive savings for Americans shopping in Europe may become a thing of the past.
Don’t get us wrong–we think shopping Louis Vuitton in France will still be cheaper going forward, but the price gap might be smaller than it is now.
Save Money by Buying Louis Vuitton in France
For the time being, buying Louis Vuitton products in France is cheaper than purchasing them in the United States. That said, price increases have lessened potential savings over the past couple of years. It’s still definitely worth planning an LV shopping trip if you’re already going to be in France but making a special trip will counteract the few hundred dollars saved on your purchase.
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