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Number one on your must-do list for me when I go to Paris is get myself a Chanel handbag. If you are going to Paris and you have no idea which store to visit and your time doesn’t permit you to give each shop a look. Let me help you with such dilemma, I’ve laid out the best places to go if you are looking for great finds.
A Chanel hunt wouldn’t be complete if you don’t visit the brand’s flagship store at Rue Cambon. Expect the best collections and a little of the exclusive ones as well. The crowd might be overwhelming especially in mid-day, so schedule an early visit if you can. Take note that you can only buy one bag for every passport, so take your time choosing.
If you are more of a shoe person, the boutique at Haussmann is the place to go. The space emphasizes more on the brand’s footwear so you won’t find a selection larger than this in other branches. The boulevard scenery outside adds to the romantic experience as well.
The shops at avenue Montaigne and Rue Royale are a must-see if you like to collect luxury fashion jewelry. The crowd within these stores is very small compared to Rue Cambon so you can leisurely browse through their displays without a problem. They have great SA’s too.
Why shop in Paris?
Wouldn’t it be nice to look back on one of your purchases one day and say something classy like “Oh that? I got it in Paris!”
On the practical side, a lot of tourists take advantage of the country’s tax free shopping policy that applies to non-European residents. If you take into account the money changing rates and 12% tax refund, you can purchase a bag that’s several hundred dollars cheaper compared to stores in the US or Canada.
Once you make a purchase in any Chanel boutique, you can request for a tax free form upon checkout. There are two types of such, a blue and white. It doesn’t matter which one you get as long as you fill out all the boxes in Latin alphabet. Get the clerk to help you if you are not familiar with the local language.
Keep the form with you together with your purchases and passport and present them to the Customs desk. The items should be new and unused, so it’s a shame but you can’t use them during your trip. You can opt to get the refund in cash or through credit card. You can claim your money within the same counter. When all is done, you can finally go home and start parading your shopping loot to close friends proudly.