Which is the Better Deal? Shopping in the UK or France? Here’s the Handbag Math

Brexit has been a long time coming but… it’s finally here. The UK is now officially out of the EU. And, we finally know what it’s going to mean for tourists shopping for luxury handbags.

In our previous article on the big news (Read: What Brexit Means For Buying Luxury Bags), we discussed the effect on luxury shopping in a post-Brexit Britain for those living outside of the EU. We explained how, due to Brexit, luxury shopping in the UK is set to be more expensive for non-EU shoppers. This is because in the UK they will no longer be able to claim back the value added tax (VAT) which is automatically applied to purchases, unless they chose to ship purchases home first.

But what we really want to know is just how much more expensive is UK luxury shopping now. Easier said than done, we compare purchasing the same item in France where foreign shoppers are still eligible for the VAT refund. Allow our signature PurseBop Handbag Math to explain …

We selected two classic bags in classic materials from our favorite luxury brands to illustrate the new post-Brexit premium and how this compares to the price of purchasing in France.

Non-EU Shopper Buying in the UK

Luxury Handbag ModelPrice in the UK Post-Brexit (GBP) - without VAT refundUK Post-Brexit Price US Equivalent (USD)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Monogram Canvas£830$1,134
Chanel Classic Flap in Lambskin£5,550$7,583
Luxury Handbag ModelPrice in the UK Post-Brexit (GBP) - without VAT refundUK Post-Brexit Price US Equivalent (USD)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Monogram Canvas£830$1,134
Chanel Classic Flap in Lambskin£5,550$7,583

Non-EU Shopper Buying in France

Luxury Handbag ModelPrice in France (Euros) - with VAT refundFrench Price US Equivalent (USD)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Monogram Canvas€819$991
Chanel Classic Flap in Lambskin€5,445$6,589
Luxury Handbag ModelPrice in France (Euros) - with VAT refundFrench Price US Equivalent (USD)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Monogram Canvas€819$991
Chanel Classic Flap in Lambskin€5,445$6,589

Savings For Non-EU Shoppers Buying in France Instead of the UK

Luxury Handbag ModelSaving (USD)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Monogram Canvas$143
Chanel Classic Flap in Lambskin$994
Luxury Handbag ModelSaving (USD)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Monogram Canvas$143
Chanel Classic Flap in Lambskin$994

*Prices were calculated assuming non-EU shoppers receive a VAT refund of 10% when shopping in France

*US equivalents were calculated based on the following currency conversion rates :
1 GBP= 1.37 USD; 1 Euro = 1.21 USD

Looking at the charts, it is clear that non-EU shoppers will pay more in the UK than they would pay in any EU country. That Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 is $134 more in London than Paris. Similarly, if you want to buy the Chanel classic flap at a London Chanel Boutique it will cost you nearly $1000 dollars more, $994, to be precise, than at Rue Cambon. Please note that a portion of the difference is related to currency exchange numbers.

So, in conclusion, if you are a non-EU shopper it is now noticeably more expensive to purchase luxury goods in the UK post-Brexit. And subsequently it is now considerably cheaper for non-EU shoppers to purchase luxury goods in France compared to the UK, particularly bigger ticket items such as Chanel bags.

What are your thoughts on this news? If you are a non-EU shopper will you shopping skip London and head to Paris? Let us know.

Love, PurseBop
XO

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